In fact, don't bother with any like music festival in Denver. Here is why.
Safety and Public Information:
The following items are NOT ALLOWED at The Official 420 Rally:
- Weapons of Any Kind, including Fireworks or Explosives of Any Kind
- Large Framed Backpacks (Hiking Backpacks, etc.)
- Glass Containers and Metal Aerosol Cans, including Sunscreen in Aerosol Cans.
- Outside Food or Drinks (including Alcohol), except Two Factory-Sealed Water Bottles (up to 1 Liter each)
- Skateboards, Scooters or Personal Motorized Vehicles
- Carts, Tents & Chairs of Any Kind
- Hard-Sided Coolers
- Pets (except Service Dogs)
- Professional Recording (Photo, Video, Audio) Equipment (NO Large Professional Detachable Zoom Lenses, Tripods or Other Commercial Equipment
- No Unauthorized/Unlicensed Vendors Allowed. No Unauthorized Solicitations, Handbills, Sampling, Give-Aways, etc.
Let all your memories be fuzzy.
I am invited to pursue press credentials if I like, and that sure is kind and considerate but should not be necessary in a free land. I am invited to try to join the guild for something I am able to do as free citizen. But this is your private party so have it your way. I'm no longer interested. You are no fun. My attitude is just leave. You leave.
Making the Most of Your 420 Rally Experience
- Radiate Positivity – Amendment 64 was the culmination of years of hard work and dedication. Celebrate this collective achievement with a smile on your face and a buzz in your heart as we’re all together in our effort to educate the world about the benefits of our beloved plant
- Respect your City Park
- Get involved
- Have fun!
- Be prepared
You are asked how to get there and you answer, "Go green, take the bus." What we need to know is where are the entrances. A map would be helpful. It is a large park.
Logically there will be an entrance on Broadway. That way is blocked with construction. The opposite way to Acoma leads directly to the heart of the park. Acoma stops being a street and becomes a pedestrian plaza spanning 2 blocks in front of the Art Museum. It ends at the D.P. Library and the entrance to the first art museum. 14 St curves to accommodate Civic park.
A female guard stands at a gap in the gate, she is black, that is relevant later, she directs people to follow the curve, the curved street now fenced off. The entrance is Bannock and 14th right at the start of the curve, the point of the original art museum, a bit of a strange intersection with sidewalks because the curve continues to 15th which is Colfax, the other edge of the park.
"Your setup is handicap-unfriendly."
"I know. We brought that up with the organizers this morning."
"What did they say?"
When I do get to point B, the entrance, access denied. The fence curves around the pointed building like a hairpin following the sidewalk down Bannock the opposite direction away from the park, forcing pedestrians to keep on the sidewalk in a channel between fence and building the full length of the block. It took a lot of effort putting up all that fencing. The direction I just walked. I am 10 feet away from point B, the proper entrance, and ridiculously herded away from it down the street to point C, back toward home. Everybody is. Thousands of people throughout the day herded around as cattle away from the park to walk the exact same length back to the entrance. No signage at all, this way or that to avoid that inconvenience for thousands, only people all around to direct you which way to circumlocute the perimeter with added block-long spikes to accommodate safety.
A groundskeeper on the opposite side of the fence saw my plight, or rather heard it.
An outburst that runs counter to the positive energy we are instructed to radiate. The man, a large dude, kindly offered to open the fencing. The segments are hooked but not locked. Here the fencing is tall and heavy, seven feet or so and the man could not unhook them, but he did try. He arbitrarily decided logically where the previous guard did not with an easier fence.
Both these people were friendly and gracious and tried to stick with their direct instructions. The man saw the whole thing ridiculous but now at this point the rally is decidedly handicapped-hostile. I have no interest in joining these people, I don't give a flat crap about their celebration anymore.
I had hopped to get photos, but now I don't care.
I will have none of it. Goodbye. I returned the way I arrived. I would not walk down the street and return to the same spot to satisfy their arrangement of security baffling. Screw that, and with prejudice.
These seem profane un-Easter-like thoughts.
As I pass by the original guard I notice her talking to two large black men. She is telling them the same thing she has already told thousands. I feel sorry for her. But then she opens the gap and allows them to pass.
I'm am already quite cross and then I saw that. I yell at her from a short distance my voice bounces between library and art museum.
"Now we see how things work."
Flushed with shame she offered me access, kindly and graciously as can be. She really was sweet about the whole thing and flustered besides. I have no idea if those men were musicians or what. Most the lineup is black. Anything is possible. But the guilt that she felt for being forced to deny access at first, walking with two canes, too bad for me, then observing her allowing two men her same race, she knows intimately how racism stings, and I wanted the accusation of racism to sting too. I wanted her to feel it, feel how being thought racist stings even as racism has nothing to do with it. She will not have a chance to explain. Whatever that was it has the appearance of racism. That is what I am feeling. Crap Easter thoughts all around.
You hurt me as handicapped
You hurt me by behaving openly racist toward me
You hurt me as photographer
You hurt me as American who expect freedom pretty much everywhere.
And it is all so arbitrary.
I walked home, feeling flat, feeling, hey, this victim thing is a bit of fun, and the festival of everyday life picks right up where overly restrictive rallies let down.
A black man dressed in a suit approached me briskly in a tight hallway arm extended, "Chip!"
I never do recognize my neighbor. I never am sure it is him. He dresses differently every time I see him and he actually does look like a different man each time. It is bizarre. He grabbed my hand and crushed it, pumped my arm vigorously as if coins would pop out my mouth,
"Thank you for taking care of my man back there, Chip. That was excellent."
I'm loving it but I have no idea what he is talking about. I never took care of anyone's man.
Oh. The "Do you guys want a beer?" thing. They were laying out on the hall. Locked out. I asked if they need use of a bathroom while waiting, I have one right here but they said no. But then I could still hear them and a long time elapsed so I opened the door and asked them, come on. The two men spun in the air like tigers. Impressively. They were lying flat on their back on the hallway carpet, blur, then standing in front of me. Amazing. We three had a beer. Two women oddly chose to stay put. One guy lingered and finished his beer and we talked for awhile. That must have been it.
I am hungry and do not want to cook and it is Easter. A new restaurant nearby, two in fact, I can check those, but they're closed. One shop is opened, I walk in, use their cash machine and take a hundred dollars. A lot of people in there. "Chip!"
The owner's voice. I hadn't been there in months. The last time I dropped in with some pretzels fresh out of the oven with mustard I made from powder. We shared them right in their shop and that is why they like me. I told them this story. "Aw, Chip, what a bummer. Here, have a t-shirt. We have one left." And that is how I ended up with this splendid heartbeat t-shirt celebrating Denver's 420 world-wide celebration without having entered the park.
These things are boring. The same folding cubical information kiosks, the same food, the same rapid fencing, the same portable toilets, the same choking at entrances, arbitrary rules, maybe even the same people over and over for all I know. It is a huge crowd, a lot of visitors, and 2nd rate music. That is all.