listen to the playlists, (I’ve created a few) get to know all the artists and build your schedule
with who you gotta see then who you wanna see, then who you’re ok with missing
if you need a break or schedules overlap.
If your objective to to see a lot, if not most of the shows,
then know you may catch halves of shows as you move from one to another.
Build a Note in your phone with this schedule so you can look at it
throughout the day, so as to not miss something you may forget about
whilst in the fog of war.
Build another Note for people you come across, things you wanna remember,
songs you loved, and any other randomness that pops in your head.
Great way to utilize your backup brain
for storage so you can live in the moment.
Mane Stage is great, but it really is tough to see most of the bigger acts as the night progresses
and the stage feels farther and farther away (unless you plan on crowd cramming and standing which is a kickass time too,
but potty and beverage breaks can make it tougher).
Plan to bring low-back lawn chairs, and either towels (though bulky /blankets not technically allowed, but can fit rolled in a chair on entrance)
or a cheap shower liner or 2 depending on the size of your group. 1 liner can comfortably fit 5 chairs.
Don’t be an asshole and take up luxurious room, share with others, Or your spot will shrink as others begin to fill in.
Stake the floor with either wooden/plastic stakes or golf tees . lay chairs down during day so wind doesn’t turn them into a weapon.
Take a pic of the spot w/a landmark in view and send it to the group each morning so y’all have it when it looks like anarchy after dark…
The paths in and out are key and fun. Be polite when getting there as you will be stepping on others’ spots as well.
Be cool, others will mirror your energy.
Those who don’t, don’t pay them the gravity.
Palomino is hands down, the best venue for concerts (the Mustang Stage was pretty solid too).
Here you will generally find the vintage acts, rising stars, and some of the most beautiful gems you will ever find
(Zach Bryan, Tyler Childers, Hayes Carll, etc)
You can hang out all day, get as close as ya want (till it starts to pack for the underground and old school favorites)
ZZ Top one year was about the wildest I can remember with people 40 yards outside the venue, chest to back packed.
There’s hay bales to sit on, couple small bars nearby, bathrooms adjacent, and shaded.
Sunsets here during a set are some of the best experience in this life.
The Budlight Session/Backyard village is a great way to make up catching someone that you may miss due to scheduling and last year had some big names
(this year seems dialed back and not happening on Sunday ??) and it’s intimate… especially compared to the inch tall performer on Mane Stage…
it used to be hot AF and facing into the sun, looks like it’ll be a bit different this year.
Then the Nikki Lane Horseshoe stage is perfect for catching solid acts that’ll be big within a few years,
you can damn near kiss em all, and have lunch on the picnic tables in front or shop in the many cool spots in that village.
the music is excellent here, without a crowd.
Go to the back and see the Compton Cowboy complex, say hey, chat with em,
and give some love to the livestock. it’ll be a treat.
Speaking of animals, the Half-Pint Hootenanny.
not sure if they’ll allow unattended adults (without a kid) which I think was new last year (? )
because I loved going in and loving on some pigs and chicken…
Check it out.
wow, this place is a different animal each time you go in throughout the day.
great spot to line-dance during the day or watch some professionals, get some much needed AC,
and at night… it is a western rave, I shit you not.
Pure insanity with killer DJs (go catch a friend, DJ BadAsh Sunday 4-6p, she’s badass and I think has the longest tenure and one of the first to DJ country music…)
go see this place at least once during day and night.
Guy Fieri’s Smokehouse is a great spot to grab food, booz, and watch Guy chat and cook with some big names.
I always seem to miss this as I’m bouncing around so much and it’s always jam packed, but worth taking a look.
Be on the lookout for the *secret Tiki Bar… The Yellowstone Dutton Ranch is new…
I’m sure it’ll add some drama.
As for the day,
wear shorts and boots until the sun goes down, change into night attire between sets and sunset.
if you drove (don’t drink and drive, please, seriously) then buy a resort wristband so you can go in/out to your car to change and drink a little, otherwise rent a locker.
They’re way too fucking expensive, but that’s all part of this game we’re playing, and it will be a godsend for your gear.
You may even be able to store your lawn chairs inside over night so you don’t lug em in/out each day.
it’s a long walk from parking. It’s free tho, but there is a VIP parking option.
No overnights, car will be towed. (there is an overnight/companion parking location with a separate pass).
given the long dusty walk, if need be, bring beater shoes and 2 drinks for the base buzz.
