If so? Don’t bother buying tickets. It’s a waste of money.
Years ago, I believe in 1999, Logan and I were on vacation in Colorado when one of his cousins had extra tickets to the Lilith Fair. We were thrilled to get to go since we’d tried to get tickets to see it in Los Angeles and weren’t able too. It was an all afternoon/evening outdoor concert at Fiddler’s Green. We had grass seats, which was totally fine. There were about twelve of us who went. We got there around 2 pm and hung out on the grass. A few people we were with had real seats but they were still allowed to sit on the grass with us during the day. We spread out blankets and played cards. We bought food and drinks and took them back to our little area in the grass. We could hear the bands that were playing on the smaller stages, even though no one played on the main stage until say 5 pm.
There was a huge area that was filled with different food booths. You could buy t-shirts, get hemp tattoos, see weird art. Whatever. It was an experience. The smaller stages were filled with lesser-known women bands, but I remember knowing some of them.
When the concerts started on the main stage it was amazing. We, in one night, saw Sarah McLaughlin, Sheryl Crow, Indigo Girls, Shawn Colvin, Lisa Loeb and my all time favorites, the Dixie Chicks. It was five or six hours of non-stop concerts. Sheryl Crow came out in the middle of an Indigo Girls song and jumped up on their piano. Lisa Loeb ran across the stage while someone was singing with a kite. Sheryl Crow told jokes before she sang. The Dixie Chicks were freaking amazing. At the end, they all did a few songs together. It was huge and it was fun and it still goes down in history as one of my all-time favorite concert events ever.
Fast forward to this spring.
I heard Sarah McLaughlin was re-doing the Lilith Fair. I waited. I watched for signs that it was true. She announced her line up. It was highly impressive. You can see it here if you’d like. I signed up to be notified early, so I could buy tickets when they came out. They finally went on sale. When I saw that Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLaughlin, Sugarland, Court Yard Hounds and Miranda Lambert were all going to come to the Denver show, I bought two tickets. Pricey. Expensive. $135 a piece tickets. I figured maybe I’d get my mom to come out and we’d go. In the end, though, I decided to give the second ticket to my friend, for her birthday. Which was today. Figured a concert on her birthday was a good present. She was thrilled.
She and I both re-arranged our schedules. We made sure our kids are covered, took time off work, both of us even found people to go walk our dogs at some point. Then we get there. We stand in line to get in. No biggie. We have to toss our sunscreen because it’s in a spray can. Which was fine, our bad. We go to the small stage area and there is no place to sit. It’s all rocks. You could only stand….I mean unless you like rocks up your butt. There are only like 6 booths and they are only giving out samples of crap. A coupon. A teeny spray deodorant. Nothing to do. Nothing to see. We’d seen it all in three minutes flat. There was no place to sit and absolutely no shade. Then we saw the sign. The bands listed sign. The, this is when people are playing sign. NONE of the people we had come to see, besides Sarah McLaughlin were listed on it. She wasn’t going to play until last. We literally only knew one other person on the list and neither of us are fans of her. We walked over to where you could buy food. There were three drink booths and two food booths. Ten bucks for beer. Six bucks for a hot dog. Those were basically the only choices. Hot dogs, cheeseburgers, crappy beer or water. You can buy better food at the Costco food stand. Heck, I can buy better food outside the Home Depot on Saturdays. That guy sells brats and churros and crazy shit. Not that we went to eat or drink, I’m just saying, it was seriously limited.
We bought five dollar bottles of water and tried to find some spare concrete to sit on. Because, hi, guess what, nothing is on the main stage till 5pm, so we aren’t seating until then. Yeah. No place to sit and they wouldn’t let us go to our seats early. More and more and more people started filling into a tiny confined space. It was hot. There was no place too move and hundreds of people wondering why we couldn’t just go sit in our seats. This one woman kept inching closer and closer to me. I told my friend, if she gets any closer, she will soon be in my lap. It wasn’t even her fault, there was just that many people there.
We started asking people around us about the other bands supposedly showing up. Oh they’re not, one woman said. Yeah, I guess it wasn’t doing so well so some of them bailed. So I paid $135 a pop, to wait around until 9pm, on a weeknight, to just see Sarah McLaughlin? Whose CD I wasn’t impressed with enough to buy? Yeah, pretty much.
We sat there for about 45 minutes fuming, before we finally decided to leave. That it wasn’t even worth the time. The money was a waste, but to waste our time and be grouchy on top of it? To see shitty bands we’d never even heard of? Not worth it.
We were not the only ones either. We walked out with six other people. The people who’d been sitting next to us had been debating it. There were six of them. We had people leaving in front of us and people leaving behind us. We were offered tickets, free tickets, by eight other people. I offered my tickets to five different people in the parking lot and each of them said, no, we’re thinking about leaving too. I came so close to handing my tickets to the homeless guy at the freeway entrance.
Sarah? You have lost my business. Forever. I will never again buy your albums. I will never again believe anything you say. I may never again go to an outdoor concert that supposedly has multiple acts. You pretty much just ruined it for me. Maybe you don’t care. Maybe you will never see this. It’s more than the money. It’s the principal of it. You sold something and what you sold was a lie. I’m upset. As much for the friend whose birthday I just ruined as for myself. The money? Well it’s gone and I’ve wasted money on stupider crap before. It was a lot of money to waste though. I’m not exactly rolling in it, you know? I’m a single mom with three kids who just lost half a day of work and $300 on top of that.
I’ve been to better free concerts than this. Heck, a few years ago….the only time I’ve even seen Sugarland in concert, it was a free outdoor concert at night in freaking Palmdale, California. I remember driving up there wondering if we were being dumb. I showed up, with my husband and my little girls and we had an absolute blast. We ate tons of great food and sat on the grass and watched a two hour free concert.
This? Didn’t even come close to a free concert at a fair. It wasn’t worth the gas to drive there, much less the money I spent. I’d of stayed tonight if ANYONE you said was going to be there had been there. Just one of them. But no, it was all a lie, so we left.
I wasted my time, my money, my energy and my faith in concerts. I’m disappointed. I’m grouchy. Mostly though? I wish I’d gotten what I paid for. That would have been cool. Shrug. I won’t make the mistake again.
You lost two fans today.