Forum Archive: Furthur Hints
Are you familiar with any of the venues that the Furthur Tour will be visiting this Summer? Please submit any suggestions -- ie: directions to the venue, parking, security, how good are the concessions, what do they allow in for food or drink, or any tips that might enhance a Deadhead's experience. (Posted 6/1/96)
We have retired this forum for the time being, but will revive it if Furthur returns. Venues have been sorted by state.
Desert Sky Pavilion, Phoenix, AZ - Candace Burton (cburto@Col1.Kyrene.k12.az.us)
I'd like to hear from anyone who saw any of the other shows. At the Phoenix show, Bob came out and announced that it was Bruce Hornsby's birthday. A "cake" was brought out, and two dancing gals popped out. They danced, writhed on the piano, shook their moneymakers for Bruce, and so on while Bob and the band did Samson and Delilah. The ladies were eventually escorted off stage by venue personnel. In talking to some friends later in the week, they said they had heard that it was Bruce's birthday in Oregon, as well, and there were girls dancing there, too....can anyone confirm? As for the show itself, it wasn't a Dead show, I knew it wouldn't be, but I was sure wishin' it was. I miss Jerry.
As far as the venue goes--that placed is staffed by some of the biggest bunch of assholes you'd ever want to meet!
Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre, Irvine, CA - Steve Frame (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Just a real quick tip for Irvine Meadows - Don't try to bring in food, water, or even blankets. My wife and I went to the last Further and they wouldn't even allow EMPTY plastic water bottles into the venue.
In terms of listening experience, you must be in the right place to get good (or even reasonable) sound. Forget the lawn, its REALLY steep and its difficult to hear the music. If you're in Lodge sections 5, 6, or 7 the sound is really nice. Terrance 11 and 12 (the last section of seats before the lawn in the center) are tolerably good sounding.
One more tip, GO INSIDE EARLY! There are only something like 5 or 6 turnstiles at one entrance to get into the venue. Back in 1992 I saw Jerry on his birthday at Irvine, but missed the first three songs waiting in line, and I was in line 45 minutes early! Thus, try to head inside at least an hour before the start of the show.
Cal Expo Amphitheatre, Sacramento, CA - Shannon Panora (All4Jerry@aol.com)
Cal Expo is a pretty small venue in comparison to most CA venues. Parking is plenty, but expensive too, $5 with no in/ out priveledges. There isn't room for Shakedown street though, so the vending is pretty scarce. No food or drink allowed, but that isn't usually enforced at an outside show. The sheriff's Dept. and Sacramento P.D. always are looking for a reason to stop and search a possible Head, so watch the stickers and other tell-tale signs. At least you know that your car will be safe though, between the 2 police agencies and Cal Expo's own security, the parking lot is watched pretty well.
The easiest way to get there is to take the Capital City Freeway (CCF) from what ever main interstate you are coming from. All major interstates will have a junctionto the CCF. Then just take the Exposition Blvd. exit and you can't miss it from there.
Sacramento locals have a hard time with the Head community though. They tend to atomatically assume we are up to something the minute they see tye-dye, but there are quite a few cheap, but nice hotels in the area to stay in.
Have a great time in Sac. but please remember that we are not all like the Anti-Head folks......some of us are laid back and open-minded enough, just to let people do there own thing.
Meadows Music Amphitheatre, Hartford - Rich Senicola (email@example.com)
Venue Phone: (860) 548-7370
Tickets usually available from ProTix (860) 422-0000 (outlets in Strawberries, etc.).
Directions: Take I-84 west to Exit 50, or I-91 to Exit 33 onto Main Street in Hartford. Turn right on Market Street, go through 3 lights, turn left onto Savit Way (B.J.'s Wholesale on left). Savit Way deadends at Meadows Music Amphtitheatre. Come early, access is only via this one road. There are furthur(!) directions at the number above.
Notes: nice new venue. Plenty of rest rooms, good food. Large lawn. Casual searches, more mellow than Great Woods.
