H.L. Mencken -- who was blessed with a spectacular wit normally reserved to burn bureaucrats, religious zealots, politicos, censors, altruists, etc. -- was a mad genius wordsmith and, as The Christian Science Monitor claims, “had a zing that bloggers can’t touch.” We’ll ignore the professed view that bloggers have any sort of zing, because the quote is still bang on the mark. His least famous line is “There are those that Scooby Do, and those that Scooby Don’t.” Forget that the old brain was dead and buried a good decade before the Scooby Doo cartoon character first appeared. And never mind that the quote was first said while walking home from a three-week bender, to a lamppost. Okay, it was me who coined the phrase, but it is still a good line! Mencken-good in fact! Festivals have started to Scooby Do more often than Scooby Don’t, as organizers are going to great lengths to stage a friends-and-family, community atmosphere at turnouts normally as welcoming as “Bartertown” in Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.
Taking the example and success set by much-celebrated “smaller” festivals such as the Green Man Festival as a starting point, the End of the Road Festival team have created a celebration that fits in with the modern festival aesthetic: a mass gathering with a cozy, intimate feel. Included this year are film nights, comedy and open mic stages, and workshop and children’s areas featuring a ton of activities to keep your children, and your workshops, happy while you bake your minds watching the talent up on the stage. The End of the Road Festival takes place September 14-16 at the Larmer Tree Gardens in Dorset, England.
Here is the lineup so far: Alessi, Archie Bronson Outfit, Architecture in Helsinki, The Bees, Brakes, The Broken Family Band, Charlie Parr, The Congregation, CW Stoneking, Dan Sartain, Darren Hayman, David Thomas Broughton, David Vandervelde, Devastations, Euros Childs, Findlay Brown, Herman Dune, Howe Gelb, Hush the Many, Hyacinth House, Indigo Moss, James Yorkston, Jeffrey Lewis, Jim White, Johnny Flynn, Josh T. Pearson, King Creosote, Liz Green, Malcolm Middleton, Micah P. Hinson, Midlake, Misty’s Big Adventure, Monkey Swallows the Universe, My Brightest Diamond, Paris Motel, Pete and the Pirates, Port O’ Brien, Post War Years, Reigns, Richard Swift, Seasick Steve, Slow Club, Sons of Noel and Adrian, Stephanie Dosen, Sunny Day Sets Fire, Super Furry Animals, Telegrams, The Twilight Sad, Viking Moses, Woodpigeon, Yo La Tengo, and Young Republic.