Thursday, July 27 and Friday, July 28
Today I leave for Lyon, France with Emmylou Harris and her band. This will be my first time working with her and my first time at this event. When I arrived at the airport, Anthony and the musicians were already checking in their gear. I got myself checked in, while they finished up. I then introduced myself to everyone and off we went.
It was an uneventful flight to Detroit and then on to Paris. I watched the Ray Donovan series on show time, had dinner, slept about 2 hours, had breakfast before we landed. Once we landed we had to take a shuttle to our terminal, go through security and passport control. Our line was moving quite well, then it practically stopped. They had 4 windows open to take care of several hundred people. The first 2 lines were for business class and priority members, and then they finally opened 2 lanes for the EU passports, but then our line still did not move. There were many people about to miss their flights. Luckily, we arrived early and had about 3 hours and we needed almost the full hours to get to our gate. I have never seen the lines so long and so slow in all of my travel.
Arrived Lyons on time. Carole was there waiting for us. She had a large passenger bus and a cargo van for all of our gear. We hit lots of traffic as soon as we left the airport for quite some time. Then hit more traffic before we got to the hotel. It took about 2 1/2 to get to the hotel. When we arrived, Delphine was waiting for us. They had all our keys ready. There was a little issue with where to store the gear until morning. They were going to store it in a room behind the front desk, but the lady said it wasn’t big enough so we ended up storing it in a large storage room just next door to the hotel lobby.
Everyone freshened up and met down in the hotel restaurant for an early dinner. Afterwards, Carole took several of us for a walk around the city. This is a lovely little place, very quaint and friendly. Back at the room, called home to chat with the family and will head to bed soon. Busy day tomorrow – show day!!
Saturday, July 29
Slept good, other than waking up several times, afraid I would over sleep. Got up early to go over for sound check. No real problems, and they were ready for Emmylou when she arrived. Finished up about 10:45, got an extra 10 minutes. Maple stayed at the venue all day, while the rest of us went back to the hotel. Got there about 12 noon, everyone went out to buy some items they forgot, walk around the town and have lunch. This is a beautiful little town. Wish we had more time to go see the 3 huge statues that are hear. One is Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus, one of Joseph and I’m not sure what the other is, but they are massive and beautiful.
Went down about 5:30 for dinner since we have to leave at 7 for the show. Emmylou was waiting to be seated, so we sat together for dinner. I had the haddock the last night so she was going to have that tonight, and I had cod. Anthony came down and joined us, followed by Mark. All of our food was really good.
Left at 7, got there a little early so we went and ahead and done the meet & greet, as everyone was already in line. It was so hot in the tent so we had to open some of the doorways and got a fan for Emmylou. After that, she went back to her dressing room until it was time for her Rolling Stones interview and then off to the press conference. Show started tight on time, 9:45, and Delphine said this was the largest they crowd they’ve ever had. She was estimating at least 7,000. It looked like a sea of people, and the fans loved her. Show finished up right on time, and we got back on the hotel about 1 am. Called home, finished my packing and off to bed.
Sunday, July 30
Up at 4:30, again I woke up several times thinking I was going to oversleep. Made a few wake-up calls, and we all left out for the airport at 7am. Got to the airport right at 9 am, and the drivers dropped us off by the train station area again. We had to walk all the way back over to the airport, but we had plenty of time to spare before our flights. Anthony got everyone checked in, in the business class line since several were flying business. Said our good-byes and then I went and checked in.
Flight was a little late leaving Lyon, but I still had plenty of time in Paris to make my connect. I watched several tv shows, 3 movies and slept about 3 hours. Was a very long flight home, almost 10 hours. Passport control, customs was a breeze in Atlanta was a breeze. Had a quick flight home and was ready to see my boys.
Was great to work with the festival in France – Carole, Delphine, Jean, just to name a few. The people were wonderful, and the town was beautiful. Emmylou and her group were awesome – really great people. Hope we can do it again sometime.