The tables have turned… I attended the Capital One Fan Fest Concert in Downtown Phoenix and now I have to write a blog. Usually I make my interns and mom write all the blogs, but now it’s my turn.

When I heard, Aerosmith was coming to Phoenix for a FREE concert I knew I had to go! I was going to be in Phoenix visiting my boyfriend that weekend, so it worked out well. I watched Facebook and the TV stations cover the Friday and Saturday night concerts and realized we would need to get there early if we wanted to get in at all.

We decided to grab lunch before heading to the park. Well we probably should have skipped lunch. The gates opened at 3 pm and we showed up about 15 minutes before 3… what a mistake! There were 3 entrances into this event… we were in line for over an hour trying to get in! Everyone was doing good – we had our 3 lines and people were chill. THEN a police officer comes by at 3:45 to tell us it’s full and we won’t get in. Now as an event person I knew there was NO WAY they could push 20,000 people through in 45 minutes. Everyone was getting bags checked and had to go through metal detectors. Well this caused everyone from the back to move forward and then you had a real problem on your hands. The 3-mile-long wait of people now were crammed together as close to the entrance as possible. Thanks again for that Phoenix PD. At this point we are in a mass of people, everyone still calm, just annoyed. It’s hot and you can’t move. While we are waiting, under a bridge I might add, I look around and think if something happened, or someone needed medical attention there is no way anyone could in or out safely. I also found it odd that instead of having a different exit for those who were turned away because either their bags were too big or whatever, they made these people go back THROUGH the line… really? Coordination in the entrance weren’t not smooth. I also would love to know how the 3 entrances communicated with each other on numbers of attendees inside. I wonder because all I saw was someone counting in their head as we passed by… We FINALLY get closer and go through the bag check and metal detectors and BOOM we are in! We missed the first band, which really sucked but we were in. At this point, Blink 182 was getting ready to start, so we beelined it for the stage. We managed a great side stage view. Now while we did a mad dash to the stage I was trying to look around, because as an event person you don’t go to festivals and concerts the same way, as my boyfriend calls me, an event nerd. Yes, I am! So, we watched the show – not bad… I will say I think the Sun beating down on them affected their energy but good show nonetheless. At this point I wanted to walk around and see what was going on! So, we left the main crew behind so this event nerd could video all the cool shit around us.

  1. Massive Capital One Ferris Wheel – super cool
  2. Balloons – like one massive Balloon to tell you were restrooms were – love that idea!
  3. VIP – first with a free show who was VIP? Not us! They had a 2 story VIP tent which looked super cool and I would have loved to seen it up close!
  4. Bars everywhere – I loved that they all took credit cards (stealing that idea) and they put what was available and prices on the TOP of the tents… super smart. So, while you wait in line you can decide what you want. (stealing that too)
  5. Pizza Hut had a semi-truck there serving up personal pizzas.
  6. Buffalo Wild Wings had a super cool set up. A mini bar with TVs and bar stools. LOVED the idea. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to have that at Oktoberfest! Oh, and they were serving their wings too!
  7. Coke had a cool little tasting area… giving out free tasters but had a double decker tent thing.
  8. Sprite had a basketball court set up and people were playing games.
  9. I didn’t notice trash cans anywhere… like anywhere. People were dumping their trash on the ground. Very weird!

We headed back to see Macklemore and Ryan Lewis – just WOW! They put on an amazing show! Did I mention the stage? Huge doesn’t even begin to describe it. I’ve never seen anything so TALL in all my life. And each day the stage was sponsored by someone else… Coke, AT&T and then Capital one. So, the giant banners on either side and across the top had to be changed out each night. I had serious stage envy. And the massive screens on either side the height of the stage were AMAZING! It gave everyone the chance to see what was going on. The sound “tent” structure really was 5 stories tall!

Then finally… AEROSMITH came out… and damn he still has it! He put on a great show. I will say it didn’t seem like he and his band mates get along anymore, if they ever really did. And he also had a lot of trouble with his microphone… he kept asking them to turn it up. So much so I watched him SCREAM at them when he walked backstage.

Overall a massive event, super fun, everyone had a great time. My mom asked me if I thought we could do 10,000 people at Blues… I said yes! We would just have to work on getting people in and OUT safely. Other than that, we’ve got this!

So… there you have it… my experience at the Capital One Jam Fest in Downtown Phoenix. Can Phoenix always host the NCAA games? Seriously – I wouldn’t mind helping with that event next time it comes around!