Dierks Bentley’s Dishes on Upcoming Seven Peaks Music Festival: ‘If Nobody Else Comes I’m Going to Have Fun’

For Dierks Bentley, all the magic is in the small details. So when planning his upcoming Seven Peaks music festival, he wanted authenticity in every component.

“If nobody else comes, I’m going to have fun,” Bentley tells PEOPLE. “That’s the goal — just me having fun and doing something really personal that has meaning for me.”

That’s why the “Burning Man” singer decided to return to Colorado — where he recorded his last studio album The Mountain — and host a music festival in the middle of the Rockies. “Selfishly, I set it there just because it gives me another excuse to go back to one of my favorite states in the country,” he admits.

However, in planning the inaugural festival, Bentley was everything but selfish. His fans were the priority when he was considering a campground that could fit his fans’ campers and cars (“some of these fans are going to drive the biggest vehicle they can find”), the stage design, and the musical lineup, which includes a kickoff ’90s night featuring headliner Clint Black and a special performance from Bentley’s cover band Hot Country Knights.

“When you’re making a festival that has your name on it you definitely want to include all those elements that make it your own, so having a ’90s night is right up my alley—very me, very my band,” Bentley says. “It’s wild what’s going on with that genre of music. We’ll throw a few of those songs into our set and you’ve got kids — 16, 17 year-olds — that are singing along to these songs that were made before they were born. There’s definitely a resurgence in that area of country music and we’re really excited to be the only festival that has a designated night for that genre.”

Alongside ’90s night on Friday, Aug. 31, Miranda Lambert‘s scheduled headlining performance on Saturday with Brothers Osborne among the openers, and Bentley’s closeout show on Sunday night, he also wanted to give fans multiple stages where they could enjoy music. The beach stage (complete with a lifeguard chair, sand and a lake in the middle of the campground) will be manned by a DJ and references the summertime vibes that go hand-in-hand with country music. The Whiskey Row stage, named after his franchise bar and restaurant, will feature upcoming artists and bluegrass musicians, which Bentley exclusively tells PEOPLE is the “lifeblood of the genre.”

That stage will feature acts Abby Anderson, Boy Named Banjo, Brown & Gray, Cody Canada, Dillon Carmichael, Travis Denning, Walker McGuire, Mipso and Rapidgrass.

WATCH THIS: Dierks Bentley Launches Clothing Line with Flag & Anthem

Bentley was so invested in the fan experience of the festival he wanted to make sure there was easy access to sunblock, water and ice, and even went so far as to make sure there were more female port-a-potties than men’s because he “didn’t want to see girls waiting in line.”

“When you make a record your attention to detail isn’t so much for the fans sometimes as it’s more for you, just so you can sleep at night knowing that you gave it all you had,” Bentley says. “Whether that’s the type of fonts you’re using on your credits, the way you say thank you, how you list your name as a songwriter on a song. I list my name last—just these little details matter to me. It’s the same with this festival.”

Even though choosing a venue in Buena Vista, Colorado, held a personal tie, Bentley admits he also made the decision with the fans in mind because there are so many activities people can enjoy during the day, including biking, hiking and rafting.

“If I had to describe my best day it would be being outside,” Bentley says. “I’m curious to see how I’m going to hold up because I’m planning on doing all the stuff during the day and then jumping up on a lot of the stages, including the Whiskey Row stage. I also wanna jam and hang out with the campers at the campground and try to get some sort of festival jam session tradition started.”

But Bentley is no stranger to making the most of his life on the road. In late July, he went mountain climbing in Wyoming the same day he had a show in Boise, Idaho, and then flew to Palm Springs, California after his performance.

“It’s going to be an adventure for me on many levels — a marathon of sorts — but you know, I am not afraid to pack it all in,” Bentley tells PEOPLE.

As for what to bring to Seven Peaks over Labor Day weekend? All Bentley suggests is “positive vibes and an attitude where you’re open to having a lot of fun. Oh, and beer and ice are essential items.”

“This isn’t about making money,” Bentley says. “This is about trying to create a really genuine, authentic, awesome experience for the fans.”

Tickets for the Seven Peaks music festival are available here.


PEOPLE.com

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Normalization Of The N-Word; Nobody Gets A Pass

Several years ago, National Action Network and I came out strongly against use of the n-word in any context by anyone. We took the firm position that any racially disparaging term must never be accepted or normalized in society. We marched in front of major record labels, and protested against Don Imus who lost his TV and radio shows after I and others demanded accountability for his use of derogatory and inflammatory language. We stepped in when Rush Limbaugh was attempting to buy an NFL team franchise (after making all kinds of disparaging comments), and we have been outspoken on this issue even when others did not stand with us. Yes, a lot of people – including Black rappers – attacked our position, but we remained steadfast. Despite my tremendous respect and personal friendship with Bill Maher, I must now hold him accountable as well. Maher should know better. And since he does, he ought to be dealt with accordingly.

