Taos Solar Music Festival

This is my last post about my recent trip to the music festival in Taos so it’s a catch-all of eco stuff, campground conditions, fashion finds, designer entrepreneurs I found there, and general observations. For the people who found this site looking for information on campsite conditions, skip to the end of this post. The rest of you have to put up with my quirky sense of what was interesting enough to photograph (if you read it that is).

This year’s festival wasn’t so great. There were fewer vendors and no chocolate chip cookies baking in solar ovens like last year. Bummer. I always like trying out the electric bikes but I liked the electric bikes from last year better (they were bigger). If you’re in the market for a scooter, consider an electric bike instead. They cost less, go faster than you think and you’ll peddle less than you’d think too (if it matters). One vendor was showing some cool geodesic gardening domes for year round vegetable production. Speaking of food, food in Taos is great. Don’t miss Sheva’s Cafe or Eske’s Brew Pub. Both places are great for vegetarians. Speaking of Eske’s, it’s very laid back. While the patio sign says “no dogs allowed” actual conditions may vary -as you can see from the picture below.

When we were at Eske’s, I found a fun group of people who really loved their shoes.

They love their shoes so much they made me promise to send this picture to them. These are Keen’s (not a great website; doesn’t play well with all browsers).

They claim that Keen is the fastest growing and most popular shoe company in the country. I don’t know about that but I was sufficiently impressed to buy a pair. I think these may be more comfortable for biking; my running shoes are too hot.

Also by Sheva’s Cafe, you can find Blue Fish clothing company which was started by Jennifer Barclay about 20 years ago. Her styles are very loose and casual, a lot of organic cottons and hemp with some hand painting thrown in for good measure. Blue Fish is practically an institution. I don’t know where she gets her stuff made but it’s well put together. Below is a photo of the entryway of her store.

I love the colors. The store is really nice. Employees paint in the back. The lighting is wonderful (natural, using skylights). It feels like a great place to work. The only problem I saw was that her line sheets were hanging in plain sight. Personally, I don’t recommend leaving line sheets lying around because that is one thing that makes it easy to knock off your whole line. I mean, with line sheets, someone would have the whole list of pieces you put out, silhouettes, sizes, separates, fabrication listings, retail prices (in this case) -just too much information conveniently gathered in one spot where a not-nice person could pick it up. Obviously, after 20 years, she must know what she’s doing and has remained successful in spite of being knocked off a time or two, but I don’t recommend it become a practice you follow. Just my opinion.

I did find some interestingly dressed people there tho. Below is one sample. I don’t remember her name but her dad is an artist.

Below is a photo of Jessee Havey, singer of the Duhks band. I’m sorry I missed her shoes, it was a great outfit. The Duhks are pretty good, they’re from Canada.

Here is a picture of Gabriel, he’s 9 years old. He was also wearing cowboy boots with his pant legs tucked in (missed those boots too). I took his picture because he was refreshingly old fashioned and western. He said he picked out his outfit himself. Most kids don’t look like kids anymore.

This is from the campground, Sharman was a fashion plate. Her colors were lovely everyday. She admonishes me to tell you that she’s wearing the gloves only because she’s got some kind of skin problem right now.

Also at the fair was this clown on stilts.

Among the vendors at the fair, I only found three DEs. Somehow, I can only find photos of two of them. Below is Anna Elmore of Goddess Gear (casual separates).

Another DE I found was Adam with Desert Lotus Batik.

I thought this quilt was interesting. It was made entirely of recycled blue jeans.

Conveniently, there was an ATM on site.

Speaking of festival infrastructure, you’ve probably never thought of how hard it is to set up back stage facilities for an outdoor festival. At this fair they solve the problem by using teepees. I don’t know how many of you have seen a real teepee but I love ’em. The photos below may give you an idea of the scale.

Campground conditions
For those of you who want the low down on the camping available at the EL Torreon Historic Hacienda, the ground is very rocky so you need something to drive the pegs. The field itself is roughly mowed. There are lots and lots of ground hog burrows so don’t walk around in the dark without a flashlight. It’s cold at night and in the mornings. It rains too. It also gets windy in the afternoon so your tent may blow away if it’s not well anchored. We broke the tension on our tent poles before we left camp just in case. You’ll need clothes for hot, cold and wet.

At the site there are porta-potties, water and hand washing facilities. The campground provides shuttle service to the festival but we biked it so I don’t know how good the service was. Security comes around twice a day to check your permit. There’s a small coffee place across the street with free wireless internet (not open all day, more of a morning and afternoon place). The place reeks of bacon and they’re cooking on a hot plate over a sink less than 1 foot (no joke) from the one bathroom door. Very dangerous. Eating there may imperil the cook’s life. Here’s a photo of flauna and flora at the campground.

Get New Posts by Email


  1. Judith says:

    I like to look at Keens shoes. I like the Mary Jane ones the best. My friend just recently bought a pair and she loves them. I think we have a Blue Fish clothing store here where I live. Sounds like you had a fun trip. I had a good time looking at your pictures. I think Dh and I are going to the 450 mile long yard sale this year. We have been wanting to go for 3 yrs now. The sale is for 3 or 4 days in 4 states. We are just going for 2 days. We decided to start up in Tenn and see what we can see. Then after 2 days we will drive home from where ever we are at.

  2. Kathleen says:

    Alison, I just bought another pair like yours. Garnet too. Thanks for the link; that style is 37% off. However, if you search styles by the ones on sale, the sydney’s never pop up on the screen. How odd, no?

  3. hjm says:

    I love the jean blanket. We have been making these for years. I am the oldest of six. My mom had lots of jeans to choose from. We like to use the back pockets as squares. They make great places for red napkins in a picnic blanket. As kids we used them for forts, teepees, picnics, bedrolls as cowboys, etc. We never had to many of these. My brother recently married and my mom made one for his first anniversary present. My sister in law was not sure what to think but my brother was ecstatic.

  4. laurra says:

    Those garden domes are kool. I cheacked out the site, they are pricey but they would pay for them selfs after a couple of years.Which they would be in the price range of $500 watermellon in the winter Yum laura

  5. LJ says:

    Lots of people have tried to copy Jennifer Barclay, but no one can do as well as she does, in my opinion. Her line sheets have been available to anyone since she started her business – she single handedly creates around 11 collections a year, I can’t imagine anyone else trying to copy her and doing well at it.

  6. La BellaDonna says:

    Good heavens. Your Keens are the sneaker version of the Scottish/Irish dancing shoe known as the ghillie; below is a link to their ancestors.

    They are obviously the perfect shoe to go with a Utilikilt. Perhaps your husband would like one?

    I’m holding out for the boot version of the ghillie, but I have to admit the sneakers are appealing.

    I wish someone would make a nice-looking boot with a sneaker interior …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.