This morning dozens of vendors, volunteers and staff were putting the finishing touches on the three-day arts and music festival known as TBD Fest. Stages, shade structures, art installations, vendor tents - a tiny city sprung up in a field next to the river.
Last year the fledgling festival received a lot of complaints about the dust and lack of shade and water. This year festival organizers are taking note and trying to correct the issues.
Emile Janicot is on the site operations team with TBD and he says the dust problem was one of the biggest to tackle.
“We got here and everything’s not flat. You have to come in, grade it, add soil conditioner, then use rocks, then grade it some more, then we use what’s called lignin - a type of non-toxic glue and it holds all the sand the little rocks together and makes a beautiful surface on the very top for people to walk on and it doesn’t kick up dust.”
Janicot says it took his crew 10, 10-hour days to fully coat the festival grounds.
Another common complaint last year was a lack of water, and Janicot says they’ve addressed that too.
“We’re ahead of the water game this year. We have these two huge water tanks that come out so we have free water for all the festival goers.”
Festival co-founder Michael Hargis was running around Friday morning trying to make sure everything was in place for gates to open later that day.
“Just trying to keep my head on straight. It’s a little crazy here. A lot of magic needs to happen here in the eleventh hour, but getting ready for an amazing festival,” Hargis said.
Hargis says he’s especially excited for the chef battle portion of the festival where chefs compete from two food trucks. He’s also looking forward to David Garibaldi’s installation called War On Walls.
Gates open this afternoon and the first band goes on at 3:00 p.m.