So now it is Sunday, last full day of Summer Camp. I went and got my assignment…..Back to VIP…This time I am going inside and spend my 12 hours and just roam……Got my ride on the cart, went past Main Gate, and their was Rich…lol..still working……down to the road along the forest and all the way back past parking, VIP TENT CAMPING areas, and he stopped at the VIP TENT…..The guy at the pedestal scanners needed relieving so I stayed their for about and hour. Again I had a Volunteer. She was just a young girl from Michigan. A free spirit but very nice. It amazes me all these young girls of 18 or 19, who come to this festival from out of state. What do their parents think of what goes on here? Finally another Security person was left off so I went inside to …..”ROAM”…..I walked in and tried to absorb it all…..Right be side the door started the bar….It was almost the whole width of the tent. At the opposite end was the stage. In the middle was of course the dance floor. On either side was furniture. Sectional Pit group Sofas scattered around for informal settings. Coffee tables or ottomans, several side tables, even decorative lanterns or decorations on side tables, even some floor vases with tall grasses to make everything homey. But now remember it had rained. This was all erected on what was grass or field area. So now it is mud. From my doorway across the front of the bar and down the middle to the stage, they brought in 4 x 8 sheets of plywood. On either side where all the furniture was, it was still in mud……OH YUCK……
So this is what a VIP ticket gets you….Notice all the mud that has been tracked and the wicker sofa with the vase of grasses to make it elegant………Amazing…lol…
Over on one side were girls giving massages. They brought their equipment in and sat it in mud….All around the tent inside was more tapestry’s hung to go along with the theme.
Above, they had material banners in pretty colors and shapes. All the poles were wrapped and strung with lights. Stars were hung and other decorations to match the theme. It was really quite nice except for the mud. The whole one side opened outside to a fenced in area. They had picnic tables, a vender giving away different teas, several hammocks, some sun shades that you could get under on the grass. Wished I had taken more photos out their.
Also some games, several HUGE JENGA games and also FRISBIE, and BAGS…..
While out side, I heard music and looked over to the parking area. Their was a group playing …..HEY JUDE by the Beatles….
So I soon discovered that the bands played for an hour….then their was an hour break for tear down and then setting up the next band. During that time the crowd would come in….and then leave….head up to Moonshine….and then come back again…..
During that day I seen around 6 different bands. These were all bands that were also playing on a big stage….The perk for the VIPers were they had their own performance to see at VIP also…..The plus for me was as Security, I walked right up to the edge of the stage to watch…..Theirs nothing like seeing a concert. I’m not a fan of some of the music but when you are right their it really gets you into the spirit and into your soul. I absolutely love to watch the keyboard player….and some of the guitarist were sensational.
This group was the only country group. Yonder Mountain String Band….Again not my type, but so enjoyed watching her play the Violin. She was amazing. They were playing at Sunshine Stage later.
My favorite was Mungion….The are a group from Chicago area. They were just formed last year. Their music was just Awesome. Their music is blending elements of Rock, Jazz, Latin, Metal, Bluegrass, Jam, Electronic, Classical, World, and Funk. They had some vocals but I really enjoyed just their music. I was able to stand right by the keyboard player. He was amazing and the lead guitarist. …..WOW…..Such a joy and inspiration to stand right by them and feel the music and vibe. That hour went fast. They have some stuff on U-Tube and already have produced a CD. Check them out……But still nothing like being ……..RIGHT THEIR……. As the day went, everyone behaved. The costumes started showing up
Here is Uncle Sam…..
Two more to enjoy….Miss Butterfly, and the Mr Geisha….lol…????
This guy carried his own Palm Tree……
Next Picture…..Beware…..Almost Porno….lol…..Censored……….RATED R
But my FAVORITE……………………….OMG…..REALLY……SOOOOOOO DISGUSTING
He walked around like this all day …………..and all nite….
How could you do that…..How could someone even admit you knew him…but he had friends…..He would have to know everyone is starring and his picture is being taken….Guess he likes being…..NOTICED….Evening came…The last band started. Now it was dark, the tent with the lighting was taking on a whole new Beautiful effect. The spot lights were shinning on the whole ceiling circling and twirling and changing colors…..”ENCHANTING”…..
