Author: Zuniga, Nancy

To say that I’m not much of a sports fan would be a gross understatement. The truth is, there are very few things in life that I care less about than sports. There are several possible explanations for this: Perhaps my aversion to sports can be attributed to my own complete lack of athletic prowess. (Gym classes are remembered as 45-minute periods of unrelenting embarrassment.) Or maybe I've harbored some resentment toward the ritual of watching 4-hour sporting events on TV since discovering years ago that it was considered a sacrilege to attempt meaningful conversation with a man while a game was in progress. (The term “Football Widow” wasn’t invented without due cause.) In any event, I remained so ignorant of football in particular that in 1976, when I happened to see an announcement about Super Bowl X in TV Guide, in my mind I read it as “Super Bowl Ex” and I wondered what the X stood for! My resolve to distance myself from anything pertaining to football had left me blissfully ignorant of the event known as Super Bowl for the first nine years of its existence. In years since, I came to appreciate Super Bowl Sunday as a time when I could complete my grocery shopping in record time, as there were no lines in the supermarket while the game was being televised. Super Bowl Sunday was good for something, after all!

Needless to say, I was tickled beyond measure two years ago when the CBA decided to go out on a limb and sponsor the first SuperGrass festival in Bakersfield. I would be surrounded by folks who were kindred spirits not only because of their love for bluegrass music, but because bluegrass held a higher priority for them than watching two opposing teams fighting over an inflated pigskin for hours on end. Alas, although this wonderful festival was a success in terms of performers and jamming, it most decidedly was not a success in financial terms. One of the primary causes was determined to be the fact that the festival took place on Super Bowl weekend, which hindered attendance. Apparently, Super Bowl has become so hallowed an American tradition that a world-class festival takes a back seat to it even among a large number of bluegrass fans.

The decision not to hold SuperGrass III this year left a void for those of us who had welcomed this break from the winter bluegrass doldrums. To the rescue came Duane Campbell, Slim Sims, Craig Wilson, and a few others with a vision to keep the “vibe” of SuperGrass alive in the collective consciousness of pickers as well as the staff of the host hotel in Bakersfield. They arranged for “SuperJam”, not a festival, but a weekend-long picking party in the comfort and indoor warmth of Bakersfield’s Holiday Inn Select. If one could forget the fact that there were no bands performing downstairs while we jammed upstairs in several suites reserved for the occasion, it felt almost like SuperGrass! After all, jamming is a huge part of any festival, and I’ve known many folks who got so engrossed in picking at festivals that they never did find their way to the audience area.

I truly appreciate the efforts of those whose hard work made it possible to hold on to some of the ambiance of SuperGrass. Yet I’m still hoping that eventually, it will be possible to revive the SuperGrass festival, with the streamlining necessary to make it economically viable. Someday, I even hope to attend SuperGrass X. That’s “Ten”...not “Ex”.

Ah, show biz
Posted:  2/7/2008

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