Rocklahoma: Why Were People Driving Dangerously Close to Campsites?

Categories: Festivals

rocklahoma-campsites.jpg
Jeremy Ruggaber
Thirty-six-year-old Mary Jo Woods of Pryor, Oklahoma, was run over by a driver while lying in a field on the campgrounds of Rocklahoma early Friday morning. Woods suffered serious injuries to her abdomen and leg. Life flight was called in to airlift Woods to a Tulsa hospital, where she's in stable condition.

The Rocklahoma campground could be best described as the world's biggest Beertail party. RVs, campers and tents litter the grounds, beer cans fill the trashcans, music is blared and shots are taken. Customized golf carts dart around, blasting music as passengers sip drinks and "WOOO!" at each other. As the nights dragged, the booze flowed freely, people in no shape to drive got behind the wheel and others piled in the back of whatever vehicle they could. They cruised for a bigger party and more booze, paying little attention to where they were going. Security struggled to keep up. The concert-goers mostly attempted to self-police.

To the fest's credit, the security force seemed stronger on Saturday night after the Woods incident. Still, it wasn't enough to stop our group from witnessing an obviously drunk man careen the campsite in a small sedan barely missing vehicles and people as he tried to find whatever he was searching for. Eventually a group of men stopped him and asked him to step out of his car; he had clipped their tent while driving. The man proceeded to speed off. He missed where we were sitting by feet.

People were paying hundreds of dollars to camp, drink and watch music. Some freedom should be given. Still, an open camp space is not a road, and it shouldn't be used as one. Yet I saw 50 cars speed past where our tent was. More security might prevent this, but it might just be a tiny drop in a vast pool of festival shenanigans.

Things happen at festivals. You can't nanny-state these things, but you can limit the opportunities for these things to happen. I feel Rocklahoma's staff could have been better prepared for the crowd and how to handle incidents.

See also:
-50 Don'ts For Your ACL Festival Weekend
-Five WTF Examples of Marketing at SXSW
-The 100 Best Texas Songs: The Complete List

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