Finally I was relieved. It was a good day. Lots of entertainment, I simply roamed and sat. Everyone was well behaved……………SO FAR……Their was one more party to start later ending at 4 am. I rode back to Security Office….Passed Main Gate….lol….Rich is their Again….I asked about Monday. Everything was supposed to be done by 4 am. Then it would be time to herd out 25,000 people by noon. Really, How can that be done. So yes, I was needed show up at 7 am. When I came out of the office, This is what I seen
It looked like a floating Jellyfish….Pretty cool…They were heading for the big stages for the LAST BIG NITE. Back to bed, told Kitty, One more nite of rocking and rolling and window rattling…..lol.
7am up and at um. Got my assignment. Guess What……VIP TENT AGAIN…..Rode down past Main Gate…..Their was Rich….still….arrived and went in. “It was now out of control”. “They were wild”. I found the kid, poor Colten, that I was replacing. He said “theirs nothing you can do, just sit back here by the bar“. He was so glad to leave. The party was suppose to be over at 4am . The music was going strong. Techo Dance Music, dancing all over. people partying inside and out. Laying on couches, but nobody passed out….Miracle….People were going past me into the bar and making their own drinks. The bartender was standing by me. He looked at me and threw his hands in the air and said…”I Give Up…Their out of Control”…I had the best seat in the house to watch all this Chaos…..The mud had gotten worse. Standing water….miserable…They didn’t care. I now had a radio again, so I could hear the progress of shutting down the Festival. Security and Police officers arrived. Immediately the music stopped………The officers voices boomed over everyone………..”PARTY’S OVER….Go to you sites pack up and LEAVE”….They herded them like cattle and with in a few minutes they were all gone….7:30 it was empty…..I was told to stay their and kept them out…….OMG…..The garbage was everywhere. Just filthy. They had a Green Team member all the day before, buy apparently not during the night. I parked by the door. Amazing how many did come back during the morning surprised they were closed. The cleanup crew started cleaning up the bar, the company who were hired to decorate started tearing down. All the furniture was moved to the side…..I watched as people came to use the bathrooms. Their was Porta Pottys as well as Bathroom trailers. They had regular sit down toilets. the rooms were rich in wood and slate look walls…..Remember this is VIP. Nothing but the best. Early on, they would open the door and walk in….later they would open the door and stare, and finally walk in…towards the end, They would open the door stare….close the door and leave…..They were so so bad. Finally the were all locked up and the semis came in and started hauling them away already. The radio was full of activity. Security and law enforcement were going through the forest. Every was suppose to leave by noon. “Wake anyone up, get them packing, smash all tents to the ground”. They were looking for bodies….lol….The kids seem to leave all their things. Tents, sleeping bags. etc. So you need to make sure nobody is still sleeping. They made several canvases through the woods. The parking lots became active. Peoples cars wouldn’t start. They needed jumper cables. A security guard was in the parking area and came upon a person counting a whole lot of money. More that he should have had, so she called for the cops to come and investigate. She thought he might have been selling drugs. At the main gate, they were trying to bring their cars back in to pick up stuff. Nope, they had to carry everything out. ….Lost and found….So many people lost their phones…we would send them to Soul Shine tent…..lost car keys??? now that’s a problem….But they kept leaving….it started to slow….
This is what they looked like as they came walking out of Moonshine Area…I looked over to VIP TENT CAMPING, they looked like little ants, just packing up all heading the same direction. They kept coming out of the woods. Rich gave it a Great Analogy…..”Remember the pictures of the troops in war marching home? Bent over, walking slowly, bandages and limping…..lol…Yes, it was an ARMY of Tired homeless looking people, trying to make it to their car”. Rt. 29 was a massive traffic jam. Noon came, still plenty of people. The VIP campers were starting to move out. The venders were packing up. All shower and potty trailers locked. I looked around…..Mud…..Shoes stuck in mud and walked out of….A guy came limping into the bathroom area, he had one shoe on, and barefoot on the other. So many were now barefoot. They looked miserable, Hung Over, or what ever. 3 pm came and I was approaching Bladder explosion. I figured 4 pm max, and I would have to call. It had finally quited down, so I almost wondered If I was forgotten. All radios were given back at noon. Radio World was closing up. I was sitting by the entrance now to VIP by the road. I decided to call Rich…..He was still their at Main Gate….It was starting to wrap up, but still plenty going on at the gate. Finally 3:45 they came around to pick me up…………YES…….Just in the nick of time….Rode by Main Gate….Rich was still their….OMG….Checked out at Security, Tina told us how much they appreciated us. By that last day, they were becoming shorthanded. I think a lot of the kids are hired and don’t show up after a day or two. Finally headed back to the trailer. Sooooooooooo Peaceful………..Finally Rich came home……..He just completed working over 21 hours straight…..Nooooo Way….Not me….He was so tired…We were told we could stay till the next day and they would keep the electric on. So that was a huge plus. Rich was not ready to drive. So we spent the rest of the day in A/C, watching tv, napping, and watching out the window as the stragglers left, the workers started tearing down. Now all the generators, pottys, showers and all equipment were being hauled out. They started tearing out all the electrical wires that had been installed, rolling them up and heading to the next area. Their was no down time……
The next morning we got up and prepared to leave. They had cleared out alot When you looked at the forest area, you could now see in easily, but it was littered with bright colors. Tents, Sleeping bags, etc. All left behind smashed to the ground. But so much trash to remove. But they were hard at work by daybreak, hauling out the generaters and showers. We left around noon, and headed home…..Returned to McNabb, parked and layed low that day…..Still Tired….
