Phil Lesh & Bob Weir Will Perform A Special Duo Set At LOCKN’, And You Probably Won’t See It

first_imgToday, LOCKN’ Festival announced their “Super VIP” lineup and, as usual, it’s pretty damn exciting. The Super VIP sets are extremely intimate, exclusive performances held during the festival that are open only to those with Super VIP passes (which also get you access to special viewing areas for Main Stage shows, a separate campground, air-conditioned bathrooms and showers, catered meals, and more). LOCKN’s Super VIP program offers a fortunate few the opportunity for once-in-a-lifetime experiences–the chance to see huge artists up-close-and-personal, on a small stage, in a small crowd, tucked away alongside tens of thousands of GA attendees.The announcement press release describes the LOCKN’ Super VIP sets as “a culmination of creativity, inspiration, and imaginative collaboration.” This is no exaggeration. On Friday, August 25th, Keller Williams & Friends will play the Super VIP stage. Sunday will see Jorma Kaukonen play a solo performance, and Friday and Saturday late-night, Super VIPs will be able to enjoy dance parties with DJ Logic. But the clear highlight of the LOCKN’ Super VIP schedule is “A Very Special Hour w/ Phil Lesh & Bob Weir on Saturday, August 26th.The two founding Grateful Dead members will also be performing an exciting set for the main festival crowd with the Terrapin Family Band (a one-time tribute to the Dead’s seminal 1977 album Terrapin Station), so the LOCKN’ masses will surely get their fair share of Phil and Bobby. And, of course, LOCKN’ is one of the year’s biggest festivals for a reason: With a ridiculous schedule of some of the best artists in the scene (that Thursday String Cheese > Umphrey’s > String Cheese > Umphrey’s > Biscuits lineup is almost too good to be true) and a host of other exciting artists and collaborations on the docket (Gov’t Mule, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Widespread Panic, John Butler Trio, Greensky Bluegrass, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, moe., The Marcus King Band, etc.), nobody is getting shorted on incredible music at this event. It’s a slam dunk.But the fact remains that on LOCKN’ Saturday, Phil Lesh & Bob Weir will play together on a piece of land that’s simultaneously occupied with thousands upon thousands of people who gladly would travel halfway across the world–let alone hike across Infinity Downs Farm–to see these two guys play together, and that majority won’t see the performance. It’s a topic on which people tend to have strong and differing opinions.That’s an inherent part of the increasingly prevalent market for high-end, super VIP, exclusive perks at music festivals. To provide an incredible, singular experience for some you have to, by definition, exclude the many. And that makes sense. Exclusive access is a marketable commodity. We’ve started to see it everywhere to varying degrees, and a few new events have even popped up that cater exclusively to the exclusive crowd charging outrageous sums to “party like rock stars.”They’ve been decidedly hit-or-miss. Last year’s inaugural Desert Trip capitalized successfully on the high-end live music market, selling tickets that ranged from roughly $450 – upwards of $1700 for 3-day tickets. Fans shelled out, and the event was a success, because the event lived up to the high-end experience it offered, with a ridiculous lineup of a generation’s greatest artists, amenities, and curated experiences that matched the ticket prices.But we’ve also seen the pay-to-play model backfire in disastrous fashion. Last weekend’s royally botched Fyre Festival sold extravagantly priced tickets to a purportedly extravagant event, but when attendees arrived at the event’s island locale they were met with no accommodations, lack of water and sewage systems, partially built infrastructure, feral dogs, and other general chaos. All flights to and from the island were cancelled. The event was cancelled before it started, and the organizers had been promptly hit with a $100M class action suit by Monday morning.Whether or not you like it, we live in a free economy, and any business in any industry in this country is driven by the golden rule: supply and demand. As long as the market for exclusive experiences exists, there will always be a vast majority that gets excluded–the proverbial “Phil-and-Bobby-are-playing-right-behind-that-fence-right-there-and-you’re-not-allowed-in,” if you will. And people will always have strong and differing opinions on the matter: “Pay-to-play” vs. “Equality for all.” Just watch…Whatever your thoughts on the high-end live music market, we’ll be in Arrington, VA from August 24th – 27th to join in one of the best parties of the summer. And if you’re heading to LOCKN’ but you’re not Super VIP–don’t fret, friend. We guarantee you’ll see more great music than you know what to do with that weekend. Enjoy it!For more information on LOCKN’, or to purchase tickets, head to the festival’s website. [Cover photo via Getty Images]last_img read more

