I went. I saw. And I escaped as fast as possible.
You would not believe the total number of people that told me that I’d love this event. Tickets were $250 a pop and with that many artists playing, I figured, it would all even out. Nope. Do all those people who told me I’d love this event not know WHO I AM?! Okay, okay. I’m not blaming anyone for this random decision but still.
Let me start from the beginning.
We were on the road and expected this huge line of cars waiting to get in and thought we’d have to wait HOURS. Nope. At about noon on Thursday we pulled in, they “inspected” the contents of the Fit and we pulled into the “site”, all within ten minutes.
Let me explain the “site”.
You pull in. You have a ten by ten area in front of your car (if you’re lucky) and that’s it. The people ahead of you have the space behind their car and the people on either side of you have the same set up. That’s it. 80,000 general admission tickets sold with this set-up.
So you have 100,000 people, not including the staff and performers and their staff, on a farm, in tents, in eight-five degree heat with no shade. No big deal. We actually got so lucky because those crazy-ass people who waited in line to be closer to Centeroo (where all the stages were located), they were officially locked in. There was no getting them out if they changed their minds. No one was behind us and we were about two miles away from Centeroo so a) we could sleep when we wanted to and b) hardly anyone used our porta-potties. And by hardly, I mean, you didn’t have to wait in line to use them like ALL the other areas. No big deal.
It took about 25-40 minutes to walk through all of those tents to make it to Centeroo. And then it took about 15-20 minutes just to get in because you have to be scanned and searched before entering. No big deal.
But once you got in, you were a cow in a slaughter house. That’s exactly how I felt. On the plus side, this heifer could drink all the water she wanted for free. But would have to pay $7 for a shower. This I knew ahead of time and brought the solar shower. No big deal.
Thursday, shortly after arriving and setting up the tent, we realized how unprepared we were. We had no where to escape from the summer heat; crawling into the tent was like crawling into an oven. So, after a few trial and errors, we sat in our lawn chairs, and hovered under the giant
beach rain umbrella I did remember to pack. I then got the most genious idea to start drinking wine as fast as possible so that we’d get too drunk to realize how hot we were. There we sat, sipping hot wine, watching four-wheelers zoom by on the dirt road, chatting as if it were our first date. Before I knew it, it was dusk. I was drunk. And running back and forth from the porta-potties. I figured, why not take a little nap before the Celtics game and show we wanted to catch?
Well, at 1:38 am I woke up to it being dark outside the tent and suggesting to the beau that we go see everything. Yup, I slept through everything. All I remember saying at that point was, I want my cheese fries (in a sad, disappointed tone). Back to sleep. No big deal.
Day two: I was up with the sun around 5:30 am and tossed and turned until around seven when we were both wide awake and ready to explore. We knew almost everyone else would be sleeping because of the previous night’s actvities, so off we went. Along the way we each purchased an $8 breakfast burrito and followed along the long path of tents to Centeroo. It was reasonable. It was easy to see where everything was. And we were feeling confident about the day. Back we went to relax before the afternoon’s music: The Kook’s, Tune Yard, Ludacris and The Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Walking there was hell. It wasn’t the dust that coated everything, it was the dust that I inhaled with every breath and coated my nose real bad. It wasn’t the distance we had to walk, it was the twenty minute wait in line to actually get back INTO the Centeroo. I knew that 80,000+ people was going to be a lot, I just didn’t know that we would all be herded into such a small area where the music would be playing. We were so far away from the stages that you couldn’t actually SEE if it was a live performance or just a recording. Yes, I could have shoved my way up there. But no, I’m not that kind of person. I like to relax and enjoy some shows, especially the day shows when I don’t know the words to every single song they play. Or any at all. It’s the experience of a concert, not just the sound. But speaking of sound, unless you were crammed up to the stages, you really couldn’t hear anything. At this point, I was fading.
We decided to go back to the tent to drink and sit under the umbrella (not as heavy because hell, we had shows to see) until it got a little cooler. Then back we were herded. And just the opposite happened to what we thought: we thought that the cooler it got out, the more we could tolerate the HUGE mass of people. Well, that was incorrect. The mass only got larger at this point, the carelessness increased, as did the clouds of smoke.
Disclaimer about myself: I do not smoke. I think like many, we experiment and I have. I don’t judge people that do nor do I disagree with it to this date. BUT I can’t tolerate the smell of it and this my friends, was a no-no at this function. I have come to the conclusion that you must smoke or or be on something so much stronger to convince yourself that what you are currently experiencing in that moment is fun. I not only missed the memo, but overlooked the entire situation. My bad.
At one point during Ludacris, I looked at the beau like, “help, this isn’t fun.” I joked that hey, we could leave early and enjoy the ride back? I didn’t know what his reaction would be but almost kissed his dusty feet when he lit up and said, “I’d love to!” We turned around, stumbled out of Centeroo, walked our last long two miles back to the tent, and resumed under the umbrella drinking wine and chatting it up. The decision was made, we were leaving first thing in the morning. His birthday.