Pink Moon 7: five days in a West Virginian music festival paradise

by | Oct 27, 2015 | ART

Sunday, Sept 20 – I wake to the crinkling sound of the plastic canvas beneath me. I’m not sure whose tent I’m in or how I got here. Can it be Sunday already?

Sunday, Sept 20 – I wake to the crinkling sound of the plastic canvas beneath me. I’m not sure whose tent I’m in or how I got here. Can it be Sunday already? I take a moment to gather my remaining strength and roll to the nearby tent flap.

Poking my head through the now unzipped lower corner I spy a nearby inflatable couch. I rise to my full achievable height and, from my knees and elbows, close the 7 or 8ft between it and I. I ooze my way up and onto the couch and onto my back. From nowhere melody enters the frame with a plate of turkey sausage, ham and biscuits and drops it down onto my eager belly. To my right I spy a gallon jug of water with the word “share” scrawled in black sharpie. Over my left shoulder Dennis hands me a heaping bowl of my favorite greens. Music from the Shangri-la stage wafts up the hill and throughout the campsite and indeed the entire festival grounds. Seph and TK on Acoustic guitar and Djembe (respectively) perform “What a Wonderful World” and, despite the battery acid pumping into my quads, and the pounding between my ears, I’m inclined to agree. But I’ve gotten ahead of myself. For the sake of continuity, let’s say we start at the beginning.

For the last six years Pink Moon has been a September destination of some distinction among East Coast lovers of family-sized festys. For the last six years the event was held on Pinky’s Farm, in celebration and remembrance of Festival Organizer Seth Abramson’s late mother Pinky Testerman, hence the appellation Pink Moon.

Unfortunately, due to land dispute issues beyond the control of the Pink Moon Family, the festival was unable to resume operation this season on the original site. The future of Pink Moon looked uncertain until a concerned citizen and previous year’s attendee, Rick Riffe, stepped in and offered the fledgling festy a new home at nearby Flint Rock Hollow Farm. In addition to providing a space to set up camp, a caring contingent of hard working locals rolled up their sleeves and did everything under the sun to make the experience one none would soon forget.

From Hauling campers up and down the formidable slopes, to hauling trash around the clock to make this the cleanest festival I have ever attended, we owe much respect and love to our good friends in Rock Camp, WV. But first I had to find it.

Wednesday, Sept 16th. I leave Richmond around 2pm and make good time, arriving in Rock Camp WV at half past five. Once I arrive in town, however, things get a little tricky. I found no shortage of Residents, well informed on the matter of Pink Moon, and eager to supply directions. Unfortunately, I find little consensus on where the festival will actually be held this year.

Dusk rapidly approached as I tooled thru the back roads and gaps of Monroe County on my Vintage 86’ Harley Sportster. When the sun finally rested on the horizon I found myself on Back Hollow Road, a single lane partially paved secondary road with as many deer as trees. The light shone thru from the west across the road, illuminating every leaf with a brilliant orange glow. For a moment it felt as though I was riding through an Appalachian wild fire with only my good intentions and the spirit of Pink Moon to protect me. In truth, the new venue is not hard to find, but a word of caution, do it the old fashioned way. An excellent set of step by step directions is provided on the event page and website. Take my advice and a few moments of your time to jot these down and you’ll be glad you did.

After about an hour or so of driving every road in Rock Camp but Pete Amos, I finally get some solid directions at Riffes store. Five minutes later I arrive at my destination. It’s Dark. Through the Beam of my single headlight my twelve o’clock view restricted to a narrow gravel road rising 100ft at about 45 degrees of inclination. To my immediate left I spot an ez-up bedecked in Christmas lights which I will come to know as base camp.

This is where I meet Festival Organizers Seth and Jessica Abramson in their pull-behind camper, nestled beside a small electric green pond, surrounded (as per par) by Camp Counselors and Volunteers engaged in a flurry of activity.

If you have not met Jess, as I had not previously done, allow me to take a moment to give you a brief description. If you were to meet here in full swing, as did I, you would likely notice that above all, Jess is a multitasker. From the time I arrived it was rare to find her holding less than two conversations at once.

