If you were near Lansing around 5 p.m. yesterday, you might have gotten caught in the minor monsoon that struck our fair city. I was on my way to the fourth day of the festival when I had to duck for cover in a nearby apartment building to wait out the storm.
Upon arrival, I noticed first two things: the lawn was soaked and muddy and the main stage was empty. In fact, all the stages were empty. I spoke to an employee, and he told me that much of the sensitive lighting and sound equipment had to be taken down. I commend the Common Ground staff for its ability to get the shows back on track after the storm, but there was a delay. Blake Wilson, scheduled for a 5:30 slot, showed up on the main stage at 6:15.
So what do you do at a music festival when there’s no music? Here’s what some people did to entertain themselves yesterday while waiting for the concert to start back up again.
The Hammock Hangout was a popular spot for bored concert-goers. Who knew that taking a nap at a concert was an option? A few folks who who couldn’t find any free hammocks tried to use the spare bungee cord there as a tightrope.
If circus training for the circus isn’t your style, you might try playing Common Ground’s extra-large games. There’s a giant bean bag toss and a huge Jenga set. If picking up large blocks of wood doesn’t float your boat, you could always get a drink from the multiple vendors to pass the time. Good luck opening it if you get anything bottled, though. I got a water and acquired five blisters before I found a burly man to unscrew the top for me. (I loosened it for him, okay?).
Food is also always an option for killing time. Just be mindful of the crowd while you eat. My ice cream sandwich met its untimely end after I bumped into a man headed to the main stage. And if all else fails, there’s nothing wrong with watching the crew set things back up again. The process is kind of fascinating, and there is something mesmerizing about looking at the colorful bars pass by on the massive stage monitor before it gets its signal back. (That also might have been why I lost the ice cream sandwich.)
Yesterday was the eighth, but it may as well have been Friday the 13th. There were technical difficulties all around, from tents being blown over to Lady Ace Boogie’s drummer breaking his foot pedal. But the real stars of the show were the volunteers and crew. Without their help, the concert would have been postponed, and seeing A$AP Rocky use cannons to make fake money rain on the crowd would’ve been impossible. (It’s now my ambition to do that someday.).
Hopefully this guide will help you if you get stuck without anything to do at the festival. But with Common Ground’s staff on the job, it seems unlikely the delay will last long. Bring it on, weather. (But actually, don’t. I have to be there two more days and would love to stay warm and dry.)