@ZackTeibloom “We just saw the striped sweatshirt go bounce, bounce, bounce, back.” That’s Jeff describing watching me try to use an already-scanned 3-day pass on Saturday. On the third bounce, the guy scanned the ticket, said “This was first scanned Friday” and ripped it in half. I then retreated back to Jeff and Jordan and we started the trek to the media entrance. We had to walk all the way around the park, and decided to check out the Volunteer entrance, but even that had a gate with wristbands we didn’t have.
20 minutes later, we came to an impass. We were at the far end of the field at a bridge that connected to the media entrance, but they weren’t letting anyone in there, since media check-in was closed. Never mind the fact that there were three of us and none of us had media credentials. I had slipped on a green SXSW ’11 wristband and a blue Rock ‘n Roll hall of fame wristband in addition to my commemorative Lollapalooza laminate that said “Not valid for entry to the park” written plainly on it. Why? It never hurts to have extra passes. Someone could just assume it’s the right one. Security wasn’t buying it. They made us go even farther around. Every 15 feet, there was a guard waiting behind the fence, with this sign, clearly posted everywhere. Not a great start.
There’s one long road that is your ticket in, if you can make it past a few checkpoints. At that point, I knew it was our only hope to get in. If you make it, you’ll find yourself at the Perry Stage. That’s a long ways away. Going backwards from the final destination, you’ll find a VIP area w/ free red bull (in the festival), then the row of port-poty’s (still in the festival), then the media entrance to the fest, (A possible way in) the media lounge (not in the festival, and not worth crashing) a cluster of C3 employees (not in the festival) and one guy deciding who could get by. If you didn’t catch all that the first time, you’ll get a second chance as we now do that in reverse.
First we have to talk to the guy at the entrance to this street. All he needs to know is that we’re meeting up with our team at the media entrance and we hear it’s this way. One down. Harder to talk our way past is the cluster of C3 employees, who want to know which media group we we’re with. I panicked. I literally said nothing for 10 seconds before saying “I can’t remember…” Jordan stepped up and said he was with ABC news, I made up a blog for Jeff and mumbled “Festival Crashers” for myself. Anyone reasonable could tell that we were full of shit, but somehow that worked for the main C3 guy at that checkpoint.
We’d successfully joined a big group walking into the media entrance last year, so instead of being tactful and doing that this year, we just walked up and made a super lame excuse about how we’d stepped out to make a call. The guy wasn’t fooled for a second, and we were stalled. Thankfully, we were now at the wall of port-o-potys, which is an ideal place for a pass back. Jeff and Jordan went ahead, as I waited for Andy and Caitlin. They found me and both decided they weren’t ready to pass back either of their passes on a Saturday. No hard feelings, but if that’s your stance, I can figure it out. They left and I got a text that Jeff and Jordan had made it in. I decided to press on, past the wall of port-o-
potys, to one dude watching the VIP area full of red bull. I saw a fellow security guard bringing him a styrofoam container just as I was approaching him, so I said “Looks like lunch finally got here,” as I flashed my commemorative badge at him. He nodded and smiled and I walked right in. I grabbed two red bulls, turned the corner and danced my way to Andy and Caitlin as Fitz and the Tantrums started the first set of the day I wanted to see.