Far from being frazzled, Jess seems to rally under the pressure. She is thin and not especially tall, and appears to be much younger than probably she is, but do not be fooled. As sweet as she is (and she is genuinely one of the sweetest and most caring individuals I will meet all weekend, which says a lot when considering current company) she is equally fierce. She meets challenges with confidence and vigor and none of this would be possible without her contributions.

After taking some time to get acquainted with members of staff, I make the trek uphill to set up camp. My first of many walks up the hill, and my first embrace with Flint Rock Hollow Farm; it is the beginning of a love/hate relationship. As I mentioned, the first 100 or so feet is a steep incline of gravel road and dirt trail. To the left is a steep downhill drop to the pond and to the right is sparse pine forest. As you reach the half way point of the climb, the trees abruptly clear and the main stage comes into view for the first time.

Positioned along the tree line, the Shangri la Stage (SLS) faces up a wide grassy lawn that is itself concave, creating a perfect natural amphitheater. It is covered by a large blue tarp with a Pringle shaped frame and decorated with neon cut outs of sacred geometrical shapes provided by Area 51 Production.

Continuing on the path with the Main Stage to your right, the terrain begins to level and the second stage sound booth comes into view. This faces immediately left in the direction of the Old House Stage (OHS). Returning Campers will know it from Pinky’s Farm as the Farm House Stage, which was essentially cut in half down the middle and reassembled on the new site. The Stage itself is rigged with enough lights to satisfy a crowd at a KISS concert thanks to Billy Wallace of Jet Trails Media. Sound at the OHS and SLS is provided by the capable sound engineers at Center Stage Media.

Directly behind this stage, another 100 feet or more, and up the steepest hill yet, is the Loco Pickle Stage (LPS). Directly in front of the OHS (a hard right when you reach the top of the main trail) is a shallow saddle along which you will find a modest Shakedown St. complete with craft and food vending, and the general store. Continuing to the right along Shakedown St. the elevation begins to rise once again as you walk up into GA and eventually VIP camping. As a GA camper, it was your responsibility to complete this hike with your gear from the parking lot, as many times as it took, to reach your campsite. This trip was frequently, and mercifully, cut short thanks to volunteers like Jerry and Bob (neighbors and friends of the fest who hauled campers in the back of their trucks when not full of band equipment or trash) and staffers like Céire and Jake (members of the go kart equipped elite).

Plans have already been initiated to incorporate shuttle options for campers making the trek next year.

The Stage was set and the air was alight with anticipation. With visions of the sugar plum fairies who will soon be dancing through the fields below vivid in my imagination, I settle in early for a good night’s rest, confident in the knowledge that it will be the last one I see for many days.

Thursday, Sept. 17th – Upon waking I decide to try to catch up with everyone I couldn’t find in the dark the previous night, and get a general lay of the land. As I crawl out of my sac I realized I didn’t even have to leave camp to do this. From where I stood I could see all three stages, Shakedown Street, and even Base Camp all the way at the bottom of the hill.

After a morning stroll I headed back to camp and readied myself for the day. When I arrived I found several of my teammates doing the same. With 24 hours of music and no overlapping sets, we knew that once the show started it was going to be a marathon to the end, with precious few opportunities to rest and resupply.

I made my way back down the hill to the OHS where EDM/Bongo pair, The Stegall Coleman Duo, played the first set of Pink Moon 7. It’s midafternoon on Thursday and the gates had only been open for a few hours, so attendance at the set is obviously low, but there are plenty of staff members and early-bird campers jamming along as they went about with the tasks at hand.

Next up is CBGB; LPS’s first band. The Alabama Joy-Time Funk band combine Progressive Rock, Funk, Folk, and Jam Fusion to create an entirely unique sound. The Guitars fluctuate between heavy Power Metal chords and lightning fast, super clean, Santana-esque runs. The Lead Vocalist’s high range gives him a Michael Jackson quality at times, while achieving a lyrical tone that is somewhere close to Rage Against the Machine. A small group is gathered at the end of their set but cheers waft up from the grounds below in confirmation of a lot-wide audibility.

