Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Neverworld Masquerade

This past Saturday I went down to the McDonald Theater in downtown Eugene, Oregon to the Faerieworlds Winter event, the Neverworlds Masquerade. The theme was "Faeries vs. Pirates" and I went as a pirate, or perhaps more accurately as the Thief of Time since I wore my clock hat.

I got there way too early. Another time I'll get there about a half hour before the doors open, not more than two hours before. But although I've been around Eugene now and then since I started going to Faerieworlds in 2006, I'd never been in the downtown part of it. I wasn't sure how parking would work out, especially since a performance center close to the McDonald was presenting Itzahk Perlman that night.

It turned out that parking was extremely easy. I'd checked out Google maps and had a printout, so once I got off I-105 I got right to the city-operated parking garage, which is free on Saturdays and they had plenty of spaces.

I had my camera and my little prop sword with me, and eventually I took them back to the car when I realized the sword was considered a weapon even though it's not at all sharp and it was tied so I couldn't pull it out of the scabbard. Just before the doors opened, someone from the theater saw a guy with a pro-level camera and told him he needed a photo pass. So I figured photos just weren't allowed even though I'd seen photos from past Winter events at the theater.

Once inside, I realized plenty of people had cameras and I could've kept mine with me. The only thing being restricted was flash photos inside the auditorium part. Photos in the lobby and lounge were no problem.

There were a few vendors set up in the lobby with some interesting things, but since money's so tight I didn't spend much time looking. I did talk briefly with Mark Lewis, who was in his "Dirty Jack" pirate outfit and was one of the emcees along with "Green Man" Billy Scudder. I told Mark I was there as the Thief of Time, and his response was, "We have ways of making you tock."

There were three musical acts for the evening and the first was Manoverboard (yes, it's all one word). They've been to several Faerieworlds Summer events on the Village or Neverworlds stage, but I'd only seen them in passing. It was good to see them for their whole set. It was very energetic and a lot of fun.

Scott Huckabay, who's a real guitar wizard, was the second act. He's also been to the Summer event at least once that I know of. I'd gone into the lounge between acts to get a drink and ended up spending all of the time Scott was performing there talking with a few of the Circle of Merry Folk people. The lounge had a video feed from the auditorium, so I didn't completely miss out. That feed was also going out on the Internet via UStream (they also carry feeds from LiveIreland, the Internet radio station).

Of course, the headline act was Woodland, Emilio and Kelly Miller-Lopez's band. They were in great form with plenty of new material and Emilio got to play the hurdy-gurdy he'd gotten a few months ago.

Back during one of the Full Moon gatherings at the standing stones out at Mount Pisgah, I'd heard Kelly playing a Loreena McKennitt tune on her harp. I think she said she was just learning it. The band has worked up a full arrangement of the tune and it sounded great.

While I'd originally booked a motel room, I canceled it earlier in the week - a move spurred by the higher cost of getting the car's oil changed plus having the fuel filter replaced. So after the show, I headed back home. Since it was after midnight, traffic was very light. Even with a bit of fog developing toward the end of the trip, it only took a bit over two hours to return.

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