I'm finally back home from my HOMF 2012 VIP experience and I thought I'd share some of the highs, lows, and suggestions for 2013. So, grab a beer and bless your heart for reading through this.
1 Getting our wristbands mailed – We were thrilled to have not stood in the sun for 1+ hours to get wristbands! It was brutal last year!
2. The Kick-off Party – It was the perfect start to a festival weekend! Crowds were decent, but not overwhelming. The acts were top-knotch. I stood literally 20 feet away from Delta Rae and became even MORE excited for the upcoming weekend. Well done!
3. The Gates – Not having to wait for wristbands (see #1) made this SUPER easy. Also, there were three entrances with WAY more lines to get your bags checked and whatnot. It never took us, as VIPs, more than a couple of minutes to get our bags checked and go on our way.
4. The VIP Grove – Well done!! It was in a central location and had a nice laid back vibe, which starkly contrasted the craziness beyond the grove gates. We loved being able to relax under an umbrella or shade tree and still be able to hear the Letting Go stage, Main Stage and…
5. VIP Grove Concerts – We were tickled when we saw that some of the acts we missed earlier in the weekend were playing an intimate concert for us! You definitely got cool points for that!!
6. VIP Potties – After using a GA potty on Sunday night last year, you have no idea how nice the VIP potties were. Trust me.
7. Shaded Viewing Areas at the VIP Letting Go and Chevy Stages – Even with SPF 50, I develop severe sun poisoning. Being in those shaded areas saved my skin a bit.
8. VIP Bars – The staff was super friendly (especially with pouring the mixed drinks in the Grove – Yow! Strong!) and the bars, with the exception of the Chevy Stage bar, were well-equipped.
9. The App – The App was so helpful for getting around. I hope this is expanded for next year's fest.
10. Main Stage Pools – Ahhhhh! I wish these were at the Chevy Stage too… so nice!
Are you still reading? How's that beer?
1. Encores – I looked like a fool standing there and screaming for an encore. Why did you get rid of those? Call me old, but I don't feel like it is a show without an encore. Bring encores back!
2. The VIP Chevy Viewing Area – Although I appreciated the (see #7 in the good) shaded viewing area, The VIPs were pretty much on the back side of a dune. If we need to be that far back on that stage to have shade, how about some risers? Also, I talked to some VIPs who went into the GA side of that stage to get a better view. A good remedy to that problem is to give VIPs who care about that sort of thing a small bit of stage access.
3. The VIP Chevy Bar – I'm not sure what was going on, and am fully aware that I was at busier sets, but the VIP Chevy bar was the only bar where I noticed certain beers and water were unavailable at times. There was no ice available until Sleeper Agent was almost over. The bar staff was totally apologetic, so I'm not mad. I just wanted to point out the possible supply problem.
4. The VIP Letting Go Viewing Area – Again, in full appreciation of the shade, it was hard to hear some of the acts because of all the ATV congestion/people talking loudly over the ATV congestion. Would it be unreasonable to wire some speakers to the VIP area? Also, it would be great to put the jumbotron on the left side of that stage. The soundboard rig blocked our view of the sole jumbotron on the right of the stage.
5. The Snacks – I'm not going to lie. We were underwhelmed with the snacks. I saw what the VIPs were eating last year and it was much better than this year. Also, what was available seemed to run out between 6 and 7. Considering I'm hypoglycemic and must eat every few hours, this didn't bode well for the blood sugar. A fantastic suggestion I thought of for late night snacks – a popcorn machine! We rented one for a cousin's wedding, so I know it would be a cost effective solution.
6. No VIP Area for X Box Tent – With the exception of Hey Rosetta, we avoided that stage like the plague because there was no VIP area. Yeah, we were being snobs, but after surviving the trauma of Girl Talk last year, I wasn't chancing it again.
7. Alabama Shakes Set – Crews were installing a fence IN THE MIDDLE of the Alabama Shakes set. It made no sense because there was an hour between the end of their set and the beginning of the next set on the Chevy Stage. It seriously ruined the set and is probably the most disappointing moment of the entire fest.
8. The VIP Yoga Debacle – Out of respect for Kangfirmed, I will leave it at that.
This is where I'm putting suggestions for random things that we noticed. Unlike "The Bad" where there were actual problems/issues that went against our expectations, these are cool extras that would make HOMF 2013 more pleasurable. Don't you get ugly with me for the suggestions!
1. Main Stage Shade – Main Stage was BRUTAL for my skin during the early afternoon hours. Adding a small shaded area would be fantastic. I'm sure the other pale VIPs would appreciate it as well.
2. Leaving At the End of the Night – I suggest finding a way to open additional arteries to the exits at the end of the night. The gates (See #3 of The Good) were still spacious. The problem was snaking our way to those gates from the Main Stage. The path back to the gates is not greatly lit and most of us (myself included) are tipsy. Also, 35k people taking the same narrow path to the gates created a bottleneck. I don't know how to fix this without opening additional arteries, but I thought it should be pointed out.
You deserve a cookie of you made it this far.
As you can see, the Good outweighs the Bad! We had the time of our lives and can't wait to do it all again, VIP style, next year! Thanks and see you next year.