Lava Fest 2016

We set out to leave Raleigh by 10AM to head to Norfolk, Virginia for the patiently awaited Lava Fest. As per usual, we didn’t quite make it out the door until around Noon. Between leaving late, a 3 hour drive, and driving in the wrong direction for about an hour, we showed up only a few hours after the festival started.

Luckily, we made it just in time to see Natalie Prass. And even more lucky, we made it just in time to meet and greet those¬†who seemed to be the guests of a wedding at the same venue the festival was being held. We met one charmer in particular who wore a purple shirt and “could be [my] dad.” He rambled about all the ladies he gets and attributed this to his grey hair. “It makes me look wise and mature,” he commented. Key word: look. Don’t let the grey hair fool you, this guy isn’t actually wise and/or mature. After getting to know ‘this guy’ over the course of 45 minutes or so, we pretty much decided he’s an arrogant chauvinist. Nevertheless, we continued to sit there in curiosity of this spectacle of a man. However, he made it clear that he didn’t care what we think because “you see, when you’re old and wise like me, you don’t have time to care what others think.” In a way, I almost admired his acknowledgment of ill personality, yet still being okay enough with himself to sit at a table full of discernment for his character. I think we all eventually came to that conclusion as we walked away. We could all learn something from purple shirt man–be unapologetically yourself? I guess….


This is how Sayer felt after that conversation.


And this is how Jonathan felt.


Emma isn’t judgemental, so this is how she felt.


After much one-sided and self centered conversation with the man in the lovely purple shirt, we felt much better about ourselves and suddenly recollected that we were there for the music. We followed the crowd outside to witness No BS! Brass Band. Of course, I’m a sucker for Brass Bands, so I danced my tail off in the 98 some odd degree weather. Most of the songs were cover songs, which I am normally too snooty to enjoy–but Lava Fest reminded me that I am not too good for anything, whether that be chauvinist men in purple shirts or cover bands.


The best act of the night was hands down, Dan Deacon! He has such a unique way of interacting with the crowd. He makes the show about you, not him. And for some reason that doesn’t feel cheesy at all. It feels humble and genuine. His shows are simply about having a good time. My excitement grew when Dan Deacon started to play When I was Done Dying. This was my first time hearing this song live and it was even more incredible than the studio version.

If you haven’t heard that song, you must listen, read the lyrics, and watch the video below. I feel like it’s about having this intense experience of facing your own ego, realizing just how small you are, and coming back to life. Purple shirt dude was in the crowd during this song, but I doubt he gave the lyrics much thought. He was likely just really drunk at that point. Poor purple shirt dude.

Oh yeah, and I crowd surfed at Dan Deacon.

After Lava Fest, we ventured to Virginia Beach. Where Sayer found people snorting drugs in the camp ground bathroom at the ripe hour of 7:00AM. He also found a lady with a tattoo on her neck that said “That’s what’s up, Bitches.” Between purple shirt dude, druggies, and bitch tattoo lady–we easily concluded that Virginia is a weird place. All in all, great time. Sadly, we were not in the blogger mindset and got pictures of neither of the previously mentioned characters.

Lava Fest, we will be back next year!


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