The last post I wrote about all the preparation that we seen when we arrived on Monday. Our first day for work was Wed. The gates didn’t open till Thur. for the Pre party, so Wed. was still preparation for opening. The Security Office was about 50 ft. from us, so it was nice and close. I walked over for my morning shift of 7 am – 7 pm. I was assigned VIP area. After I signed in with Tina and got a Security vest, one of the guys gave me a ride in a golf cart. We were told to bring a chair if we wanted or anything to make our 12 hours bearable. I took Richs stool from Adventureland. It was also chilly in the morning, around high 50s to start. So I wore my brightly colored tie dyed sweatshirt…..When we were here 6 years ago, Rich’s brother, John had let us ride around in the park once, and I pretty much new the layout.
VIP was down at the bottom closer to the parking lots and Rt. 29. It hugged the tree line of the forest. At the end of the road before it went back up the hill, was a huge tent. It was the VIP tent. As you turned the corner to go up the hill, their was a parking area. I was left off their and he said just sit their, watch and make sure their was no trouble. Now that’s easy enough……It was really muddy….As I looked in the grassy area, their was a golf cart. On the front it said ARTIST RELATIONS. Nobody was around, so I just climbed on the back and made myself comfortable. Their was another Security Guard at the gate going up the hill, Colten. He had a scanner and had to scan everyone who was going through the gate. This was the entrance to the back of the Moonshine Stage. Right by me was parking for the Moonshine Stage. I learned that each stage has its own production team as well as runners. It is their job to run for anything needed, whether it was in the park or shopping at a store. They had parking passes called Runners. So that day, I just sat all day on the back of the unclaimed cart. It sprinkled, I moved inside. I watched at supplies came into the VIP tent. Beer trailers, tables, picnic tables, some furniture, and many items. All I knew was that was the tent that would have special perks for the VIP ticket holders…..”And I found out later”…..I sat their and watched Porta Pottys come in.
Shower trailers and Generators and a full size semi full of Ice for the VIP area. Vendors started coming in and setting up their food areas. The funniest thing I seen all day was a semi who was bringing in a shower trailer. They told him to turn up the slight hill in the grassy area and drive up by the tree line……Well, he didn’t get far, he was stuck. It took the next hour or 2 to figure out how to get him out. Quite Entertaining. Finally after 12 hours, I was relieved got a ride back up to the Security area. Rich was at work by this time, as he was working nites. He was at the Front gate. For me it was a long day, but really not bad as I sat all day doing nothing. Next morning, I checked in and that’s when things started happening. I was in the Security office, and a call came in that someone found a person in their vehicle in line turning blue. Turns out he had a Heroin Overdose. He was hauled into Peoria, but didn’t hear anymore, but i’m sure he made it. My assignment on Thur was Artists Check-in. I was dropped off and worked with the nite guy for awhile before he left. All the employees, Artists, Medical team, law enforcement came through this gate. I had a hand scanner and scanned all persons entering unless Law officers or Medical. Their was many law depts. present. Local Chillicothe, Peoria County, State Police, Drug Enforcement, and plain clothes officers. They all flashed their badge. Everyone on a golf cart, mule or side by side had to be scanned. On the front of each golf cart was a Summer Camp decal with a scanable device behind it. All carts had to be scanned. HR was also located on this road, so their was lots of traffic. That was where I learned more about the many parking passes. Each vehicle had to have certain passes to enter. All the Artists stopped at the trailer in front of us and checked in for all their wristbands and laminates. In front of the trailer was 3 or 4 carts called Escorts who then took the Artists to the right stage. Late morning the gates opened up for the Pre Party ticket holders for Thur. Nite.
