So I just got back from Artswells, and it was absolutely amazing, I had a blast. But this was my first ever festival and as I walked into the tiny town of Wells, I honestly didn't know what I was getting myself into. I was camped behind my car in a parking lot and there were definitely people from all walks of life in the town. As well, although I went with the CFUR crew and I did hang out with all those lovely people, for a good majority of the time I was by myself (which was at first pretty intimidating). I checked out all the vendors and food trucks to begin with, and it was really nifty. Nifty is honestly the best word to describe, it was unique, creative, and personable, and each vendor seemed to love the festival. On the second day I talked to two vendor owners, and the executive director of Island Mountain Arts on why they have decided to keep coming back to the festival, and some favourite memories <iframe width="100%" height="300" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/276565450&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true"></iframe>
The food there is pretty great there as well: My Saturday night dinner consisted of a veggie taco and wild rose tea, and it was SO good. Maybe it was just because i was tired, hungry, and a little cold, but it ranks up there with the best tacos I've ever had.
Now, of course my favourite part was the music, its the reason why you go to a festival! I am not exaggerating when I say there was something for everyone ! From beat boxing, to a Balkan inspierd orchestra, to a rock band, there was so many different types of music there. Three performances stick out to me, and each for different reasons. The first one was by a newer duo by name of Kitty and the Rooster. It was one of the first bands i saw and they honestly just put a smile on my face. It was during that performance really got excited that I was actually at Artswells. The two were having so much fun on stage, and so was the crowd. The ridiculous lyrics, and the surf rock groove was the perfect combo. The next performance that really suck out to me was Bend Sinister. I personally just love their sound and energy, you could tell the band was having a blast and that positive vide was contagious. The entire hall felt it, and we managed to convince them to come back for one more song. The final performance that sticks out to me was the Gabriel Palatchi Trio. Their sound was so different, as they were a latin-jazz group. Not only was their sound very cool, but it was awesome to see how everyone who started sitting down ended up pushing the chairs to the side to dance.
But I think that one of the things that stood out to me in this festival was the general vibe, and the people that were there. Everyone was friendly; I don't think I could count how many random people said "Hi". I also met lots of people, and simply talked to them for a few moments before going on our own ways. By being by myself I got to watch people, and see how they interacted and greeted everyone. As well, all the artists interacted with both their fans and other artists. I wasn't at one performance without seeing another artist there supporting them. It was great to see.
Overall I had such a fun time. I was crazy busy and I was pretty tired for the drive home, but i am so glad i went. I think its a great festival for both those who have had festival experience and for first timers like me; its not too big but there's still some great headliners. As well, although some people got a little crazy late at night, in general it was pretty chill and there were even families that were there. If you like any type of music...or any type of art in general, you may want to check out Artswells for 2017! And if you don't have someone to go with you, don't let that stop you, you can still have fun at a festival by yourself.
-Laura Smith, Twitter: @lasmith98