Several weeks ago some of my girlfriends decided to get a group together to journey down to Simpsonville, South Carolina for the sold out Mumford & Sons concert. We gladly overpaid for tickets on Stub Hub and started making plans. It started with just four of us but before we knew it our group doubled in size and necessitated a bigger vehicle. One of my friends was able to borrow a minivan from someone and we loaded in eight deep and hit the road on Wednesday for our first Mumford. I have loved this band for so long so I was super excited to finally see them live.
Simpsonville is about 100 miles from Charlotte and located just outside of Greenville. This stop on the tour was added on at the last minute so we figured that Heritage Park in Simpsonville was the best that they could find given the late booking. It was a little random, for sure. Also, for whatever reason I was a complete disaster on this day and kept losing things…on the car ride down I realized that I forgot my debit card (still haven’t found it!), somehow lost the phone charger that I swear I put in my bag right when we met to leave and managed to lose two bottles of water between a gas station stop and getting back in the car. It was one of those days but my response to it all was, “whatever.” I was seeing Mumford and I didn’t care!
We arrived at the venue around 5:30 p.m. after stopping to pick up a ticket for someone and minor traffic. We unpacked a spread of dips, chips, veggies and fruit. I contributed pimento cheese sandwiches, chocolate peanut butter oatmeal balls and a cooler of popsicles.
We hung out and snacked, had a few drinks and listened to some Mumford & Sons to get pumped for the show. I learned about this amazing trick of placing an iPhone in a cup when you don’t have speakers. It worked so well and I couldn’t believe how loud the music was.
The original four…
And we picked up a few more friends as people came to our tailgate. Of course a minivan picture was in order.
My phone was almost dead by the time we packed up our tailgate and you can’t take professional cameras in so I have minimal video/photo from the show but I do have a few things to share and I also want to talk a little about the venue.
Heritage Park is owned by the city of Simpsonville and includes Charter Ampitheatre in addition to baseball fields, event shelters for rent, playgrounds, trails, etc. As you can see in the photo above, the ampitheatre isn’t huge and has no seating. The show was general admission and all lawn seating. No chairs or blankets were permitted as they sold to their max capacity, which apparently is 10,000 people. It was SO CROWDED.
We made it in for the first opener, Bear’s Den. It was already getting really packed but we managed to get an area where a big group of us could sit together in the back left section of the lawn. We were a good distance from the stage. I liked the first opener but did not care at all for the second, The Vaccines, which was a shared sentiment with several others. It made me very anxious for Mumford to start. This was only made worse when an underage girl dumped her entire 24 ounce beer on me and my friend and left us with soaking wet clothes and sticky beer skin. 😉
Back to the venue for a second…the bathroom situation was terrible. There was only one set of permanent toilets in the whole place and they were small and on the complete opposite side from where we were. They had plenty of porta potties available but as you can imagine, they were totally disgusting after continuous use of by a crowd of 10,000. Concessions also left something to be desired…options were very limited, lines were extremely long and they ran out of bottled water at many of the concession stands. There was no mobile service…not sure if that’s the venue or the crowd but it didn’t matter because my phone was dead anyway.
Mumford & Sons finally came on around 9:15-9:30 p.m. and they played until a little after 11. They were fabulous. They sounded so good and completely lived up to my high expectations about how amazing they would be live.
They played so many of my favorite songs in addition to some really cool covers Bruce’s “I’m On Fire” and The Beatle’s “Come Together.” Everyone sang along, danced and the energy stayed up for the entire duration of the show.
After the encore we made the half mile trek back to the parking lot where we sat in traffic for over an hour. We totally expected this…I don’t think you can leave an ampitheatre concert and not sit in this kind of traffic. We entertained ourselves by friendly banter with other cars, popsicles and snacks and finally made it back on the highway around 12:30 a.m. to head back to Charlotte. We arrived home at 2:30 a.m. and quickly unpacked the cars and said goodbye. I went home and got straight in the shower and was in bed by 3 a.m. I had an 8:30 a.m. client the next morning so sleep was limited.
Was it worth it? Yes.
Would I see another show at Heritage Park Charter Ampitheatre? NO, NO, NO. I don’t care who’s playing.
Would I see Mumford again? In a heartbeat! Especially in a better venue.
Am I still cut out for 12-hour “school night” excursions that get me in bed at 3 a.m.? Not so much anymore. It was a long trip back to Charlotte and bless my friend for driving us!
Have you ever seen Mumford & Sons? Are you a fan of the big ampitheatre concerts?