Harmony Festival: Having your CAKE and eating it too

Pub date June 15, 2009

By Molly Freedenberg

Skaters dropped three stories before hitting this 18-foot vert ramp in the Rude Boyz Eco Cup Zone. Photo from the Harmony Festival blog.

Like most of us, I had a hippie phase. I wore Birkenstocks. I lived on a commune … ahem … in an intentional community. And I frequented festivals that featured jam bands and booths full of rasta-colored beanies. Then I graduated from college.

Some of my other interests and habits from high school remain with me: punk rock, cigarettes, skater boys. But my interest in festivals like last weekend’s Harmony went the way of baggy jeans, ankh necklaces, and smoking pot. That is, simply, it went away. Until now.

This year, the annual Santa Rosa event expanded its usual granola-and-glow-sticks offerings (no offense to those of you who went for Michael Franti or The Orb) to include punk bands and a skate park. Be still my 16-year-old heart … Dead Kennedys? Thirty-year-old men in low-slung shorts who dedicate their lives to a wooden stick with four wheels? I had to go. Plus, Cake – one of my all-time favorite bands – was headlining Friday night.