History in the making

first_imgThe seeds of Mary Lewis’ fascination with France were planted early. Her father spent a few years there as a young man, working in the offices of the Marshall Plan, so she grew up hearing a steady stream of stories about that country.“I had never been out of North America,” said the newly tenured professor of history, “but when my father would talk about France’s history, it sparked an interest that is still with me.”The geopolitically tense Reagan administration years were her political coming-of-age, and the native Californian went to college wanting to understand the Cold War, studying international relations when she attended the University of California, Davis.  She spent her junior year abroad in France, becoming increasingly interested in the diversity of its society.The final seed that would eventually bear Lewis’ intellectual fruit was planted during a political science class she took upon her return from studying abroad. It was November 1989, the month the Berlin Wall fell.“We were discussing the theory of mutually assured destruction,” she said. “A young man raised his hand and asked the professor, ‘Can we talk about Berlin?’ The professor was completely thrown. The real world was confronting his theoretical model, and he didn’t know what to do.”Lewis remembers the professor dismissing the question by telling the student to read The New York Times. That, she said, was the moment she knew she wanted to study history.“At that point, history had suddenly caught up to political science,” she said. “I realized you really needed history to understand politics.”After graduating from the University of California, Davis, and before beginning a Ph.D. program in history at New York University, Lewis spent two years working for the U.S. Department of Education in its Office for Civil Rights, an experience she said greatly affected how she studies and thinks about history today.“I learned a lot about bureaucracy and the layers of bureaucracy,” she said. “If I wrote a letter, it would go through six different levels of editing and end up with someone else’s signature on it.”“I got a sense of how policy and decisions are layered. It helped me become the kind of historian that I am today.”Lewis’ improbable interest in bureaucracy informed her first book, “The Boundaries of the Republic: Migrant Rights and the Limits of Universalism in France, 1918-1940” (Stanford University Press, 2007), recently translated into French as “Les Frontières de la République” (Éditions Agone, 2010). The book demonstrates how local actions — far removed from Parisian edicts — redefined the boundaries between French citizens and outsiders in the early decades of the 20th century. By focusing on the limits of legislation in a pluralistic society, the book challenges the common vision of France as a highly centralized nation.“We tend to think of France as a centralized country with uniform rights decreed in Paris,” Lewis said. “But the actions of immigrants themselves in the provinces, by forcing officials to recognize that they were going to stay in the country, instigated an expansion of those rights. In a sense, today’s diverse French society is a product of that history.”Today, Lewis’ studies are intersecting anew with current events: She is working on a book about Tunisia, using the case of the little-studied French protectorate there to study how imperial rivalry affected French colonial governance from the 1880s to the 1930s. Pent-up public unrest in the North African country exploded and brought down its government last month.“Having researched my forthcoming book there, I was surprised that the protests would lead so suddenly to a change in regime,” she said of Tunisia’s overthrow of its president. “It’s a police state.  People have conditioned themselves to be very guarded in conversation when speaking about politics because they know they’re being watched, so the fact that they would have the nerve to protest as they did is remarkable.”Lewis is also planning a new research project on intercolonial movement by studying colonial passports.“We think of these societies as being hermetically sealed, because we tend to study them from an imperialist point of view, but in fact people were on the move, and we can see challenges to imperial control based on these varied movements.”One of Lewis’ favorite parts of working at Harvard is interacting with students.“They make you think,” she said. “Even if you’ve taught a class before, you’ll get something new out of it because of the student participation. This is positive feedback on a whole other level.”last_img read more