So, we did the Mile High Music Festival in Denver last weekend. I thought I’d give a quick rundown of the best/worst/weirdest parts of this 2-day affair. (Keep in mind, the promoters advertised this event as “green”, and had rules against vendors bringing in large cooler or gas-powered generators.)
Friday 4P: roll into Denver, after driving 12 hours from Phx. Wait another 30 minutes for a vendor person to show us where our booth is. After she finally arrives, she drives us 100ft from where we were waiting for her and says, “Um, I have no idea where your booth is, so just pick one.” Awesome.
Saturday 8a: get breakfast at a place called “Donut Maker”. Day was headed in the right direction.
9a: The race of gas powered golf carts begins. There are so many, that at times the fumes get to be pretty heavy and on more than one occasion, they almost hit one another. Looks like using gas is considered “green” at this event.
10a: People two booths down begin drinking $8 beers, sold in plastic “Solo” cups. Plastic must also be “green” here.
11a: Drunken idiot (not related to booth mentioned above) tries to shoplift a Durtbagz Koozie. I think about tackling him, “Empire Records”-style, but don’t because as I’m chasing him, I realize he is so drunk, he’d be picking rocks out of his teeth for a month. I settle on grabbing the Koozie back and maybe giving his “thief arm” a yank in the process. On my way back to the booth, I am cheered by a few in the crowd.
Noon: People two booths down still drinking $8 beers, every time in a new, plastic cup.
1p: I am sweating quite a bit, when the wind picks up. And blows all the dust onto my sweat. I spent the rest of the day looking like a 4th grader that just came in from a rough recess.
1:15p: Wind blows over portable trash cans, spewing everything all over. No one, except the vendors around, cleans any of it up. Trash is now in the “green” category, too.
2p: I notice that the group two booths down now has two people less than they started with.
4p: Stevie Winwood’s set starts. Things immediately improve.
5p: Group two booths down is completely gone. Literally. Booth is unmanned and their stuff is blowing all over the place. Looks like the morning after a frat-party. Not that I’d know.
6p: I drink the best lemonade I’ve ever had. So, when I finish, I drink another. And then experience the toilets. And drink nothing else the rest of the evening.
6:30p: Spoon starts and I can hear them from my booth. Things are looking up.
8p: Starts getting dark. Gas-powered generators fire up all over the vendor area, including one that was about five feet across and supported 4 different booths. I’m sitting in the dark. Not killing the planet, but fuming none the less.
9p: Tom Petty finally starts and we get to load up and go home. I have more dirt on me than Pam Anderson at her roast.
10p: We stop at a diner near our hotel and are waited on by a girl named “Pinky”. This is the second reason we feel sorry for her. The first one being how dirty we are. We over tip her and finally go home.
Sunday 9a: We were told that all cars had to be out of the vendor area by 9a. We are one of two vendors there at that time.
10a: More vendors drive in. And even more golf carts roll by, apparently going nowhere because the same people drive by us all day long.
11a: I’m asked for the first time if my Koozies are free. I respond that they are free after I’m paid $5. This will happen 400 more times today, resulting in 5 Koozie sales. All 5 of those people were sober. 395 of them were not.
Noon: Wind picks up again. I feel like Pig Pen. Golf cart traffic increases, although apparently, they cannot be bothered to help pick up the blowing trash and recycle.
2p: Two ladies come into the booth and I ask them who they are excited to see that afternoon. One lady points to her ankle, where she’s sporting a Dave Matthews Band tattoo. Question answered.
3p: Golf carts begin yelling at people to get out of their way, even though they aren’t really going anywhere.
5p: Flogging Molly starts up right next to our booth and everyone perks up a bit.
6p: Grace Potter & the Nocturnals fires up and my favorite part of the weekend starts. If you haven’t heard them, you should. She is incredible; like a woman-version of Lenny Kravitz, except taller.
6:30p: We wisened up and brought our own cooler, complete with forties of High Life. We crack open our brews and laugh at the $8 Budwisers being sloshed. And choke down the “champaign of beers”.
7p: Wave of people watching John Mayer leave his show and head to Black Crows, saying John Mayer was boring. No, you don’t say…
9p: DMB starts and it sounds exactly like it did when I saw them in college…10 years ago. We pack up and head up to the mountains.
Midnight: Hit Breckenridge, take a shower, eat a bag of peanuts and go to sleep.
All in all, quite the adventure. Decent music, incredible crowds, and cooler weather. Well, cooler for someone from where it’s stupid-hot in the summer. And fantastic people watching. Why don’t hippies wear shoes? So gross and stupid; the black top they had to walk on was only about 110 degrees. With 100k people there, I realized just how many people don’t ask. Don’t ask what, you say? They don’t ask, “Does this look okay?” It was almost as good as the Vegas airport. But not nearly as many fanny packs.