How to: Survive a Music Festival

For the uninitiated, a summer music festival can be a strange and bewildering place. From the technicolor waves of hippies to the stench that only a shower-less weekend under a blazing sun can procure, it’s easy to be tripped up by the experience if one doesn’t know what to expect. Here are some tips for surviving this summer’s fest season:

1. “Don’t forget to bring a towel” (and water)

“Look at it this way: Come tonight, I’m the one that’s going to be happy,” Trujillo said. “And the guy in the swimming trunks with no shirt on is going to be the one who’s miserable.”

As a festival goer quotes here in an old article from the Los Angeles Times about Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, weather extremes can make for uncomfortable festival conditions. However, the warmness in the west tends to reach dangerously high temperatures more often than not. So what do you get when you add fest-goers who take the fest weekend (or week, in some cases) as a vacation from their typical hygiene standards? Stank. Everywhere. If you don’t plan on spending any cash on the showers that some festivals offer attendees, you’ll want a towel and some water to wipe off and refreshen up with after a long day in the field.

2. Plug in, nod off, drop out

EDM (electronic dance music) is becoming a must-have style at many of the summer’s biggest music festivals, but don’t be surprised if you don’t hear it until late at night. The light shows that tend to accompany beat-heavy sets need darkness for full effect, meaning that it may not be until after midnight that the DJs come out to play. If you’re someone who isn’t into break of dawn bass drops, bring a pair of ear plugs to block out the sound of ravers stumbling back to their campsites at the same time that you’re ready to rise for a long day of rocking out.

3. Vinyasa (cash) flow rules

Unless you’re cool with eating dry cereal and PBJ sandwiches for four days straight, you’re probably going to want to stop by one of the numerous food stands that will surround the campsite. Unfortunately, it won’t come cheap. Expect to pay anywhere from three to five dollars a taco or slice of pizza. And if you’re trying to bring back a tapestry or tee to commemorate your adventures with anything less than a Hamilton in your wallet? Fuhgeddabahdit.

Here are a few more tips from people with experience:

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Rookies Made an Impact in Round One

The Stanley Cup Playoffs, they’re a man’s game. That’s how the narrative goes, at least. It’s tough, it’s passion-fueled, and it’s no place for a kid (so they say.)

At 18-years-old, you are considered to be an adult, but lets face it, at that age you’re still very much a teenager. What were your greatest responsibilities at ages 18, 19, or 20? Making plans for Friday night? Remember to walk the dog and take out the trash? Calorie counting? This NHL postseason, many “kids” have made an impact playing on the game’s greatest stage, continuing the strong precedent first year players set in the regular season.

The popular pick for the NHL’s “next best thing”, Nate MacKinnon, has somehow found a way to not just be really, really good like he was for months, but to elevate his game to the point where for two weeks he might have been the greatest hockey player in the world. “Razor”, as he’s affectionately becoming known as in the Colorado Avalanche locker room, is tied for the NHL lead in points after the first round of the playoffs… at just 18 years of age.

If his production on the scoresheet and blinding speed wasn’t enough to impress, than maybe his knack for timely scoring will grab your attention. It sure as heck caught the eye of just about everyone watching Saturday’s Game 5 of the Avalanche’s first round series with the Minnesota Wild.

“And the legend grows…” as appropriately called by TSN’s Gord Miller. MacKinnon continues to provide Colorado with consistent excellence, now coming at the expense of the Wild.

Speaking of the Wild, the goaltender MacKinnon roofed on the game-winning goal is a rookie, too. Darcy Kuemper may have allowed that heartbreaking goal behind him, but if not for his services, Minnesota wouldn’t even have made it to Game 5. Kuemper, who was average at best during the regular season, came in to replace Ilya Bryzgalov as the Wild’s starter in Game 3 of the series. Since, he’s been close to lights out, posting a shutout in his first career playoff start and played the best he has in his entire career at the right time. He’s posted a miniscule 2.02 goals against average, and though he wasn’t the goalie of record for Minnesota’s game seven overtime triumph over Colorado, the Wild would have never even been in that position if not for Kuemper’s heroics in earlier contests.