Back down the hill, The Cutting Agency has the OHS under the knife. They are a Jazz Fusion/ Dance Funk Quartet out of D.C. that incorporates Sax, EWI (sort of an electric Slute Synth) and a tongue in cheek attitude to pull off songs like “I would quit smoking for you.”

Crowds at the stages begin to fill out now as the first wave finished making camp and filtered up to the music. Live artists set up stage side and begin working on canvases which will be completed over the course of the weekend, inspired by the music of countless local and regional performers. As Nevele closes their set on the LPS, the radio call goes downhill where the next band is sound checked and ready to rock.

Now that the show has begun, we are looking at about 84 scheduled hours of consecutive music.

A short shuffle back down to the OHS for their third performers of the day Buddagraph Spaceship. Buddagraph has an Electric Jive sound that defies you not to get down. As a rare treat and result of the fact that they will have a subsequent SLS performance, the group decides to dial it back and play an Acoustic set, much to the pleasure and approval of the post-dinner evening crowd.

As the sun drops in the sky so the temperature drop on the hill. Buddagraph finishes their set and everyone scurry’s back to camp to ditch their shorts and sweaty tanks in favor of hoodies and sweat pants. Returning with freshly laden back packs full of good times and frosty bevs, the conversation shifts to a single topic. With much anticipation, campers everywhere are talking about the upcoming Belles set.

RVA’s The Southern Bells, already popular in their own right, have gained fresh ground, momentum, and notoriety this summer as the winners of the annual Rock’n to Lock’n contest. This placed the boys Center Stage on Sunday at the East Coasts fastest growing music festival in front of thousands of screaming fans.

8:30pm on Thursday evening they begin their sound check and the first truly dense crowd of the festival assembles. The first blankets are spread and glow sticks broken in preparation for the commencement of the inaugural night of Pink Moon 7 in her New Home. Although the boys won’t hit until around nine, the show has already started.

The crowd cheers and giggles at the chemistry and comradery of the road hardened touring quartet. Turning my back to the stage for a moment I see the lot lit for the first time. It’s as though a swarm of fire flies has suddenly and silently descended upon the valley below. As the Bells embark on a two hour set the crowd continues to grow. Loyal fans sing along to their favorite tunes and throngs of newcomers experience the Southern Rock Jam Band for the first time. From this set comes my favorite Pink Floyd cover of the weekend (of which there were many) “Have a Cigar”.

After an electrifying set the fellas say their farewells and direct us back up the hill where Mister F is waiting to take the torch. Formed from members of Timbre Coup and Capital Zen, the Albany NY natives create a super funky vibe with Double-Time lyrics and dreamy Synth effects, complete with Vocaloid (allows the singer to control his vocals with the keyboard).

While hiking back down the hill to the OHS I notice the campsites are empty. It seems everyone on lot is in attendance for Psych-Rock Three Top Deaf Scene. The stroke of Midnight marks Guitarist Dave Fullerton’s Birthday and he couldn’t have wished for a better reception. Burners light their fires for the first time and a voice that seems to belong to a 1950’s instructional video booms out the words “Imagine Being Weightless”. Eric lets loose a litany of bowel shaking notes from his 6 String Electric Base and the crowd, myself included, absolutely loses it.

Back up the hill the stage is, literally, set for D.J. Drummer Duo Supersylum. A large white obelisk resembling the Washington Monument with a green laser eye, capable of incredible feats of light, divides the stage in half down the center. On one side sits Tyler Carnahan with Keys/Synth & Guitar, and on the other Graham Pender mans his Acoustic Drum Set. I like this set up. I’ve seen David Deitch and Derek Smith do it well, minus the electric guitar. Tyler combines Dope House Mixes with Heavy Guitar interludes while Graham blisters away at his Double Bass and Tiger Tight Snare.

