What a great weekend at Big Sky Music Festival at Burl’s Creek in Ontario. This is not your typical music review blog anymore. I don’t want it that way. Music transcends into our World and allows us to feel whole, feel deeply, and feel the emotions we need to feel to rise us up. I like to mix music and life stories to make an impact. Music to me is my drug. Sometimes it’s an upper. Sometimes it’s a downer.

For the Love of Country Music

Big Sky Music Festival is a one-day country music festival (two-day camping experience) managed by Republic Live, the folks who also manage the award winning Boots and Hearts Country Music Festival. Man, what a great job they did as they had two last minute cancellations; Alabama (The Headliner) and Diamond Rio. Within hours, they found two new performers to replace them. I’m so proud that I’ve been invited to many of their events because they are stellar people, doing a stellar job.

Under the sweltering skies of Oro Medonite, the lineup for the day included The Redhill Valleys, Jason McCoy, Mason Ramsey, Tim Hicks (last minute replacement for Diamond Rio), Travis Tritt and Big and Rich (replacement headliner for Alabama).

Typically, Sharon, my music festival sidekick and best friend, and I are back and forth to our campsite depending on the performer. However, this show was different. The talent was stellar and well worth paying $9.75 a beer to stay put and enjoy the show.

When Big and Rich hit the stage, that’s when the party really got started. The rain held out throughout the day until mid-performance. That stopped no one though! The amazing energy coming from this last minute headliner was electric!

I was supposed to do photography but I’ll get to that story later. I’m so happy to have great friends in the photo pit. My friend, Dwight Edwards, of Hamilton Rock & Country Magazine, provided all of my photography for this event. I think the World of my photography friends and Dwight has been amazing to me. He does amazing reviews for music festivals, CORE Entertainment, Casino Fallsview Niagara and more. Check him out!

Be sure to book your tickets for next year’s Big Sky Music Festival held on July 17-18th, 2020. It’s a one day event and it’s one heck of a great one!!

Divorce “Triggers” and Believing in Love Again

The greatest thing about outdoor music festivals is the camping experience. You are able to meet new people and make new friends who share similar interests with you. Unfortunately, Friday night was a big flop for me. I started noticing that the majority of people camping were couples, found out our neighbours were celebrating 24 years married that weekend, I saw all the Battlefield stuff that was rented, made some comments, and then got in a text argument with my daughter. Pour me…..pour me another round. No, I actually stopped drinking because I knew this was going to end up in disaster.

I knew nothing about “triggers” before all this marital separation nightmare started. The thing is about triggers is that they can come out of no where. When one is healing, it’s entirely out of your control what triggers you or not. I have yet to figure out how to put them at bay and continue to enjoy myself. It’s a process, they say.

When Sharon and I went to bed, I giggled. I said to her that I was being silly and that I was sorry. Whether we were married or not, we’d still be there together anyway! Neither of our ex’s ever joined us for an event. It’s always been us. In fact, I informed her, we probably have more memories of the past 17 years as friends, than we do with our ex’s. She agreed and also reminded me of Boots and Hearts three years ago. Triggers were everywhere for her too at that time.

The next day, I was bound and determined not to bum out again. For the sake of her and the sake of my sanity. I just wanted to have fun. So I decided not to do photography and live in the moment of single hood. The day was fun, I met tons of people, I celebrated 24 years of marriage with my camping neighbours and realized that true love does exist. There are good men out there who would go to the ends of the earth for their wives. There are men who cry and share their feelings from deep within the core of their heart. It made me happy. It also made me sad for my own lost marriage. But mostly happy for them as they were amazing people.

My New Love Travis Tritt

I’ve always enjoyed Travis Tritt’s music. I recently discovered that once I see someone in concert, I either love them more or cast them aside and listen to them when they are on the radio.

Travis Tritt was by far my favourite performer of the day. I love old Country and he brought his A-game to Big Sky Music Festival. The only divorce “trigger” I experienced was during his performance of ‘Anymore’. It hit me to the core. I had a good cry during and then another good one after. All in all, I dusted myself off and enjoyed the rest of the show too.

Check out this blubbering fool. I don’t know why the video quality is so poor on my iPhone but whatever. It is what it is.

Moving on From Love Lost

To all of my recently separated friends reading this. It’s OK to cry. It’s OK to mourn love lost. It’s OK to realize that you still love someone deeply but love isn’t enough. It takes two and you’re still giving your heart away. However, one day you won’t. The scars will heal and new light for form.

Divorce “Triggers” are everywhere. I still cringe when I see a Dodge Ram on the highway. But seeing his Instagram post, about his Dodge Ram made me realize that he has no fucking clue what love is. Love is work. Love is a verb. If he loves stuff after all that we’ve been through, God bless the next lady in his life. So why am I triggered about a truck on the highway when I know that my heart is bigger than his lousy truck? It just takes time.

I can’t wait to attend Boots and Hearts in a few weeks. May there be more joy than pain. More drinks than tears. More new friends than old bad memory “triggers”. Who knows, I may save a horse and ride a cowboy. Doubtful, I’m finding myself pretty unavailable these days. I’m ok with it. I’m still healing from this nightmare.

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