I try to be really positive in my editorial each month, but it’s pretty hard to be peppy this time around when — as I write this — eight wildfires are burning in our state, and people are losing their homes and livelihoods.
When the High Park fire first broke out on June 9, social media outlets were awash with folks hoping that Mishawaka Amphitheatre would survive the fire. As the support poured in from music lovers, one person who lives in the fire area pointed out that The Mish is simply a business and that people were losing their homes. It was an incredibly sobering realization, and while the person who posted that might not have made any friends with regular Mish attendees, he had a very, very valid point.
But seeing the music community rally around this concert palace on the Poudre at least showed some solidarity from our beloved music freaks and it would be a sad day if Mother Mish didn’t survive the fire.
In saying that, and continuing to give good thoughts to the venue, I’m not taking away from those who have lost everything, nor am I taking anything away from those who are still in the line of fire, hoping every day that it’s not their home featured on the evening news, engulfed in flames. But as this fire starts its third week of destruction, I can’t help but think about the incredible moments I’ve spent at The Mish, and more so, can’t help but feel the despair that its owners and employees are feeling as this summer season turns into one giant battle of survival.
One weekend lost to the fire was unfortunate. Two weekends lost was manageable, but as this fire rages on those who depend on the venue, not for good times but for employment and the ability to pay their bills, are finding themselves in a dire situation, and at this time there’s no end in sight.
I was fortunate enough to see my very first outdoor show in Colorado at The Mish — back in the crazy heydays, when people camped on the side of the road and partied til dawn inches away from Highway 14’s white line. For that, the venue will always hold a special place in my heart and I hope like hell that The Mish will survive this terrible tragedy.
For those who have lost their homes in this or any of the fires that are currently burning, I can certainly understand how Mishawaka can seem completely insignificant in these times. My heart goes out to everyone affected by this monster. I send them love. I send them hope. I send wishes that the heavens will open and that the rain will come. In the meantime, I wish them as much peace as possible and hope that an end to this is rapidly approaching.
See you at the shows.