And they have all gathered in the open area of the Icahn stadium for a sun-drenched press conference. Things start a little late because Dave was doing a late soundcheck – and I think that Tim Reynolds was on stage with him as well.
The artists are gathering in the area behind the large stage – media outlets packed the folding chairs – probably more than 500 people are surrounding the stage. Artists like Jesse Lenat, The Ditty Bops, Danielle Evin and Pauline Reese are all talking with fans, snapping pictures and such.
I stop to catch up with Pauline Reese. She has a new crew with her, and loud-60’s inspired clothes that match her personality – noticeable and stylish. She beams when she sees me. We had a great time last year together – she even gave me a t-shirt. I ask how her year went – she hands me a card and says she has new info – and whispers with a smile – “I got a divorce – my decision – I am happy.”
The Ditty Bops show up well rested from their bike ride over to the concert from downtown. Amanda (I believe –I do get them mixed up) is carrying a cute Asian-inspired yellow umbrella to shield her and Abby from the sun. Very smart!
Daryl Hannah of Kill Bill fame is here too. Yes, she came. She is close with Willie and supports many of his biodiesel initiatives. She is here to support the family farm good food cause. As a vegetarian from the age of 11, she understands the importance that good food plays in not only a healthy diet but a healthy country. She even has her own weekly video blog called DH Love Life, on Sustainable Solutions.
I chatted with her a bit about how I met the people at her booth, and how Frankie was going to give me a tour of a bio-fuel producing family farm in Maryland – near where I live.
As the Farm Aid four approach – Dave, Neil, Willie and John, the crowd parts as the event staff and security escort them to the stage. Willie makes the effort to come over to each act on stage and welcome them and thank them for attending – I see him chat a bit with Amanda and Abby of the Ditty Bops, and shake hands with Jesse Lenat.
They settle into their seats and Carolyn Mugar (Ex. Dir. of Farm Aid) opens the press conference with a long-roll of applause.