All images by Jenuine Vision
Most people come for the smoke, music, and vibes, while some go for the first hand medical knowledge, politics, and activism. A bunch go for the camping atmosphere and weekend escape from the daily grind of life, while for me, it’s always been a combination of these elements that makes for a phenomenal festival and atmosphere.
Of course I’m talking about the second annual Beast Coast Secret Cup, recently held on the property of a little farm house just outside of Portland, Maine. In short: the strains were impressive, the vendors were energetic and informative, and the edibles were damn good.
The organizers of this year’s cup had a lot on their plate with planning and logistical issues. Their original venue location fell through, which meant some ticket holders wouldn’t get the electrical accommodations they came to expect for their trailers and tents. The event ultimately found a home on some quiet farmland that is usually used for frisbee golf, and like the others who threw caution and ominous weather forecasts to the wind, my friends and I decided to camp out.
The next obvious hurdle for organizers was the weather, with rain looking heavy and constant. The setup on Friday was slow, with a light drizzle persisting all night, but muscling through adversity, organizers scrambled to secure generators after their original rental place dropped the ball. You can’t ruin perfect though, so once they were situated, contestants, vendors, volunteers, and VIPs were treated to a lobster dinner with ice cream for dessert.
Waking up on Saturday morning to anticipated rain, nobody knew what to expect. The gods smiled on us, however, and the day begat moderate if not ideal temperatures. Meanwhile, tent life at the cup was laid back; you couldn’t make it past a neighbor’s area without being offered a dab, water, or food, and it took us almost until 1 pm to leave the camping area and venture into the event.
Inside the main space, vendors showed off merchandise, glass, and dab accessories. The cup is after all a competition, and attendees got some face time with competitors and other extract artists, with whom they were free to discuss product questions, to inquire about techniques, and to rap about everything from strain preferences to anything else you can imagine. There were also plenty of samples to go around, with my personal favorite oil being the Triple X from Dabonair Extracts. Once you’ve reached a certain point though, other than taste, who can really tell the difference?
It was also refreshing to see the inclusion of flower entries, something I hope organizers will continue. Sometimes the situation calls for a nicely rolled joint to be shared between friends, rather than the whole (sometimes) intimidating dab setup and heavy high. I suppose you can call me “old school,” but I digress …
Watching the glassblowers was cool, as always, while the music had its highest moments in performances by Jaz Marley, Northern Lights Nation, Dubbest, and a few others. The consensus at the campsite was that entertainment was lacking compared to the prior year, though it should be noted that Immortal Technique set the bar pretty high in 2014. Most of all, people were miffed about the lack of seating for attendees in the actual event area, which seemed to keep campers at their sites and day pass attendees lounging near their vehicles.
Overall, my take on the 2015 Secret Cup is that medicated Beast Coast Bacon is amazing, Mohawk Glass is on their game, and organizers did a phenomenal job considering the hurdles. As we move towards legalization in New England, the kinks will work themselves out, and their festival and competition blueprint can take off.
The lack of seating killed part of the mojo, sure, but camping was the way to go. I’ll be back next year, prepared and ready to enjoy the weekend. I’ll float around, see the sites, do a pass at the dab bar, chill out at the campsite, and repeat every few hours as needed. Just like I did this year.
And The Winners Are …
#12 Boondock Alchemists (Holy Grail OG Shatter)
SECOND AND THIRD PLACE OVERALL (TIE-BREAKER)
#9 Deep Woods Extracts (Blue Chem Pull n Snap)
#24 VanDweller Extracts (Bettie Page Shatter)
#17 Terp 1 (Chem 4 Budder)
BEST NON SOLVENT
#13 Mega Raw Melts (East Coast Sour Glue Rosin)
1st place – #40 Zigzag (Girl Scout Glue)
2nd place – #42 Dobb’s Dabbs (Sunnyvale Kush)
3rd place – #41 Dab Bee x Full Blown Extracts (Strawberry Banana)