On my last post I talked a little bit about how I went from not being a real fan of any group or musician to driving 6 hours by myself to make it to a concert. So to talk more about my groupie phase, I will share about my experience camping for some Phish shows in Commerce City, Colorado.
This year was our second one going and both times were unique and a lot of fun. Last year, we flew to Denver, so we only carried the basic: a backpack with our clothes and a pretty cool and big tent that we were lucky to find in one of REI Garage Sales. This time I flew into Denver and Jon drove, carrying all our equipment. That allowed us to bring much more than the basic: our big tent, two decent size folding chairs, two stadium chairs, a camping grill, a canopy, a folding table, two backpacks with clothes, our sleeping bags, a cooler, a french press, kitchen utensils and a guitar.
I think camping at concerts is great. Both times we stayed for 3 nights, 4 days and 3 concerts. At Dicks Sporting Goods Park, at least for the last two Phish runs, I have to say that the showers rock! This 2 times have been my only ones doing it so I don’t have anything else to compare it to; except of course, my period in the Girl Scouts and I don’t think we even had showers there. Here, facilities consist of two trailers, each one with about 15-20 individual showers with real doors and hot water. Outside, the trailers have sinks with running water and outlets. The company is run by a nice couple and they travel around going to concert campsites. I don’t remember the company’s name, and I wish I did, because they are awesome!
The downside of camping are definitely the restrooms. There are porta pottys all around and they totally suck. They do a pretty good job cleaning them every day, but lets be honest, how long can a portable restroom last clean?! My recommendation is to hunt down the janitorial trucks and try to use them right after they get “cleaned”. Which is still no guarantee. And, of course, the venue is always an option before, during and after the concert.
Last year, we woke up early and waited in line outside the venue to help out some friends be as close as possible. Later on, we went to the city to look around. We even visited the famous place from South Park, Casa Bonita, and had the worst food I’ve ever had in my life. The experience was epic, though and we had a great time. This year, however, we decided to stay in campsite and hang out with our friends. In a way, it was less stressful, not having to drive back at a certain time, and a lot of fun.
We still woke up early every day to make breakfast. Between the mornings of days 2 and 3, we prepared around 200 egg and cheese sandwiches and we fed some of our fellow campers. The deal was 1 for $3 and 2 for $5. On the first day making breakfasts, we applied some marketing techniques with phrases such as: “ready to go”, “hot and ready”, “cajun style”. We even offered some watermelon with it. The second day, we had a waiting line minutes before we started setting up and it didn’t end until we completely sold out! It was quite an experience!
I would totally recommend to camp for concerts. If camping is not your thing, at least do it once. It is guaranteed to be fun!
Finally, I have to say that the organization at this campsite rocks. People are super nice, making sure everything is smooth and safe. They do double check wristbands when coming back to camp and even though it could be annoying, they are so friendly at the gates that everyone is happy about it. Special thanks to all these people that spend their long weekend taking care of us!
All photos are owned by Sandra unless otherwise noted.