The Meadows, Hartford, CT - Timothy D. O'Connell (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Actually, this isn't about the Meadows at all(I think it's the pits due security and sound quality), this is more of a genral suggestion for improvement. Have a big show for each geographic area: i.e. New England-Limestone Airforce Base, Maine or Orange County AFB in Massachusettes. I think its more fun with tens of thousands of people rather then just 20,000. The furthur away, the better. Make fans who want to see them, travel large distance in order to make the road trip idea more pronounced. The first Highgate show is a prime example of that, so is the Maine Speedway show of 88. If that is not possible, how about two set shows for fall/winter/spring, mini tours for example. Actually, what am I saying, it doesn't matter what goes on, just as long as we can all be together. Thanks for your eyes on this message, thanks for your voices on all the Not Fade Aways, thanks for the collective mind on having a great time and thanks for all the heart being put into the greatest traveling bar band in the world. Your friend and fellow Peace Cat-Timothy D. O'Connell
deer creek, noblesville, IN - mike stone (email@example.com)
Deer Creek has been regarded as one of the nicest venues to see anyone, let alone the boys. parking is quite expensive for day-long affairs ($10 for all day, less as the afternoon progresses.) "SECURITY" is always a topic of concern. The security company from the past has been replaced by a much more "patron-friendly" staff. (there will no longer be MOB PATROLS - groups of 20 or more pushing through the scene) I know because a friend is a new employee there.
NOTES OF INTEREST:
- Don't forget...Indy is HOT (and humid) during the summer.
- Best liquor store - south of deer creek on I-69, exit 96th street, turn east, store is in strip mall on left. they stock everything and cater to Heads as best they can. they are also friendly!
- Camp at Pine Lakes (also on I-69, north of DC) If you have stayed here in the past, you know why this is a cool place. They really have their act together. (BONUS - You basically get a police escort from DC to the campsite, just follow the bus in front of you!)
- EXTRA SPECIAL NOTE OF INTEREST - I live near DC and was ending MY summer tour with two shows at DC. Two shows I never got to see. The city of Noblesville is anticipating similar behavior to July 2, 1995 and is prepared to react. Fencejumpers and gate rushers stay away.
Have a good time and be kind - mike stone
Sandstone Amphitheatre, Bonner Springs, KS - Mike Bonella (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The heart of America skipped a beat when Further Fest skipped us last Summer! Kansas needs the Good Ole Grateful Dead. Sandstone Ampitheater in Bonner Springs is a pretty good place for shows. There is plenty of parking, quite a bit of camping within an hour drive (Lake Perry, Lake Shawnee, Other parks close by). Security at Sandstone is just as good (or bad, depending on how you look at it, as most places I have been). There are lots of vw mechanics in Lawrence and Kansas City for us bus owners.
I live in Manhattan Kansas, home of the Country Stampede. Yes, every summer, thousands of cowboys and cowgirls pay up to $300.00 for a weekend of country music. The venue is a state park/lake. One of the largest in the country, definately the largest in the state. People camp at the show. The lake has several other camping areas as well. Why not show these folks what great music really is? The spot is perfect. Manhattan is a college town, Home of Kansas State University. The University of Kansas is only 1.5 hours away. Between the two schools, you could fill up any venue. Remember we are EVERYWHERE! Even in the heartland.
Old Orchard Beach - Richard Senicola (email@example.com)
The venue is a basball field set in a seaside town. Beware, getting out of the "official" parking lot is a bottle-neck hassle. Try parking on the street instead
Old Orchard Beach - Marvin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This is one of the buggier venues on the east coast. Be prepared to fend off eager blackflies and mosquitoes.
Great Woods, Mansfield, MA - Simon (SimonSun@netscape.com)
Everything is sketchy. Prices high, and parking lot security is facist. Last year I saw a Head get chased down and thrown to the ground for no reason by a couple undercover state troopers. However, vending of all kinds still goes on. Once your inside on the gigantic lawn it is pretty chill. It's a good time dispite the kill-joys.
Great Woods/Tweeter Center, Mansfield, MA - John (email@example.com)
The only really bad aspect of this venue is getting out of the parking lot after a show. If you dally after the last song you may get stuck for an hour or two in traffic just leaving the venue. Some people find it worthwhile to spend money parking closer to the road. I would certainly recommend avoiding the first lot, and recommend using the main entrance instead. Generally you are best off if you can park in the lot to the left of the venue.
