Okay Ladies and Gentleman, Sit back and relax. This is a long story but it is one of those WTF days where you look around for the cameras because you MUST be in a movie or something!
The day started all well and good, the alarm didn't go off so Mom and I were running late to go to the B93 birthday bash in Ionia, MI. It was a country music fest that was featuring Blake Shelton, Craig Morgan, Zac Brown Band and a special guest on Saturday. Then Emerson Drive, Dierks Bentley and another special guest Sunday. Supposedly. As previously stated we were running about an hour and a half late. About halfway to the concert we had a coffee accident ALL over the car which made our late arrival even later. When we finally got to the "area" of the concert we were stuck in a car line outside waiting to get in when we saw other cars turning around and leaving. We finally flagged someone down and asked. We were informed that they were telling people to go to the other entrance because the parking lot was too muddy. OK, you have to understand that it had rained for the last 2 days straight and there was a river right next to the fair grounds. So a little mud was understandable, maybe even expected.
Now at this point we were like "Hmm, do we turn around and start the whole line process over or wait here while everyone leaves and get right in?" Well I beat mom in the debate and we turned around and went to the other entrance. After about another 45 min of waiting we paid for parking (supposed to be $15 but the takers swindled us out of our change.... whole other story) and happened to get a spot right up near the entrance since they had JUST opened this lot. We get in and get some "meh" seats. After about another hour they started turning people away because they had reached capacity (Keep in mind, capacity was around 80,000) After another hour or so they started to announce that some of the cars in the "back lot" (where we would have parked had we not turned around) had flooding issues and if anyone was parked there they should move their vehicles. Mom and I took this opportunity to get a better vantage point since people were leaving and we parked in a prime location!
Ok, good, great right? Another hour or so we are getting several updates about the flooding. They are trying to shorten the acts to close up early. One girl next to us comes back and tells her friends that her car is completely submerged and there is no hope for it. Cue worried looks between Mom and I. I walk to the entrance (where, I might mention I can actually see my car. NOT even close to any water.) So I'm not worried.
I go back to our seats, Mom tells me that they announced that the final 3 acts have been told they must come on together if they want to perform at all. I ask Mom who the "special guest" is and she says "Some Linda Mitchell lady" I have no idea who Linda Mitchell is so I am slightly disappointed. Blake, Craig, and "linda" are onstage doing a slightly improvised accoustic jam-session (SUPER COOL by the way!) Finally, "Linda" starts singing. I say to Mom, "Man this girl sounds like Michelle Branch..." To which she replies "Oh, Yeah thats who it is!!" How she got Linda Mitchell from Michelle Branch I will never know....
Anywho. The big bad police man comes out, takes the mike from Blake and tells everyone, Ummm Sorry guys but Everyone has to leave NOW! Everyone packs up all their stuff and heads to the exits. Surprisingly we only heard one "F*** You!" from the croud to the police man. Fortunately we were parked pretty close to the gates so we got to the car quickly. After some fancy cutting off of people, we were finally headed toward the exit. Suddenly we saw people walking back towards the parking lot wet and carrying their things. We asked one person if we could get out that way (The same way we came in only 5 or so hours before) to which she replied "Well, SOME cars are getting through..."
Oh, Crap. as we inch forward we see the entire area where we came in completely flooded. The ticket booths where we paid for parking had water 3/4ths of the way to the top. Keep in mind we decided to drive my little Dodge intrepid today instead of my Jeep Grand Cherokee to save gas! Fortunately after some careful driving we made it through the flood (when we opened the doors the water was almost coming in, like less than 1/4inch away) got on the road and headed home....Whew...
Less than 1/2hour later we heard on the radio station that hosted the bash that almost all the cars left there were stuck and they were calling people to abandon their vehicles and come to the main building and they were flying in provisions!! They were using boats to get people out. As of about an hour ago, thousands of people are STILL stranded there, and have pretty much lost their vehicles.
I mean who would have thought???? How many things that we did today contributed to us not being stranded there right now? If I hadn't spilled coffee, if we hadn't turned around, if I hadn't pissed people off by cutting in, if we had hung around a couple minutes longer....?? I mean, really??
So enough of my crazy rant. It may be one of those you had to be there moments, but here are some pics of the parking lots, from the local news website....
Three Weeks In
4 weeks ago