Country Concert is a summertime tradition for Ohio country fans, and many have been going for decades. Some of you probably even remember when the stage was little more than a tent covered patio. Through the years the event has grown into a huge 3-day festival with superstarts performing to tens of thousands of people each July, and you might find that your experience has changed right along with it.
APPROXIMATE AGE: 20-23
This is stage 1 of your Country Concert experience. You don’t need a whole lot in the form of comfort or clothing. A couple pairs of shorts and a t-shirt are about you’ll carry with you, along with your styrofoam cooler and several cases of frothy beverages. Your campsite consists of whatever is 1) cheapest, or 2) being given away by your favorite radio station. Your accomodations include a sleeping bag you got when you were 12, and a tent missing at least 1 important pole so you improvise with a bungee cord and some branches.
APPROXIMATE AGE: 23-25
Pretty much the same as Stage 1, but with added climate control.
APPROXIMATE AGE: 26-29
Sure, the camper’s ugly, but it’s a camper. You can tow it behind your truck, and there’s room inside for a few people to take cover when the inevitble July thunderstorm rumbles through. You’ll still get wet because the roof leaks, but you’re inside, so it’s an upgrade. Plus, it has a toilet, and if you’re very lucky, a dribbly shower. Stage 2 also marks an upgrade in coolers from styrofoam to Igloo.
These are the years to add in a few more creature comforts to your experience. Maybe you upgrade to a campsite with a little power to run a small fridge, you have beds that look like beds, and you can cook indoors because even though they are profoundly delicious, you can only live on turkey legs and Pizza Hut breadsticks for a couple days before things get gurgly down below. Bonus points from Big Dave if your upgraded RV is German with a top that pops up.
APPROXIMATE AGE 31-?
Stage 4 depends heavily on the child factor. If children have come into your life around this time, Stage 4 is where you will often take a break from Country Concert. In either case, upon your return, this is full-on motorhome territory: 50-amp power, hot water that flows like home for showers, a sewer connection for flushing toilets, beds that actually ARE beds, and air conditioning, precious air conditioning. Your beveage of choice often changes around this time too. You’ll possibly enjoy one last 36-hour beer pounding fest, but phrases like “Man, I can’t do this like I used to,” and “When does it stop hurting,” start to creep in and you add “bender” to your Murtaugh List.
Approximate Age: 40+ (or whenever you darn well please, thank you very much)
Stage 5 is when you arrive at the fact that camping is not likely going to be “your jam” for awhile. I personally know of a group of stage 5ers that pool their money and hire a limo company to shuttle 8 of them from Findlay to the show each of the 3 nights. They leave town at noon, and they’re back in their own beds by 1am, at work by 8, and do it all again the next day. The other option is also a popular one: the hotel in Sidney. Continental breakfasts are about the greatest thing! Next to air conditioning, sensibly comfortable shoes, and seats with some elbow room, of course.