Red Ants Pants – White Sulphur Springs, MT

Red Ants Sundown

I decided when I set out on this trip that I was going to be flexible with my schedule, if something came up and I needed to diverge from my original plans I would.  That something happened early in my trip, I received an email informing me that one of my favorite songwriters was going to be the headliner at a music festival.  Robert Earl Keen ( was playing at the Red Ants Pants Festival ( in White Sulphur Springs.  Having never heard of either I quickly pulled up my map to see how far this diversion would take me.  It turned out that it was further East than I had planned to go in the first weeks of my trip but I massaged my schedule to make it work.  Without this music festival there would have been no Livingston and no Red Lodge, and that would have just been no good!

I have done a lot on my own but a music festival was not included in that list, I didn’t want to go solo, I wanted to go with a friend. It turns out, however, that when you are in the middle of nowhere Montana the friend pickings are a bit slim.  I was committed to going regardless so I packed my cooler full of fresh veggies, fruit and Bud Light. That’s right, beer.

Several years ago I was at a local Seattle bar and there was a Bud Light rep giving out visors, for some reason (too much of said beer?) I decided I NEEDED a visor so I approached his table.  He told me he would love to give me a visor but first I needed to say something to the camera.  I hadn’t even noticed the camera, but with my eye on the prize I grabbed a can of Bud Light and said “Sometimes when I am feeling lonely and missing my friends I turn to my Bud…my Bud Light” the guy thanked me and handed me my visor! It turns out that was actually a first round audition and I was given a call back for a Bud Light commercial which ended with an inch of the back of my head finding its 15 seconds of fame in a local commercial filmed at the Showbox.

My Bud

Anyway, armed with 6 of my best “Buds” I pitched my tent and headed into the music festival.  I immediately found a seat on a hay bail and within seconds a girl, Kate, sat beside me and became my new bud! We spent the rest of the day listening to music, dodging hippies and drinking beer.

The evening ended with a gorgeous sunset and some amazing music by Robert Earl Keen.  It was definitely worth the diversion and a lesson learned in the importance of flexibility.

Red Ants Pants Seating

red ants pants lineup

Red Ants Pants Canned Beer

Red Ants Teepee

REK Stage

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