Mainely Running
Join me as I train in Maine and race all over the world in pursuit of my goal to run a marathon on all 7 continents

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Gentlemen of Road: Portland Maine

 Yesterday was an absolutely epic day that I will remember for a long, long time. I spent the entire day at the Gentlemen of the Road concert. Portland has had Mumford mania all week. The city is plastered with Gentlemen of the Road posters and it is all anyone has talked about. It totally lived up to the hype.

The doors opened at noon and we got there around 12:30. I knew parking would be impossible, so I rode my bike. The Bike Coalition of Maine had a free bike valet so it was both easy and safe! Thanks Bike Maine!

We paused to take a few pictures going through the gate, then stamped our passports, filled up our waterbottles at the water station, and found a space to park our blanket.

It was already pretty crowded, but we got a great space on the hill with a good view of both stages.

We decided to settle in the 21+ area because obviously adult beverages were an important part of our plan. It was HOT! There was a nice sea breeze, but it was still close to 90.  The special drink was Maine Mead Work's honey lavender mead with lemonade.

It was delicious and perfect for the heat. Too delicious- I sucked down 3 in the first hour and half. Oops!

Miraculously our friends managed to find us and there was still space for their blanket next to us.  We spent the next few hours just laying in the sun listening to awesome music. I hadn't ever heard any of the first few acts, but I really liked them all.

Around 4 we got up to wander in search of food. All the vendors were local, and the food sounded awesome- tofu wraps, burritos, oysters and lobster rolls. There was even a cupcake stand with PBR cupcakes with whiskey frosting. Unfortunately the lines were insane!! They went on for miles. So we gave up. Luckily, I'd smuggled in an apple and a Luna bar. However that was not quite enough food for 12 hours!

I saw this morning that police estimated the total crowd in and outside the venue at more than 20,000. I believe it. We waited in line 45 minutes for beer. We got the 2 we were allowed and then got right back in line and drank them in line. I did start to get a little frustrated with the crowd around 6. People were drunk and obnoxious, the bathroom lines were nuts, and the porta potties were nasty.

But once Drop Kick Murphies started I forgot my frustration. They were rocking and we were river dancing up a storm. Next it was finally time for Mumford and Sons. Words can't even describe how amazing they were.

Their musicians were incredible and their harmony was just so tight. We wormed our way down close to the front and had a great view. We danced and danced and sang and sang. As they performed we watched the sun set over Casco Bay behind them and saw the stars come out. As it got dark the lights on stage got more and more dramatic. I was totally caught up in the show. They ended with fireworks out over the water.

I was a little nervous about the bike ride home in dark after a lot of beer, but it ended up being a blast. I clipped my headlamp into the v neck of my dress, stuck a blinkie on my black, and hopped on the bike train. The Eastern End trail was packed with people leaving the show, so we got in line behind a biker with a super loud bell. It was funny to watch people jump when she rang the bell. A few other bikers were heading to South Portland so we kept the party going all the way over the bridge. It was the perfect ending to the perfect day. (Actually the pizza bagel that I scarfed down when I got home was really the perfect ending, I was SO hungry!)

Here is a great slideshow that really shows well how many people were packed on the hill.

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