Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Colder Weather

Talk about being "stuck in colder weather." The Zac Brown Band concert at Mulberry Mountain in Arkansas Friday night was, to put it nicely, a mess. And not just because of the weather (40 degrees, windy and misting is not the best weather for an outdoor concert).

I had a great volunteer opportunity come up for the concert. Because it's a national campaign and was supposed to be coordinated by a nonprofit organization, I hesitate to put the actual name on the blog. If you're a Zac Brown Band fan, you should be able to figure it out. Anyways, the opportunity meant I could sell my concert ticket and still get into the concert. Pretty good deal, if you ask me.

I arrived at Mulberry Mountain around 4:30 p.m. -- the main gates opened at 10 a.m., and the gate into the concert area was supposed to open at 3 p.m. When I got there, they were very organized with the parking -- it was pretty painless, considering there were thousands of people there already and more on their way. (The fact that I could not find my car afterward was my own fault!) After parking, it all fell apart. There was a long line at the concert area gate -- an hour and a half after it was supposed to open. The line just got longer and longer, stretching out over the Mulberry grounds as the evening went on. The crowd had been expected to be about 13,000 strong if that gives you a clue about the size of the line. I'm pretty sure the food and beverage vendors and t-shirt sellers inside the concert area were just about as ticked off as the concert goers. Everyone was wet, cold, and at the end of their patience threshold. And I didn't even get the volunteer t-shirt I was promised. Not that I did it for the dang t-shirt but I was just not impressed with anything I saw that night.

Lucky me, I didn't have to stand in line -- I bypassed the line to go to my volunteer area. Which turned out to be two bare tables out in the rain -- no cover or light whatsoever. Nowhere to hang a banner (which was actually very cool, but nobody got to see it). The person representing the nonprofit was a no-show. There were about a dozen volunteers there, and we tried our best to do the mission we were there for, but it was kind of difficult between the weather, the ticked-off people STILL waiting in line (many who had been drinking all afternoon).

The concert organizers finally opened the concert gate at 7:30 p.m. -- a full half-hour after the concert was supposed to start. And Zac Brown didn't even start playing til about 8:30 or 9 p.m.! While it was a good show, it was nowhere near as good as it could have been (not to mention dangerous with the 30-40 mph wind and rain). I'm pretty sure ZBB won't be coming back to that area again, much less for that production company. There are a ton of complaints online about the way it was handled. I can't say I blame people -- most of them shelled out $40 a ticket plus $10 a car for parking. I know I am going to be wary of any even put on by this organizer in the future.

So that's one of the two volunteer experiences I've had go awry this week. What's that saying..."no good deed goes unpunished." Yeah, that would be it.

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