Wednesday, September 09, 2015

That Time We (Almost) Went To A Hip Hop Festival.

Calgary did it. We had our very first hip hop festival, and where were we? Eating cro-nuts, defeated, in my basement apartment.

For the record, we tried. We really, really tried. We secured a spot on the guest list months ahead of time. I laid out an outfit. I packed a bag. The weather forecast wasn't in our favor, but dammit, Calgary was having a hip hop festival, and we needed to be there.

 My heart sank when Saturday rolled around, and for once, the forecast was right. It was pouring, but we bundled up, packed our umbrellas, and left to fill our stomachs before braving the festival. Pre-eating prior to drinking, while in your thirties, is just as important as pre-gaming in your twenties. While sitting and having burgers, staring out the window, we said it for the first time of the day: "We are being such troopers right now".

We finished eating, and went back to my place to add layers of clothing and get bigger umbrellas. I think we knew we were in over our heads, but still, we trooper-ed on. We went in search for a cab, and for the first time in two years, couldn't find one willing to pick us up. After trudging seven blocks in the storm, we reached a giant mass of people, peppered with snapbacks and Nikes and beanies. This was the lineup, and the lineup was insane at the best of moments.

 We huddled ourselves into the masses, and the phrase of the day became a steady mantra in my head: "Troooooopers... We're being troopers". My feet were soaked, and we were freezing and tired. Dexter, in a strike of a total genius, had brought a giant umbrella, and booze-breathed, not-so-genius, hipsters used their heavy self-entitlement to insert themselves under the umbrella with the two of us, un-invited. In the distance, we could hear Raekwon echoing through the crowd.

With FOMO at an all-time high, we champion-ed on. We were cold and annoyed and had been waiting two hours. I looked back at Dex, and, with some bitch's feet continuously stamping on mine, and some stranger's dick in the small of my back, said through gritted teeth, "We are being such. fucking. troopers". Wale took the stage as we hit the front of the line. That is to say, we thought we had hit the front of the line. Prepped for the mandatory pat-down that comes with all rap shows, we told the ticket-taker that we were on the guest list. She looked at us with furious concern. "You didn't go get your tickets at the box office first?",  she said, and directed us to the other side of the field.

We looked at each other. Our hearts were in our feet by this point.  We searched for the box office for a minute, before our age and patience got the best of us. We slinked back home to cover ourselves in one million blankets. We bought a box of cro-nuts, and ate our disappointment. Calgary had a hip hop festival, and we missed it. Well, we didn't miss it, we just spent it in a line-up, starting at wet sneakers and asses. We were feeling really sorry for ourselves, until we realized that we were there, and those damp shoes and stupid entitled asses were there, supporting rap music on a large scale, and that this whole city, for one day, were troopers in the name of hip hop.

~sarah p. 

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