For the 8th year in a row I stuffed myself on a plane and traveled east to attend the [Rites of Spring](https://rosfest.com) festival. This was a big year of change as the festival has moved from Gettysburg, PA to a new home in Sarasota, FL. I had a new city, hotel and venue waiting for me on the other side and I was ready for a new adventure. It was like the excitement of my first RoSfest way back in 2011, except this time there were already many friends waiting to welcome me with open arms. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again but RoSfest is a huge family reunion with great music. I’m going to write a post about each day so they don’t get unreasonably long. This post is just the highlights and some quick notes.
Other than the humidity I liked Sarasota. While it was warmer than home it wasn’t unreasonably hot but that humidity was killer. I don’t like walking outside to be blind because my glasses have fogged up. There is a vibrant art community and I saw some interesting places, like the Marietta Museum of Art & Whimsy, that I need to check out. There were plenty of restaurants that I need to try next time as well.
This year I stayed at the Aloft Sarasota. I found the hotel clean and in great shape. The staff were awesome and very friendly. I hope we can stay there in the future.
The venue for RoSfest this year was the Sarasota Opera, an opera house with a hundred year history. I was chatting with some of the staff who shared some of the history with me which I found quite interesting. There were also some photos of past seasons in the dressing rooms highlighting the history of the opera house.
The acoustics from the stage are impressive as it was designed and built before powered amplification had been invented. I never got to try it but they told me you could hold a normal conversation on the stage and someone at the rear of the balcony could understand everything said.
The staff of the opera house were a delight and their help made my job easier. When I needed something it was provided with quick and efficient service. When they needed something they came and asked directly so I could return the favor. I’ve worked behind the scenes at a few theaters now and the staff at Sarasota Opera are the cream of the crop.
I’m going to have to put the 2019 edition of RoSfest near the top of my list. I still think 2011 will always be number one. Not only was 2011 my first the adventures and friends I made there are still the best, but 2019 is a very close second. I can’t wait to see what 2020 brings, other than Big Big Train who will be performing as they were announced at the festival, no I can’t wait to see them either.
As always, I’m never gonna do it without the fez on.