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Woodstockhausen: The Tale of the 2007 Show

Our Sad Story

Friends, We would like to share a few thoughts with you all about the Woodstockhausen 2007 Festival cancellation.

First, our deepest apologies to all those who spent time, effort, and money to attend or perform, only to be disappointed at the last minute. We are at least as disappointed as you that the event didn't occur as planned, and wanted to let you know a bit about the difficult decision to pull it.

We had indeed planned for some light rain. Historically, that's all that ever happens in September in this area. We planned for tents for the tech equipment, the staff and performers, and a stage covering. When it got a little drizzly Friday during site prep, we checked the weather forecasts, checked with the site owner, and checked with a long time local resident. Based on that information, we decided to execute the plan for the stage covering. The stage rigging was designed with a sloped tarp support (about 2 feet higher in the back) to drain the expected light drizzle. After rigging and guying the stage truss and support system, we continued with the lighting and setting the stage and finally closed down around 1:00 AM to catch a little sleep.

We hadn't prepared for a 2-inch downpour in less than 12 hours.

Here is a picture of what greeted us early Saturday morning:


About 1.5 inches of unseasonable and completely unexpected rain in the Ben Lomond micro-climate collapsed the front stage truss supports, and the water that had collected on the tarp dumped all over the stage. The water soaked the stage, the stage carpeting, the main speakers, the monitors, the stage power box, and all the lighting and controllers.

As if that wasn't enough, the rain continued to pour down all morning, hampering cleanup efforts and the attempts to dry out wet equipment. By now we had gotten about 2 inches, the ground was getting muddy, and the forecast was for the rain to continue into the afternoon. The logistics of getting equipment and a performance space back together were looking pretty grim, and worse yet audience and artist safety was getting questionable. Highway 9 was full of accidents, one of which closed down the road entirely.

At that point we had an emergency meeting of the staff and site owner and decided at noon to pull the plug. Our event manger sent an email to the staff and artists, and started frantically calling the artists. We closed the front gate, posted notices to the website and several email lists, and started the sad proceeds of tear down. We recovered what equipment we could, ear marked the damaged stuff for later repair or replacement, and called it a day. (Fortunately the electronics at the tech tent and the main PA amps were well protected!)


Since several of our artists and staff had come from a considerable distance (or were still en route), we approached the site owner to see if we could use their lovely lodge and catering kitchen as a gathering spot. They graciously opened their 45 person indoor faculty to us, lit the fire in the fireplace to warm us up and dry us out, and since we were all hanging around anyway, we decided to turn the disaster into a small-living-room-style concert and party.

The weather finally cooperated and stopped raining mid afternoon. The dedicated video artists banned together and improvised a setup in the courtyard, we hung a screen at the edge of the patio and allocated one end of the lodge for audio performances. A few hardy patrons decided to attend in spite of the reduced scope, and about 40 of us all banded together for some casual fun in the evening. The audio artists were performing in the lodge, the visual guys were doing magic in the courtyard, and the food and coffee was plentiful.

You know the old saying: When life hands you lemons, make lemonade". We made some decent lemonade Saturday night, especially considering the bad lemons we got handed. Financially, it was a complete loss, but artistically it was still great fun and everyone was renewing old acquaintanceships and making new ones.

Finally, we met Monday, September 24th to scope out answers to those burning questions of rescheduling for next year, so stay tuned!


If you would like to graciously donate to the Woodstockhausen team, so that we may recover some of the losses from this year's rain out and make next year's show possible,
please do so below:

The Woostockhausen team thanks you for your kind support!