Now I know it sounds like it is all just a huge glorified Music Fest, full of drinking and drugs, but their is a lot of positives also.
The SoulShine Tent was full of Alternative things to do and participate in to make your Festival Experience Wonderful and Memorable without the use of alcohol and drugs. The one that was most apparent to me was the Green Team. They were all over the park. The garbage in the prime areas were divided into 3 barrels, red, blue and green.
Signs told you to throw into the proper recycle bin. Volunteers attended the bins regularly. They went through them and sorted and also scoured the areas and picked up trash. All the trash in the park was picked up regularly by Green Team members on a Hay rack, dividing into bags, glass and cardboard. I seen them digging out the cardboard that had been thrown down in the muddy areas to walk on. Then all garbage is dumped in a large hill in the recycle area to be gone threw, ….PIECE BY PIECE….Imagine that. The day after the Festival, the Green Team was scouring the Parking Areas bagging garbage. They also have a drive to collect Cigarette Butts.
Last year they collected 69,000 Butts for recycle. They also collect the wrappers and cellophane as well as the Rollie Pouches.
Their is also an area for a Food Drive. They were mainly looking for canned food that would be delivered to the Peoria Area Food Banks.
Also their was several groups that you could be part of. This group is promoted by one of the biggest headliners “MOE” . It is a group that travels and sets up with Moe at festivals and promotes how to have fun and enjoy your Music experience WITHOUT alcohol and drugs. Also their was a Book Drive to promote literacy and a Personal Hygiene drive, collecting shampoos, soaps, toothpaste and brushes, even unused items from the festival, like ponchos, condoms, etc. They were also their to give out info and help if needed.
Their was also workshops. Soul Patch is in its 4th year. It is an ongoing gardening area that teachs techniques to take back home.
They learn basic and advance techniques of permaculture and urban gardening education! These girls were making signs to put in the planting areas. Their was also classes in Yoga every morning, Hula Hoop classes for the latest moves….Art lessons and displays as well as an auction. Even watch Glass Blowing. Near us was a Kid Camping area…. It was a place to bring the kids for activities like painting, and different crafts. Also they had magicians and others doing different interactive activities with the kids. Another important aspect was the had Counselors present. I’m sure they were of a Great Value to have present…So their were many positives going on also……Many groups trying to make this a Positive Experience…..
I also have to say, we were treated with respect. They were all their to have a fun weekend in their own way. The problem people were dealt with immediately by security and law enforcement. Medical issues were also immediately addressed. The staff was monitoring closely throughout the park throughout the Festival. Upon leaving so many of the kids actually Thanked Rich and I for being their, and making this a safe festival. They were all so HAPPY to have had a WONDERFUL time
So Would we do this again?????……We Would Love To…..But………….Don’t know if the body is up to this much longer. For me 12 hours was hard if I didn’t have a chair or stool. Rich pushed himself, even if he won’t admit it. The thing is, we knew it was only for a few days. The one thing that made it possible was, we had our RV. The Luxury of our bed, A/C, our own potty, and electricity. All the comforts of home…… So we did push…..But it is NOT healthy to stay at the Main Gate 21 hours….but it was his choice....lol….So I don’t know….Never say Never…..
But we are so glad we did, It was another experience that well never forget nor be sorry we did……Another Bucket List …..Check Off….