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Advice for a PPUSA first-timer?

Discussion in 'ProgPower USA' started by OrionSon, Nov 18, 2013.

  1. OrionSon

    OrionSon Member

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    So I pretty much had to buy tickets when I saw that Stratovarius and Overkill, two of my Top 10 bands were playing this festival. I'm new to the festival and am already putting aside money for it as a poor college student.

    Since it's so far away and will cost me a lot of my money, I want to do this right. So I was wondering if all of you festival veterans had some advice to make my first time visiting this a great one.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. gtwilliams

    gtwilliams Member

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    You'll love it! Welcome to the Metal Community you didn't realize existed. You'll find people in Atlanta and at the festival hospitable and helpful. I suggest getting a hotel as soon as you know when you're coming and going. I have picked several within walking distance of the venue and it has worked out. Also could use couchsurf to save some bucks. You don't need a rental car - - either MARTA in or taxi from the airport. Main advice is to drink lots of water and don't feel like you have to watch *everything*. I usually pick a band I'll sit out and use that time to leave the venue for a bite to eat. Truth is you may get some sensory overload after 2 days of metal in a dark room. But it is worth it. You should ask specific questions to get specific answers. Anything in particular on your mind?
     
  3. zekeyou

    zekeyou Member

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    Make sure to have someone that can bring you Red Stripe tallboys throughout the sets if you are anywhere near the front.
     
  4. OrionSon

    OrionSon Member

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    Specifically, I was thinking of advice on hotels and dining in walking distance. I plan on driving to Atlanta, which is about 8 hours away from where I live. Because of the time and money I'm investing into this, I'm trying to get the maximum experience, which was why I had planned to see every band. I for sure am going the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. Wednesday is still being considered.
     
  5. Mardoch

    Mardoch Defender of the Universe

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    Where are you coming in from?

    Dining can be easily had one block away at two of the most delectable places around. Vespucci's and Sausalito's who are both awesome enough to stay open late just for us crazies. I would recommend not getting fall down drunk. It will not enhance your experience very much.
     
  6. SF Metal Man

    SF Metal Man Member

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    I'll second Sausalito. Great food and service. Last year was my first year and my first time in Atlanta. I saw at least some of every band. At some point you'll need to miss at least 15 minutes of some set to get some dinner. Don't sweat it too much since every band gets at least an hour so you'll still be able to see everyone if you want. Plan on spending some time and money in the vender room. I made a point of seeing some sights in the late mornings and early afternoon. The aquarium is mindblowing and if you go on Thursday the place will be empty. The botanical garden is also well worth the visit. I was less impressed with the World of Coke and the CNN Studio Tour. Last year I got an awesome deal on Hotwire on a hotel downtown and found someone on the forum to split it with. I do have a word of warning that the person I originally was splitting the room with backed out at the last minute and I was really lucky to find a last minute replacement for all but the first night. If I were to do this again I'd get a deposit. Staying downtown was ok if you plan on doing some sightseeing, but otherwise Midtown would be more convenient, although more expensive.
     
  7. Sumeet

    Sumeet Member

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    There are a lot of things to consider then. Are you looking to spend more to stay as close as possible, or are you looking to save money and stay a few miles away... which is very feasible if you have a car, but not if you like to drink. If you plan on going back and forth to the hotel a lot, then obviously staying within walking distance is nice, but hotels within walking distance are more expensive (and have expensive valet parking), and also fill up fast. I also watch every band on all 4 days, and find that I don't wind up going back and forth to the hotel extremely often. There are plenty of places nearby to eat during the day... most of those places are closed at the time the show ends, but there are still places to get food, and you certainly won't have a problem if you have a car.

