Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bluegrass at sunset

Bluegrass at sunset, originally uploaded by Sophie_vf.
I was lucky to have again been able to take in a day of the Vancouver Folk Festival, which is just as magical as it was when I first started going in 1981. The old hippies are getting older and greyer, but no less colorful, and there's a certain timelessness to the magic of sunset on Jericho Beach park, illuminating the main stage shell.

I don't actually *love* bluegrass, but it had been a long day, with lots of sun and wandering from stage to stage, along with a visit to the beach and a swim in the (very, very cold) waters of English Bay, so neither I nor my children had any inclination to move to the twilight stage when Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder took to the main stage.

The surreal moment of the evening was when the MC introduced the guy who was going to introduce Ricky Skaggs - "you may know him as a movie actor, but he is also a patron of the arts....etc". Who could it be? We all know that movies get made in Vancouver, but which actor could possibly be here, with sufficient pull - and motivation - to get himself on stage to make an introduction of a bluegrass icon? "Please welcome" the MC went on, "Mr. Stephen Seagal!"

Stephen Seagal? Seriously? at a folk festival? Canadians are polite, Vancouverites hospitable, and Festival goers accepting and inclusive. There was enthusiastic, if somewhat puzzled, applause, from those who were old enough to remember his almost ubiquitous presence in the action movies of the '80s.
Still, why not. If Seagall is a Buddhist, why not a bluegrass fan, a lover of music, and certainly, why not a patron of the arts. It's just more proof that anything can happen at sunset on the third weekend of July on a beautiful beachside in Vancouver.

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