So after months of anticipation, the fun started off with a drive up to Hershey Park. Luckily we didn't hit traffic and made pretty decent time. I found it so overwhelming when I first arrived. We needed to check-in to the hotel, check-in for the VIP, meet up with friends, change, and grab some much needed lunch. Somehow we managed to get this all done, but not without a few hiccups. Any of you other attendees who did the VIP know what hiccups I'm referring to. But for those who did not, let's just say it was quite the cluster trying to check-in. They had 2 people checking in probably 2,000 people. People waited HOURS, to the extent where they had to miss the opening acts. Completely unacceptable for "VIP" treatment. But I was able to quickly put that behind me and kick the festival off with a bang.
Aaron Carter was the first to open up the set. Right before he came on, the sky opened up and it poured cats and dogs. Unfortunately his set got cut short; he only did 3 songs. This made me kinda mad because they had a DJ on after him. C'mon guys, cut the DJ short, not Aaron! I probably hadn't seen Aaron in 10+ years, so even though it was short-lived, it was a treat to see him. The whole time he was on stage I just couldn't get over how much he looked like his brother. Even the mannerisms were spot-on.
|I can't be the only one who think he looks just like Nick.|
|Donnie saying hi in the VIP tent|
|Me, Sara, and Ash looking oh so fashionable while trying to stay dry|
The set was pretty much exactly the same as the set they do on NKOTBSB, even with all the remixes and stuff. The only difference was that they had a different opening song. I truthfully didnt mind the redundant set because I knew all the words, though it certainly would've been nice to see something at least a little different. Oh well. Had a great spot when the guys were in the middle.
|My fave part of the show- Joey and his son singing Tonight|
After New Kids, it was time for Kelly Clarkson. Thus I left the New Kids set a song or 2 early and this proved to be a great decision because I was able to get front row for Kelly. This is also thanks to Ash and Cort. Thanks girls! Her set was great. I love how humble and down-to-earth she is. I felt slightly bad because there didn't seem to be too many people who watched her. Once again, I think all the blockheads were waiting to see the New Kids at the after party. However, in the middle of her set, Joey came out and did a song with her. That was pretty neat. But I still think my favorite part of her set was Breakaway. I just love that song.
|Front row for Kelly Clarkson|
Saturday was the day with literally everything going on! I knew it would be an exhausting day, and boy was it. First on the agenda was supposed to be our meet & greet with New Kids on the Block. Or so we thought. And so we were told. But clearly I had too much faith in the organizers. I should've known better. After waiting probably about an hour, being escorted into the tent where the New Kids were taking their pictures, all the VIP Bs were escorted out of line and told to go back later. Ugh, are you kidding me? Not only did this now mean we had a conflict with the BBQ, but they specifically told us we would be "fast-passed" And it meant our pain-staking efforts of finding a group with 2 Danny girls was all for nothing. I think that it what made me cry the most.
Well, after the crew and even my friends had to practically drag me out of line without our M&G, we headed off to the BSBBQ. Which was also a cluster of disorganization that I wont even get into or it will make me upset. Before I get into the fun stuff, my only other complaint was the location because everyone in the stadium could see what was going on, as well as all the folks waiting to take their picture with New Kids. I realize I'm getting nit picky in an otherwise great event, but those were my few negatives on this. But as someone who paid $250, I expect a bit more organization from GroundCtrl and I would've liked to see it held in a bit more of a private location.
Anyway, the Backstreet Boys showed up about an hour late, which was pretty good for them. Before they showed up- I spent 5 minutes of that time enjoying my hotdog. The rest of the time I frantically tried to find 3 other people to complete our NK picture group, that was messed up earlier. I felt like a lawyer as I negotiated between everyone. "Okay, if she stands next to Danny would you be willing next to stand next to Jon? Well, let me check with my group and I'll get back to you with a counter offer." I think I ran back and forth like 5 times, but we were eventually able to close the deal and miraculously found 2 Danny girls. I think I deserve a medal for that one.