This postseason’s rookie success isn’t just limited to the Colorado/Minnesota series. Oh, no, there were plenty other young guns making their presence felt in a positive way in round numero uno.

“What [MacKinnon] has done in the postseason is obviously incredible, but don’t sleep on what some of these other kids have done, too,” said Christian Hoppens, senior writer for The Post Sports. “It seems like experience hardly matters anymore, because a lot of other rookies are tearing it up.”

Drastically all trailing MacKinnon in the points department, but still a tie for second place were the Los Angeles Kings’ Tyler Toffoli and the San Jose Sharks’ Tomáš Hertl and Matt Nieto. All three players racked up five points in their series against each other, but Toffoli captured arguably the most important. Early in the third period, Toffoli put the dagger in San Jose’s season with a snipe from the low slot to put L.A. up 3-1 in the game and onward towards a 4-3 series win after trailing three game-to-none. There was still plenty of time for Nieto and Hertl to mount a comeback, but Toffoli’s goal absolutely deflated the entire Sharks squad.

The Penguins’ star defenseman Olli Määttä may have been on the ice for a lot of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ goals in their six game series, but film study reveals his role in any Columbus goal is minimal to nonexistent, so his plus/minus was a very misleading indication of how he actually played. Though the 19-year-old Finnish phenom was muscled off the puck several times by the Jackets’ heavy forecheckers, Maatta showed his signature puck-moving precision and poise in all six games, effectively led the rush at times, and directly factored into way more of Pittsburgh’s goals for than goals against.

In the same series, the Jackets’ Boone Jenner was a pest to the millionth degree, drawing four penalties and connecting on a team high 40 hits in the series, which allowed him to noticeably get under the skin of some of the Penguins’ seasoned veterans. Jenner also had five points (three goals, two assists) with two goals coming on the man advantage against one of the league’s most successful penalty kills in Pittsburgh.

On a team boasting young talent like Valeri Nichushkin and Alex Chiasson, it was a surprise to see fellow rookie Colton Sceviour perform as the Dallas Stars’ best rookie in their series with the West-leading Anaheim Ducks. Sceviour led the Stars’ rookies with three points (one goal, two assists,) a +2 rating, and posted a strong +32.9 GF%rel in his team’s six playoff games.

Unfortunately for Sceviour, Jenner, and even MacKinnon, their teams won’t be advancing to the second round of these Stanley Cup Playoffs, and we will no longer able to marvel at their abilities. In the case of Toffoli, Määttä, and Boston’s Torey Krug, the fun for hockey fans has just begun.

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College Fishing Losing Some Regular Competitors

By, Ryan Dentscheff

The FLW College Fishing Series has been going on for many years now. The series is divided into northern, southern, southeastern, and western divisions. Colleges on each division compete against each other in attempts to qualify for regionals and nationals. In past years, the prizes were big and participation was easily obtainable. However, things have drastically changed for the worse.

The biggest reason for these changes is almost certainly the cost factor. I believe FLW just isn’t getting the sponsorship dollars they once were, and have had to make cuts, which is unfortunate for schools like Ohio University.

Just two years ago in 2012, there were four divisional round tournaments with cash payout as follows:
1st Place: $5,000
2nd Place: $1,500
3rd-5th Place: $1,000

The regional event, that took the top five finishers from the four divisional events, had payouts of:
1st Place: Ranger z117 bass boat with 90horsepower Evinrude outboard motor (estimated value of around $20,000+)
2nd Place: $5,500
3rd-5th Place: $3,000

The national tournament paid out:
1st Place: $50,000 and a Ranger bass boat
2nd Place: $10,000
3rd-5th Place: $5,000

This year, the payout will be:
1st Place: $2,000
2nd Place: $1,000
3rd-5th Place: $500

1st Place: $4,000
2nd Place: $2,000
3rd-5th Place: $1,000

1st Place: Ranger bass boat
2nd Place: $5,000
3rd Place $4,000
4th Place: $3,000
5th Place: $2,000

The money aspect dropping is not what has me so disappointed, although bigger winnings would be certainly welcomed. The disappointing reduction in the series is that FLW will no longer be supplying boats to colleges who can’t supply one themselves. Many colleges, including Ohio University, do not have a team boat, and have no way of participating in the tournaments.

