When people talk about Cornerstone, whether on Facebook or in blog posts or Flickr captions, a recurring theme is that coming here feels like coming home, whether it’s your first year or your fourteenth. I haven’t even made it to the actual festival grounds yet, but being here still feels like a sort of homecoming.
This year’s drive up from Atlanta was long and gloomy, and things just felt kind of off-kilter. Inconvenient “real life” things like hassles at work meant that things got off to a bit of a tired, underprepared, “I really hope I didn’t forget anything” sort of start. The traditional lunch destination for my friends and I, a mall outside of Nashville, had apparently fallen prey to a Zombie Apocalypse, so we had to deviate from tradition and find food elsewhere. Strange things were afoot at the Stuckey’s– they were SOLD OUT of Goo-Goo Clusters! That’s like McDonald’s selling out of fries – it’s just not supposed to happen.
But eventually the clouds broke and the sun came out, and as we drove on into the Illinois corn fields between Springfield and Macomb, we burned through a great iPod playlist from artists ranging from The Choir to Pristina, from The Kicks to Over the Rhine, from the Juliana Theory to King’s X. By the time we reached the “550 Friendly People [‘and Bob’ – an in-joke that goes back about 12 or 13 years]” sign welcoming us to the great town of Industry, “real life” was far behind us and everything felt right with the world. (Well, mostly – our WIU dorm can best be described with words like “dank” and “moist,” which isn’t exactly what you might hope for, but what do you expect for $40 a night?)
So now I’m awake at a ridiculously early hour, and can’t wait to get to the fest to see all my old friends and meet some new ones, check out some new bands on this “pre-fest” day, and settle in for a fun week. I’m even hearing rumors of an unscheduled bonus show by a legenDAry Jesus Music band on the Gallery tonight at 10:00 that I really hope comes true…
So welcome home, Cornerstone. Whether you’re here for the hardcore music or the lemon shake-ups, have a great week. If you’ve got any good stories to tell about your drive to the fest or anything else, leave a comment on the blog. And if you’re in the dorms in WIU, come by room 704 and say hi!