    Also, be sure to check out these threads:

    http://www.ultimatemetal.com/forum/progpower-usa/679794-progpower-usa-ways-save-money.html

    http://www.ultimatemetal.com/forum/progpower-usa/666388-restaurants-near-center-stage.html

    http://www.ultimatemetal.com/forum/progpower-usa/474350-advice-first-timer.html

    http://www.ultimatemetal.com/forum/progpower-usa/834222-review-first-timer.html

    http://www.ultimatemetal.com/forum/progpower-usa/898220-perspective-first-timer-long-post.html
     
  8. Sumeet

    Sumeet Member

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    I disagree... I watch the full set from every band on all 4 days every year. I usually wind up having a fairly large lunch, so I'm not too hungry for a while, and after that, there's always enough time to head out before the final act of the night goes on, grab a quick bite, and be back before they're on. Also, you can get pizza right inside the venue now. The bar in the vendor room also serves other food, but I'm not sure exactly how late the kitchen is open.

    I must admit, my tolerance for leaning over and poring over racks of CDs has diminished considerably over the years. I used to really enjoy it. I bought about 70 CDs per year the first couple years. The last few years I've purchased 0 - 8 per year. I also get a couple shirts per year, even though I already have too many, heh.

    Agreed... there's some cool stuff to see in Atlanta... definitely recommended for a first-timer. I suppose after having been there over a dozen times it becomes less of an attraction. Also, depending on partying and stuff, one may not have much time available in the late morning and early afternoon. After going to sleep at 5:00 AM, I pretty much only have time to get up, get some lunch with friends, and get to the venue. :)

    Agreed. How did you get back to the downtown hotel after the show... a car, a cab, or on foot? I've walked between midtown and downtown several times over the years, but I've never stayed at a hotel downtown, and I'm not sure I'd want to walk that distance every late night / early morning after a very long day, heh.
     
  9. OrionSon

    OrionSon Member

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    I'm driving from the New Orleans area, actually. Didn't think I'd see another Louisianian on here. The rough plan I had in my head was wake up, eat a big lunch so I won't be hungry, then go to the venue. I know for sure I'll blow half of my money on shirts. I was curious to how the CD sales are over there. As for the drinking, the festival takes place almost exactly a month before my 21st birthday, so I won't have to worry about that.

    Also for the record, I've been reading up on this festival from the forums, and one thing I'm liking the best (besides the lineup) is how tight the community seems. I'm a shy person, but a metal concert is where I open up and talk to strangers the most, so this is a special bonus for me.
     
  10. Sumeet

    Sumeet Member

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    Cool. Be sure to introduce yourself. I'll be the guy in the black t-shirt with a band logo! :) Heh... just remember... no matter where you stay, head over to the Artmore hotel a couple blocks away after the show ends each night. The courtyard there is the central hangout spot for several hours after the show ends.

    Also, one other thing to possibly consider (unless you need to travel by car for other reasons)... sometimes airlines have specials in June or July. I live about the same distance away as you (an 8 hour drive), and I actually prefer to drive... but last year I was able to fly for $48 each way... which was less than 1/3 the cost of gas and parking. And if you wind up staying within walking distance, there's little need for a car while you're there.
     
  11. Diamond45

    Diamond45 Terminate Bad Music

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    If you are on Facebook, "like" the PP USA Facebook page. Tips for places to stay, places to eat, etc. are there and are updated on a frequent basis.

    https://www.facebook.com/ProgPowerUSA
     
  12. nailz

    nailz Member

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    I know you think this is a good idea now, but take it from every veteran: it's the worst possible thing you can do. One of the big parts of progpower is the social aspect, if you try to watch every band, not only will you be burned out, you'll miss that part of it. PPUSA is about more than the music. You'll know when you come, but do this instead: try to catch PART of every band, see full sets of several. None of us who have been going for years catch every band. It's too much.

    As far as everything you need to know about traveling:

    https://www.facebook.com/notes/prog...tation-food-attractions-etc/10150109729709819
     
  13. nailz

    nailz Member

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    You're insane. :lol:
     
  14. Mardoch

    Mardoch Defender of the Universe

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    I normally drive, and I'd be happy to grab you on the way and split fuel with you if you were interested in that. Last year I had company sponsored flight (lucky me!) but I can't predict if that'd happen again this year or not. We'll keep in touch.
     
