Posted by Brother Bob on 11 September, 2023 at 3:47 pm. Be the first to comment!


Hola amigos. As you might have noticed in Friday’s TWIRL, I mentioned I’d be attending the Blue Ridge Music Fest this past weekend. And the more astute among you will recognize the last part of the post’s title as a quote from a famous law enforcement professional. The Fyre Fest is a reference to a music festival that went… sideways. A similar fate awaited us. If you’re wondering how a personal concert misadventure belongs on a Conservative blog, stay with me to the end. Or jump to the last few paragraphs if you’re pressed for time. My feelings won’t be hurt.

I saw the lineup, a great mixture of old and new, while headlined by a bunch of great late 80s / early 90s metal bands, with some rap acts from the same era (Cypress Hill, Insane Clown Posse, etc). Two or three times a year I’ll send an email blast to a few friends who I know might be up for joining me at a concert. When I saw this festival’s lineup, I decided to add Former Neighbor Bob (FNB), as it included Death Angel, a favorite band of his. I figured it was a long shot that he might respond, especially considering he had moved a significant distance away, and we hadn’t seen each other since he’d moved @ a decade ago. FNB replied to my email within minutes. He said he was down, and even had a hookup for a place to stay nearby. It was on!

The show itself was scheduled to run for four days, from Thursday – Sunday, with a pre-party that Wednesday night. While there were some acts that looked appealing for Thursday, we agreed that Friday – Sunday was our best route, and that we’d head out after Suicidal Tendencies performed on Sunday. He was heading up Thursday night after work, while I’d be rolling out Friday morning after getting the pups walked and Little Bob off to school. The best laid plans of Mice and Men…

Little Bob wound up sick and having to stay home from school on Friday. And that morning a major power outage hit our area, including blowing out any kind of internet access – even my high powered work phone was shooting blanks. I wasn’t about to leave my family until I knew everything was cool, and my departure got delayed, which would turn out to be a blessing in disguise.

FNB hit the scene mid afternoon, and gave me info how to find him. I finally reached the venue late afternoon, and got to the secondary parking lot (first was full & closed). I pulled in, and saw a long line for the shuttle buses to the venue. And I started winding my way back to parking, following that long, looong line. I’m pretty sure I wound up parking in the farthest possible lot, winding way back thorough dirt roads and grass fields for parking. As I’m walking I wonder what it was going to be like at the end of the night, walking thorough this unlit area and what kinds of bugs I’s have feasting on me as I walked back. This wouldn’t be a problem, as the event’s organizers had other ideas.

FNB and I spoke on Friday morning, and he informed me that a nasty storm blew through the night before, completely drenching a number of the campers who only had tents, forcing them to leave for lack of dry clothing. They were lucky, After parking the Bobmobile I made the long walk to the long wait at the back of the long line. Right as I got to the end of the line, some of the staff were telling us to leave, as a storm had hit a few miles away and they were starting the process of shutting down the venue. I was grateful for the fact that had I departed Chateau D’ Bob when I wanted, I would have gotten turned away after 60-90 minutes in the long shuttle line under the hot sun. I tried to text FNB, along with Sister Babe to let her know I’d gotten in OK, but there was nothing resembling cell service. Why would a massive concert venue not arrange a temporary tower to service their fans? This was the first warning sign of how badly this event would be run.

Realizing my texts wouldn’t go through, I managed to call Sister Babe and FNB. I warned FNB about what I’d learned and that he should start getting out ahead of the crowds. He was deep in the venue and knew it would be a while. FNB also has a buddy there he’d met up with and had a camper next to the venue. I told him that we had nothing but bad options and that if he left now he’d just be in line for hours behind the departing crowd. I told him to hang with his buddy and to head back whenever he could. My night was shot no matter what – no point in his being too.

I headed back to base camp and ran a few errands wile figuring out dinner and what I’d do for the next few hours. I found an excellent joint where I could enjoy a few beers with dinner, The Main Street Bistro, parked the car and hoofed my way over. The very cool hostess / bartender / waitress (she was short staffed that night) told me that they use really fresh ingredients, which I was glad to hear but didn’t think too much of it given how those words get thrown out. And having a kiddo I don’t really get to eat in places like this. Then my food came out, and I took a bite of my fish picata. You might have heard of studies showing how taste, and especially smell, are the senses that trigger the most intense memories. The combo of the fish in butter/lemon sauce with capers and in that moment I was 20 years old again, home for the summer and sitting at the table with my parents at our favorite Italian restaurant up in North Jersey. I’m going out on a limb and guessing that my dinner was probably both cheaper and way tastier than anything I could have bought inside the festival. I also heard our hostess telling some fellow festival refugees sitting at the bar with me that the Factory Street Brewing Company (FSBC) across the street had live music that night. By then FNB told me that they never shut down the show (?!?) and that I could still make it back. Deciding that the earlier cluster foxtrot was a warning, I decided that my Plan B was working.

