Aug 1-4

What a weekend! Where’s Marty?
Wednesday August 5, 2009

All we can say is wow!

Anyone who attended Pickathon this year knew they were witnessing something special.

Don’t get us wrong, there were challenges (i.e. super hot weather), but the non-stop inter play between the audience, Pendarvis Farm, and the artist’s countless inspired performances definitely dominated the weekend and the feeling seemed to get stronger each day and night.

Over the next couple of weeks we’ll be sharing a lot of Pickathon 2009 video, musical, and other related content and thoughts. We also are putting together our annual Pickathon feedback survey that we will use as an opportunity for folks to tell us what they liked and didn’t like.

Since the festival is so fresh in everyone’s mind we wanted to kick off the post festival updates with a call for people to share their own Pickathon stories in the comments section below or you can email it into us at info (at) pickathon (dot) com. It would be great if everyone could leave an email in the comments section as we looking at putting together a magazine documenting the weekend and would like to include people’s stories as part of it.

We’ll start this thread by providing a bit more context for one of the funnier stories we we’re involved in during the weekend that most people have heard about.

Where’s Marty?

Soon before Blitzen Trapper was to play onstage on Saturday night in the Barn the band realized Marty Marquis was mysteriously and uncharacteristically missing. There was general concern because no one could imagine what had happened to him as he is usually the first one to be anywhere.

The Pickathon SWAT team was called to action and so the search began.

The main theory being used by the search team was that because of mass touring and messed up biological clocks he had to be asleep in a tent. Now all we needed to do was find his tent in the dark among one thousand other tents spread over 80 acres on 2 miles of trails.

So just like that band members Eric Earley and Erik Menteer jumped in the hunt with Pickathon staff Brian Walsh and Zale Schoenborn by going out into the dark woods looking for Marty’s tent.


Pickathon security was called into action to keep a lookout for a tall, curly redhead with a rattail named Marty . They immediately started patrolling the grounds trying to find anyone that fit the description.

Michael Dorr (our hospitality guru) went searching all areas of the venues seeing if by some chance he was lost or tied up by gnomes.

Countless other staff members also started fanning out to specific locations looking everywhere possible to see if they could find him.

Some staff members remained back at the Galaxy Barn which was growing restless as the starting time was now getting pushed back by over 30 minutes longer than advertised.

During all of this everyone who was talking on Pickathon radio (channel 9) started having a very surreal feeling of being a part of a TV search and rescue drama.

Back in the woods…

Eric Earley and Brain Walsch took the lower trails down by Quail Trail and Woods stage and Erik Menteer and Zale Schoenborn started with the upper trails close to the logging road.

The whole search felt like a black comedy as every couple feet there seemed to be a possible tent candidate that required us to call out a loud “Marty Marquis are you there”?. This was either followed by a “sorry but we are looking for someone who is lost” or a detailed description of him (tall, curly red hair, rattail, and some other random humorous observations). Along the way some additional audience members offered to join in our collective search team, and promised to escort him back to the Galaxy Barn if he was found.

Eventually, it was decided that Brian and Eric should head back to the barn so Eric could start playing some music while Zale and Erik continued to search for him in the woods.

The Barn continued to get restless and this is the only part of the story we regret. There was not good communication from the search team back to the Galaxy Barn on what should be announced to the audience. So this translated to our MC (Jeremy Peterson) being put in the awkward position of having to placate a hungry restless bunch of music lovers with very little real information about what was going on. In hindsight we should have simply had Jeremy Peterson standing on stage, with a radio, giving a blow by blow update of the search report as that would have been hilarious and made for some serious shared drama.

Zale and Erik continued to search in vain laughing at funny moments along the way such as stopping in a mid jog at the beautiful lighting at the woods stage to notice “Ooooooooo…That’s pretty cool”. The search continued at hurried pace that essentially turned into a serious workout as they ran up and down trails and started to feel overwhelmed at the sheer possibilities of where Marty’s tent could be.

After much debate between the search team Erik eventually decided to call Marty’s sleeping wife. It was judgment call between leaving a worrying message saying “Your husband is missing” and hoping she might call back with the key clue that would lead us to find Marty.

The clock struck 1:45AM and still no Marty. A feeling of “oh crap” started to sink in between the short breaths caused by jogging up hills and the sense the barn was getting more and more restless.

Our lucky break came at 1:48AM when the radio crackled with “Marty’s in the Barn! I repeat. Marty’s in the Barn!”.

Erik and Zale squeezed out an exhausted laugh which was followed by a quick check of the shoelaces and an immediate sprint along the length of the logging road back to the Galaxy Barn. All the way they kept talking on the radio wanting to know exactly where Marty’s tent was along with wondering what people might be posting on Twitter based on their viewpoint of this crazy search.

The story ends with Erik dashing through the beer garden, jumping up on stage, and joining in the middle of “Furr” which was the beginning of an inspired 45minutes of musical magic.

So now that you know what happened, let us share why it happened.

It seems the key culprit was that Marty got his first massage backstage at Pickathon this year. The massage was deep and worked out a bit of road toxins and rough knots in the body. Marty then drank a gallon of water walked up to his tent and the next thing he remembers is waking up in pure darkness, running down the trail towards the light light, and walking right on to stage.

Now it is your turn to share your stories with us.

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