Pre Travel: Almost missed my plane getting out of NYC. I was traveling to Burlington Vermont and my friend was picking me up, we’d do our last minute errands and road trip it out to Maine. I got up to VT by 10:30am, and we hit the WalMart (air mattress, batteries, cooler, etc.), Hannaford’s (grocery shopping), and Health Food Store (well, my friend is a hippie from VT, we had to stop for “specifics”).
Ticket Issue: What is with me and the tickets? After my experience at Wanee with me forgetting the ticket in NYC, I decided to get the “print your own”. Smart right? Well. Not so much. Gmail decided to have “server problems” at the exact moment I wanted to print the PDF. I could not download. I could not do anything. And I was not pleased. So, like Wanee, I took my confirmation email and my receipt, and ticketless we moved on to the road trip.
Parking lot to get in: We rolled in on that one road in/one road out Rte 26. Time check? 10pm. Missed Lettuce. Missed Lotus. Missed it all. Parking lot full, cars, busses, RVs, vans all in line trying to get in. By 10:30 I decided to ditch my friend and try to find someone who could help me with the ticket business. After one Nateva person to another they finally sent me “waaay over there to that tent there” for someone to help me. I have to admit, it kinda looked like a chaotic mess. People with scanner things running around, a bunch of hippies waiting to get scanned who were NOT in a car and were on foot, and I was told to “stand over there”. After “standing over there”, I saw a buddy of mine who I just saw at the Furthur shows in Brooklyn. Totally random. Totally beautiful. So happy.
Setting up Camp: Well, we had a bit of a buzzkill when we got to the spot, which was way at the end of the camping area before the parking lot. We were happy to not be camping in the parking lot, or off site, which was 4 miles away via shuttle bus. But, unfortunately we had neighbor problems. They looked a bit sketchy, but don’t we all kinda at festivals? I heeded it no mind. At first. Here’s an accounting of what happened.
- Everyone set up camp next to your car. You had 2 spaces. These younger wooks/kids took our neighbors campsite and parked their van right behind our neighbors car – so close to the car you couldn’t open the trunk. We tried to tell them it wasn’t a place to park, they should find another place – but they would not have it, and was rather rude when we tried to explain the situation.
- Nitrous dealers. We suspect they were selling nitrous over the fence. There were a lot of people jumping the fence all night long as well. But our new sketch neighbors were sketchy. It was interesting to say the least.
- Blaring music. All night long these guys were blaring the oddest iPod tunes. From hardcore punk rock to Jerry Garcia Band. It was odd. Bizarre. Annoying. I couldn’t sleep. And I was becoming bummed out about our campsite situation.
- In the morning, my buddy and I asked them to move their van so our new camp friends could get into their trunk. We were told “no”, “can’t find the keys”, “wait a bit”, “when we’re ready”. Yeah, these guys were so very not cool.
- Security shows up and arrests one of their friends. I happened to be showering from the coldest spigot in the park and didn’t see the shakedown. Nateva security is cool, they listened to us and our woes about the music and the stupidity of the parking spot. We were told not to worry, Oxford Police were on the way. Whoa.
- Police tow their van. We were told they were towing it because the guy they arrested told the cops that this was his truck. Okay. Whatever. By this point, many people from other areas are introducing themselves to us, asking us about what is going on, we are bonding over the pain of the night before and the loud music. It was actually kinda cool, all the friendlies came out of the woodwork.
- I was told that I should “make nice” with them. They are pissed and that I should do anything to just talk with them and get the situation down a few notches. I tried. Well, let me rephrase that. I tried to say, “Hey, don’t know really what just went down, but want you to know we didn’t get security involved.” I got up to about “Hey, don’t know really what happened,” before he started going off on me. “How do I feel now that I just got one of his buddies arrested? You should really get out of my face before I do something. I am logical, I went to law school (oh jeez) and I know what happened.” I tried to talk back with him, but was getting lambasted so I just walked away.
- We watched them pack up their truck and leave. I felt the whole energy change. Everyone left standing around the two empty spots had just bonded and this was my new camp family. Beautiful. Until….
- Retribution. I was sleeping in the tent when it went down around 4:30-5am. From the story I got, it seemed like one of the original guys walked his buddies to where our car was and they slashed our tire. Everyone from the surrounding camps started running to us in protection. They weren’t found. Security apparently came. They stopped by in the morning when I woke up too. My friend put in a police report. We waited for AAA to show. We changed the tire. We decided not to let it bother us. We said it was better that they slashed the tire than slashing me sleeping. That would be a bummer for sure.
- After that, there was security sitting in our camp area, and I have to admit – I felt better. I think it’s safe to say our area collectively felt better with them there.
So… that was the incident. I heard other security issues were abound. But I have to say the Nateva Security was great to us. They were on it, they were present, they were cool and they looked out for us. So did the beautiful people surrounding our campsite. I heard that it was planned if we got screwed with again, our new camp family was gonna shake them to the ground and keep them there till security came by. Strangers helping, looking out for, feeding, laughing, and playing with strangers. These people were not strangers by the time we left. They were truly family.