Can you believe it? Country in the Park is Saturday! The sold-out show starts right around 4 at Cal-Expo and of course stars Jon Pardi, Lauren Alaina, Midland, LoCash and Tyler Rich. If you’re going, be ready a little early: we have some special performers doing the National Anthem to start everything off at around 3:50 and it WILL be a chill bump moment, trust us.
Fun fact: while other CITPs have sold out, this one sold out faster than any of them, probably due in large part to those two local boys on the bill, Tyler and Jon. It will also be the largest crowd we’ve ever had for a CITP.
So, with that in mind, we thought it’d be good to update our annual list of reminders, based on several years of our experience, so that everyone gets the most out of their experience.
1) Only stand on the track if you’re up for it. We can’t emphasize this enough. We’re talking the standing-room-only area just outside the “Frost Row Pit” (which people paid to be in). Thousands crowd into that space to be close to the stage, and with the right mindset, it’s a blast! But if you’re not ready, do yourself a favor and don’t go down there. See, the beauty of Cal-Expo is there are so many grandstand seats. And directly in front of the grandstand, you can spread out a blanket, set up chairs and make it comfortable. The standing-room-only area is a completely different beast, and every year, we hear from people who were somehow surprised that area was packed full of sweaty, jostling people who ignored personal space parameters. But, we want to tell them, that’s because, in there..? There are no personal space parameters. There will be elbow-throwers, drink-spillers, foot-stepper-on-ers and guys and girls screaming at the top of their lungs. And there are certain people who can handle that. Those people are usually young, somewhat in shape and know going in that it’s everyone for themselves. If you’re not that, stay back. You’ll be so much happier. SO much (it’s also not a good place to bring small kids–it’s extremely loud up close and also they will see and hear things in the crowd they probably shouldn’t see or hear until at least their first year of college).
2) Do not take matters into your own hands. In the event you do run into someone rude–or, more likely, they run into you–please don’t try settling it yourself. Even if you’re in the right, there’s a chance you’ll still be kicked out with the person who started it (it’s like the line from that old George Strait song, “Fightin’ was against the rules/and it didn’t matter why“). There will be plenty of security and KNCI personnel. You should be able to locate one or the other quickly. Let them/us handle any issues. We’re on your side!
3) No smoking also means no vaping. And no weed, either. Seriously. We know it’s legal now so if you’re going to do it, do it elsewhere. Fine, whatever. But it’s still smoking and smoking’s a no-no inside (with the exception of a designated smoking area). Also, just because you wanna get high doesn’t mean everyone around you does. One year I saw a guy break out a bong up near the stage, assemble it, and smoke from it, all while a family with three young kids were standing right behind him. I got security. He got removed. The kids probably got major snack cravings and didn’t know why.
4) Do not swim or wade or otherwise do anything in the infield pond. I can’t believe we have to include this but every year, we have to tell a few people to stay out of that pond that sits inside the track at Cal-Expo. You have no idea what’s in that water. We don’t either, but we’d bet it’s something very small that could live in your intestines for a very long time.
5) We can’t get you backstage. We really can’t. Really. Every year we show up with a few Meet and Greet passes that we’ll randomly hand out to fans before the show. But once those are gone, that’s it. So even if you ask 5 different times and offer to lift up your shirt (as one woman did a couple years ago), the answer is still no. And by the way…you should never offer to lift up your shirt to anyone, but especially if, like that woman, you’re over 60.
6) Clean up, clean up, everybody everywhere. Hey, it’s a festival. We know there’s going to be trash. That’s why we have a custodial crew the size of two college football teams. Still, if your empty, plastic yard-of-margarita container could somehow find it’s way close to if not directly into a trash can, that’d be great. Our clean-up folks would like to go home before sunrise on Sunday.
7) Be early if you want, but no tailgating. The parking lots open at 9am and parking is $10. But, please know tailgating will not be allowed.
8) Overall, just be prepared. Most of you get it. You’ve been to multiple CITPs and you’ve got it down–bring your patience because there will be lines. Bring your tolerance because it might be tested. Bring sun screen, and hats, and noise-reduction headphones for little kids. Remember, you can bring in your own water, as long as it’s in a pre-sealed bottle. If you want a prime seat, standing spot or a good area to set up your chairs, get there early–gates open at 2:30 (music starts about 3:45 and trust us, you want to be there for the anthem. For realz). Also, know before you get there that parking will be $10 (drive, and make your friends pay!)
9) Lastly... Be courteous and respectful and have a great time. 99.8% of your fellow concert-goers will be awesome so, heck, high-five strangers freely! Sing to every song at the top of your lungs! Take so many selfies people will wonder if you’re a CITP Influencer! Also, visit our vendors–without them this show doesn’t happen. Tip your waiters and bar staff, if you can. Be there early for Tyler Rich’s set because it’s not every day a kid from Yuba City gets to open before a home-state crowd. In the same vein, be ready to shed a tear when Jon Pardi takes the stage, since headlining CITP has been a dream of his since he was kid growing up in Dixon. And at the end of the night if you’ve had a little too much to drink, don’t be afraid to admit it and catch a Lyft or Uber home. Your car or truck will still be there tomorrow.
If, day of, you have any questions, just ask! We’ll do everything we can to make sure you’re having fun. It’s gonna be a great show, and all we want–really–is for you to enjoy it to the fullest 🙂