Man, what a crazy weekend it was. While most of Nashville went to check out Kid Cudi or Pretty Lights, some of us at No Country decided to head 45 minutes northwest of Nashville to the quaint little town of Adams, TN for a new festival called Fly Free Fest (you can check out our preview of the lineup here). Being its inaugural year, no one knew quite what to expect, so it was quite refreshing and exciting to arrive at the Red River Canoe campgrounds to find a festival that absolutely nailed it.
When arriving at Fly Free Fest, chances are you’ll park over in the GA section and walk underneath the bridge to the festival area. This path happens to put you right next to the large Cumulus Stage, where we got to see some killer acts by Moon Taxi and RJD2 Friday night. Both of these stellar acts seemed to pull the entire festival to their shows and united the audience through a shared love of dancing and fun.
Following RJD2’s performance, the sousaphonist and trombonist of Opposite Box led the crowd from the Cumulus Stage to the Stratus Stage with a horn-ified version of “Hey Baby”. Opposite Box was our new find for this festival, and what a delightful find they were. Check out the tracks below for a taste of their sound, which seemingly aims to blend as many genres as possible into one coherent song:
Saturday was the first time we were truly able to check out the festival in full sunlight, which meant hours of browsing the vendor’s wares, receiving free blessings from a “certified shaman”, and hanging out down by the river. Of course, all these activities were sandwiched in between some pretty great shows, such as Brave Baby, JEFF the Brotherhood, Rubblebucket, and the Floozies. The Floozies were actually the first band we saw on the smaller Nimbus Stage, but the intimacy actually made the show a lot more enjoyable.
Sunday meant more time spent dancing to the likes of Papadosio and Polish Ambassador, as well as a few more brews from the Sweetwater tent. We also spent a minute observing the yoga, belly dancing, and permaculture classes being offered for free around the festival site.
All in all, Fly Free Fest could be considered a success for one simple reason: the atmosphere. Between the live artists, aerials, fire dancers, hulu hoopers, insane light shows, and tons of decorations, it would be safe to say that Fly Free Fest mastered the art of making a space feel comfortable and out there. As there was typically only one band going on at a time, this comfortable vibe was vital towards keeping attendees happy and entertained the entire festival.
If you were to take the time to Google “Fly Free Fest” (wait until you finish reading this article though; you’re so close to the end!), the first link you would see asks if “you like lasers, moonbeams, trampolines, kittens, and/or rainbows.” Anyone who has read No Country for long probably knows our answer to all these questions is a resounding yes, but the statement also makes for a pretty accurate description of the general feeling of Fly Free Fest. At times the festival felt random and even a bit cluttered, but only because it was filled with so many awesome things. Be on the lookout for Fly Free Fest next year, as chances are this will be one of the festivals that stick around.