How to Survive a Music Festival: Fancy Footwear

The Austin City Limits Music Festival took place this past weekend in Austin.

It is a huge event that has been held in Austin since 2002. It draws tens of thousands of music lovers from all over the world. All of these enthusiasts are seeking great music, mixed in with a little good fun and tasty food.

Attending an event like this, one that is held in an open air venue and happens rain or shine, can be a challenge on many levels. The standard challenges exist regardless of the weather: how to get there, when to get there, etc. The basic logistics don’t really change. You need to plan ahead no matter what.

But, when the weather is not cooperating, you have to think and plan differently. Rain brings consequences, like wet clothes, wet phones and cameras. Wet everything. For some people that may be part of the fun and spontaneity of it all.

For me, and for many others this weekend, it was not. Ziploc was the name of the game. The Texas-size rain produced Texas-size mud. It was sticky, gooey, and mushy all at the same time. It smelled. And it was all over the place, even in places where it was obvious that grass and hay had once existed.

I couldn’t help but wonder what was floating unseen in that mud. Even as I listened to the stories from fellow festivalgoers, stories about mudfests and slip sliding, my mind reeled with the possibilities. Where had that mud been? What had been in that mud? What was still in that mud, festering and growing? Yuck!!

I remained silent and just listened to the stories. I recalled the concert I had attended years ago. The concert at The Cynthia Woods Pavilion in The Woodlands, TX where I had lawn seats. The chance of rain that evening was only about 30%. But, we all know the stories about Texas weather predictions. Thirty percent turned to 100%. The hill on the lawn became a mud slide. At first, it was fun. So fun that I gave in and took my flipflops off so that I could get around barefoot. Easier not to fall that way.

But, it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt. Luckily for everyone else, it was only me that got hurt. I got chiggers…a Texas experience that I had not yet been exposed to. Let me share with you this little tidbit: You don’t want these. Ever. They imbedded themselves in the top of my foot, right near my toes, and they itched like nothing I had ever felt before. They beat out the itch of poison ivy.

After that, I vowed never to wear flipflops to an outdoor event when there is a forecast for rain, regardless of the probability of that forecast being correct.

With that in mind, I wore sneakers to ACL. Old ones that I wouldn’t mind throwing away afterward.

I had not thought about boots until I arrived and saw many people, men and women, wearing knee-high rubber boots. And not only boring black or green ones either.

Sure, there were some who were wearing the boring, functional kind.

But, most people were fashionable about their boot choice. Even accessorized. Girls had earrings that matched. Some had color-coordinated their clothes with their boots.  And, women being women, groups coordinated by wearing the same designs. Check out some of the boot fashion I saw!

I left the festival knowing that next time I attend one, in the rain or with any chance of rain, I will be prepared with fun and fancy footwear too!

© 2010-2012 Kimberly Bluth or Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior approval from Kimberly Yoss (Bluth).

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