by Eric Magnus
As we arrived in Miami, the balmy night air breezing in through our rental car made this much clear: our winter was over. Where Dan and I live in New York City, this year’s relentlessly cold weather made Spring seem like a distant dream, even in the second week of April.
A Golden Florida sunrise began our next day, our first on the Campus Consciousness Tour, a collaboration between eco-friendly concert specialists Reverb, L.L. Bean, SCA, & featured band Capital Cities. Dan and I will be “chasing” the tour. This sometimes means actually leaving before the evening concert begins to clear 700+ miles between venues. In the afternoon before each show, Dan and I man an SCA tent at the Campus Consciousness Eco-Village, spreading the word about the many opportunities SCA has to offer college students, plus connecting them with SCA on social media.
Some of the first things we received at Florida International University (our first stop) were our All Access Backstage Passes! We were ushered through the backstage tent area where the production crew was setting up, straight to the all important craft foods tent. No, this was not a dream, nor an elaborate prank, we were really a part of a rock tour, with all the catering that entails. Our first “activation” (the first of many touring terms we’ve come to know) was very successful. We jumped right in to signing up the happily sunned FIU students for SCA internship information, swapping swag with the local campus ecology and environmental club, and helping with the Reverb photo booth. The whole thing seemed like a warm summery dream. We rolled out before sundown and the beachified feel of Miami turned to the charm of the lonely highway strip as we charged up the Florida Parkway.
We spent the next day traveling. Our destination was Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. The campus was, without a doubt, crazy beautiful. We setup near the campus center, which had a porch full of rocking chairs overlooking a scenic lake! Dan bought a CD from Scavenger Hunt, the Campus Consciousness Tour’s opening act, who often join us in the Eco-village to serenade fans and distribute high fives. Some conspicuously cool students watched the band play from the branches of a large willow tree that shaded the stage.
On Saturday we zipped through the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains and enjoyed a bit of camping at one of my favorite spots along the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina. Our Sunday venue was UNC Charlotte, where we were kept company by a colony of carpenter bees and kept warm by muggy, 85 degree air. The Students strolling by our tent included a cohort of middle schoolers, on campus for an area science fair. We got them excited about applying to SCA’s National Crew Programs once they were in high school.
As we hit the road again, heading north, a cold front pulled in bringing freezing rain. That declaration I made way back in Miami regarding the end of winter? Maybe a little premature. The tour’s last stop, after all, is in Maine. Have you ever been to Maine in April? We’ll see. But as the weather in the northeast seems to at least be undergoing a gradual unthawing, Dan and I are warming up to life on the road, “chasing” the tour.