Chilly at night, plan for layers. Windy/dusty AF too all too often.
Get your 21/over wristband the second you walk in each day.
the line will be ridiculous at any given point and who wants to wait in line just to go wait in another line for $20 beers?
face that fact: beer and food are not inexpensive at all.
See pregame/perp walk/costume change for supplemental buzz. Any ways of sneaking booz in should be discussed offline
so as to not foil your own plans, as it is strictly prohibited to sneak booz in.
Again, the Resort is a playground for all things fun with boots in the sun so consider adventuring around there, make some friends and stash your beers there.
The Beer Hall has some great options and shade with misters.
Seven Peaks is always super packed.
Different setup this year so we’ll see.
Always long lines.
Mmm, so much good stuff but hands down the cream of the crop… the pizza from one spot.
Now it’s outrageously priced and you can buy a whole pizza but dang if it ain’t the best thing you’ll eat out in the desert.
If you got in early, and have time, this is when you should explore all the things not necessarily musical.
Spectrum Tower is beautiful and has the best AC in the valley.
Vendors, Shein was super fun and unique, animals, Ferris wheel, Toyota Ride & Drive and Music Den, etc.
Explore, it’s what ya paid for.
Bandaids for blisters, extra socks, energy supplements if needed, water bottle strapped to ya,
a coozie of varying sizes depending, battery pack, share my location activated with your group,
sunscreen, chapstick, fanny pack, Kleenex, cowboy hat, boots, a good lay of the land, meeting spot strategies,
good vibes, love in your heart for all attending (compassion), and a smile for every person you pass.
Do not miss the late acts at Palomino.
They are unique and wild. That’s life with a western mindset,
embrace and experience it.
Diplo especially Sunday night as he always closes out the year in grand fashion.
people will tell ya to start leaving near the end of the headliner…
Meh, start packing up, maybe even move to the fringes, but go by Palomino.
and that long walk to the car will still be there…
remember each one of those walks as they are the soundtrack to your weekend.
people and feet, dust and lights, bicycle taxis w/beats, and a few spousal fights…
Enjoy the pain, turn it to power. Start your packing lists now.
what to bring for the stay /camping what you’ll wear (hot days, chilly nights, lotta dust, sore feet, lotta sun)
and then your diet/schedule that weekend
Booze schedule if you’re boozing. You’ll be fueling a long weekend,
plan like a marathoner. But drinking.
if you aren’t close enough to walk, which isn’t inexpensive,
best bet is to either stay anywhere and drive/park free at the venue (assuming a sober driver)
or uber, which can get pricey but gotta factor that in and compare with other boarding options.
or shuttle.Long trip by shuttle, and long lines sometimes leaving at night.
but if you have the time and can uber/drive to a nearby shuttle stop, it’s great, and you can drink on the way and back.
Hiring a driver or researching local folks privately driving is another good option but signal a slight concern for some, (not me)
as many a year I was driven home by someone who lives local and drives folks around all day and night for reasonable rates.
or camp. Best option IMO.
The Resort is epic, but not for everyone.
Some find it’s their jam and others find out it most certainly is not their jam.
Resort is party central.
Country alleys on a city grid of RVs, pools, dance floors, raucous beer pong games, temporary but badass bars, and music blasting on every avenue.
and yes, be careful when buying any passes, parking or resort.
meet in person probably your best bet.RV if you can, otherwise car camp.or El Dorado.
