Friday, May 09, 2014

Gulfport Music Festival 2014 - Day One

On the heels of (another) ten hour day. Dancing around the scars inflicted by my private demons: doubt and regret. Supposed to be in Panama City Beach, Resting. Trying to sleep. Before my second 70.3. But that ain't happening. Instead, my time gets voluntold for Gulfport Music Festival 2014. Not a place or band or time that appears on my wish list. Won't mention the associated price tag. Bitter taste for all of it. Somebody else's plans. And responsibilities. Thrust upon me. Without regard for what's going on behind my eyes. Yet another useless, one-sided argument piled atop the casket.

Still. Bonding time. With Kid Maestro. He's excited. So my thoughts stay semi-private. Helping me navigate the maze of cars and people. Walking to the venue. Could hear the show half a mile away from the entrance. Huge, two-story video walls glow in the fading sun. And the two of us snaking our way through the swarmed horde of Southern humanity. All makes and models. All ages. And manner of dress. And accents. Assembled to hear the same artists and music. Oh, the humanity.

Caught the tail end of Sir Mix A Lot. Then the beginning of The Pretty Reckless. Okay, sure, lead singer is a lovely lass. But apparently she'd rather be surrounded by mirrors than rednecks. Less narcissism, more talent  next time.
And then the rain. Between bands, we're huddled under blue ponchos when the DJ announces:  a 20 minute break until the weather clears. As if on command, things go from bad to shit storm. The crowd doesn't take kindly to it. And like some herd of ornery dingos, there is a mass exodus to safety. Loudly. And rapidly. Concert or no.

We're barely able to see through the curtains of near-horizontal rain as we make it to a semi-dry spot under a pavilion by the entrance. Temperature dropped. Wind picked up. The first tongue of lightning touches down less than one hundred feet from where we are sitting. Thunder erupts like a heavy metal kick drum sending screams from every mostly-sober woman around us. And half the men. Jumps into the nearby electrical grid and in mid-scream the lights fade to black.

There we stay. Nearly two hours. Surrounded by a soggy, motley crew. Drunks. Smokers. Stoner Fish. Rowdy Redneck splashing unhappy neighbors. Cute little tattooed girl, missing her left hand. And several hundred other unhappy concert-goers. All of us from across the Gulf South. Starting our weekend but ended Friday on a soggy note.

When Liam goes to find a better location, my weather app suggest we're barely mid-way through the thick of it. Which makes the decision for us: we are leaving.

Then the long walk to the car. Through puddles up to our ankles. Dodging traffic. Stumbling over half-seen curbs. We're totally soaked. Without towels. Past midnight. And, surprisingly happy to be done.

So ends Day One.

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