Not being able to participate in tournaments spells bad news for schools like OU. Advancing and improving the school’s team in reliant on taking part in tournaments. For our team here at OU, winning tournaments is the biggest way to raise funds and the best way to improve as tournament fishing anglers. Winning tournaments is also a perfect way to get more sponsors to commit to helping the club with deals and donations. We are now stuck in a point where we can no longer do any of these things.

I can’t say that I blame FLW for cutting the supplying of boats, but it is very upsetting. Our club has worked hard to get to the point we are today. Last year, we sent two teams to the regional qualifying event, and the year before finished second in a divisional tournament (the team was formed only six years ago). This fact if going to further widen the gap between teams like ours and teams that have been around for a longer time and have club boats.

It is already being seen this season in the teams that are registered for the first of now only three northern division events. In 2012, 36 of the 40 registered teams in the first northern division event at Kerr Lake were represented by different colleges. This year, in the first northern division tournament this Saturday at Smith Mountain Lake, of the 47 registered teams, only 27 of them are represented by different colleges. Ten of those 27 teams have more than one team competing, as opposed to only three schools sending multiple teams in 2012. Virginia Tech is sending the most schools this year, sending seven teams.

Ohio University Fishing Club tournament and sponsor liaison, Tony Vo, believes the rule change will only effect the smaller schools that do not currently have a boat or a way to fish in these tournaments.

“It’s not going to hurt the teams and schools that already have quite a bit of funding and already have boats,” Vo said. “It’s going to hurt the clubs, (like) OU’s club, (that) don’t have boats that can compete in the big tournaments. It does widen the gap a lot between us and them.”

“I think we, as a school, and some of the other smaller, newer schools, just need to push and push for a boat to make this sport more competitive,” he said.

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Putting in the Time before the Hunt can lead to a Killed Turkey

By, Ryan Dentscheff
Spring turkey season in Ohio is underway, and there is one strategy that will heighten your chances of killing a turkey immensely. Obviously having a good gun, camouflage, and turkey calls will improve help you kill a gobbler, but scouting can be the biggest game-changing tool you have.

Finding turkeys before you are hunting can make all the difference. The same goes for scouting deer. Hit the area you are hunting before you hunt, find signs that your game is in the area, and locate a place to set up where the it will be traveling to or through.

Deer signs, such as trails with hoof prints, angler rubs, and territorial scrapes, are easier to locate than turkey signs because they are much more noticeable. Although turkeys do leave tracks, scratch marks, and beds, they are often times more difficult to spot than the signs of larger animals, such as deer. Killeen Gonzalez, a contributor discusses some ways to spot turkey signs in a 2012 article.

Instead, turkey scouting is done largely through listening for the bird. We all know what a turkey sounds like, but just for fun and entertainment, check out this video of a turkey gobbling away.

Listening for gobbling is a way of locating birds during the hunt, allowing you to move closer to a bird fly away or call one into range. But locating birds before you’re hunting is an even better way to kill a turkey.

“Roosting” a bird is when you locate when the turkey is sleeping, or roosting. A turkey will fly into a tree for the night right around sundown. Go to an area in the woods that you suspect turkeys located. This is when your pre-scouting will come in handy. When in the area near sundown, listen for male birds gobbling or clucking. After you have located a turkey track its movements and determine where it flies into the tree. Once a turkey as flown into a tree to sleep, it doesn’t fly down unless it is scared off of its roost by a potential predator. If you have located a turkey’s roosting tree, come back before sunrise the next day, set up your your decoy(s), and wait for the bird to fly down. Roosted Tom turkeys do not usual take much calling to convince them to move in on a decoy or towards the area of the calling. Be patient and quiet while waiting for the bird to fly down. Roosting a turkey before the hunt can push the odds into your favor and turn into a nice delicious Thanksgiving-esque dinner.

