If anyone was left wondering what to do on Friday, June 27, 2014 in Lawrence, it was only because they couldn't make up their minds. Lawrencians were fortunate to experience the Super Moon of downtown free music and art experiences on a gorgeous 80 degree windy Kansas night.
First and foremost my assignment was to cover Free State Fest events, which were scattered between downtown and East Lawrence. The evening began at the Cider Gallery stage to enjoy Drakkar Sauna with a stop by the sunny SeedCo stage where I couldn't handle the heat. But right outside with plenty of shade, food trucks were camped out in an old parking lot for the hungry. After leaving East Lawrence, we decided to check out a couple art openings for the regular monthly Final Friday series. I was particularly passionate about stopping by Ten Thousand Villages to visit the Lawrence Queer Youth Voice show and fundraiser for their upcoming trip to the national Gay Straight Alliance conference to meet their peers and I'm still really sad I missed the Social Service League annual fundraiser, the Dime Bag Show at The Percolator, where participants buy a $10 bag of art materials from The League and go to town in creative frenzy.
Instead I stuck to Mass Street and went to check out The Hearts of Darkness who played on a stage set-up at 8th & Mass St as evening entertainment for the Tour of Lawrence event. Young and old danced in the street and enjoyed their mesmerizing instrumentation and energetic sound. Leaving The Hearts of Darkness early was hard, but I had to get down to check out the projection artists planned for Weaver and SeedCo only to find that both had technical difficulties, but the silver lining was finding silhouetted figures playing amplified in the night right at the end of the block. They're playing tonight (Saturday) at the Gaslight, but even after a little investigating, I never learned the band's name. Oh, and don't miss the buskers, they're out in full force making balloon animals for the kiddos and eating fire for the amusement of the rest of us.
Despite missed opportunities to see projections at Weavers and SeedCo, I found projections on the way home at both Dave Loewenstein's studio and the Free State Glass building on 9th. Free State Glass's windows were lit up with internal projections of video, from the outside, a disjointed view gave viewers much to look at and interpret. At the Loewenstein studio, I found a documentary being projected on a sheet outside the building with a small talkative audience all discussing the documentary's topic: the movement to preserve the East Lawrence neighborhood from gentrification.
What a full night, and yet I never even managed to make it to see any of the bands at both Jackpot and Bottleneck for part of the Field Day Fest. For that, I'm gonna go have to see what Fally caught over on I Heart Local Music blog.
Ailecia Ruscin (Oh Snap! Photography)