Great Woods - Bonzo (firstname.lastname@example.org)
BIG HASSLE: parking, getting into, getting outof, gestapo security, you name it.
On the plus side, there is easy access: Off 495 take Exit 11; the venue is on the right, can't miss it.
Pine Knob Music Center, Clarkston, MI - Michael Dean (email@example.com)
I just spent the last six months working here (after which I was promptly fired for sneeking a peek at James Taylor), so I may come accross as slightly jaded, but I'll try to keep it to the point...
*Pine Knob is extremely easy to find- Go straight up I-75 'till you see the signs. The Venue is right off the interstate. I think it's exit 91, but I'm not sure. It's also a ski area in the winter, so you'll see the ski hill from the interstate.
*The "knob" is a 15,000 person capacity amp. set in the woods. It's a nice place to see a show, but it tends to get crowded for the larger acts. They're notorious for overselling the lawn, and I've seen things get pretty crazy. I've had some panic attacks trippin' here due to the crowding, so be careful! The back of the hill is a cool place to escape the crowds and it's where people go to toke. Security doesn't (usually) bother people there.
*Parking is expensive ($6.00 for the day) and tends to fill up quick. There's paved parking close to the venue and lots of grass for over-flow parking. Don't plan on getting out of the lot quickly, traffic is INSANE after the shows.
*Security is bad. Lot of goons walking around and driving golf-carts in the lot before the show. The local Sheriff's dept. works closely with the venue to police the lots and the roads to the venue. The surrounding residents hate the place, so it's very political. BE CAREFUL!!! I was busted during Dave Matthews for holding a "need an x-tra" sign on the road to the show, then security took my sign away in the lot! And I WORKED here!!! Vending goes on, but you have to keep it low profile. They don't like any cooking or open containers. The cops come around and break up drum-circles, too.
Hilton in Reno, NV - Tony Kiriluk (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Easy to find at the intersection of I396 & I80, it's the huge building that says "Hilton" 8^)
Lots of parking surrounding building, but not much neighborhood parking around it. If you stay at another casino, most larger ones will have a shuttle service for a buck or two or you can take a cab fairly cheaply.
Security inside is pretty laid back, but outside they have been tight on lot vending and Reno is traditionally hardass on drug offenders.
They don't allow much to be taken inside, but might be easier on this type of tour.
It's going to be *HOT*. This is not a regular "shack". It is a section of the large casino parking lot that is fenced off each year and has grandstands and a stage built up. You will be standing on the cement in the high desert sun with very little shade. Temp will probably be mid to high 90s.
24 hour town, so food after the show is easy to find.
Check out the Paisley Brain Cells at the Zephyr Bar on Virginia Street immediatley after the Furthur show.
Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) - Alan Topal (email@example.com)
Try to approach the venue via route 50 rather than route 9. There should be less traffic this way. Plus, entering the park via 9 means you have to drive all the the way through the park (single file) to the route 50 parking lots anyway.
There's a Grand Union supermarket a mile or two south of the park on Rt. 50 if you need supplies.
They generally don't allow alcohol to be brought in for the "rock" concerts. Even when they do allow alcohol, they never allow bottles.
If the weather is bad and you have lawn tickets, you may want to get in early, so you can grab a spot under one of the balcony ramps. These afford some shelter from the elements.
The park is about a mile or two south of Saratoga's downtown strip. There's a lot of good bars and restaurants there, most with outdoor seating in the summer.
Sorry, the concert is a few weeks too early for racing season :-)
Oh yeah, one more thing. It can get pretty cool in there once the sun goes down, even on a hot day. Bring extra layers.
