Just came back from the festival. I didn't know if I wanted to go, especially for the $35 admission plus the $5 toll to cross the Golden Gate bridge back to San Francisco. Performances by Vital Information and the José Neto Band sold me on going to the event. More about this later. The main reason I was interested in going was because Zé Manel, the west african musician with whom I played about a month ago, was also on the bill and I hadn't heard from him in a while, so I wanted to keep the lifelines alive. Well, I got to the festival which started about an hour late (was complimented on my TalkBass shirt in the first ten minutes) and of course I ran into Zé. He greeted me and apologized for not calling me (He'll sometimes say "I'll call you", even if he won't) and asked me if I had brought my bass. I was totally unprepared to be asked that question. As it turns out, the bassist (a woman) had another commitment and couldn't stay much longer. I'd rather not say how Zé felt about her having to leave, but I'll say his last words to her were "I'll call you". At any rate, the stage manager scrambled around to get me a bass and he came up with an old P-bass, which was due on the main stage (one of four) in an hour and a half. Later I found the guy who owned the bass plays in a band called "Vynil", which you may or may not have heard of. Check these guys out. They played a smokin' set. Long story short, I played the festival with Zé, who then went on about his business while I stayed to see the other shows, now sporting my "all access" pass. Things I learned: 1) Be proactive. Don't wait for gigs to fall onto your lap. If there's a gig you want, hustle for it. 2) Always have an instrument on your person or within easy reach if there's even a thousand in one chance you might be asked to play.