Freakstock 2012: Pt. 2
In this blog post, I’ll be talking about the things I experienced at Freakstock 2012.
Freakstock 2012 was an amalgam of all kinds of crazy subcultures, musical genres, cultures, and nationalities.
After a few surveys of license plates in the field being used as a parking lot, we found people from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, the Czech Republic. I also met a very talented man from Nashville, Tennessee, a girl from near Asheville, NC, and a girl from Valencia, Spain.
Freakstock is a bit of a hilarious explosion of strangeness.
As for the music, Freakstock is loaded with all kinds of eclectic music. In the morning, there would be praise and worship bands to start off the day, but the genres varied. One morning, we had “hardcore” worship, consisting of breakdowns, heavily chugging guitars, and pained yells, screams, and screeches. The festival was host to all kinds of punk bands, hardcore bands, all-out, hair-swinging metal, indie, instrumental rock (also known as post-rock), and even a string quartet.
The general theme of the festival, both with people and the music, seemed to be “One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure.” Sure, I didn’t care for a lot of the music being played, but other people did. I certainly didn’t care for the “hardcore” worship, but other people did. People were still glorifying God with their experiences and it wasn’t my place to take offense or disgust at any particular thing there. Sure, I may disagree with some of the things going on there, be it musically or culturally, but other people found it conducive to their encounters with God. Who am I to get in the way of that? It was actually a beautiful thing to see such wild diversity and acceptance.
Sure, many of the people there weren’t Christian, but what better example than to be a massive congregation of strange and diverse people accepting others for who they are?
As for the things I did when I was there, I went and spent time hanging out with my Dutch friends and meeting a lot of other cool people. There were all kinds of tents and stages across the festival grounds; the places I frequented were the makeshift skate park to take pictures of the skaters in action and the Jesus Freaks International house, a building run by the Utrecht Jesus Freaks (Dutch). Most of the early afternoon, people hang out, talk, and attend various seminars and workshops related to Christianity in alternative cultures.
The bands would perform in the mid/late afternoons and on late into the evening. The final bands of the night would perform at midnight. After the midnight performances, all kinds of crazy events would happen. There was an underground room where DJ’s would play all kinds of wild electronic music. People could dance, goof off, and just have fun.
On the final night of Freakstock, according to tradition, a particular German would setup in the Jesus Freaks International house and perform a wild night of the very best of the worst 80’s hits. This guy was ridiculous. Dressed up like some 80’s hair metal rockstar, this guy came complete with the patched up denim, sleeveless vest, bleached, white-blonde mullet, and torn jeans. If there was ever a movement for 80’s revivalism, this guy was certainly the iconic leader. This guy performed for hours, well into the early morning, blasting the most impressively bad 80’s hits. People were packed in the house, belting out every line they knew to the various songs that continued. When asking my Dutch friend about this strange experience set before me, he just told me that this guy could go on for six hours easily and never repeat a song. Apparently, this guy was an 80’s aficionado and I believed him. I think the mullet was the decisive factor in this, but still. He looked the part. I wish I could find a picture of this guy. I really wish I had one.
As for the other bands performing, I got to see a lot of cool bands. Some of my Dutch friends were performing on the main stage as the headlining act of the night; their band is called John Coffey. They put on a very impressive performance. I’d go into detail on exactly what I loved about their performance, but I’ll just leave you with this: they played extremely well, they really got the crowd all riled up, and they just flat-out rocked. I was very impressed, and I have seen tons of bands. These guys are good. I’ve got a ton of photos of their performance. It’ll take a while for me to edit them due to my workload in the office. Here’s a funny shot of them performing while another one of my friends stage dived. My other shots are much better, but this one is just awesome:
Pt. 3 will be continued in a separate blog post