Spring Gathering 2011 - By Russell Rope 6-13-2011
Spring Gathering is one of four annual music festivals produced by Guerilla Union. The others are SmokeOut, Rock the Bells, and Paid Dues. Spring Gathering 2011 featured an all-star lineup including Snoop Dogg, Cypress Hill, Travis Barker with Mix Master Mike, Tommy Chong, Stephen and Damian Marley, The Dogg Pound, Collie Buddz, Dilated Peoples, and Los Rakas. Spring Gathering and SmokeOut have medical cannabis expositions and a discussion panel led by known professionals in the industry. The “celeb” status was lacking this year, not only because Steve Bloom of Celeb Stoner was missing in action, but also because the speakers, sponsors, and promoters were not as notorious as in the past. This is probably a good place to thank Steve for hooking Weed Connection up with Guerilla Union. Thanks Bloom d00d.
I have attended and covered many events and shows with Press, Video, Photo, and V.I.P. access, which mos definitely has its perks; however, this time I brought a date and was “chillin’ like a civilian.” It was refreshing, but definitely not as cool to switch up the perspective. It felt especially good to expose someone who had never been to a big concert to some real headliners. Furthermore, I like having a female companion. We cruised from A-Town to the NOS Events Center on K.U.S.H. powered by some hot fiya in the passenger seat, found a good parking spot, and picked up our tickets at the Press Check-in. The lovely ladies in the Press Booth, who could not see the HD video camera I stashed in her purse, said they probably would not allow my visible camera.
We arrived in the middle of the afternoon and were directed toward the General Admission Patient entrance. There were too many rules that were meant to be broken. With tons of security around, I jammed her hash into my left shoe and my glass pipe into my right shoe. You are allowed to bring in an eighth with an original copy of your physicians medical cannabis recommendation. The piece in my shoe was uncomfortable, but time and time again, this has proved to be an extremely effective method for smuggling in medz that do not meet a venue’s criteria. She had so much stuff in her bag and my video camera is so small that there were no problems in that department. Like myself, the chill security guard did not seem interested in him padding me down very thoroughly. He warned me some lady was not going to allow the camera around my neck “that he did not see.” Great timing was when the purse showed up after being separated into male and female security checkpoints.
There are three main entrances to the NOS Events Center, which I have experienced on separate occasions. First, General Admission leads you by a large pond with a fountain. Second, the Patients entrance leads into the larger designated medicating area. Third, the V.I.P. entrance leads into a more exclusive area with some cabanas and not much the civilians should feel like they are missing out on. We proceeded through the Patient entrance and made our way into the stage area to catch the end of the Dogg Pound. We then visited the medical marijuana expo, hollered at some of my connects, snapped a few shots of the discussion panel, checked out the outdoor vendors, took more photos, passed out some Weed Connection cards including one to a cute girl in a sounds like WeedCraps T; told her the truth about how she would be more cool if she were wearing a Weed Connection shirt. Somewhere between drinking, smoking, eating and straight west coasting we saw the headliners.
Last year at Spring Gathering Tommy Chong gave a speech crossed with some stand up comedy. I was blown away to see and hear the old man rocking out with his cock out, not literally. I showed my female how to navigate the crowd and we got pretty close to front row center before partying in and out through the sea of my peoplez to catch fresh air between acts. The set for Travis Barker and Mix Master Mike, change powered by a small army of roadies, resembled a giant boom box with a sweet display of lights plus each artist on stages inside the right and left speakers. Their joint performance was full of energy and dope beats. Next up was Cypress Hill, who always puts on a killer show with that bomb Latin percussion, tight mixing, and hits from bong. B Real was puffing on what looked like a quarter pound rolled up into one fatty. The next and final episode was one of my all time favorite rappers Snoop Dogg, who was joined on stage by another top d-o-double-g-g, Kurrupt, and dare I say we skipped out on the end to beat traffic and made it home in an hour and a half or so. All in all it was a great day, with sweet company slash personal blunt twister, ill live tunes from some of our favorite artists, and dank chronic...equals success.
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