Musically there was plenty to enjoy. With the presence of Brother Danielson and Half-Handed Cloud (and, to a lesser extent, Sufjan Stevens) there was a definite avant garde stream running through the event, and it was great to see the warm response to those artists. Among festival-goers there was a clear appreciation of what they were trying to achieve and many of us really enjoyed their sets. Seeing John Ringhofer (Half-Handed Cloud) perform was great after listening to his latest album so much of late.
I really enjoyed David Dark’s keynotes. There were some interesting comments on Andy Whitman’s blog (both in the entry and in the comments on it) about the talks, but for me David’s anecdotal style is very appealing. I also really enjoyed the discussion after Adam’s workshop about collage, electronic music, and how we responded to Matmos‘ “A Chance To Cut Is A Chance To Cure.” The last-minute addition of Dave Bazan to the Saturday night lineup, and the fabulous performance Sarah Masen pulled out of the hat, were great!
As I’ve found with Greenbelt over the years, the main reason for attending an event like this is the community. The real highlight was definitely catching up with old friends and rekindling relationships started at the inaugural event. I was pleasantly surprised by how strong some of those relationships have quickly become, and how inclusive the event felt. Naturally, speaking at and helping organise the event, my perspective was somewhat skewed, but it really felt like there was no chasm between contributors and attendees.