They all had parked their cars and loaded up all their stuff on wagons, carts, or anything with wheels. They lined the fence waiting for the gates to open. Finally the gates opened and the lined moved fairly fast, but it was so funny to watch. The stuff they brought was unreal. Tents, coolers, chairs, Hoola Hoops, Poles with signs on top. What they couldn’t bring in was drugs, alcohol and weapons. My partner had a radio for a while and then left, but the action had started to pick up. Calling for Security, and parking all the Rvs, and Rvs with electric. Later that day, they dropped off a Volunteer. She was an older woman from Maryland. She had driven straight through with her 19 year old daughter. When you sign up for the Volunteer program, you put down a deposit on your ticket. You give 15 hours and have your card signed off and your money is returned. You do 5 hours a day at a gate or working for the Green Team in Recycling. They were camping in a tent in the forest. She was rather interesting to talk to. She was a black woman and her and her husband live in a big Victorian Home in Maryland. Finally, time to go home. I had sun burned my nose and my lips, which would haunt me into the following week. That nite Rich was at Front gate again. He had to make sure they went through proper gates. He was next to the search areas. They all were searching for contraband. They found lots of drugs, and alcohol and weapons. It was all taken away. But lots of it got through too. The next nites Rich heard many calls for Law enforcement, Security and Medical. Lots of people who would hallucinate, get in fights and were out of control. Lots of stuff happened in the forest. He heard one call where their was a 300 lb. man causing problems. It took many men to tackle him and bring him down. He was then hauled away. lol Lots of that went on at all hours. Friday, I was to go in at 11 am, but all the shifts were filled, so I didn’t have to work. So this was my chance to explore. Rain was predicted so off I went.
This is the Security Compound. We are parked on the left side, back by the garage. The dark brown trailer in the back is the Security Trailer.
This is the view from our Compound to the Red Barn after all the campers were their.
Looking into the forest area, theirs wall to wall tents, you can’t hardly walk in between.
But they put them up to make walk ways and different little communities. I took the main road back to the Sunshine area which was already muddy.
I found all the stages and checked out all the vendors. I found some really unique areas.
Did you want a Hammock?….Well here you go….The Community Hammock area….Their were all full of course….Notice the Ferris Wheel in the back ground……Really….Kids partying, on drugs, or alcohol??…..sounds dangerous to me….
Do you feel like swinging??? or how about the trapeze bar….Here ya go…
The strangest of all is this one. I couldn’t see what was happening so I walked closer….The kids were all sitting back to back in a circle in the center. 2 kids on the outside were ringing the gongs….
Over and over and over…..It kept going gonnnnnnnng, gonnnnnnnng gonnnnnnng…….in different keys of course…..Just look at their faces……They are ZONED OUT….
Now look closely at the girls….lol….no tops…..They were coming out of the forest with their group leader…lol…wearing only glitter and jewels on their boobs…..Lovely….Now the bands played all day long on different stages, so you heard music constantly. Kids walking everywhere. One of the guys who gave me rides said….”Just remember, Each one of these kids has a mother who loves them and is proud”.…..lol
Here is the Watering Trough…..They were not only filling water jugs, they were also taking small baths and washing their hair and faces….This area became so muddy by the end with standing water. But look, so far they all have shoes on….lol….It was still early in the festival….
This was another area of venders and this was before it rained…Can you imagine after it rained? I didn’t go back their again.
This girl was up by Moonshine and was such a Flower Child…..Finally I went back home as it was getting dark. It started pouring and the electric went off at 2 pm. Ours didn’t come back on till 10 pm as we were the last on the list. Of course we had our generator. Luxurys of an RV. It turned out, on the evening news, 2 people were hit by lighting near one of the stages and taken in to the hospital. They were ok. All the electric was shut down I heard. Of course all the stages were first to restart. It dumped lots of water. Later I took another walk around 10:15…..I wanted to go into the forest. I remember how cool it was to see all the different camp areas, the use of colors, beautiful tapestry’s and of course their appearance. So I took a walk. I went to one of the openings in the forest. On the map you can see the main trails that criss cross through the forest.
I waited to enter to avoid a mud pit. I kept walking and took a turn up the hill. This is what I found.
A place that had vendors and a small band playing. I looked over to the left and I seen a trail up the small hill. Of course I walked that way….
