Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Let That Igloo Cooler Mark Your Piece of Paradise

There's a line in the lastest Rascal Flatt's song that states "Let that cooler igloo cooler mark your piece of paradise" which can pretty much sum up my four day concert weekend. I'm currently struggling to find the words to describe the event.



It was all sorts of wonderful and amazing. For my friends and I, its not just a fun concert; its a tradition. Something that we look forward to year after year, where we can go to just forget all of our responsibilities, drink entirely way too much, and have a grand time without worrying about anything (other than making sure there is cold beer). I have many fun memories and have met a lot of fun people. For the majority of the time, the music takes a back seat to socializing. There is catching up with old friends, making new friends, shot gunning beers with complete strangers, posing for pictures with people you won't remember and laughing over fun sights. Its the sort of place where anything goes -- this year there was a man walking around in a full gorilla suit, guys walking around in dresses, and men wearing inflatable fat suits and its all ok. Seeing Santa Claus and the guy with the watermelon on his head are commonplace and if you don't see them, you worry.





This year in addition to attending the event, I also worked the event. And by work I mean I sat in a camp chair drinking screw drivers, free beer, eating free gyros (gotta love vendors) and sometimes making sure people had the right pass to get to a designated area. Working the event this year not only gave me a free four day band (and paid) but allowed me some fun moments like seeing Big and Rich tooling around in a golf cart complete with horn that played "Dixie" and actually exchanging a few words with Toby Keith. (Sorry no pics, it was one of the stipulations in the work contract.) It also meant having the opportunity to witness a beautiful sunrise over the hills (something I almost never get to see) and slumbering campsites while the sounds of John Denver's "Thank God I'm A Country Boy" filled the crisp morning air. It was simply stunning and incredibly peaceful, which isn't a feeling one usually has the chance to experience at such an event.




For the most part the acts were great. Big and Rich, Allen Jackson, Toby Keith, Neal McCoy all put on kick ass shows and rocked the entire place. Its always fun when the audience of 150,000+ people sings the songs back to the artist, raises a beer to toast America's military, and just dances while having a fun time. It rained for about a half an hour on Friday which one would assume would send people running for their cars, canopies, or anything else they could use to get out of the elements. Not here -- rain ponchos, tarps, and garbage bags are used and the dancing, singing, and drinking continue. Rain in no way puts a damper on things and usually results in a muddy slip and slide.

The four days went by entirely way too fast and my friends and I had a lot of fun. There were fun memories made, some things we won't claim or own up to and posed for lots of pictures. The show ended on Sunday with us being thoroughly exhausted, needing to dry out our livers, with hoarse voices, and counting down to next year.



And because I am a committed blogger I bring you these pictures:





















You're thinking so what, its a bathroom. NO its not just a bathroom!! The pergo flooring, the black pedestal sinks with running water, faux marble walls (complete with artwork), sleek black commodes that flushed were in a portajohn--a rich people, VIP, too important to even think about using a standard run of the mill non-flushable portajohn. Of course, I pretended I was one of these people and actually got away with it for four days because of my employee wrist band. It made the overall experience much more pleasant and enjoyable. (Don't judge me, I was impressed and obviously it doesn't take much.)

Now who's going to come to the event next year with me?

18 comments:

LBluca77 said...

I want to go!! How fun! All those pictures are great. Honestly that bathroom was impressive. Now I never want to use my own boring bathroom.

MeLaNiE said...

I want to come! How did you get the hook up of working it?? Sounds like a great time!

Katie said...

That looks awesome, and so much fun! Volunteering at events like this are the best way to get perks!

Andy said...

Wow! Pretty amazing/impressive. Hm... I guess I need an All-American Tour (Boston, NY, NJ, Chicago, Ohio!, Minneapolis, etc.) next summer.

AntonucciFamily said...

Sounds like a good time was had by all! I love the bathroom shot!! It is much better than having to use the men's portajohn because the line for the women's is always TOO long!!! Thanks for letting me live out my Jambo dreams through your blog!

jnyfritz said...

i have seen those fancy bathrooms at wedding shows!! how crazy is that. i love that you had an awesome time and the picture of the sunset is really something else. i am totally going to try and pencil myself in for next year, because really, we all need a weekend like that!! i love it! again so happy you had such a great time!

Vanessa said...

Count me in, I LOVE that black bathroom.

Brett said...

The saying goes that “There's a book inside all of us”, well here is a chance to let your book out. The wonderful people over at Blurb have given me 3 vouchers worth £30 off a Blurb book and to be in with a chance at winning just pop over to my blog.

Mrs. Potts said...

I LOVE that Rascal Flatt's song. I would have loved to be there for that weekend of fun!

Mrs. Potts said...

PS: I found your blog recently & you have a new follower. :)

alexa - cleveland's a plum said...

so wait where was this event??

it looks super fun.

SoMi's Nilsa said...

I think my musical experiences this week pales in comparison to yours. Well, at least the non-music parts. =) Sounds like a blast - no wonder you do this every year!

wekeepsaying said...

great photos! i don't really like country music, but everything else you described sounds like so much fun! i would love to work an event like this just for the experience.

and that bathroom is way awesome.

Annie said...

ill come along!
looks like SO much FUN!!
i would love to see all those acts perform! i'm jealous!!

Auburn Kat said...

I'm seriously thinking about going to that next yr depending on where I am living!!!

I've been in bathrooms like that w/ art work=)

Little Fish said...

I'm so glad you had so much fun! I love the pics.

Cate said...

Sounds like a great time had by all - gorgeous sunset!

amanda said...

um, that is an AMAZING concert. look at all those people. how much fun it must have been. for real.

that bathroom? holy crap!

that gorilla? scaryyyy as shoot.

the sunset? beautiful.

obsessed.