FSBC had a cool two man band, good beer, friendly staff and equally friendly patrons. Unfortunately they close at 10:00, so when I walked back I still had a few hours before FNB could get back, but I had cold beers in my cooler I’d grabbed on the grocery run and a screened in porch to enjoy, but a phone that was near dead. I have this weird quirk of forgetting exactly one thing whenever I travel – in this case it was my phone’s charger cord, and no local shops had what I needed (luckily FNB had an extra). So I just looked for other means to amuse myself while waiting. I did a lot of stretching, and remembering that I keep Father Bob’s old Rosary in my car. I stood in the screening in porch and prayed an entire Rosary for the first time since I was in school (For those of you unfamiliar, I spend roughly 30 years away from the church before returning in 2020). FNB finally rolled up late after the mismanaged venue making it take him almost 4 hours to get back.

Missing Friday stank, but Saturday’s acts were the big draw for me and we had two days left, right? Wrong. There was a light rain that morning, but nothing that would stop a rain or shine show. Or so we thought. Word came down early afternoon that the delayed opening became a full blown cancellation due to the weather and safety concerns. W.T.F. The weather was fine, and we learned there would be a decision on Sunday would come by 5:00. So we waited and a few minutes after 5:00, sure enough they cancelled Sunday, again out of “safety concerns.” If you guessed that there was more to this than meets the eye you get the prize!

First off, communications were terrible. No email updates, and the event’s app had “updates” that would appear several hours after their time stamp. The only place that gave updates in real time was their Facebook page, so if you weren’t on that platform you were in the dark. FNB was also among the many who had rented a locker, and left his gear on Friday night rather than lug it back & forth the next two days. Since they weren’t letting folks back into the parking lot, we were SOL (On Sunday they allowed pickup, also a CF where FNB was one of the luckier ones in retrieving his stuff). But we learned something more interesting via Facebook. It turns out that the stage hands were treated like dirt – there were numerous reports of them not being fed or given water,  to the point where I heard that Slipknot bought food for the gang working their stage. There weren’t enough showers for the staff to use, to the point where they were told to use Planet Fitness of Flying J. So after being treated like garbage the first few days, the workers stopped showing up on Friday (trash started piling up quickly). The weather was a convenient excuse, and I’m hearing that lawsuits are also in the works.

As for us, we made the best of the bad situation. FNB showed me some interesting local sites, we watched some college ball, and basically copied my previous night on Saturday. The Bistro had more Blue Ridge refugees during dinner, and afterward we went back over to FSBC. No band, but they set up a speaker and were streaming the bands that would have performed that day. And the place also had a number of festival refugees, and we all had a great time hanging out over some good beers and swapping stories. By this point you might be wondering how a lengthy travelogue belongs on a site like Flopping Aces. This experience  was a microcosm for where our country is going and what comes next. I spent this weekend surrounded by people who had been wronged and had every right to be angry. We could have been miserable and just stewing in our collective rage. No doubt some did, but everyone we spoke with made the best of a bad situation and had a good time. I also came to realize that FNB and I had a lot more in common than we realized. We kind of picked up on that right before he moved, but this whole incident taught a few lessons:

  • We were promised a bill of goods, and it was taken away by a corruptocracy. Sort of like our country today. We just had a man nowhere near the capitol during the January 6th Reichstag Fire sentenced to 22 years in prison. It’s ironic that on the anniversary of 9/11 I come across an article about how simply being an attorney for President Trump will get you prosecuted in a show trial. Remember years ago how law firms were racing to give pro bono representation to terrorists held in Guantanamo? I can’t find the articles now, but I recall reading that those firms were given “grants” from the Qatari government.
  • As this shows, we’re not going back to how the country was. I wrote a while back that America has already fallen and sadly can probably not come back. Hopefully it won’t come to a civil war, as nobody will be happy with what happens. Just as we got into a bad situation at the show, we’ve gotten in a bad situation as a country. Are we mad? You bet. But we can’t allow ourselves to just give in to despair or to irrational rage.
  • A number of us took a bad concert situation and made it a memorable weekend. We’ve got a country that’s already been destroyed and the few of us who recognize this are already starting to fight the next war. Likewise, we need to make connections with our fellow Normals. I regret that FNB and I didn’t get to know each other better while we were neighbors, but despite physical distance we’ll be in touch more now. We need to do this more in everyday lives. It’s easy to feel isolated or shouted down by a few noisy Radicals who have the media, the schools, and Hollywood as their megaphone.

Now it’s time to start making them pay. Time to see who is starting to work on getting refunds for this show. And time to get back to work on reconquering our country. To close out with a quote from the great Robert Ellsworth, I got a feeling that we won’t be coming back this way.

Brother Bob is no longer on Facebook (although you can see his archives there), and is back on Twitter again, but is ramping up on Minds and Gab, as well as Parler and GETTR, and has his biggest presence on MeWe.

Cross posted at Flopping Aces
<!– Cross posted from Brother Bob’s Blog

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