A Sense of Community


A couple of weekends ago I was at the Ohana Music Festival here in Southern California with Sleater-Kinney. First, being able to wake up in my own bed, have breakfast, drive to the gig and be back home in bed not long after 10 pm was truly amazing! However, the thing that I’ve been reminiscing on most was the number of people I ran into that I knew. This used to happen back in the UK but once I moved to LA, I was almost starting from scratch. Of course, this is not the first time this has happened but after such a long time away from touring, it really meant more.

When we tour, we are away from our friends and family for potentially really long periods. The people you tour with and the people you meet can become really good friends. You can also lose touch with your old non-touring friends. Instead of being sad about this, I think of it as just something that happens through life. An evolution. And anyway, it’s really just the same as your friends back home, except that when your non-touring friends go to the pub to meet up, we are maybe doing it at a festival in Germany!

It can be difficult missing all those weddings and events your friends have, but you have to look at it as how wonderful it is to be able to have friends all around the world and meet up with them in random places. Let’s keep the positive spin on things, it’s difficult enough out there!

For me, the rest of the year will be focused on family and life at home. I’ve been at home a lot, I know, but I think 2022 will be crazy busy, so I am enjoying what is left of 2021 whilst we iron out all the COVID kinks. It’s going to be great to get back out there and hit the road running (in my case it’s usually literally!)

A nod to those I spent some time with at Ohana:

Karrie “our fearless leader” Keyes, no explanation necessary, with Pearl Jam

Greg Bogart whom I met on the P!nk tour who was with the all-star band (phew, that was a lot of rockstars on one stage!)

Lauren Sego festival LD whom I toured with on Tegan and Sara, the hardest working crew member I know

Kate Lee system tech for Rat Sound Systems, shadowed me for the day during a Vance Joy show in LA, so much enthusiasm, positive attitude, and amazing work ethic

If the goal in life is to surround yourself with the people you want to be like, this is an A+ list.

Also, note I’ve included a photo of myself and my buddy Rachel Ryan who is a badass sound engineer. This is not from Ohana but from Sao Paulo, Brazil. I did not take a single photo at Ohana, I was too busy enjoying the day, but this also shows how awesome this industry is; to be able to run into friends in Brazil! Ironically we were meant to be working together the previous weekend at Ohana. One day we will work together Rachel!!

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