After a stroll around the property I return to LPS to find Richmond’s own Dalton Dash covering Neal Young to a waxed but no less enthusiastic crowd. Campers sit cross legged and starry eyed for a time but by the mid-way point in the set everyone is back on the balls of their feet and tired legs find new life to dance another day. Tonight is a reunion of kindred souls and a celebration of the times yet to come.

The Rock and Revelry Roll deep into the night to find Story Driven Desert Prog. Rock 4 piece Sun Eater standing tall at sun rise at the top of the hill, taunting the eternal fireball from its slumber. Campers are making a decision that will play heavily on the rest of their weekend; sleep or power through. As if by divine intuition the lineup transitions to the Buddagraph Stage located directly beside Base Camp, and the tone transitions to Acoustic Solos and Ensembles, making rest possible for the weary. Beautiful Blues Guitar and the powerful Vocal styling of Nicole Wade flitter lightly up the hill and through the camp, playfully pursued by Traditional Folk tunes from Soloist Keith Yetter.

The first full day of Pink Moon 7 has officially begun and somewhere around noon it occurs to me, if my recollections are to do anyone any good, I’m going to have to sleep at some point.

Friday, Sept 18th. The chill of Thursday evening is long forgotten and the noonday sun beats down on a Pink cheeked crowd cheering Spoon Fight at the LPS. WV’s own Lawless Brown brings Soul, Funk and Rock-Reggae to the SLS. Little Bird soars over the OHS and Threesound brings the LPS crowd to their feet and keeps them there with Soulful Jams that blend Sophisticated Jazz Riffs with catchy Pop Rock Grooves.

Meanwhile, Step Into The Flow Yoga Class, which convened for a sunrise session pond-side, picks up shop and ‘steps into the’ OHS. After a relaxing yet challenging session, campers make the short hike over to the SLS where Brokedown Hustlers are getting ready to take the stage. Traditional though unconventional, the Bluegrass/Country Storytellers bring to life authentic original tunes complete with Upright Bass, Banjo, Mandolin, and Mouth Harp.

Sol shines on the OHS with an illuminating two hour set as the sun fades below the horizon and the sky ignites like a perforated back-lit canopy. With almost no ambient light, save the small carnival of chasers, spinners, and floods pouring off of each stage, the sky becomes a flurry of undisturbed stardust. Looking up into the night sky is to look into the past, as looking down at the Pink Moon Family is to look into the future.

Toxic Moxie Plays a warm up set on the LPS pumping the early evening crowd into a frenzy with Psychedelic Post Punk Jams Like “Fire”. The Richmond based rockers set a tone for what’s to come at their Main Stage, Prime-time Set Saturday night.

As the evening cools, The Shack Band keeps the crowd hot with a blistering two hour set at the SLS. Up at the LPS the mountain feeds on the Kings of Belmont. When playing such remote locations, getting the whole band on stage is half the battle won. Unfortunately for the Kings, they knew the pain of this statement all too well as they played a modified set while waiting on the arrival of their Lead Vocalist. The 4 piece C-Ville Rock outfit held their own as a 3 piece but if this was your introduction to the Kings of Belmont, you’ll definitely want to reserve judgment until you see what happens when the foursome ‘come together’ (tongue firmly in cheek).

Down on the SLS Mateo Monk is a One Man Message Machine, touching a genre list as long as the list of instruments he uses to so. His Soulful and Harmonious Jams start off modest and, with the use of a few well timed loops, grow into full bodied Reggae, Bossa Nova, Jazz, Funk, and even Bluegrass, tunes fleshed out with Guitar, Keys, Synth, and Flute to name a few. Aliver Hall keeps the OHS movin’ with their signature combo of Groovy dance beats and Gritty Rock.
Its 3am and Friday night is in full swing and illumination with Dale and the ZDubs dishing out a helping of Rock Reggae to a high spirited Shangri La crowd. The MD based Quintet is known for getting the audience on their feet and grovin’ no matter what time of day. Meanwhile, anticipation is high for Richmond based Story Driven Rock Trio The Imaginary Sons, who are set to play LPS after Galaxy Dynamite.