Country Fairgrounds, Eugene, OR - McKenzie Musick (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I just returned from the Oregon Country Faire in Veneta Oregon. I would suggest that if you are approaching the Furthur Fest from the north consider the route off I-5 to Junction City, then to Cheshire then to Elmira. Turn right at the Elmira junction and you will be 1/2 mike from the site on the north side. If you choose to go via Eugene expect a long delay as traffic piles up on West 11th street which heads west toward Veneta. Peace, love and furthur pleasures, mac
Country Fairgrounds, Eugene, OR - Patrice Mackey (email@example.com)
There is a WEB site with information on the Eugene Furthur gig:
Nissan Pavillion, Gainsville VA - Matt White (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I have seen two shows at the Nissan Pavillion. Basically its your average "shack" type of place, but its nice. Good sight lines in all reserved seats. The hill that the lawn seats are on is big, but kinda steep. Between the reserved seats and the lawn is a concrete pathway, very wide and great for shaking your bones. On the security issue, hard to say. One show I was at there which wasn't close to sold out had cops everywhere, but the event staff were relatively mellow and polite. Another show that was sold out and had ticketless hordes, there were no cops. Overall, ok place.
Nissan Pavillion, Virginia - Kimberly Story (KStory9999@aol.com)
I have only been to this place once (for the H.O.R.D.E. festival) and the security was pretty lame although I got in with a few "toys" and I noticed that ALOT of other people did too. The lawn scene was really great! One big party and lots of dancin' room. However, I suggest that you leave very early to get here, because the road to get in and out of Nissan is one lane and about 7 miles long! It took me an hour and 15 min. to get in the parking lot and find a parking place. Happy trails.......
Nissan Pavilion Bristow, VA
- Bryan Rhodes (email@example.com)
Very nice place. I have been three times and it seem security is getting tighter each time. Event staff is very friendly and it is easy to get into the place with almost anything except glass bottles. Look out for local police, who may have a problem with some things. As for driving to the venue usually not a problem. It is not usually neccessary to get there really early, but it is always more fun to do so. If you are running late or want to make up time, when coming from the west it is quicker to take the second Gainsville exit even if the signs direct you to the first exit.
Virginia Beach Amphitheatre, Va. Beach, VA
- Whitney Lynn (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Getting to the ampitheatre is a little tricky, just make sure you look for the little blue signs with a white fan/shell looking design on them that say which way to go. Hide any glass bottles you may have when you come into the parking lot, because beer is prohibited. However, once you're inside the lot, it's not too sketchy to carry a bottle as long as you're not really walking around, and you're pretty close to your car. I got busted in this lot during Furthur's '97 summer tour, so I guess you could say security is pretty tight. Just be really careful. Don't leave anything laying out in the open, because they walk up and down the rows of cars to see if anything is sitting out. Don't go under any tarps or anything to smoke or drink, because they WILL come in there after you to see what's going on (that's how I got busted) vending is normally pretty good. Expecially after the show... lots of kind items being sold. It's illegal to sell glass or any other type of smoking devise in Virginia, but you can still find some nice quality items for sale -- Just keep a low profile!! The lawn is pretty fun, lots of room to dance... No hotels or anything close by, and I don't think there's any camping either. I don't mean to make VA Beach sound like a bunk place to see a show, it's really pretty fun, you just gotta be careful (but the same can be said for anyplace you go...)
Alpine Valley, East Troy WI
- Darin Ellingson (email@example.com)
Entrance to Alpine Valley Ski Area, where the Amphitheater is, is via a frontage road off of Interstate 43 (there should be signs for Alpine Valley). There may be alternate routes into the area, possibly Hwy 11, best bet is to consult a map.
This frontage road gets very congested about 2 hours before showtime, so if you want to get a good spot on the lawn, GET THERE EARLY! If you have reserved seating tickets, you'll still want to get there early because of the lengthy wait to park (1-2 hours+ based on when you arrive) and a long walk from the numerous parking areas through hilly terrain. If you get in late, don't worry, the acoustics of the venue are great, but you wont be able to see much without binoc's.
Expect crowds of 30,000 plus for the show, so if you are meeting friends for the show, meet somewhere that you all know how to get to and with enough time to get there for decent spots on the lawn.
There was a new ordinance passed so that tailgating (grilling) is not allowed at the venue, so eat before the show or bring food items that need not be cooked.
The security of the venue is not that tight, common concert disgression is advised. Once inside the venue, security is almost non-existant.
Alpine Valley is a valley and can get chilly in the evening so be prepared.
If there are any other questions that I might be able to answer, E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org