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Old 04-13-2008, 09:14 PM   #1
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Launching Music Lovers: Langerado Festival Follow-up and Photo Album*

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<strong>By Landin King (words) and Jonathan Marx (photos)

With springtime, sunshine, the Lollapalooza lineup announcement, and the Coachella festival a few days away, we all know that Festival Season 2008 has kicked off again. But the season?s serious genesis came last month, even before the fabled SXSW shindig down in Texas.

A Spring Break tradition for the last few years, Langerado officially launched music lovers into the lively mood to jam?with 15,000 in pursuit of aural bliss. Florida?s claim to fame in the festival world, the 2008 lineup featured such artist as R.E.M., The Beastie Boys, Thievery Corporation, and 311?drawing a different crowd nightly to this al fresco musical mosaic.
This year, Langerado moved to the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation, a beautiful location in the Everglades of Florida. The reasonable size of this festival (and others like it) in comparison to other larger, laudable, co-festival comrades made for an easy walk to stages and a vigorous listening audience. Hosting five main stages, with clever names like Swamp and Everglade, we enjoyed an eclectic group of sounds to an eclectic group of people over a four-day weekend.

Dispersed between stages, campers could amuse themselves by shopping vendor tents and promotional booths. American Spirit?the all-natural cigarette company?hosted an infamous ?Smoker?s Tent? where campers received free packs of cigarettes and enjoyed a place to break from the astonishing Florida sunshine. An oxygen bar, tents that sold everything from glass art to Croc sandals, and a full scale Ferris wheel created an action-packed concert adventure even for those taking a break from shows.

David ?LEBO? LeBatard did much of the art that accents the stages of Langerado. LEBO?s live painting sessions on stage with musicians enhanced crowd enjoyment. The Jerry Garcia art tent was an equally outstanding attraction holding around twelve pieces done by the music legend himself?and even one piece painted by Bob Dylan.

Catering to the vacationing crowd of music-lovers with families, Langerado allowed children under the age of ten free admission and created an entire festival division named ?Kid-a-rado!?

Friday and Saturday night, the Everglades stage welcomed a neighboring dance marquee that featured a live DJ, smoke machines, strobe lights, and a huge dance floor. For those in need of something truly original, campers were encouraged to stop and visit the Langerado mascots, a couple of live alligators directly in the hub of the commotion.

Only a few disappointments clouded the weekend?s experience. A set of wicked sound problems put a damper over what could have been an amazing Beastie Boys set. Both The Avett Brothers and Vampire Weekend cancelled due to unforeseen conditions, and STS9 lost a battle with some tropical lightning, forfeiting about thirty minutes of their set. Fortunately, the kind of crowd that is ready to skip some showers, camp, and get down on some live music is by and large the same kind of crowd that can take a setback or two and keep smiling. I have no doubts there will be an eager bunch ready to head to Florida and throw down the same time next year. Until then, 2008 has plenty more festivals to offer the serious addicted music lovers.

<em> Our staff photographer Jonathan Marx scored some great shots. In order of appearance, we have Beastie Boys, Matisyahu with the Wailers, Thievery Corp, Blind Melon, and some great crowd shots.</em>

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