Music Festivals: The Scream

I love to attend concerts in many genres. Music festivals are another story. The minute I hear that a favorite artist is coming to one, I daydream about everything that could go wrong. Chris Tomlin will perform at Chattanooga’s Riverbend Festival this year? Fantastic! Wait a minute…

Entrance fees may be last on some music fans’ lists because they’ll pay anything to hear a favorite artist live. But fees are first on mine! Most concerts I attend are free, but some music festivals charge hefty prices that I can’t afford. If I see an entrance fee, anything higher than $10, I turn away. I hurriedly check the Riverbend website. They want $25 at the gate? There goes my workweek lunch!

photo of woman riding on carousel

Cars and people everywhere! I waste fifteen minutes seeking a parking spot. When I finally cram into one, I’m so paranoid about my car that I check all the doors after locking it. Occasionally I forget. Then I would have to walk back, losing time to find a seat. Otherwise I won’t enjoy the concert, wondering all evening if someone stole my car. Guess who isn’t responsible?

No bleachers or fold-up chairs? I don’t own a lawn chair so I have two choices: physical exhaustion from standing for two hours or dirty slacks from sitting on grass or pavement. I think I’ll try standing. The artist is usually a speck in the distance anyway. Up-front seating costs another $20. And the people near me had better not try to rifle my purse! What is that splattered mess on the grass: a dropped hot dog or did someone lose their lunch?

I impatiently wait for some mediocre artists to sing their drivel, then leave the stage. Finally, the fan-crazed crowd screams as the main artist introduces himself, then starts blaring a favorite song through loudspeakers. Meanwhile, the 80-degree heat sizzles as mosquitoes buzz near my ear and nip my bare arms. Where is that forecasted breeze? I think all the wailing babies gobbled it up.

I wake up from my nightmare while sitting at my laptop. Then I check the date and start making dinner. Chris Tomlin will perform at Riverbend next week. Do I envy the people who plan to attend? No. I wish they would envy me: eating pasta in pajamas in my air-conditioned kitchen while listening to Tomlin’s “Amazing Grace” on the radio. Life is good!

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