Once the Backstreet Boys showed up, they didn't have mics so it was a little tough to hear them. But they gave a quick little intro on their loudspeakers and said they'd be coming by to mingle and play games with us. As most of the girls swarmed the tables where they were, I decided to hang back a bit with my friends and see if being patient and not a crazy person might pay off. Unfortunately it did not pay off. Major bummer. I'm a little regretful and wish I was a bit more proactive, because it seems most other people who attended the BBQ had really great stories. But alas, I cant be everywhere at once.
I found the event almost too overwhelming to process. You had each of the 4 guys scattered around the lawn, so I was torn on where to go! AJ was serving food, but I had already eaten so I didnt feel the need to go get more food. Nick was swarmed. Or at least he appeared to be. Howie was also going from table to table. And Brian was doing Wylee pre-orders. I didn't buy anything, but my friend Jessica did and was so gracious as to let me hop in the picture with her.
|Me, Brian, and Jessica at the BBQ|
Comical Video of Nick and AJ at the BBQ
|Nick trying to fix the horseshoe pole|
|Me, Howie, and Kristen|
When I met the guys, they all commented on our shirts. Even though I cant take credit for making them, I do take credit for wearing it with pride.
New Kids on the Block Meet & Greet
After the BSB meet & greet, we hightailed it over to the New Kids meet & greet for take 2. I was so proud of myself for organizing our group after it was messed up earlier. However those efforts also proved to be in vain, because one fan who was leaving the event told us that the groups were all off sync and they were just taking the next 10 girls in line. Not the preorganized groups. Are you F-ing kidding me MixTape?? I'm not sure these people realize how much effort goes into these picture groups. I personally don't really care, but a lot of girls do.
Well, we finally made our way up to the front of the line. I was kinda nervous to meet them, since Ive never met them before. I don't know them nearly as well as I do the Backstreet Boys, nor do I honestly care as much. Though all the chaos seemed to help keep me distracted. I was just so busy trying to arrange our groups such that everyone was as happy as possible.
However as we inched closer and closer to the front of the line, I could see the New Kids and to be frank, how miserable they looked. I think we must've been the 1200th or people they met that day, and it showed on their face. But despite how tired they were, they all very super pleasant to meet. I was impressed. Despite all the madness, our picture came out great.
The Remainder of Saturday
The rest of the day was filled with lots of great artists and fun. The Wanted. LL Cool J. Carly Rae Jepsen. I found myself to be rather antsy that day and bounced around from either stage, the Wylee Party, and the VIP tent. Just trying to keep cool amid all the acts. Plus I was trying to spend a little bit of time with all my friends and fam.
|Me and Kristen|
|Me and my bro|
|Brian at the Wylee Party|
The show was pretty much what you're used to seeing. They had a few fun/unique moments though. I loved when Brian and AJ came out during Please Don't Go Girl. Clearly AJ sings that much better than Joey. The Wanted also came out at one point and they sang Im Glad You Came. So definitely a fun show!
After the concert, they had the after party in the VIP tent. It was a bit more lively that night because the New Kids and even some Backstreet Boys showed up. Sadly the one thing I got out of this experience was just how much more interactive the New Kids are. It pains me to admit it, but just in the hour or so I was there that night, I could see how the New Kids cruise would be a lot more fun. I see Donnie and Joey working the crowd while Howie is standing there with his beer watching them. I wanted to run up to Howie and yell, "Do something!" But hey, at least Howie showed up. And surprisingly Brian showed up for a bit as well.
|The gang at the after party|
This was a fun event! Nick didn't show up, and I think Team Backstreet definitely needed him. Though Im not sure it would've helped. We ended up losing 4 to 9. But we sure put in a solid effort. I think I'll let the pictures/videos speak for themselves on this portion, as this post is running a lot longer than intended.
The New Kids celebrating One Out
|Brian trying to get the ball from Donnie's dog|
|Donnie enjoying what I can only imagine to be a beer at 10am|
|Howie at bat|
|Jon didn't play. But was quite entertaining to watch in the dugout with Joey's son|
|AJ playing in the field|