After a quick stop by camp to re-supply and feed the monkies, I follow a mass exodus up the steep slope yet again. When I arrive at LPS Galaxy Dynamite is finishing another well received set in front of a respectable 5am crowd and I notice it’s much colder and much damper than it was even just down the hill at the OHS. It’s too dark to tell but we are probably smack in the middle of one of the low hanging clouds that frequently congregate all around us. In past years I’ve joked that the topography of Pinky’s Farm made Pink Moon a Black Diamond Festival, but Flint Rock Hollow Farm is a geographical challenge all its own with a whole new atmosphere of ever-changing meteorological conditions. The next hour will set a precedent for what Bands and Production teams can, and sometimes must, endure in the name of Rock.

Problems start to show early during sound check. There are some crackly cables and intermittent power issues but everything seems to be under control and the boys are ready to start, when a mic begins to feedback and delivers an unholy squelch that almost sends the crowd running for cover. Carter scrambles to drop the levels and the band looks a bit stunned when out of nowhere Tommy starts counting. Four quarter notes later and the boys are off to the races, but the set, and the setbacks, have just begun. Halfway through their first song they experience complete power failure during the opening measures of Willy Wonka’s “Pure Imagination”. Through the pitch black comes a lone voice “We’ll begin with a spin, Traveling in the world of my creation, What we’ll see will defy Explanation”. And did it. Moments later as if on cue the power flicks back on with the sound of a screaming rock guitar and the full band in perfect time. This happens several more times throughout the set and the Sons don’t miss another beat. When the smoke clears the three stand soaked in sweat, broken strings hanging like war medals, and the crowd explodes. This is one of those validating moments and we all felt it. We still aren’t sure exactly what caused the power surges, perhaps it was the moisture, but legend whispers of a hot plate and a lone grilled cheese. I guess we’ll never really know.

The Sons clear out and The Fat Cats are scratchin’ at the back door of dawn with righteous company. After a brilliant sunrise the LPS clears out. I decide to walk back to camp but when I get to the valley I hear a new band go on across the lot. I stop next to Dale and The ZDubs’ camp and find them grinding on the set too. I listened in place for a while before convincing myself to abandon my quest for camp and double back for another steep hike. When I arrive I find Faceship rippin’ it up with their own brand of Outer-Space Folk. The fact that I didn’t recognize the RVA Rockers, my own hometown heroes, sooner is a testament to my current state. It’s been an amazing day but as noon rolls around the Sandman overtakes me and I slump into a nearby hammock of unknown ownership and origin. Moments after embracing the arms of the silky stranger I am lulled to sleep by the sounds of merrymaking and non-stop music that only a 24 hour a day Music Fest can provide.

Saturday, Sept 19th. Three hours after serendipitously stumbling into a wayward hammock, I wake feeling a new man, the anticipation of Saturday rousing me, perhaps prematurely, from my slumber. I’m just in time to catch Gold Rush playing to a mostly seated afternoon crowd. An Acoustic String Trio this up beat, optimistic, romanticism is exactly what a body needs of a Saturday afternoon, following a night of such magnitude. A talented young burner spins a doused bow staff while Brooke Brio sits next to a sign advertising free body painting. I gather my wits and head down to the pond for a dip with Justin Shears of Toxic Moxie. In his words “There is you before you get in the pond, and then there is you after you get in the pond. It’s like you’re not even the same person”. Indeed I emerge from the cleansing water with new live and vigor.

