Looks like we made it
It was the Wednesday before Lockn' and I didn't think I was going. My boyfriend and I were broke, but when a kick ass festival comes around I always take off for it, just in case.
Earlier that week I had applied literally last minute to work Lockn'. I knew there was pretty much no chance of working it, but there was absolutely no way I could afford to go, so why not take the twenty minutes to apply?
That Wednesday at work I got a call from a lady named Laura.
" I need to speak with Jennifer Benton"
" This is she..."
" I received your email and I had pair drop out last minute. Would you and your boyfriend still like to work for us at Lockn'?"
" Does a bear shit in the woods? YES"
" Awesome! We'll need you guys here tonight by (whatever time she said) will that be an issue?"
" No ma'am!"
" Alrighty then! I'll send you all the info in an email. See you then."
I immediately called my boyfriend Lance and relayed the news. I could hear him literally jump for joy over the phone.
I get home, pack, print out paperwork, and we're off! We're going to Lockn', like we're really going to Lockn'!
The ride was easy, but when we arrived a microburst had just passed through. We barely missed it, thank goodness for us, but for everyone else it was a nightmare. Porter potties were all down, art from the vendors was scattered, the main stage was slumped, the VIP tents were nothing more than a pile of tarps and stakes laying in the mud.
We wasted no time after checking in with our staffers. We picked up what we could and tried to help those around us move on. The vendors took a major loss.
That night we receive notice that another microburst may come through and to pack up our campsites and sleep in our cars. We obliged, but it only rained a bit.
The next morning we set up our site and headed to the gate we were supposed to work. It was super muddy and hard to walk. Along the way we passed a group of people surrounding a younger boy who had slipped in the mud walking down hill. Everyone said he had broken his arm. Lance and I started to wonder if Lockn' would still go on considering the status of the venue.
We reached our destination and Thursday was cancelled. We were disappointed, but knew it was for the best.
The next day we are go. Full swing, we're working the gate, it's hot but not unbearable. It was going to be a great day. The music was starting and we couldn't wait for our shift to be over.
Mid-shift a tour bus comes through my line, with a much older head as the driver. I went to put a wristband on him and he freaks out and rips my arm out of socket.
It's dislocated and just hanging there. This guy told me I needed to watch myself. In pain, with tears in my eyes, and a dangling arm, I apologized to this tool bag. I didn't know what would happen if he complained about me and I felt like we had gone through so much to make it where we were that I didn't want to ruin it.
So, for at least ten minutes I go without saying anything to anyone. Then my boyfriend asks if I'm alright and I pull my sleeve over my shoulder to show him the hole that resided in my arm. I asked him to fix it but he didn't know how so I'm trying to instruct him, but it hurt so much I'm basically screaming and then a police officer starts toward us.
" What? "
" I hope he doesn't think you're beating me"
" Who?... Oh F***"
The officer actually saw what happened but didn't realize I was injured. He said you need to go to medical right away, when he laid eyes on the hole in my shoulder. He called it in against my will.
" They might not let us stay! " I exclaimed in anger.
" It's going to be okay, please sit down medical will be here shortly. "
My boyfriend spoke to our supervisors and they asked that we check in with them when we leave the medic tent.
At this point I just know they're going to make me leave.
At the tent where they're going to put my arm back in place, an emt is speaking with me and asks if I'm allergic to anything. Almost immediately after saying no, they tie off my arm and a fairly large guy with a needle is about hovering over me.
" Whoa, I don't do drugs! "
" Are you sure? "
" Please just put my arm back, if I'm doped up I won't be able to finish my shift, and I really don't want to leave. "
" I'm not sure where you're working here, but you won't be able to finish your shift regardless. You're going to be wearing a sling for the next few days. "
" JUST PUT IT BACK WITHOUT THE DAMN DRUGS"
" Okay but this is going to hurt "
" It already hurts! "
Boom, they twist my arm in the air and it's back. I even started thinking to myself, I should have taken the drugs. That ish hurt.
They cart us back to the gate we'd been working, and we talk to our supervisors.
" Are you okay? How are you feeling? "
" Are you gonna make us leave, because I feel fine to stay. "
( My arm burns like fire )
" Of course not! You can go rest if you'd like, the rest of your shifts are covered. "
" I'm gonna stay the remaining three hours. "
" But you can go? "
" Yeah, but I just denied free drugs to finish my shift, so that's what I'm gonna do. "
" Let me make sure that's okay. "
It was, and I spent the remainder of my shift counting ticket stubs, while Lance worked the line we were previously in.
After the last minute notice, after the weather, after sleeping in our car in hot hot heat, after no food for two days, even after the injury, after the shift, and during the pain, Lance and I had the best time.
We saw Robert Plant. We got so close to him that people would have paid maybe in the thousands for our spot at a seated venue. We saw both Phil Lesh shows. We got to see all of our favorite artists. We got to meet some super dope people with some super dope campsites. We made life long friends while becoming closer to our old friends. We raged our hearts out and loved every minute of it, and everything leading up to it was totally worth it.