RICHMOND, Va. — Attendees of the 15th annual Richmond Folk Festival were treated to an unexpected surprise when Huun-Huur Tu, the throat-singing quartet from the central Asian Republic of Tuva, mistakenly summoned the evil Outer God, Yog-Sothoth, during a performance at the Altria Stage Saturday afternoon.
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The cosmic entity, also known as Aforgomon and ‘Umr at-Tawi, appeared exactly 12 minutes into Huun-Huur Tu’s first set, taking the form of several glowing spheres directly over the audience for seven full minutes before disappearing into a fetid vapor.
“Honestly, I just thought it was really good pyrotechnics at first,” said Henrico resident Dave Boyd. “But then the smell of sulfur and the overwhelming, pervasive sense of dread got me thinking maybe this wasn’t part of the show.”
Added Boyd, “Plus, if the thousands of ravens that flew out of the giant black cloud-hole in the sky was intentional, then that must’ve cost a fortune.”
While the unannounced conjuring of Yog-Sothoth — Lurker at the Threshold, progeny of the Nameless Myst — added welcome a dash of flare to the festival, event officials were less than enthused by the otherworldly influence it had on the venue. Festival director Stephen Lecky claimed that presence of ill-tempered corvids, acid rain, and deafening screams of the damned cast a discordant note against the otherwise peaceful music festival.
“The Richmond Folk Festival is a venerated Richmond institution and no place to summon the mythic, demonic forces from beyond the Gates of the Silver Key,” said Director Stephen Lecky. “Maybe that shit happens all the time at Altria, but not on the Altria Stage. We’ll be seeking damages from Huun-Huur Tu.”
Vocalist and spokesman for Huun-Huur Tu, Radik Tyulyush, issued a statement on behalf of the group and its management company, Stallion Era Beijing, which read, in part:
“We apologize to the people of Richmond for reciting the Incantation of the One-In-All at the Altria Stage. Prior to the show, we had the assurance of your regional magistrates, Senators Chase and Dunnavant, that such necromancy was customary to your people. Ms. Dunnavant even provided us with the sheet music for it. We are grateful for your hospitality, and hope you’ll excuse us from our further engagements, as our gums have yet to stop bleeding from reciting those awful words.”
The Altria Stage is closed until further notice, and performances scheduled for that venue will be relocated shortly, officials said. The remaining Festival performances are expected to continue as scheduled, weather permitting.
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