Monday, June 25, 2012

Thomberg Summer of Fun 2012 - Rivers Edge Music Festival

The Thomberg Summer of Fun continues with the Rivers Edge Music Festival

A few months back everyone was hearing the buzz about Dave Mathews coming to town to play the new music festival at Harriet Island in St Paul. The festival would fill the hole left by the now defunct "Taste of Minnesota". We weren't "Taste" people. Neither was anyone else, which is why the event went bankrupt.

We jumped on the bandwagon early and purchased two day pass to "Rivers Edge". Although I was excited about seeing Dave outdoors, right here in MY TOWN, I was leary of this whole "festival" business. I am a mom who is now closer to 40 then 30. I am less cool by the minute!
  • Would it be too hot and too crowded?
  • Where would we park?
  • Would I have to wait forever for severely overprices food and drink?
  • Would I nearly pea my pants waiting for a porta potty?
  • Would I actually be able to see any of the performers? or would I have to just stand around for HOURS and be uncomfortable?
  • When it was time to go home, would the whole experience turn to total CRAP because it would take a billion years to exit the venue and downtown!
It seems event promoters Live Nation had all the same concerns I did. Everything about the planning and execution of this event was SPOT ON.
  • We received chipped wrist bands in the mail, replacing paper tickets. When we arrived, we simply scanned our own wrists at the bank of machines at any entrance.
  • Food and drink cost exactly what you would expect at any event. There were plenty of options.
  • The sheer  number of ATM machines, beverage tents, and porta potties reduced any wait time to just minutes. TOTALLY AWESOME!.
  • I didn't have to wait to drink. I didn't have to wait to pea when I did drink. Win/Win!
  • I was able to purchase a full bottle of wine for $30, and take it to my blanket on the lawn. I liked the people/space ratio.
  • As for parking, we drove downtown, paid $5 to park in a surface lot, walked a reasonable distance to a shuttle, and easy-peasy we arrived at the entrance gate.
  • When we headed home, we walked over the bridge and back to our car like many festival goers. The truth is, we never bothered to figure out where the shuttle bus loaded to return... and it was a pleasant jaunt hanging with the masses after a great time. We we arrived at our car are were cruising down I-94 heading west within minutes.
  • The weather was perfect. It was just lovely both days.
  • The staging had great/large/high tech screens, like any indoor concert. From where we choose to sit on our blanket, or stand when the bands were best,  I was happy with my view. Plus, Minnesotans are polite in crowds at this event.
  • I only felt "a little too sticky" for like 20 minutes on Sunday when we first arrived. It might have been because my shorts and cute top were 100% polyester. In my quest to put together that "not too dressy, not too schlumpy, just enough color, not over the top accessories, matching yet comfortable shoes you can stand and walk in, with an easy bag that matches but isn't too large or too small" outfit.... I knowing-ly picked something that wouldn't breathe, but fit every other criteria!
**MAYBE everything was perfectly executed by Live Nation, and that is why I had a great time....or MAYBE the numbers were not what they expected, which is why I had such a great time---Hmmmm. Not sure!!!!?????**

The first day we went with Mike. We arrived in St Paul around noon, had a burger and a few beers at Shamrocks, and it was off to Harriet Island. Tool was the headliner. I had no idea who they were, but Mike did and we all had a great time.

The second day, Mark and I were solo and ready to enjoy Dave Matthews. He was great as always.  The crown contained your usual twenty-something-hippy-wanna-be's who really need to wash their hair, a few retirees moving to the beat with ear plugs, a one-month old in a baby sling, a ca-billion social smokers, and a lot of people like myself, out for a good time with a professional job to return to Monday morning.
While Mark and I were whooping it up at the inaugural music festival of the summer, Marly and Dean were at the beach with Auntie Kelly and and enjoying time with Grandma Pauline!

Thanks to both of them for letting us have some "summer of fun" times ourselves!

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