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Bass Fishing the Spawn

By, Ryan Dentscheff

The weather is warming up, which means one thing in the bass fishing world: the spawn is on. Here in Ohio, and other northern states where the weather takes until laster in the spring to improve, the spawn does the same. In Florida, for example, bass we spawning weeks ago.

Firstly, to give a brief overview of the bass spawning season for you those who are unfamiliar, the bass spawning season is when largemouth and smallmouth bass move up to shallow water, make their “beds,” and lay their eggs. This usually begins when water temperature reach about 60-65 degrees.

The thing that makes “bed fishing,” as it is commonly referred to, so exciting is the angler’s ability to see the fish they are trying to catch. The bass will lay eggs in about eight feet of water or less. The reason they lay them so shallow is because the eggs use the heat from the sunlight for incubation.

Now, there are some key tips and tricks of the trade that will help you capitalize on the spawning season, and have you catching more bass. The first thing you want to know is location of the fish. Finding fish on beds is as easy as slowly perusing the bank of a lake, pond, or shallow river. If the water is clear, and the sun is shining, finding the fish is relatively easy. Look for discoloration on the bottom of the body of water you are fishing, because the bass will clear out a circular area on the floor of the lake. The bed will most likely be much darker or lighter, depending on what the sediment is made of (clay, sand, dirt, etc.) Here are a few pictures that show bass beds in the water:

bass bed


After you have found the bed, and located the fish, it is time to “read” the fish. Reading a fish is crucial because it is what will determine if you want to spend the time needed to catch a bedded bass. A bass that is “locked” onto a bed, which means it is committed to protecting its eggs, that fish is catchable. If a fish is “cruising,” don’t waste your time.

To determine is the bass is locked or cruising, through a lure into the bed area and see how the fish reacts. If it ignores your lure and swims away, not returning within a minute or less, that fish is more than likely not worth the time. However, if the fish takes notice and becomes aggressive towards your lure, it is likely that you will be able to catch the fish.

Bedding bass are not going to eat your lure because they are hungry and thinking it is food, which is usually how you catch fish that are not on beds. Instead, the fish will eat your lure out of frustration and protectiveness. Fish that are locked onto a bed are there to protect its eggs. When it sees something enter the bed area, and it sees it as a threat, it will react in a number of ways.

The first way a fish will often react in this situation, is attempting to scare the intruder off. In our case, the “intruder” is our lure. When a bedded fish shows this sign of aggression, it is a great sign for the angler. The fish will often flare its gills, open its mouth, and swim aggressively towards the lure. Getting the fish’s attention, and making it believe that the lure is a threat is key to catching bedded fish. To do this, throw repeat casts past the bed and slowly retrieve it into the bed area. Make sure, however, that you are far enough away from the bed that the fish cannot see you and detect your movements. “One of the biggest keys to getting a bass to bit quickly is to make the cast before he knows you’re there,” said Shaw Grigsby in an article published in Bassmaster Magazine. “Eagles and ospreys are their predators, so any overhead movement puts them on guard…Cast beyond the target and drag it slowly into the bed,” Grigsby continued. Making the lure move in the bed is also a way of getting the fish’s attention and making it agitated.

The next thing a bas will often do to remove the intruding lure after the intimidation strategy fails, is by physically removing it. The fish will pick up the lure, usually without putting the lure entirely into its mouth, swim away from the bed, and drop the lure. This can often times be frustrating for the angler because the fish often times has the lure in its mouth but not the hook. However, as the fish does this a few times, and becomes more annoyed, the final step in the process occurs. Eventually, the fish will get so fed up with dealing with this lure, it will get it out of the way completely by eating it. This is when you set the hook, take your photos, and release the fish back to its bed.