Earlier in the week, we learned that someone scrawled the n-word at the gate of the home of NBA player LeBron James. “No matter how much money you have, no matter how famous you are, no matter how many people admire you, you know being Black in America is tough,” James said. “And we got a long way to go, for us as a society and for us as African-Americans, until we feel equal in America.” He is 100 percent correct. For Maher to use that same exact word the same week is beyond reprehensible. To think that it’s OK to joke around and use that term is either insensitive or arrogant, or both.

Just because Maher is liberal and a friend, does not mean he gets to say such a hateful term.

Words have tremendous power. As a comedian, commentator and host of his own weekly show, Maher knows this just as well as anyone. He knows the power and influence that he yields in shaping public discourse and opinions. The fact that he thought he somehow earned a pass for him to say those words is simply outrageous and unacceptable. That is why NAN and I call for an immediate meeting with HBO to discuss this very grave matter. Just because Maher is liberal and a friend, does not mean he gets to say such a hateful term; there must be one standard. If we use the language of desecration, it normalizes the socialization of desecrating a people of goods, services and human and civil rights.

The n-word has a long history of hate, murder, violence, oppression and terror associated with it. People forget that even in the not-so-distant past, it was used to delegitimize an entire group and deny them voting rights, fair housing, jobs, access to upward mobility and so much more. Today, it is still being used to target, harm and attack folks no matter how successful or famous they are. We cannot accept usage of this term even when it is in the context of a bad joke. A joke, I might add, that made reference to ‘working in the fields’. There is no misconstruing what the subject matter was here. Maher should be ashamed.

I will be the first one to admit that I myself have said it in the past, but as I have stated publicly, I began to understand the power of words years ago and how they can dehumanize, marginalize and exploit people in many ways. This is precisely why NAN and I have been so vocal on this issue for the past decade, and we have no plans of ceasing our work now. At a time when people of color are still being killed in hate crimes, nooses are found in places like the National Museum of African American History and Culture, attacks are taking place across the country and the n-word itself is spray-painted at the home of an NBA star, we must loudly condemn the acceptance of the use of this abhorrent word.

Friends told me this morning that if you take this position you may never be on Maher’s show again (and I have been on frequently). My response is simply this: should Bill be on that show again?

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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Jeff Bezos: Nobody asked for one of our most popular servicesIn his recent letter to shareholders, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos wrote that the company has become skilled at predicting customers' desires. "No customer ever asked Amazon to create the Prime membership program," he wrote.



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Is It Angels Who Protect Social Entrepreneurs? Because Nobody Else Does…..

“Four corners to my bed

Four Angels round my head

One to watch, one to pray,

And two to take all fears away!”

When I was a child I would recite this rhyme before going to bed. Those were the days when we would sleep beneath the stars. Sometimes clouds and trees would take menacing shapes in the dark. I would shut my eyes tightly and think of the Angels protecting me and be comforted and drift into sleep.

Now it seems the Angels are back again.

Life was tough indeed when I took a conscious decision to establish Operation ASHA. My aim was clear- that of providing health solutions to the poorest of the poor. Suddenly life changed. From a successful doctor in an upscale fancy private hospital I became a foot soldier trudging long miles in shanty towns and villages. My appearance changed. I went from stiletto heels to sturdy walking shoes. I started looking unkempt and shabby, initially a deliberately cultivated look to be accepted by those whom I serve, and later a natural consequence of the kind of work I was doing.

People around me changed too. Many laughed. All were contemptuous. Most couldn’t understand why I would throw away a good income to start an NGO. Others accused me of exactly the opposite thing- of being desperate to make easy money, for isn’t that the reason why one starts an NGO in the first place? With two conflicting accusations being hurled at me at the same time, I wouldn’t know whether I was standing on my head or my heels.

And as for the uncertainty! The less I write about it the better. Words are not enough to describe the trials and tribulations I went through. Starting a social venture is bad enough, starting it without a sound financial plan to ensure sustainability is the height of absurdity. And putting your own savings in a social enterprise is the biggest financial folly one could ever commit. I thought my savings would last 5 years. They finished in one, like water trickling from a hole in a bucket. I had plunged headlong into choppy waters without the fear of drowning. Each day I managed to stay afloat was a miracle.

