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?
I saw them on Monday in Birmingham. I totally agree about the Vaccines and was so ready for Mumford to start. It was definitely well worth the wait. They were amazing!! So fun!
glad you enjoyed the show too! i lived in bham for three years! 🙂
When I saw Mumford & Sons in May it was in Surrey, BC (Vancouver basically) and it was at an outside venue. There were 20,000 people there and at the time they said it was the biggest concert they had ever played. It was SO CROWDED. There was not even room for lawn chairs. We stood for 5 hours straight (through the also kind of crappy openers) to see them and we were probably about 30 – 40 feet from the stage. So pretty close. But I don’t think I would go to a big concert like that outside again. I would see Mumford again in a HEART BEAT and I also hope to see them in a better venue next time!
WOW! that is crazy! i can’t believe how close you got at such a big show! and i’m with you on the venue and mumford sentiments!
Totally agree with you on Bear’s Den and the Vaccines. I thought Bear’s Den was quite good but the Vaccines were bad. The singer was just awful. Oh well, Mumford and Sons totally made up for it. I’m glad you had a nice time.
I am a huge fan of Mumford & Sons but I have never seen them perform live!
you must if you get an opportunity. they were fabulous!
If you ever have the chance, go to a show at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado. Amazingly beautiful venue, great views of the city, the moon rises over it, and the acoustics are good. The facilities are also pretty decent. Takes amphitheaters to a whole new level!
seeing a show at red rocks is FOR SURE on my bucket list!!!!
cute dress! looks like a fun evening 🙂
thanks! nordstrom rack! 🙂
I live in Greenville, SC but have never attended a concert at Heritage Park. I’ve been there, just never attended anything at the amphitheater before. I am sorry that it was a bad experience! I’m surprised M&S didn’t perform at the BiLo Center…definitely a better venue. Heritage Park is more for smaller concerts…not 10,000+ people haha. Glad you had a good time though 🙂
i was surprised too but we figured they added the show so late that it wasn’t available.
i can’t believe you got stuck in such bad traffic! we were sitting close to you from the looks of your pictures and stayed for the whole encore and then did a fast walk alllll the long way back to the car and got out fairly quickly and were back in columbia by 1 am! but mumford was amazing! i saw them in asheville in 2011 and it was crowded and i couldn’t see a thing, so that is one benefit this venue had over that one! even from a distance i could still see the stage. 🙂
i’m SO jealous that you were able to get out so quickly. we were in serious gridlock. i’m glad you could see better for this show!
Ahh love love love them!! So jealous!
Sounds like you guys had fun!
I went on Tuesday in Atlanta and LOVED it!!! I will say though, I had a similar experience with venue issues. Centennial was crammed! Although, we were right up there in the middle of it. Porta Potties were also the only restroom (unless you went just outside the park) which I hate, but it was enough to fight the crowds just to get to the side. Plus they were so poorly lit, I couldn’t see where I was squatting!! It was still great though and although it’s definitely not my first choice Centennial is a pretty cool spot to watch a concert right in the middle of the city.
On a separate note – I refuse to go to Lakewood anymore… it’s a mess and traffic is terrrrible! The new amphitheater near me, Verizon Wireless at Encore Park, is probably the best, most clean, most efficient one ever! I just wish they had more shows. They have a parking system where the assign lots based on your location, so traffic flow is great. Plus they have great food and serve wine 🙂
gah, i remember growing up and seeing so many shows at lakewood. it was always such a mess to get out of there. we have a similar big ampitheatre here that is also a mess like that. they opened a smaller amipitheatre just outside of downtown a couple of years ago and it sounds a lot like the one you talk about. smaller, easy to get in and out of and better vendors!
So random…but in that first pic it kind of looks like you cut your hair to just above shoulder length…have you ever tried that? It looks ADORABLE! Not that your hair doesn’t look fabulous right now 🙂
thanks! i have had my hair all lengths but usually default to longer!
SO jealous! I don’t know what rock I was living under, but I only found out that they were here in Charlotte on the night of the concert. Glad you had fun!
it wasn’t really promoted at all and it was a little bit of a haul to greenville on a weeknight!
3-4 years ago, I randomly heard of M&S, liked their music and bought tickets for a show at a local club. 500 person capacity, $8 tickets. I shit you not. It was awesome! Since then, I’ve seen them at Coachella and Hollywood Bowl. They are amazing live and I’ve loved each show. Although $8 is hard to beat, Coachella was pretty awesome too!
that is so cool! i love it when you see bands before they get their big break!
Wow! They are actually playing at my cousins wedding this weekend and I can’t go. Totally bummed about it.
really!?!? that is crazy. do they know someone in the band???
I live in Greenville and had heard bad things about Heritage Park. One friend said he didn’t care if the pope and the president were going to be there, he would never go back. I had hoped they had improved, but I guess not. At least the music was good – glad you enjoyed that. Next time you are in Greenville you should check out the downtown area, fabulous restaurants, great running areas, and multiple yoga studios.