Concert-goers Defy Dust

This appeared in the Klamath Falls Herald and News - July 14, 2003

It wasn't easy - getting to the concert site of the Electric Barnyard Tour that featured Marty Stuart & his Fabulous Superlatives and Merle Haggard & The Strangers on Saturday evening along Highway 140 southwest of Klamath Falls.

Concertgoers had to drive up a dirt road, park in a dirt parking area, then walk even higher up a dirt path for the first public event to the held at the undeveloped Southview subdivision along Highway 140 west.

But the members of the audience - a few hundred in number - who arrived before show time didn't seem to mind as they waited patiently for the entertainment to begin.

They were all casually dressed and there were food concession booths and a beer garden to make the wait more bearable.

There was also a mechanical bull and a rock-climbing wall.

There wasn't much shade, though, on a hot, sunny and cloudless day and a few of those in attendance had brought umbrellas with them.

Among those who found a shady spot were Gerry Coleman and Dan Doyle of Klamath Falls.

"I think this is great; something the community needs - once they get it all set up," Coleman said.

The Chalk Rocs outdoor amphitheater at Southview Development is still under construction and, according to Pat Wood, "we hope to have it done by Sept. 1. It will seat 4,000 to 5,000 people."

The seating for Saturday's concert was on a first-come, first-served basis, and Lori Reisinger of Medford, who got a choice place in the center of the front row, was taking no chances.

"We got here about 3 p.m.," she said. With her were her aunt, uncle, sister, brother-in-law, and nephew.

They then waited until the gates opened at 4:30 p.m., carefully positioned their lawn chairs in front of the stage, and waited some more until the show started at 6 p.m.

"At the Britt Music Festival in Jacksonville, you have to get there early; some people even camp out over night. We wanted a seat right up front, so that's why we got here early," she said.

Not everyone was happy, though.

Edie Hess of Klamath Falls said she was "really, really upset" because she did not learn until after she arrived that "they wouldn't let you bring any of your own food in with you. I spent an hour and a half preparing food for us.

"They should have told us ahead of time," she said.

An elderly gentleman was irritated because he was not allowed to leave the concert area to go back to his car.

"They said if I went out, they wouldn't let me back in. I just wanted to go to my car because I couldn't remember if I had locked it," he said.

Two sisters were delighted there was food and beverages available.

One of them, Julie Stroud of Bend, said "this seems like it's going to be fun." Of her sister, Sarah Jones of Klamath Falls, she said "she likes music; all kinds of music."

But Jones indicated she likes more than just music, saying with enthusiasm, "Oh, good, they've got beer."

By Doug Higgs

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