PLEASE NOTE: Since I was working the event and not actually *attending* I had not planned to write anything. So much has been posted from the disappointed fans. This is just my review as a disappointed blue haired parking lot attendant that still managed to dance. Opinions expressed are purely my own psychotic ramblings. Enjoy!
There are times in life where my biggest screw-ups become my biggest advantage.
Houston Open Air Fest is one of those glorious disasters.
Let me explain…
I work gate security at some of the events at the NRG Complex. It’s a new gig for me, and the main thing I wanted to work was HOA. Overly excited to get to work that morning, and for some reason, I wore the wrong shorts. I was the ONLY black shorts in a sea of khaki. This meant I could NOT go into the venue to work the gates, barricades, or see ANYTHING at all.
But I was happy that they let me stay and work, so instead was put in the outer limits parking lot known as the Purple Lot.
It was the best thing that could have happened to me for it was the staff and media parking lot !!
Of course, Houston’s finest in #LOCALMUSIC showed up~
My lovely friend Mars Simons from Eyes of Mars, and Mars on Metal
And my all time favorite TexBrit, Carox Rox, who ALWAYS makes me look good!
Last but not least, my Boyz in Black!
One of my first Stiletto Radio victims, Derek Norman from Heavy in Houston. Khris Harding of PunkStar, who literally hangs around, when he’s not hanging around with their partner in crime and music Scrappy, creator of Reach Down Radio!!
Giving free hugs and selfies on Saturday to my local media friends as they arrived, we were ALL pumped for the weekend. Not one leathered up, combat boot wearing, Mowhawked Metal Head had anything but a smile from gauge to gauge. EVERYONE brought their A-Game and Attitude for a great weekend.
But as happens in Houston the weather failed us. This is not news. We stopped and started, and stopped again. More times than Houston has Metal Venues. But true to form, HOUSTON hung in there.
I have never seen so many people attempting to deploy in and out of a 3 lane parking lot entrance to move people where they need to be so the show can start within 30 minutes. NASA would have been proud with the *all hands on deck* the minute we had that 30-minute warning – Golf carts zooming by in what I can only describe as an expert level, soggy, splashy, real time version of MarioKart (sound effects included). Chaotic excitement – Yes, No, Maybe So???
Vendors were drenched wearing ponchos that were thinner than Saran Wrap sticking to their leather and legs, hair falling, beautiful purple highlights running down their sweet faces. Not one Mohawk was left by the end of the day but we were still pumped – we tried we wanted this so very badly.
NO ONE WANTED TO CANCEL. I hung out under a shelter with soaked people in squishy leather, other employees, a couple of stage hands, vendors and the like. Everyone was praying for sunshine and were willing to stick it out. It was simply not to be.
But then the coolest thing happened.
Bands + Fans + Venues + Social Media = MUSIC.
For the past 48 hours, Houston pulled it TOGETHER to make it happen. Not in the way we thought, planned on, or wanted, but there WAS music, by hook or by crook.
From a birds eye view, please let me point out a few things that concert attendants may not realize just to give a broader view of the weekend.
1. In the *Golden Triangle* of the weekend there was Houston Home & Garden at NRG Center, the Jurassic Quest on the opposite end of the Stadium, and then Open Air on top of the bubble.
2. The orange road cone is the primary symbol of Houston traffic, and they were everywhere due to construction, including missing sidewalks.
3. Parking is always a nightmare in Houston events because, HOUSTON.
4. During the On again, Off again evacuation song, there was an emergency which closed down entry to one of the other shows, including their designated parking, which FURTHER backed up traffic through the event.
5.Mother Nature. I love to dance in the rain, and I DID. That is Metal AF. Getting hit by lightning, not so much.
Houston IS worthy of an amazing Metal Festival such as this. In my humble opinion, Houston Open Air was a success!
I hope they are back next year, I’ll definitely be there.
But NOT in the parking lot 🙂