Dinner time arrives upon a stomach grumble and I determine to track down some juicy grub. Until now I have been staving off the hunger with once daily trips to the hospitality tent but I decide it’s time to see what the vendors have to offer. Firstly let me say there are far less vendors this year. In fact, unless you count Ice Cream, which I do but accept that I should not, there are really only two kitchens to choose from, Toasted By Casey and Asian BBQ. As a reporter this makes my job easy, as I am able to sample 100% of available cuisine. Ever the sucker for a grilled cheese, I decide my first stop should be Toasted by Casey, the food truck that delivers unique Grilled Cheese Creations and Specialty Fries. As luck would have it Casey is manning the helm and business is slow enough at the moment to allow us a moment to become acquainted. Casey, who runs the mobile restaurant with the help of his lovely wife Megan who is also in attendance, tells me that although this their 4th year in operation, it’s far from the same old same. The recent addition of his now 7 month old daughter makes going on the road a bitter sweet challenge. He expresses gratitude for a loving grandma without whom his endeavor would hardly be practical. It takes a village. On the subject of my growling tummy. Megan asks if I like Pimento Cheese. When I answer in the affirmative she recommends I try Momma’s Bacon Pimento Cheese, a creation that combines 4 cheeses with Pimento and savory Bacon crumbles on grilled Texas toast. I oblige much to my satisfaction.

Project Shelter was also in attendance. Typically referred to as ‘The General Store’ by campers, if you didn’t pack it and the vendors don’t have it, Project Shelter does. A short list of items they carry includes propane, prophylactics, pencils, pringles, ponchos, tents, air mattresses, Bloody Mary mix, and denture adhesive. Hopefully you won’t need all of these on the same day.

Bats Dynamic String Band is on the SLS so I head up for a closer listen. They dance a line that crosses Country and Bluegrass, and bring a little Hard Rock along for the ride. The three piece is comprised of an iconic Washtub Bass, adorned with the rack of an 8 point buck, Mandolin and Acoustic guitar. The latter two are run through pedal boards that allow them to achieve screeching electric guitar effects while still looking like a Hazard County House Band. When I arrive they are leading the crowd in a fancy dance step that involves hoping on one foot, while karate chopping and swinging a Nunchaku.

Dale and the ZDubs return for another SLS set while Shadow Girl Sound Collective prepare to cut deep experimental grooves into the LPS. Imaginary Sons head over to the Main Stage where all who missed the LPS Performance are now gathered to see if the rumors are true. The band is joined on stage by Seth and Jess who express their sincere appreciation and gratitude to everyone, from staff to the individual camper, for making it such a great weekend. They are followed by prominent performances from Telesma and Tweed. I head over to the OHS to catch the Hornitz, who have just “What I Nee-eed”.

This Boston based Duo uses Human Beat-box, Bass Trombone, Tenor Saxophone, Keyboards, and live-looping equipment to create a sound so big you’d have to see it to believe it’s not a full Brass ensemble.

Glam Disco-Punk Rockers Toxic Moxie take the SLS for their second performance of the weekend and the crowd is electrified. An endless shower of balloons hover over head like latex popcorn. This band has been ‘barfing’ (their words) e.p.’s all over Richmond and their hard work is clearly paying dividends. Lead Guitarist Justin Shear shreds at a level newly attained, while Mitch Kordella cranks out earworms you are sure to carry around for days, and the lot of them jump around like their heads are on fire and their asses are catchin’.

M.H. And His Orchestra. What can I say about this group that hasn’t already been said about John Travolta’s mid-riff? They’re Hot, Unpredictable, and Not Suitable for children. M.H. is how I imagine Anchor Man’s Brian Fantana and Elvis’ Love Child. Vaudevillian is a term frequently, and aptly, applied to this talented group of Performing Artists. A brief list of things you can expect to encounter at a show; Steel Guitar ,Accordion, Synthesizers & Piano, Cigarettes, Baritone, Tenor, and Alto Saxophone, Viola, Didgeridoo, Leisure Suits, Trumpet, Flugel-Horn, Euphonium, More Cigarettes, Violin, Glockenspiel, Ukulele, Clarinet, Trumpet, Singing Saw & Other Loud Noises. More than a group of fantastic musicians, they are troupe of engrossing entertainers. Catch them while you can. If there is any justice left in this world, this kind of talent won’t go undiscovered for long.

Veteran Bass Heads Plaeground keep the party going with their primal EDM sound that is at the same time Earthbound and Extra-Terrestrial, or in their own words Electrodelic Tribal Futurebass. RVA Grungers Venus Guytrap Rock us in to the dawn with a blaze of sequins and a powerful wave of Post Grunge. A bleary eyed on-looker describes their sound as “Radio Head mixed with Nirvana” and I’m obliged to agree.

