blog post EST Fest

I don’t even know where to start to when it comes to this incredible experience. A weekend of camping, music, positive vibes, and NO CELL SERVICE. Come back to 1970 something with me.

Leading up to fEST…

Remember that solo camping trip I took a few weeks ago? That was my dry run for this festival, showing I could handle tent camping post spinal cord injury. I bought my ticket with the intention of winging it if my close wheel friend, Taylor, couldn’t make it. Double checking my gear, I got in my car to head north for Ohio. I stopped by my Aunts house for a quick visit before meeting up with Tay, Lex, and Jacob.

Tay and I at the entrance to fEST
Tay and I at the entrance to fEST

Day one….

We arrived at the camp ground around 11 am Friday Morning. The sky looked grey, releasing a light mist like that of the grocery store veggie section. Conditions were not promising. We drug everything from the cars to the camp sites and began setting up. We finished around noon and began our festival activities. Friday evening we went to the main stage where we stayed from Mod Sun to Gucci Mane. We headed back to camp and I feel asleep around 1.

Day two….

Lex and I at the pool
Lex and I at the pool

I woke up at 10, setting out to get it together and find Lex, I hadn’t seen her since the day before. She had been sleeping in her car so I met her there and we dressed for the pool.

Ohio Dreams Sports Complex had a little of everything, from a giant slide into the pool to a small skate park. I enjoyed watching all of the brave souls that flew through the air down the enormous slide, along with the guy on the BMX track. After changing back into dry clothes, I headed to the skatepark. The park was smaller and had a nice flow to it. There were about 100 people gathered around for the fallen fest goers memorial, little did they know my wheels hadn’t seen a park in over a year. The guys pushed me to the top and I flew down. The roar from the crowd had my adrenaline through the roof!

I headed back to my car to change from my pee pants, get ready for the night, and wake Lex up, SLEEPING WITH SIRENS WAS COMING ON SOON!!!!!!! I had missed them in Raleigh the previous year and they are one of the main performances I wanted to see. After getting everything gathered, including Lex, we headed off to the stage. There was a platform on top of the hill that I sat next to on day one, well today, there was a man in a wheelchair on it! I hadn’t pushed so hard out of excitement the entire weekend. For the ENTIRE night show I had the best seat in the house! Not to mention MGK put on about a two hour show, playing a song from every album! Hands down that was one of the best concerts I had seen to date! He finished his set with a fireworks show, then we migrated back to the car to change my pee pants again. Lex was exhausted, so I headed down to find Tay. I ran into Tyler, one of the guys who helped me at the skatepark, and he said he was headed to the dome, so I rolled with. The dome looked like less sturdy version of the domes you climb on at playgrounds, but I was determined to get in the mix. I wheeled through one of the triangles and pushed my way to the front. The entire gang was on a stage in front of us, in front of me was security guards, and two girls, to my right was a metal barricade. With the way the crowd was pushing me I was nervous about busting my face on the barricade so I pushed further forward.

This is where the night takes an interesting turn.

The crowd kept pushing me forward, into these two girls legs. The security guard kept yelling at me that I couldn’t go anywhere because the girls consistently complained to him. I told him it was the crowd. WELL, the bigger girl kept pushing her heels into my wheelchair, which was irritating so I put on the wheel locks, THEN, the little girl GRABS the front bar on my wheelchair….next thing I knew I had her by her left butt cheek, and was tossing her into the barricade. She got back in her place, staring me down, I looked back, mouthing, “I’m not the one.” Anyone that knows me, knows I’m a laid back hippy, I don’t like violence. Even after the crowd behind me told the security guard what these girls were doing, he continued to watch them bully me. The bigger girl took her skirt off to be standing in her panties, showing her classy side. Now I had her ass in my face as she is pushing on my chair with her ankles, so I started PURPOSELY slamming my chair into their ankles. After the dome was shut down due to time, the security guard looked at the girls, exclaiming, “Thank you for not fighting.” Someone should have got a photo of the look of disbelief on my face. As I rolled out of the dome I shook it off, and headed back to my tent. I fell asleep in my tent somewhere around 4am.

The next morning I woke up to some serious stomach cramps. The accessible porta-potty was on the other side of the camp ground so I hadn’t been going the way I needed to. I new I had to go and before I knew it I had a nice big pile of poop in my tent with me.  This so rarely happens to me that I cleaned up, laughed it off, and moved on with packing and loading up. Oh the joys of paralysis. After saying my goodbyes to Lex, Tay, and Jacob, I made the hour drive to my aunts to drop some things off, then headed back to the sweet Carolinas.

I cannot wait for next years fEST! It was an incredible experience through and through!

Until next adventure……….