Was Riot Fest Worth a Drive Across Kansas?

Would you travel from the past?
Would you travel from the past?
Aaron Thackeray

It's one thing to brave I-25 traffic to get to Riot Fest, or even to make the hour-long drive from the Byers (the original site of the festival), but a lot of people made a real trip out of this year's festival.

Walking around the parking lots at Sports Authority Field it was easy to spot out-of-state tags. They were everywhere, mostly from places where good entertainment isn't as readily available as it is in Denver.

See also: A Day in the Life of a Riot Fest Carny

"It was probably a mistake to come here but it was worth it," says Michael Rupe, who flew in from Norman, Oklahoma. With his friend Melissa Freeman. "We've never been to a three-day festival."

The pair study meteorology at the University Of Oklahoma and are burning up valuable study time to see their two favorite bands, A Day To Remember and the Used, according to Freeman.

"We would have driven but we flew in because we have class and two midterms this week," says Freeman. "We're probably going to fail the physics one."

Michelle Mitchell says she drove all the way from Kirksville, Missouri. because she has friends in Denver and the opportunity to see both the Wu-Tang Clan and the National in one night was too much to resist.

"We saw that lineup and just had to go," says Mitchell.

The drive home, she admits, won't be nearly as exciting as the drive out. She has to traverse Kansas after all, and she's not looking forward to the tedium so she's savoring the time here with friends.

"I have a little bit before I have to drive back," says Mitchell, cozying up with her friends.

As boring as Mitchell's trip home may be, the award for longest drive goes to Amber Jett who made the trek from Tucson, Ariz. by car with Dominique Sarno and a companion.

"It's almost 900 miles," says Jett. "But when I looked at the schedule and saw Die Antwood was playing I had to come."

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Shawn Woodard drove in from Omaha, Neb. with his two sons, Colin, 17, and Oliver, 11. He sums up the trio's motivation for making the trip rather simply.

"Where else are you going to see all this in one place?"

Oliver agrees.

"It's awesome."

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