FRIDAY, APRIL 28
JON PARDI• RILEY GREEN
ZZ TOP • ELLE KING • BRELAND• MELISSA ETHERIDGE
PRISCILLA BLOCK • SAMMY KERSHAW IAN MUNSICK • NATE SMITH
JACKSON DEAN • TRINIE MATTEL SEAFORTH • DRAKE MILLIGAN
AMERICAN AQUARIUM • FLAMIN’ GROOVIES • THE LAST BANDOLEROS
TIERA KENNEDY • MACKENZIE CARPENTER • BELLA WHITE
DESTINIE LYNN • THE TALL PINES
ANGELA PERLEY • DINER
CALEB CAUDLE • FRANKLIN JONAS
SHE RETURNS FROM WAR
DJ RICK • PENNYWILD
FLYING MOJITO BROS • DISKO COWBOY
SATURDAY, APRIL 29
OLD DOMINION • GABBY BARRETT BRYAN ADAMS • NIKO MOON• NELLY
MORGAN WADE • MARTY STUART MARY CHAPIN CARPENTER
NIKKI LANE • COREY KENT • LILY ROSE RESTLESS ROAD • COOPER ALAN
KEB’ MO’ • AVERY ANNA • JAIME WYATT • ABBEY CONE • TRÉ BURT LOGAN LEDGER
TIMLIGHTYEAR TRIO • SWEET NOTHIN’S
LEROY FROM THE NORTH • LOLA KIRK
KATHRYN LEGENDRE • HOLY NEIGHBORS
RANDY SAVVY • DJ 30RACK • ALANA GRACE
FUNDIDO • BLAKE HORSTMAN
SUNDAY, APRIL 30
BROOKS & DUNN• PARKER MCCOLLUM • TYLER CHILDERS TURNPIKE TROUBADOURS • DIPLO
LAINEY WILSON • RYAN BINGHAM PARMALEE • BAILEY ZIMMERMAN
LUKE GRIMES • VALERIE JUNE WARREN ZEIDERS • SIERRA FERRELL
19 WINCHESTER • TYLER BRADEN MADELINE EDWARDS • KAITLIN BUTTS NICK SHOULDERS
LOS ROCK ANGELS • KAPALI LONG
KYLE NIX AND THE 38’s
EMBLA AND THE KARADOTTERS
KENNY FEIDLER AND THE COWBOY KILLERS
THE TEXAS GENTLEMEN
DJ KERMIE J ROCK • DJ BADASH
CHEAT CODES • LOST FREQUENCIES
Know your setlist. know when which song might come on, you could know what to miss should you need to grab a drink or go potty or for whatever reason. I use it if I wanna catch 2 artists playing at the same time where I could catch my favorite songs at the begging of one artist’s set and other favorites at the end of another. to note: setlist are assumed and based off past sets so they are rarely perfectly accurate and festivals are game changers.
Carry some candy with ya. Preferably not melting, you’re in the desert. they’ll help with your thirst, your blood sugar, and your breath since you’ll be in close range to everyone. also, try coffee candies that also give a bit of a pick me up (not great for breath )
Activate Find My iPhone and know your information so you can login from a friend’s phone immediately to find it
I’ve created a bungee strap with carabiners that attaches to my belt and my phone because I know if it’s not attached to me, I will likely leave it behind somewhere, especially when under the influence of (joy and awesomeness).
share location with everyone in your text group. It may be one of the most useful bits of information the entire weekend especially if you lose your phone… don’t have to go thru Find My iPhone.
Write the phone numbers of your friends on a piece of paper and put in your wallet… in case your phone dies or disappears. it happens.
Toss on the YouTube playlist at your hotel or Airbnb each morning until you leave. If you haven’t already gotten into them long before the weekend, this helps you get a better vibe of who these people are. I’ll try to get a YouTube playlist out fairly soon…
If you have a driver in your group that is purposely staying sober or is generally a non-drinker and driving you to and from the concert, each of y’all try to buy them a meal or something at some point throughout the weekend. They are your hero and the rest of our’s on the road as well.
pick up your trash. Showcase your humanity by doing what you can, reasonably, to throw everything that you brought or consume, in or near a garbage can. If you can save another person from having to bend over and pick up your filthy trash, three or four times a day, pat yourself on the back, you did well. Those in the standing only areas in the middle of a concert are very much excused, for the most part, as it’s hard to leave those spots and you don’t want to hang on the empties the whole time, and likely you’re not going to pick up what you threw on the ground , considering (thank you Shawna Heerschaap for highlighting this and the next one)
Be mindful of those around you when you use the restroom. Parents with littles tend to be in emergency mode which I hope you can understand, they are doing their part to raise good humans and you showing compassion and kindness is a solid way for you to be an example of that. in addition to those who are elderly or adversely mobility affected…
All in all, have fun y’all.
And go see some new stuff.
they’re the headliners of tomorrow
we’re making the memories of today.
Born city, raised country, west coast to east coast and back again. B.A., M.B.A., then back to LA,
lending to a love of capturing moments given any lens, and the adoration of all music, especially experienced live,
where this moment-capturing poet jives and thrives.
work in progress, y’all
[a part of the Founders Yonder Collective (FYCmoments)]