It was really cool, lined with their colorful tapestry’s hung in the tree forming a path. So much color and beautiful lighting. It gave off a feeling of PEACE…..On each side was tents so close you couldn’t walk between them. I kept going… Breathe….lol…
It started to narrow. You could see people on each side in the distance. I was thinking it was a back way to Camping Stage…..It came to an end and another smaller path started…..lined with glow sticks in the ground. The aromas of incense and “other things”…..lol…were strong.
All of a sudden I had an out of body experience…..lol….I seen myself…..”An old lady with white hair and a Security Staff T Shirt”. I decided time to turn around and leave. I nervously took this picture and turned around and left….lol….I was Soooooo out of place….Then I went back up the road, checked out some of the stages. The Vibe Stage was going full blast but it was nothing but mud and standing water, so I didn’t get close….The kids didn’t mind…..It was more Techo music. I could see lots of dancing and hula hoops and just a lot of kids free dancing at a distance. I wanted to go to Sunshine stage, as it was going full blast, but it was a real mud pit walk area, so I turned back. On the way back, I seen this interesting person with an umbrella.
It must be homemade. I believe it was a girl. It is rather hard to see but she had it pulled over her head and their was some kind of light inside. Strange. After I took this picture, I looked inside better and she was holding the handle with one hand and in the other was a sticker that she was placing on the other side of the umbrella right in front of her……?????? lol….Tripping???? No Words for that one, just interesting.
As I walked back I was passed by many Festi Cabs. These were 3 seater golf carts that were brought in by another company. They were of course for hire. Their were many of them running a regular route, with regular pickup areas set up. Finally back home and bedtime. By now the music was so loud that the windows in the Motorhome would shake with all the base. The Camping Stage was across the road, and the Vibe Tent was not far also. So every nite it would shake and rattle till 4 am. I did grow accustom to it. Kitty threw up the first day on the dash, but after that he was fine also. Next morning I was assigned to VIP area again. So down we went, to the VIP area. The golf cart almost got stuck in the mud. This time I was left off at the Moonshine Stage Back Entrance. It was a direct route between VIP and Moonshine.
It now had a drive in gate and also a walk in gate with 2 pedestal scanners. The scanners were now my area. Their is my Tie dyed Sweatshirt on my stool. Everyone going up to Moonshine had to scan. Now I seen many kids coming down from the camping areas in the forest looking for the showers and pottys. They were beginning to look rough. Many were now barefoot.
Soon the Moonshine stage started up and the music began. This is from my gate looking up towards the arena area of Moonshine. On top of the hill is the venders. A perfect nature amphitheater in the grass. The parking area in this area for the artists as they came was pretty tight. But those professional drivers always made it work.
This is one of the Bands buss’s as it was making the turn to enter Moonshine Stage. I took this picture from my gate. They all had to walk through this awful mud….Yuck….Did they care? NO !!! Some had shoes….Some now had none.…All day long this was my job making sure everyone scanned green at the gate and had the proper wristband to enter. Most everyone was very nice even very friendly and happy, but you also had a few A Holes. They would try to sneak through many ways. I would have to call them and make them come back. Some were ignorant and belligerent. It seemed most if them had VIP and Artist placards. They seemed to believe they were above the rules. I did find out later that VIP ticket holders did NOT have to go through the search area. So if they had contraband, It came in….AGAIN REALLY???….So money does talk…..By 8 pm nobody had come so finally I called Security and was finally relieved. I did 13+ hours that day. But we were fed good….lol…So as I go home every nite, Rich is already gone….I look at his tickets….HE”S WORKING 18 HOUR SHIFTS…..wow, I can’t do that….He asked to stay at the Main Gate and that’s where he stayed. He liked it their. They needed a …STRONG PERSONALITY….lol…their….(nice way to put it) . It seems many of these kids would walk back to their cars and get their drugs and try to walk in his gate. He had to stop them and make them go through search. His gate was only for people leaving. You wouldn’t believe some of the excuses they would make up….YES HE WAS GOOD AT HIS JOB….This is now Saturday nite. 2 more days to go…..too much for this blog…..so
Stay tuned for Part 3…..My 2 Days in VIP TENT……