The first music festival I was able to attend with my wife was Faerieworlds. It wasn’t as big then as it is now, so it was quite reasonably priced. Since it was two hours from our home we decided to do a two day pass and camp at one of the suggested nearby campground that was supposedly within walking distance of the back gate. We’d save a little bit in parking fees and both of us could drink if we so desired. Also since we’d be so close we could head back to camp for lunch and not have to pay ridiculous festival prices for bad food. We could have Cheap bad food!. Win win win
We arrived late Friday night since I had to work all day and set up camp in the dark. This meant I hadn’t had a chance to see where the back entrance to the festival grounds was located in relation to our camping spot. I shrugged it off figuring we weren’t far. After all the website said this was the closest camping to the festival.
How very wrong I was.
That morning we got up and smuggly ate breakfast while watching other people around us load into their cars and take off towards what I assumed was the direction of the festival. Look at all those people wasting gas and having to pay that parking fee. Ha! Lazy kids!
Around 9 am we figured we should head over to get in line for the opening of the gates. Now I’m not too dense, when we got near the road and were unable to see which way the event was I didn’t want to just follow the majority of the cars so I asked the attendant at the campground booth for directions.
“Oh it’s just about a mile up the road that way.” she said waving to indicate the direction most of the cars were going. To me a mile is a nice 20 minute walk, 25 minutes if I am casually strolling. So it still made perfect sense to my wife and I to walk even though every other person we saw was taking their car.
“Whimps!” we thought
The day was warming up quickly and so were we as we walked along the side of the road. Neither of us were wearing watches or had any other way to tell time. We walked for what felt like a reasonable length of time before we began to suspect the directions we’d been given. However, there were no turn offs from the road we were on so we knew we hadn’t passed the entrance. We kept seeing cars pass us, headed in the direction we were headed. But still we hadn’t made it to the entrance. The road curved slightly and was lined with thick forest so we couldn’t see if the entrance was just up ahead or much farther on. Committed, we kept walking.
Finally we saw some people walking along the side of the road, coming toward us. They had a faintly fesitivalish air about them, meaning they smelled like pot, so we asked them if they were going to the Faerieworlds. We were happy to learn that yes they had come from there. One of them had locked the keys in the car when they were parking so they were walking back to camp to get a spare set of keys now before the gates opened while one of their friends held their spot in line.
“Sorry about that” we said. “But could you tell us about how far it is to the entrance?”
“Oh sure.” one guy answered. “It’s about a mile back that way.” he waved in the direction they’d come from. The group kept walking while we took stock of the situation. We could walk back to our car then drive all the way back to the gate or we could keep walking and just get there shortly. It really couldn’t be all that far we decided and kept going.
So another reasonable amount of time later we were grimly trudging along the side of the road. We were positive that the entrance had to be just around the next corner. There was a bit of shade on the side of the road so we stopped to assess the situation again. We could keep going or take the long walk back. It was a little hard to tell but we guesstimated it had been about 45 minutes to an hour of walking now. More than twice what we’d thought we’d be walking. We had to be close and kept going. It was only supposed to be About a Mile!
A few minutes of trudging later and we saw it!
We’d found the entrance to the parking lot! The gate couldn’t be far! The thick trees alongside the road had hidden the entrance until we were right on top of it. At the fee booth for the parking area we asked the attendant the direction to the festival gate.
He was a very pleasant man and I’m sure he must have been dismayed by our response to his jovial directions.
“Oh this is the back parking lot for overflow. The festival entrance is about a mile though the lot that away. You can’t miss it!”
No, I did not fall down weeping but it was a close thing.
We did eventually make it to the gate that morning. Faerieworlds was magical. The music was great. Neither one of us enjoyed the walk back to camp for lunch but you sure as shit bet we drove after that. I tracked our trek with the odometer. It was 2.5 miles from camp to where we parked in the back lot then another half mile walk to the gate when we came back for the evening concerts.
If you ever ask for directions be wary my fine friends if your destination is About A Mile away for that distance may be farther than your feet may want to take you!