So, I'm officially back now. I mean, I know I said I was back last night, but only physically. My mind was elsewhere, and I was so tired that I barely remember writing anything!!! You may or may not want details, but you're getting them anyway!
As you know, I got up très early to score a good spot. By the time I got off the bus and made my way up Benjamin Franklin Parkway there were already loads of people set up with their blankets and chairs and stuff. I totally wished I had brought a chair, but whatever. No use crying over spilt milk!! Anyway, I found myself a nice little empty spot next to a cool guy named Tom. I probably could have gotten closer seeing as I was only one person, but I didn't even try. I laid down my Union Jack towel (sharing with Tom, of course, because that's just the kind of gal I am) and settled in for the long haul. There were loads of cool people around us. I'm SO bad with names I'm not even going to attempt to name everyone, so I'll just call them "Samantha and Friends." It was just an all-around good bunch. Good thing because they were supposed to be showing the Foreign feeds on the big screens from 7am until 12 when the show actually started, but for some reason they didn't. If I didn't have good company around me, I would have shot myself!!
We basically spent the next 5 hours or so trying to get people to stop stepping on us and our stuff in the hopes of finding a closer spot (which, by now, there wasn't any). One guy was incessantly trying to get by, but refusing to take his muddy shoes off in order to walk over the group's blanket. When they told them he couldn't, and that there was nowhere for him to go anyway, he got really belligerent and starting cursing, trying to intimidate Samantha. Ha, my girl wasn't having it. She stood right up and starting screaming right back in that mofos face, and all of the people around us cheered. It was great.
Another guy walked by and literally stepped right on the shoulder of another girl in the group, and she wiped the mud off of herself and put it right back onto his t-shirt. It was a highlight of my day at that point. One couple got so fed up with trying to maintain their spot that they finally said screw it and went elsewhere. I don't know if they left or not, but I felt bad for them. No one that gets to a concert that early to get a spot should have to lose it because of idiots who show up whenever they want.
There was another drunken rocket scientist who just walked onto the blanket of the girls on the other side of me, and just stood there. One of the girls very politely asked "Are you trying to get by?" to which he just shook his head no in that very slow, drunken way. He stood there for a few more minutes and she asked him again. Again he shook his head and just stood there... RIGHT in the middle of her blanket?? I finally got involved and said "Dude, do you want to get the hell out of here?" He hung his mouth open put his hands up to his chest like he was hurt and I said "Yes, you, you're standing right in the middle of her blanket!! Can you get out of here?" Surprisingly, he did as he was told. The other girl said "I'm so glad you're here because you've got more attitude than I do." Ha. Thanks.
Anyway, once the show finally started and everyone stood up, that's when the real mayhem began. I'm not exagerating when I said that for HOURS we were literally mowed over by groups of people who each thought that they were the single most important person there and that they deserved to be up front despite the fact that they "rolled up in there" just minutes before. When we tried to explain to people that not only were we there from 6am, but that there was nowhere to go even if we DID let them by, we got some interesting responses, the most common of which was "I was already up there, I'm just trying to get back to my spot" or "My friends are up there." Whatever. My personal fave was a guy who, when we tried to tell him to beat it, said "Naw, naw... my momma's up there already." He then started screaming at the top of his lungs "Momma! Momma! Aww, she can't hear me, I gotta get up there" I'm sure his imaginary momma was worried about him.
Another girl, when we told her that we got there at 6am said "Oh really? You got here at 6am? Guess what? I got here at 12:30 and I'm right here wichoo and I'm bout to be up there in front of you." Pure class.
Then there was the genius who came up behind us and said repeatedly "Man, I gotta get to work. Imma be late." Nice try, buddy. He eventually shoved his gargantuan ass through, only to stand maybe 2 people up from us for most of the show. At one point I couldn't resist yelling "Hey f***face, you're going to be late for work!"
When a group of about 20 people filtered (SHOVED) past us, I finally jumped in front of the last remaining few and said "NO!!! NO!!!! ENOUGH!!! That's it!!!" Verbal (and minor physical)altercations ensued, but my new friends and I stood our ground.
A few minutes later, when another was about to make an attempt, this tall skinny ugly girl said "That one's a bitch." He said "Which one?" and I turned around just in time to see her pointing at me. I just smiled at her. One of the girls with me said "What? She's a bitch because she doesn't want 200 people to talk in front of us when we've been here since 6? Whatever c***" (insert extremely nasty expletive). I love new friends.
My all time fave of the day was a guy who, when we formed a united front and said that he was absolutely not getting by said, "I will elbow the shit out of you bitches!" which he then did. I then tripped him and shoved him as hard as I could. Serves him right.
Later in the show, another looney literally DOVE through us. She was actually airborn, and almost took out at least 4 people. Once she landed, she turned to her fat little husband (whom we were now purposely blocking) and waved him in saying "Come on!! Just push!!!" We were not having it, and all he kept saying was "That's my wife, I've gotta get to my wife." I said "You're wife should have stayed where she was instead of almost killing people. Too bad." I can't remember if he got through or not, but it wasn't because we let him, I'll tell you that much.
There's a million more tales like that, but I don't want to go on forever. I don't want to make it all sound bad though. There were loads of nice people there too. I shared my water, they shared their sunscreen. It was cool.
Once my new buddies couldn't take it anymore and left, I started talking to the two girls who had been in front of us who were completely hysterical. They were sitting in chairs and behind one of them was a girl in a dress that was much too short and tight for her figure. She was close enough that any time the girl in the chair even slightly turned her head, all she saw in her peripheral vision was cooter. Not cool. Before eventually asking the offender to step back, she delivered one of the funniest lines of the day "Seriously... why is her pouch right in my face?" Ha.
They were really nice and made me laugh for quite a while before packing it in themselves.
I then decided to leave the area I was at and see what was up around the other sides. Things were clearing out a bit more by then so it was easier to move and breathe. I then encountered a super nice (and super cute) guy who offered to put me on his shoulders. I politely declined, telling him that I'd probably break his neck (and take out 5 people trying to get up in the first place). He insisted, but I still declined, knowing that my ass had been sitting on a soggy towel all day, and it wouldn't have been the most pleasant thing to have against his neck. If I had thought of it, I'd have used the old "Swampy Cooter" line. He was great though. I was sad when I had to leave him, but I couldn't take that area of the crowd anymore. Being severely sunburnt and smashed between a bunch of 6 foot people isn't the most enjoyable thing I can think of. I think I may just have to use the Craigslist "Missed Connections" to find that guy though. Or maybe my page will just become wildly popular and he'll happen upon it. If that should happen, cute blonde guy, thanks. ;-)
Anyway, after that I just mulled around alone, pouring water on myself.
Oh yeah, and throughout this, there was some music going on too, but you can read about that anywhere. :-)
I eventually made it onto the bus home, which of course didn't go smoothly, but that story's not even worth telling.
So there you have a real, raw, first-hand account of what it was REALLY like to be at Live 8 Philadelphia.
To all the cool peeps I met and had fun with, thanks so much. You're the best.
To the assholes who think that they're more important than everyone else, I hope you get a bad rash or something.