Saturday, May 27, 2006

HFStival Dispatch #1

I know it's still early, but things are looking pretty good at the HFStival. I dropped in around 10:30 am, a half hour before the concert began. Here's what I saw.

Not much of a line at the front gate. Nonetheless, everything seemed to be in place for a big crowd. Something tells me, however, that we're not going to see a big rush with this concert like we have with other large events. Because each festival day is so long, people are most likely going to filter in and out. I'm thinking the worst traffic will occur tonight at 11 pm after Kanye West's set. Consider yourself warned.

This picture was taken on the east side of Merriweather, where the grounds have extended into Symphony Woods. This is looking towards the southeast parking lot -- the one bordering Broken Land Parkway.

Standing on Broken Land Parkway. This stage is right on the road.

Crowd control on Little Patuxent Parkway. I call them Drunk Catchers.

Speaking of crowd control, I would say there was probably a 1:1 ratio of attendees to police/fire/ems workers. I think they're ready.

This is weird. Looks like a portable cell tower. Is it related to the fact that I can't get reception at my house today? Note the Drunk Catchers on the other side of the road, too.

Looking into the pavilion. This was actually the first picture I took; I rearranged the order here for the sake of the story.

Finally, the question on everyone's mind: Traffic?!?

Well, all the roads in Town Center were fine, as you can kind of see in the photos above. As for Rt. 29, here's what I saw on my way back at 11:30. Looking southbound from the pedestrian bridge:

Pretty wide open. But if there's traffic coming north from Rt 32 we wouldn't be able to tell from this photo. So, let's zoom in.

Overpass going to Broken Land looks good. Zooming more:

I know it's hard to see, but the upper left corner of the photo is Rt. 29 north as it comes over the hill before the exit for Broken Land. If there's ever a back up going to Merriweather, it's here. I've seen it spill on to 32 west, almost all the way to I-95. Today, though, nothing.

I hope to get back over there later.


Anonymous said...

What? No streaming video?? Actually, very nice to see photos posted this soon.

It's weird to see a portable cell tower brought in for this event. I first saw this phenomena at a festival in Baltimore back in the late '90's when I noticed a whole heck of a lot of people were busy talking away on their cell phones instead of enjoying the event they'd come to enjoy. Odd that people can't seem to unplug for even short periods.

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Anonymous said...

Great report more detailed than anyone would anticipate. Good job. Surprising how continuing to click on photos keeps enlarging them.

Anonymous said...

The Sun caught the "can't unplug while I'm at the concert" phenomena in action.

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