SOS Fest: Sights and scenes from Sound on Sound

Most people made the hourlong journey east of Austin to Sound on Sound Fest for the bands, no doubt, including Saturday night highlights such as Big Boi, Beach House and Dillinger Escape Plan. But if you wandered the grounds of Sherwood Forest, all sorts of oddities greeted you.

Jousting was one of the most touted activities in pre-fest promotion, but without spears and horses, naturally. (Imagine the release waiver.) Near the front of the fairground entrance, festgoers lined up to don giant bubble suits and slam into each other. Further back, tucked in a corner behind the midsize Forest Stage, was a stable where opponents bicycled at each other and dueled with styrofoam noodles. Wearing hot dog hats. Of course.

Step right up: Traffic was light at the SOS Fest tomato-throwing station on Saturday afternoon, but we saw one guy get clobbered. Peter Blackstock/American-Statesman

Step right up: Traffic was light at the SOS Fest tomato-throwing station on Saturday afternoon, but we saw one guy get clobbered. Peter Blackstock/American-Statesman

Nearby was a small theater space with boxes of rotting tomatoes, ripe and ready to be thrown at anyone willing to go behind the fence and poke their head out of a small hole. We caught a couple of close calls on video, just after one had landed square on the poor sap’s noggin. Oh, to have gotten the camera rolling five seconds earlier!

Perhaps the most heartwarming moment we found while strolling the grounds was in the VIP area, where local couple Adrian and Celeste Quesada — he a renowned musician and producer, she an omnipresent event presenter — were celebrating their daughter’s 11-year-old birthday. It’s a family tradition, Adrian explained later, noting that the early-November birthday had meant celebrations in the past at SOS predecessor Fun Fun Fun Fest.

Come for the music, but stay for all the funny little things you can do at a Renaissance-themed fest. Almost everywhere you look in Sherwood Forest, some little sideshow is going on.

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