A Time to Give Thanks
If you’re counting, it’s been a year of, shall we say… A LOT. Maybe two technically; some would say it started far before that. However, those inspirational accounts you follow on Instagram say that it’s good to express gratitude every once in a while consciously.
So, I will say this; I am thankful for my Minni-Anjuna family, and what better way to celebrate than having a Minnianjunafamsgiving (Trademark Pending) hosted by none other than Above & Beyond, the creators of the Anjuna label.
Thanksgiving weekend is usually a time where we can laugh at that Onion article about how you see every asshole from high school you know at the local townie bar. You know what I’m talking about.
I’m probably a strange case, but I didn’t mind my high school experience that much. However, the more and more I talk to my fellow Minnesotans, it’s far more common here to remain in touch with your high school friends than the norm around the US.
A few sayings go around here in the northern reaches of the country.
“You want to make friends in Minnesota? Go to Kindergarten”
“Minnesotans will give you directions to everywhere but their house.”
Minnesota is a state that is defensively nice; passively aggressive is another term that makes the rounds. We will talk to anyone about the weather or how much the Vikings bring us eternal pain and suffering (SKOL VIKES!), but, unfortunately, when it comes to the deeper conversations, the ones that solidify friendships, are rarer here than in most states.
Maybe it’s our stoicism from our state’s Scandanavian roots. Maybe the air hurts our face six months out of the year, and we’d rather be locked in. Or maybe it’s Maybelline.
Either way, it’s HARD TO CONNECT HERE. You can talk to anyone here, and eventually, they will admit it. You speak to an out-of-state transplant and bring it up? Congrats, you’ve opened a can of worms.
It’s a well-documented issue.
Not saying that I don’t appreciate this state for what it is. There are many reasons people stay, and despite everything that’s happened in the last few years, these negatives don’t overwhelm the many positives. I love the amazing people and experiences I have here.
But I’m not about to write a TEN REASONS MINNESOTA IS THE BEST STATE IN THE UNION clickbait article; I’m here to talk about Minnianjunafamsgiving and why it made me appreciative of the Minnianjuna Family and, by extension, Anjuna as a whole.
Anjuna is a big reason I decided to continue as a music writer and photographer after the world opened back up post-COVID. If you had talked to me at the beginning of 2020, I was just burnt out. I felt part of the Minnesota music community but always an outsider. Always “The Photographer.”
I was going to shows, photographing them, writing about them, but all my interactions felt surface level when I was doing local work. A big chunk of the most solid music-related friendships I made was when I ventured out of state. I cherished the company I already had here, but it seemed like I was progressing slower here when it came to meeting new people in my music life.
Then at the beginning of 2019, I started having more and more run-ins with friends who were big fans of Anjuna, Above & Beyond’s label.
I can safely say that I found a clan in our very clan-heavy state, but the best part of the group is inclusivity. And no, I’m not talking about corporate board room surface level inclusivity; I am talking the real deal.
Come as you are.
Minnianjunafamsgiving (I want to turn this into a T-shirt) was like that bar meet-up right before Thanksgiving except, I was excited to see everyone, literally. Everyone. I was happy to see the friends I made in different circles collide and thrive. I didn’t have to worry if they would connect; I knew they would. I didn’t have to keep my worlds apart.
It’s weird to feel at home in something as chaotic as a rave in a 9000+ capacity building, but I did. It just felt right.
I could probably write about this forever, but I’ll keep it brief for our attention spans. If you’re looking for a home in Minnesota’s music scene, I don’t think there’s a better and safer place than going to any Anjuna event.
I’m thankful for my Minni-Anjuna Family. See you soon in the pit.