Maximize Your Country In The Park Experience!

Country in the Park is Friday, August 25, at Cal-Expo. The parking lot opens at 2, gates open at 4:30, music starts right around 6. We’re stoked, the artists are stoked, and we hope you are too. Now, let’s review a few things to make sure you and everyone around you has the Best. Time. Ever!

1) Be prepared for a crowd. Duh, right? But it’s amazing that every year, there are a few people who get upset because …there are other people! No lie. If you want a little space for yourself, either get there early and stake out a claim on the track or grab a seat in the grandstands. But if you’re planning on arriving later, or you’re going to be in the “pit” area the whole time, just accept the fact you’re probably going to be surrounded–very closely–by a lot of people. Rather than get upset with them intruding into your “bubble”, make friends with them. Share your bubble. If we all share our bubbles we’ll all be happier and enjoy the show more.

2) Leave your cooler in the truck. Unfortunately you can’t bring in outside food or drinks, except for unopened bottles of water (if you have a specific medical need, get a doctor’s note or some other official notice that it’s medically necessary and show it to the folks at the front gate as you’re being let in). We’ll have every kind of food and beverage you can image inside, for sale, because this event is about our vendors having a good day too 🙂 Yes, chairs (low-backed preferred) and blankets will once again be allowed. And, as mentioned, you CAN bring in your own personal bottle of water and a bottle per person with you. However it must be in a sealed bottle that hasn’t been opened ahead of time. Because, you know, vodka looks like water.

3) If you need assistance in any way, please ask! Not only will there be a good security presence, anyone wearing a KNCI shirt can also give you a hand. Doesn’t matter if you have a question, an issue with another concert-goer…whatever. Please ask! It’s no problem. Really!

5) No tailgating. Same as the last couple years. It’s a rule we didn’t want to impose but the last time we allowed it, there was an amazing number of people who thought it was somebody else’s job to clean up after them, not to mention one couple who thought the perfect place for a romantic interlude was under their truck. While people were walking by. With kids. Uh, nope. Yes, the parking lot opens at two. And you’re welcome to hang out. But don’t turn it into a party. The party is inside and starts when the gates open at 4:30.

6) Don’t be that guy or that girl. To make this clearer, we’ll break this into several categories:

 A)  Too Much to Drink Guy. They stumble around, not quite able to focus. Maybe they lose a shoe. Or their shirt. Or their lunch. They might be unreasonable to speak to. They could get belligerent. There’s a strong possibility they will get kicked out. 

   B) Rude Girl. These are the folks that may or may not be drunk but either way, they are pretty sure they were the only ones invited to the show and they can’t quite figure out what the hell all the rest of you are doing there. They get upset if you step on a corner of the blanket they so neatly laid out; it’s YOUR fault the food lines are so long; they never say “excuse me” when they step on your hand as they walk past you sitting on the ground. 

  C) Stoner Cowboy: Weed becomes legal in January. Right now, it’s not. If you’ve been to a heavily attended public event lately you’ve probably noticed a lot of folks ignore this fact. Maybe because they were high. Not to play on any chemically-induced paranoia, but security will be paying attention. Hey, Cheech, look, if you wanna smoke a bowl at home before you come, we can’t stop you. But sparking a fattie at the show or (as we witnessed one year) assembling your bong while somebody else’s five year-old kid is three feet away..? Just don’t. What the hell is wrong with you?

 D) “Can You Get Me Backstage?!!” girl: No, we can’t. 

 E) “I Have To Get Backstage!!” girl: No, you don’t.

F) Shirt Off Dude. This one’s subjective of course and there are no rules against it (Uh, except for ladies. Sorry, ladies) but, guys, at least think twice before you peel off your shirt. Doesn’t matter if you’re ripped like Adonis, all roly-poly like the Michelin Man or so tatted up you look like the Sunday comics: in tight quarters, not everyone’s going to appreciate your bare sweaty chest brushing up against them. Or that thing you call a navel. What is that, anyway?

7) Kids. Kids are always welcome to Country in the Park. Five and under get in free. But, it is a concert, not Disney on Ice. The music is very loud so please please please, have earplugs or headphones for your children to wear, especially if they are young. As someone with genuine hearing loss, their future spouse will someday thank you. It could be very hot. Make sure you have sunscreen for them and plenty of water. Also, despite the above guidelines, there are still going to be a few adults who just won’t get it and thus will not be at their most…um…presentable. Security and KNCI staff will do everything we can to minimize the influence these folks have but the fact is, we can’t be everywhere, all the time. Your child might hear some cuss words. They might see a fight. They could see Dan Cheatham with his shirt off because he’s not going to read this blog. If you have a sitter, especially for young children..? Friday might be a good time to book ’em.

8) Indulge responsibly. Meaning, by all means, drink up, have a great time. But as already hinted at above, don’t take it over the line. Your fellow concert goers are there to enjoy the show, not deal with you. And by all means, if you plan to drink, arrange ahead of time for a safe ride home. Uber, Lyft, a cab….buy a ticket for your teetotaler friend who thinks Justin Moore rocks. Don’t drive impaired!

As is always the case, 99.9% of the folks attending the show are going to be like you: totally cool, adaptable, tolerant and understanding that at big events, sometimes things don’t always go perfectly as planned. For the other .1%? We’d still love to have them. We just hope they can pay attention to these few simple guidelines and we promise they’ll have just as much fun!

More from Tom Mailey

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