We are delighted to present the following photo-set of our latest issue, brought to us filtered through beauty both natural and teeming by Operative Dillon J. Welch, straight out of Manchester, TN and the set of Bonnaroo, where people wear birds like clothes (commentary by none other than the operative himself):
THE KIDS ARE JUST FINE
Got the tent popped, the carpet spread, the canopy hoisted, and the generator up and running in record time. This one’s for sitting back and admiring your own work. This one’s for beer. This one’s for the kids.
WHAT MOST FAIL TO UNDERSTAND UPON INITIAL INSPECTION, ALL AT ONCE BECOMES CLEAR
On the hottest day of the week, it’s okay to drink a glass of lemonade. Here you can see me standing in an actual stance of “being okay with drinking a glass of lemonade.” A curious festival-goer behind me in line said “What does his shirt say?” And then she said “I don’t get it.” And then she said “Oh—I get it now.” She gets it now.
ALWAYS AIM FOR THE OIL DRUMS
The Bonnaroo arch. A symbol of freedom. A symbol of not really knowing where your wallet is, even though you could’ve sworn you left it in the center console in your car, but it wasn’t there the last time you looked. Important to note the exhausted looking horde moving slowly through the serpentine railing formation. Note the grass, trampled and greying. Note the sky, the trees, the oil drum trash can (deftly labeled “Trash!”).
CROSSING THE THRESHOLD
Crossing the Threshold, 2013, Silver gelatin print, 14 x 10 inches
Standing in front of Bonnaroo’s famous “Silent Disco” tent. It is in this tent where a man named Ted wears headphones and dances with an air of sudden and stifling uncertainty. It is there where Ted sways slightly to the left, and then slightly to the right. Ted knows a crowd stands just beyond the railing, silently judging his every quiet, unfortunate movement. It is in this tent where Ted will shed a layer of his skin. He will violently cocoon himself to the tune of some in-house DJ’s twee interpretation of Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream.” He will break free and moth into the wild and untethered night.
Or maybe he’ll get drunk and sing along to “Free Falling” with Tom Petty’s reanimated corpse.
TRADITIONAL CEREMONIAL DRESS
On my way to see Björk wear some kind of endangered bird around her neck like a marvelous heirloom. Bro in the jersey told me Daniel Tosh insulted his forlorn mother. In this picture, Bro is on his way to the craft beer tent to dunk his head in a vat of the heartiest local pilsner.
SOME FLAGS, NO MATTER HOW HIGH YOU HOIST THEM, ARE DESTINED TO BE TORN DOWN
My friend Colton knows all of the words to Jack Johnson’s “Bubble Toes.”
Camera guy (Corey) got annoyed with my constant photo demands. Here you can see me pretending to enjoy the music, while standing still enough to avoid blurry pictures. [Note: I tried to get The Tallest Man on Earth to give a shout out to Safety Pin, but he wasn’t having it. Whatever. The man’s a liar. He’s not even tall. He’s not even short enough for his name to be ironic.]
LIKEWISE, SOME NATURAL STRUCTURES ARE MEANT TO BE TORN DOWN
After a long week of poor decisions and finding oneself perfectly lost in the dark of a field full of drugged-out twenty-somethings, it’s important to reflect on what makes you a person, what makes you tangible. This is a waterfall. It is large and made of water. Beneath it are rocks. Beneath all of us are rocks. Miley Cyrus once swung on a rope swing above this very waterfall. Miley Cyrus knows about the rocks beneath us all.
I ate a cheeseburger from Wendy’s just before this picture. It was beautiful. It made me feel like a wind-torn statue. I think that’s all I want in life: to feel like something solid, immovable. And cheeseburgers from Wendy’s.
See you soon.