It’s ACF Fever amongst the AUSketeers on my LJ and MSN lists. Why, why, why must you guys keep having the Fair on weekends when I’m booked to go to one of my more beloved cities with my best girlfriends? Last year, I missed 13 because I was in New Orleans with Tonya, and this year I’m missing 14 because I’m going to San Francisco with three of my best friends from L.A.
I actually considered flying up there. Especially when I got the eVite from the ex-Promo queens, Karen and Alecks, both of whom I adore. There’s an ACF Alumni Reunion brunch planned, and suddenly, I realized how much fun it would be to go up there and spend the day getting drunk with my tribe, with two dozen people I like immensely for all their different quirks and senses of humor, for their wackyness, but most of all, for their hearts.
However, visions of a drunken day backstage at ACF, revisiting two years ago, were shattered when I told my girl roomate about it, and she informed me, “oh no you don’t. You are GOING to San Francisco with us, dammit. You are not skipping out to go to Canada.”
“But..” and I tried to explain about ACF – but it doesn’t translate, so I gave up and shrugged and settled down.
ACF, at UBC, is a special day. Kids get up earlier than they would normally, so they can start drinking. SUS drags a keg into the woods. Totem Park serves champagne breakfasts. The frathouses start doing tequila sunrises at 8am. The RCMP raids the Cheez and takes the alcohol away from the ‘Geers at 8:30. And the AUS start their day on the field at 6am, after having been up until 2am painting the ‘Geers’ cairn. All over campus, people start celebrating early, because this is the day that we drink like only Canadian university students can.
(Bzzr.ca – http://www.bzzr.ca – should help you non-UBC people understand how much that really is)
At 1pm, the doors open, and 15,000 people spend the day in T-Bird stadium, at two stages (one rock with 5 bands, one hip-hop or electronica or whatever), patronizing the beer gardens and drinking from non-glass containers they bring in. The ACF staff hand out 22,000 condoms – a few of which get used in corners of the event or in Vanier rooms that night. This is North America’s largest student run event, a cross between Lollapalooza and a giant beer garden, with a huge dose of UBC craziness thrown in for good measure.
This is a very different event when you work it, but that’s a whole other entry. For now, that’s all you need to hear about – what the Fair IS, and what it would mean to me to go back. My first Fair was at seventeen, in 1996, when I was a first year living in Totem Park, and I remember thinking, even then, how cool the AUS must have been to put it on. I remember reading about the lineup in 2000, from my desk in Plano, TX, and wishing I could go, and wondering how the ACF staff managed to get such great bands, year after year. And finally, I found myself working it, with little clue how I’d gotten there (somehow I’d been lured up to Whistler with this group called the Arts Undergrad Society Council?).
Add that to how much I love the people who are going – guys, you might not know this, but you did change my life, drastically for the better, just by being my friends. I desperately want to go…but I promised I’d go to San Francisco…and after all, it’s San Francisco, one of my adopted hometown cities. San Francisco is the isotope that inspired both Seattle and Vancouver – it’s everything I love about those cities, only more of it, concentrated in a smaller area. I’ll miss you all on Friday, but I’ll hopefully be mollified by going for dinner with the girls in North Beach.
Besides, I have a whole weekend of partying up there to do – partying alternating with wandering the city, the quality time with the city itself that I love. Like I did in New Orleans, I plan to spend serious time drinking and dancing and socializing with some of my good friends at night, and then get up and work off the hangover during the day by going for an extended walk along the Bay, through a park, over the hills and back again. So it isn’t as if I’m going to be miserable while my former tribe in Vancouver are celebrating the Fair. It’s just that – I would like to be there with you. I would like to stand backstage and laugh and get lootered with the people I miss. That’s all.
Kiss them for me, I may find myself delayed. This is why I chose that domain name – there are always going to be times when I would like to be somewhere, but have found myself delayed.
(Naf’s entry – http://www.livejournal.com/users/nafspeak/80488.html?view=155752 – is what kicked all this off, by the way. I encourage you all to contribute your memories to her – and to me, here, as well.)