I have to admit they are the last act I will remember from Saturday/Sunday morning. To be fair, I’ve made it through to almost noon everyday so far, but my body is beginning to revolt. The constant summit’s to various stages, undertaken with almost zealous enthusiasm, has left my weary body teetering aloft wet spaghetti noodles. I won’t remember going to bed when I wake up and will, in fact, be surprised to find myself in camp, the product of a journey the details of which remain a mystery.

Sunday, Sept 20. Sunday has arrived and caught me unprepared. I’m tired. I am. Physically, mentally, and emotionally drained, overwhelmed and disoriented, and I would be lying if I said there wasn’t some part of me that was ready for the comforts of home. But I don’t want to go home right now. Right now, I want to live here on this Mountain with these Mighty Musicians and Merry Makers for time Unending.

After a life affirming breakfast with friends, I make my way down to the SLS where I find many more plopped on the cool grass enjoying Seph and TK, covering forgotten tunes of our generation and beyond. If music was edible, this set would be comfort food. The loyal Sunday morning crowd rivals that of Festys many times its size. Fellow Franklin County friends Happie Daze take the stage next. TK is percussionist for both bands and Seph sits in for good measure transitioning from Acoustic Guitar to Mandolin. I understand Jess was especially pleased to see this collaboration go down and it’s easy to see why. Bats Dynamic String Band Comes back for another Main Stage appearance and do some balloon tricks you’d have had to see to believe.

Music rolls into the early hours of Monday morning with Budagraph returning with a two hour set Sunday evening. Unfortunately I will not be here to see it. As much as I would love to stay, a man cannot live on manuscripts, thus I must return to my day job which I have so expertly avoided until now. Even as I pull out of the parking lot Sunday evening, spirited campers remain behind, preparing to rage against the dying light of the final day of Pink Moon 7. If you were there with me I thank you all, whoever you are, because every one of you made this weekend not only possible, but memorable. If you were not there I hope my recollection serves to inform and to motivate you to mark it on your calendar and do what need be done to make your way out to Flint Rock Hollow next year for Pink Moon 8. Until then…Think Pink!

Brad Kutner

Brad Kutner

Brad Kutner is the former editor of GayRVA and RVAMag from 2013 - 2017. He’s now the Richmond Bureau Chief for Radio IQ, a state-wide NPR outlet based in Roanoke. You can reach him at

more in art

‘VASK8R’ | Starting Over at the Local Roller Rink

The rules are simple: don't get in anyone’s way and try to look good while doing it. The warehouse off Williamsburg Blvd mimics many of the same buildings near the Richmond International Airport. But on Wednesday night, when many of the local businesses have locked...

Lewis Ginter’s New Vibe: Kyle Epps’ Artistry in Full Bloom

It’s been long-known that the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is Richmond’s horticultural Eden. You might even know Lewis Ginter was a notoriously generous philanthropist who established the eponymous park and The Jefferson Hotel. But if you go to the park this Summer,...

Can You Dig It? Richmond’s ‘Game of Shrooms’ is On!

This Saturday, June 8, you’re in for a quirky twist on your morning jaunt around Richmond. Prepare to encounter some wildly creative, fungus-fueled art installations as the 'Game of Shrooms' returns to sprinkle its spores around the globe—and right here in River City....

Cadavers Find Your Happy Place at BODY WORLDS Richmond

There’s a pretty cheeky juxtaposition of themes going on at the Science Museum right now. As you stroll through the BODY WORLDS: The Anatomy of Happiness exhibition, artfully posed cadavers go about their epoxied business with joints or muscle structures peeled back...

2nd Best Comedy Fest Delivers Top-Tier Entertainment!

Hello reader! The weekend of June 6-8th, Richmond is set to erupt in laughter with the 2nd Best Comedy Fest, featuring a dazzling array of talent from major comedy hubs like LA, Chicago, New York, and beyond. Taking place at the Coalition Theater and The Basement, the...