My Riverfest Elora

There is something incredible about standing in a crowd of strangers, feet planted in a familiar place, with live music so loud you can’t hear your own thoughts trying to invade your happy place.

It’s that magic moment when you forget your inhibitions and you just go with the music.

That’s my Riverfest Elora experience.

It couldn’t have come at a better time either. The Carpenter and I haven’t had a vacation together all summer. Riverfest was our family’s stay-cation. Mind you, it was work too. I covered the event as a reporter, while the Carpenter volunteered his skills for the event. Work should always be this much fun.

It was exactly what we needed as a couple, to just kick back and cut loose. In a crowd of thousands, we always seem to find a piece of each other we forget to see in the everyday routine; that spark of fun, that youthful silliness that gets bogged down by life stuff.

For us, live music is the pilot light of a relationship that started in a simpler time, when rock concerts and a gypsy attitude made us weekend warriors.  That was in the TBK (time before kids). I don’t miss those times, because things change for good reason.

But Riverfest Elora gave us a venue to fire up the pilot light and get a little crazy (and by crazy I mean the Carpenter enjoyed sampling the beer tent offerings, while I drank lemonade – but hey, I was working).

To his credit, the beer helped inspire the Carpenter’s outstanding and previously unseen dance moves when the fever of The Planet Smashers infected him enough that he braved the dance floor with me (and by dance floor I mean the hockey pad where he taught our son to skate). One of my spouse’s best qualities is that he truly doesn’t care what anyone thinks, and he danced like nobody was watching.  I don’t care what anybody says, that is seriously sexy.

But perhaps the best part of this year’s event was seeing that very same love of live music passed down to my kids, who are no longer kids but amazing music-loving adolescents on the verge of independence, and who are just beginning to realize that their mom is truly the coolest of their parental unit (cough).

Flanked by my son, who is now eye to eye with me at 13 years of attitude, and my smaller but entirely grown up 15-year-old daughter, we ran to the front of the stage for the Sam Roberts Band and, though they will deny it, they sang along and danced with me. Yep, that’s right. I got every member of my family to cut loose and dance at some point last weekend.

When the band Metric took the stage on Saturday night, I stood back and watched from the sidelines as thousands moved with the music and knew that somewhere in the thick of it were my kids, with their own tribe of friends, confident and cutting lose in their own way. How cool is that?

And so it begins: the next generation of music fans, inspired.

There are moments when you connect and let go at the same time, and for three days on home soil, that’s what my family did.

That was our Riverfest Elora.


Kelly Waterhouse