What do you do when you’ve been to South by Southwest often enough that Austin bar owners know you by name? When you’re booked to watch Childish Gambino at Coachella and Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo, from three different stage angles? When you know how to get in and out of Glastonbury without sitting in traffic for ten hours?
You go to the only remaining mega-venue: The Saw Festival in Felton, California.
It’s certainly not a standard mega-venue. Unlike the others, which host tens of thousands of concertgoers, the Saw Festival is a small group of people who gather to play that most theremin-like of hand instruments, the musical saw. But in terms of gatherings of musical saw players, there are none to compare.
It’s been held annually since 1978, and is truly international, with players from Japan, Australia, The Czech Republic, China and other countries coming to play.
Admission is free to the early-August event. And in case you think that the saw players aren’t as hardcore as some of the acts you’d see on stage at the aforementioned venues, I suggest that few songs conjure the image of hard-bitten macho more than this:
…Even if it might not be that exact rendition which calls those images to mind.
And, lest you think that playing the saw is just a joke, keep in mind that the festival is an enjoyable, light-hearted get-together for aficionados. A saw can be a valid, if odd, musical instrument.
Question of the night: What’s a musical instrument you enjoy playing, whether or not you’re good at it?