Overall, the key to catching the bass on a bed is to annoy the fish enough that it simply eats your lure to get rid of it. It is important to keep in mind, that fish caught off beds cannot be foul hooked, and should always be retuned to the water quickly, as to protect the conservation of the bass species.

For more information on the best lures for the bed fishing, check out the video below.

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An Idiot’s Guide to Music Festivals

Photo via

When it comes to live music, it’s hard to find a better time than summer to check out your favorite bands’ concert act than at a music festival. From the established to the up-and-coming, here are some of this summer’s best lineups.


Since starting out as an avenue for jam and folk rock bands to come together for four days of artistic expression, those behind the Bonnaroo Muisc and Arts Festival has diversified which bands it invites to Manchester, Tennessee. As classic acts like Elton John share the stage with the likes of Kanye West and Vampire Weekend, music fans of all styles are sure to see something they like over the fest’s June 12-15 run.


One of the biggest story lines of the 2014 fest season has been the unexpected formulation of an Outkast reunion tour, which is set to span 40 festivals over the course of the summer. Although the rap duo weren’t able to generate much buzz with the tour’s kick-off show at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, the crowd at The Forecastle Festival in Louisville, Kentucky should be a little more embracing July 18-20; Outkast’s Big Boi has made a splash at the festival in the last couple years as a solo act. Other acts featured at Forecastle include Spoon, Beck, The Replacements, and Jack White.


Nelsonville Music Festival

Athenians looking for a taste of the summer’s fest season won’t have to look much further than in their own backyards to see critically-acclaimed acts like alt. rockers of Dinosaur Jr. and folk group The Avett Brothers. Brian Koscho, marketing director for Stuart’s Opera House, which puts on the Nelsonville Music Festival, said the fest’s organizers are looking to bring more excitement with this year’s performances.“We never want it to be stale,” Koscho said. “We want to always get people in that are exciting and represent a wide variety of people.” Look out for other high-profile artists like The Head and the Heart and Kurt Vile & The Violators when the fest is underway from May 29 to June 1.

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Streaming is the future, as physical music sales fall

It’s been the end of the world as we know it for years and it’s still fine in terms of the music business.

The landscape has been in flux for years, it’s been known since Napster came about in 1999 and upset major labels that for years had been used to their model of an album being released and people buying it.  It was further upended with Apple’s creation of the iPod and iTunes, where people could buy songs separately.

Now, digital sales have fallen, albeit minutely, for the first time since 2003, according to Billboard.

Billboard pointed out that in 2013, digital track sales have fallen from 1.34 billion units to 1.26 billion units — a decrease of 5.7 percent. Digital albums have fallen at a smaller pace, from 117.7 million to 117.6 million — a decrease of 0.1 percent.

Notably and most interestingly is the shift of music listening to digital streaming, arguably the most convenient way to listen to music. Digital music streams increased 32% and that’s not counting new streaming services like Google Play and the new Beats Music service launched earlier this year, according to Nielson Soundscan 

This change represents a large shift in how people listen to music. Streaming services Spotify, RDIO, Beats and Google Play offer unlimited listening on different devices for 9.99 month. All of them aside from Beats offer a free version that have extensive libraries and unique algorithms to find the next song that should play after an album or song that was already chosen is done.

Steve Albini, the famed producer who recorded Nirvana’s In Utero among others said this is the way of the future and is here to stay, in an interview with Quartz.

““Record labels, which used to have complete control, are essentially irrelevant,” he said in the article, titled “‘The Problem With Music’ has been solved by the Internet.’

“The process of a band exposing itself to the world is extremely democratic and there are no barriers. Music is no longer a commodity, it’s an environment, or atmospheric element. Consumers have much more choice and you see people indulging in the specificity of their tastes dramatically more. They only bother with music they like.”

The beauty of Albini’s point is that people have more choice than ever before to who to listen to, because they’re constantly choosing who to listen to. Before, it would have been dictated by whatever artist a label backed.

Now, more than ever, choice is the way to go for music, and streaming, through the great depths of musical opportunity is the future.


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