  15. Justin G

    Justin G Member

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    It's pretty much every CD you could want, at your fingertips instead of on the internet, and all at reasonable (if not deeply discounted) prices. If you're a CD collector, the vendor room is about as big a draw as the bands are.
     
  16. Diamond45

    Diamond45 Terminate Bad Music

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    Absolutely true! If you are into CDs, you will spend quite a bit of time (and money) in the vendor room. (Right, Steve?)
     
  17. PromisedLand

    PromisedLand Master of Corgis

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    I'd definitely suggest talking to people - many of the folks at the show are very friendly, and you'll have a much better time if you meet a few people right off. Being on here is a great thing - you can get to know a lot of people and meet up with them in person.

    My first time was last year, and I got lucky enough to be sitting next to SkiBumMSP for most of Saturday, and had a great time. :)

    Also, you might want to reconsider the "big lunch".. the bathrooms got a little dodgy last year. :)

    We took off for 30 minutes or so mid-day each day last year, just to stretch our legs and get some food and sunlight.

    It's a REALLY intense experience - I felt very overwhelmed at some points by the awesomeness of all that great music. That said, it was also the greatest musical experience of my life. :)
     
  18. Sumeet

    Sumeet Member

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    Heh... it's not that hard. :) I'm not some sort of Iron Man athlete with the endurance to stand for 12 hours straight, yet I still watch every set from every band from the floor. I simply step out into the hallway between sets and sit down until the next band gets on stage (unless I have to meet up with someone, go back to the hotel, or whatever else during that time period). I missed some songs here and there the first few years due to poor planning, but I've seen the entire set from every band since at least 2006. There were a few times I went out to eat and was late getting back to the venue, but it turned out the bands were running even later than I was (Iced Earth, Hammerfall, Therion).

    I agree on the social aspect though. The social aspect is a big part of why I keep coming back, and why I've even been arriving a day early and leaving a day late for the last couple years. I have a number of friends who I usually only see in person once a year... at ProgPower. I also enjoy spending time talking to people I meet for the first time, or people I've only talked to online, who I'm now meeting in person. So hanging out with other people is basically what I'm doing in the late morning, early afternoon, and late night. Pretty much every minute I'm in Atlanta when I'm not watching bands, sleeping, or in the bathroom. :)

    Still, I'm certainly not saying that watching every band is something everyone should do. Some people aren't into some bands, other people want to spend more time doing other things, and there's absolutely no problem with that. Everyone should enjoy the fest in the way that works for them. But if someone thinks they might want to do it, I can assure you it's perfectly feasible. :)
     
  19. Locust0311

    Locust0311 Shopping Ape

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    I say next year you should ask every lady you see to join you in the bedroom and bathroom. No sense in not maximizing all your time here! I'm sure that won't impact your ability to catch every song of every band either :heh:
     
  20. TychoCelchu

    TychoCelchu Member

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    I'm with Sumeet on the watching-every-band thing. The first several times I went to Progpower, I viewed it as more of a buffet. Bands I was really excited for, I got a good spot on the floor. Bands I was curious about, I'd get a seat, or check out a couple songs before heading off to wander around. Bands I wasn't interested in, I'd leave the venue to get food or relax at the hotel, whatever. It was good. I felt like I was choosing my own experience.

    In 2010 I decided to make it a point to watch every band, from the standing floor, as an experiment. It intensified the total experience more than I expected. I found myself more focused and getting more out of every band, including the ones I thought I didn't care about. It made the whole weekend feel longer (in a good way) and I still did a lot of chatting with people floating around me. Even though 2010 wasn't my favorite lineup, it was the best EXPERIENCE I'd had so far, so I've made it a point to keep doing it, although sometimes I sit down for the headliners.
     

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