When you are a social entrepreneur, life is all about extremes. You swing from one end on the pendulum to the other. From the depths of despair you go to such euphoria that you are walking with your head in the clouds. There are days when everything goes wrong. You get sleepless nights wondering where the next round of funding is coming from, your best guy has been offered twice the salary by a rival foundation, and some government officer somewhere has absolutely refused to let you work in his fiefdom. Other days- you wake up and find yourself on top of the world for someone somewhere has recognised your work and your worth. One day you are accused of being a crook and a thief, next day, blasphemously, you are feted by the media as the next Mother Teresa. In 2014, the Schwab Foundation and the World Economic Forum selected me as Social Entrepreneur of the Year. I found myself rubbing shoulders with the Who’s Who of society and the hoi-polloi at Davos. I haven’t looked back since then.

But at all times there is an all-pervading undercurrent of anxiety. Social entrepreneurs thrive on the adrenalin rush created by the see-saw that is life. You may be fully sustainable, yet you can’t get over the feeling that you are like the wandering mendicants of yesteryears with a staff in one hand and a begging bowl in the other.

In this topsy-turvy world, few things happen to keep you going. Patients recover. Results are there for you to see. Children get back to school. Treated TB patients get back their jobs, and there’s money for food and to spare. Miraculously, funds start coming in time. Those that scoffed at you and laughed with derision give tolerant smiles. There’s an occasional pat on the back, a kind word. You go to bed happy and contented and you sleep well, for the Angels are back and hovering over you. And you know they are there for you and will protect you as they have done since childhood. For nobody else will.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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Everybody Has A Tattoo, But Nobody Talks About The Side Effects

By Kathryn Doyle

(Reuters Health) – Tattoo health and safety regulations tend to focus on short-term risks like infections, but little is actually known about the long-term risks of living with ink under your skin, according to a new review in The Lancet.

“Almost everybody these days has a tattoo, and nobody is talking about the side effects of ink deposits,” said senior author Dr. Andreas Luch of the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment in Berlin.

“There is no proof that these ink ingredients are safe, being injected into the body,” Luch told Reuters Health.

Between one and five percent of tattooed people suffer a bacterial infection, and some people can have allergic reactions to the ink, according to the report.

Those are short-term effects. It is harder to measure the long-term effects of ink since tattoo inks are in most countries classified as cosmetics, Luch said.

Since the inks are classified as cosmetics, their long-term toxicology can’t be tested in animals, Luch said. In his opinion, tattoo inks should be a completely different product category.

The skin barrier effectively keeps surface cosmetics out of the body, he said.

But tattoo ink is injected into living tissue, which contains blood vessels, nerves and immune cells.

“We need to assume that all of these ink ingredients, including preservatives, processing aids or whatever, will become systemically available in the body over time,” Luch said. “Regulation based on cosmetics is insufficient.”

Examining the bodies of the deceased who have had tattoos for decades has shown that up to 90 percent of the ink has disappeared from the skin, he said.

“We cannot answer the question what is going to happen with these inks,” whether they accumulate in organs over time or are excreted, Luch said.

Similar questions remain for laser tattoo removal: when the pigments are fractured and fragmented under the skin – where do they go – he added.

“In the U.S. the (Food and Drug Administration) has the authority to regulate inks, but is not currently doing so,” said Dr. Michi Shinohara, a dermatologist at the University of Washington in Seattle who was not involved in the review.

“Regulation of tattoo parlors and tattoo artists is left to the states, and the requirements for operating vary widely from very minimal (bloodborne pathogen training) to fairly complex (hundreds of hours of apprenticeship),” Shinohara told Reuters Health by email.

There are no industry standards for ink ingredients, the industry is minimally regulated, and few problems with tattoos are reported to authorities, she said.

Modern tattoo inks mostly contain organic pigments, but can also include preservatives and contaminants like nickel, arsenic and lead, Luch and his coauthors note. In one study in Switzerland, preservatives banned for use in cosmetics were found in 14 percent of tattoo ink samples.

Reactions tend to be more common from colored inks than from black and white ones, Luch said.

Tattooing has been going on for at least 5,000 years, but has become a modern trend, with roughly 120 million people in the western hemisphere having at least one tattoo, Luch said.

“The acute risks are well known,” including pain, bleeding, infection and allergic reaction, Luch said. “The tattooist at least needs to explain that something like this could happen,” he said.

But long term risks, like organ toxicity or cancer, are still unknown, he said.

“It’s an individual decision, we cannot tell someone not to get a tattoo,” Luch said. “I wouldn’t like to have a tattoo on my skin, but if a person likes colored skin, what can I say?”

It’s not necessary for people to stop getting tattoos, Shinohara said, “but I think people should be smart about it – research the parlor, ask about any recent problems, follow the aftercare instructions and report immediately to the tattoo artist and a physician for any problems that occur after tattooing.”

SOURCE: http://bit.ly/1MXGlrm The Lancet, online July 23, 2015.

Also on HuffPost: 

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.




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Brandon, Ian and Andrea are tasked with diffusing a bomb. This is not the A-Team, it’s Project Morpheus, and it’s kinda brilliant.
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