I almost got beat up by Eminem’s head of security… seriously! Here is what I noticed this weekend: I am not a festival kind of person. It was my first festival, and probably my last. It’s just not my thing. I like going to venues where you will be guaranteed to actually get to listen to the band or artist you paid to see, and I realized I was going to have problems from the very first night.
We got there late on Friday, just in time to watch Outkast… but that was a huge problem due to the thousands of people who had the same idea. It was dark, we were tripping over people having make out sessions, and we could not penetrate to get close enough to hear them. I could not even see the stage at all. All I could hear was some Outkast, mixed with Beck, who was playing on the other main stage. Kinsey and I decided to just call it a loss and left before the crowd got crazy.
Another reason festivals are not my thing: Leaving. Walking out of the festival was weird. Everyone exits the same way, and we all looked like zombies being herded into some land. Walking slowly, wobbling, some falling over. Finding a cab was almost impossible, so we walked across the street to a Jack in the Box, where we were greeted by a short older man in his 50s. He offered a ride, so I said sure. He motioned for us to follow him, and we were met by a winnebago… an old winnebago that looked run down. Kinsey gave me the, “I don’t know about this” look. He asked me to help him back up, and Kinsey said “wait, before we get in… are you going to murder us?” That’s a valid question, when you think about it. He flatly answered, “no”. I thought that was good enough and said, see? Lets go! Turns out, this man was a homeless man, just trying to make some money to buy gas and fix his roof. I sat in the front seat, facing him, with my hands up, just in case.
We had a great conversation, while Kinsey sat in the back on some old mattress. She wasn’t happy about it.
Now to the main event: Eminem! We decided to get there earlier to grab a good spot. So we got there at 5pm. Guess what? People had the same idea, and it looked like we were going to have the same problem as before… except that I did not know the power we possessed in our wrist bands. Intern Alex hooked me up with tickets, through his uncle, who is Eminem’s booking agent! He said we had access to go backstage where Eminem was performing. Now I was super excited. So we made our way down there, and got backstage while Lana Del Rey sang about video games and what not. Then he told me we had access to go stand next to the soundboard. That’s where the concert sounds the best. It’s not in the front, but you get a great view of everything, and they had free drinks. I was in heaven. I told Kinsey that we should stay there until Eminem finishes.
There we are… anxiously waiting for Eminem to perform. We sat back there for about an hour when all of a sudden, the security team was switched out. The friendly ACL guys with blue shirts were replaced by really buff dudes in all black, and they made a sweep, kicking everyone out. Apparently our passes gave us access to that all day… except with Eminem. I was destroyed. Where would we watch from now? I seriously felt so defeated. Tried to go backstage again… nope. Blocked. Now I am getting desperate.
All of a sudden I look by the side of the stage and I noticed that there was a guy talking to a group of people… and they were getting wrist bands to go to the soundboard area. That’s where I was!!!!! So I walked over, and listened, until the man stopped talking. I realized this was Eminem’s head of security. This is the man who was calling all the shots. People were asking HIM what they should do. This was the man I needed in my life. So I put my hand on his shoulder and said, “hey man, can I ask you a…” I could not finish my sentence before he turned his head towards me, and burned a hole through my soul. This man is about 6’6 and must eat a lot of protein because he felt like a rock. He cut me off by saying, “don’t f*****g touch me.” I felt my life was about to end right there, in front of my wife. I apologized profusely and started telling him that I was back there, and that it would mean a whole lot to me if I could watch from there. He didn’t listen again, saying, “Marshal doesn’t do meet n greets.” I told him that was not my intention, and then his head did the shift to the side, and he says, “you are the dude from Dish Nation! We watch that show all the time!” My heart started beating again, and I asked “can I touch you now?” He says yes, so I put my arm around his shoulder and tell him that all I want to do is listen to Eminem’s performance… so he says, “I got you!” And he walked us back to the same spot. Crisis averted, and we had a blast! Kinsey and I were dancing and singing like teenagers!
But, I will say that this is my last festival. It was just not my kind of scene. Glad I tried it, but I don’t think I will hit one up again in the near future!