Ode to The Treehouse

June 6, 2017

Ah the Treehouse Stage, how do I love thee…

It begins with the walk. The Treehouse is away from all of the other stages, isolated in the woods. Super VIP or GA it doesn’t matter, everyone walks to this stage. There is an anticipation to the walk, a knowledge that you are going somewhere special.

When you walk from the main stage areas, you pass through the quieter areas of the festival with people talking, browsing vendor tents, or mostly enjoying the chance to catch their breath. You walk past the Thicket, imaging the silent dancers hidden in the forest. Lost in thought you arrive at The Pathway. The Pathway is a trail through the woods decorated in a different theme every year, but somehow always evoking the feeling of elves and fairies. It could easily be the entry in to a scene from A Midsummer’s Night Dream, Titania and Oberon waiting around the corner.

The pathway is a winding walk under a canopy of trees festooned in the theme of the year. Lights dangle and sway from their branches. A final turn reveals people gathering, the hum of low voices. A secret spot in the woods. A small stage that looks like it could be part of a summer camp. A stage built to blend in with the surroundings, to be in harmony. Two low slung structures with angled roofs frame the outside of the stage. Quirky open rectangular shapes at uneven intervals serve as the back drop. The backdrop is fronted by two tree trunks sprouting through the stage floor. The drummer platform wedged between the two. All are lit by a deep blue light that should be completely out of place but isn’t. The entire area is hemmed in by trees closing off the outside world and the rest of the festival from this musical oasis.

The stage is small, a medium sized bar stage, except that it has a catwalk. The catwalk, just wide enough for someone to walk down, juts out into the crowd. Festival goers crowd around both sides, able to touch hands with any band member who ventures out. Fans fill out the remaining space behind the catwalk away from the stage in numbers much smaller than any other stage. The setting creates an intimacy with the bands and the fans that isn’t available anywhere else. It would be like seeing your favorite band at your local rock and roll bar, except after they were already superstars. It’s an amazing connection.

Each show there has a uniqueness, and whether or not everyone knows it at a conscious level you can tell they feel it. The bands feel it too. Both know that this is a once in a lifetime happening, something to be remembered and held onto. It’s the reason we love music. It’s why bands love to perform. That magic doesn’t happen every day, but it does happen multiple times a day for three days every summer in the middle of one of the smallest states in the country at a festival called Firefly.

Until next time... Jettyrat out. Happy listening.

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