RTE 23Get out to the field around 9:30 and it’s just an open field of grass. Soon enough the stage crew drives
up. There is a quick discussion about the location and they start to unload. Scaffolding, cables, decking, stairs, speakers, lights, structure, zip-ties (you have no idea the number of zip-ties) all start pouring forth. Frenzied activity.
Now that the stage has been located the beer garden must be constructed. Stanchions are put out at
regular intervals and linked together with plastic chains. They are then moved a couple of dozen times as the beer garden is formed and then re-formed to ensure the occupants (and those outside) have the optimum audio and visual experience. Tables and chairs are set out. The canopy for the ID check station is put up. Done. We look over at the stage and they already have the floor together.
Attention turns to the food vendors. “Okay, so we’ll put Foodie Fiction over here. Where are we
putting the crepe vendor? Which vendors need power?” A general idea of who goes where emerges.
Soon enough the vendors start to arrive…and park in the wrong spot. “Oh well, we’ll just move the BBQ guys over here and that will fix it.” Over at the stage they are beginning to crank the roof up.
Little issues start popping up; “Where is the ABC license?” For this and so many issues we are eternally thankful for the help given to us by UVA Wise. Angels named Hector and Michael swoop in to solve issues large and small. “We can’t get into the press box for the hospitality room.” “The key to the hospitality room broke off in the lock.” These and so many problems get swept away by them. The RTE23 banners are now on full display as the stage is fully constructed.
Hop into the golf cart and drive to the road to place the signs pointing everyone to the festival. Take the go carts down to the Pryor Center to get ice. Drive up to the hospitality room and find out they need ice. Go get more ice. The brewery pulls in and begins to set up. Go get TONS of ice. The stage is up and ready to go!
Here come the bands. Unload and take the instruments to the stage. They set up and do a sound check. Sounds great! “Oh this is going to be good!” No time to sit, head off and take care of a million little details.
Finally, we sit down for a few minutes. Exhausted. So much effort put forth. Not only today but months of planning, band selection, seeking sponsors (Thank you, Sponsors!) have gone into getting this ready. People start to filter in. Camp chairs and blankets appear on the once empty field of grass. And then the first band takes the stage. Totally worth it!