The Great Chair Debate (extension of "What to Bring")

I keep reading of the importance of low back chairs…but I’m still somewhat confused.

Do people save their spots by leaving their chairs?
Is there a rush when the gates open to save a spot?
Are these the only chairs allowed in front of the soundboard?
How low is are these “low back chairs” (are we talking about the kind where you’re almost sitting on the ground?)

Any other thoughts on the perfect chair to buy? :huh

I’m sorry ahead of time…I’m a newbie!

The standard for “lowness” has been that "if you can roll a basketball under it, it is too high. A beach chair, with about 4-6 in. of ground clearance, ideally with an adjustable back, and a drink holder, will provide all-day comfort.

Yes, there is a rush to stake out space when the gates open, although it is not a threatening activity. People reserve space with tarps and chairs. There is a random assisgnment of numbers to determine your place in line. The passing out of numbers can happen about anytime after 5 a.m. or so and, say, 8:00 a.m. After the numbers are distributed, the line reforms in order. There is about a 8 ft. wide line area leading up to the gates that is cordoned off between an access road and the camping area. The friendly festivarians in line will be glad to give you the lowdown.

Each day there is a new line and a new number assignment, so everyone gets a new chance. It is always sad to see more than one person or two come at the last minute with their own tarps and associate themselves with friends at the front of the line. This selfish behavior should be frowned upon and discouraged while maintaining your own dignity and good cheer.

There are shady areas to the left on the grounds and the river is to the right. The St. Vrain river on a hot day is nirvana. You listen to the music while sitting with a drink while the current cools your tooties and juevos.

Bring plenty of sunscreen and a wide brim hat. Small coolers with food and non-alcoholic beverages are OK. People can come and go from their tarp all day, and, for the most part, their space will be there when you come back. It’s a long day and everybody moves around. Again, some will encroach, but you can work it out in a civil manner. After 6 or so, it fills up and it’s a swell party. Getting to know your tarpmates and sharing ice, spray bottles,…um, etcetera…etc. is one of the better experiences. Real jerks are in short supply. The general vibe and civility are the best you’ll find anywhere.

There is so much more to say about what you’ll experience, but suffice to say they’ll be moments when you’ll think “there is no place in the world I’d rather be right now”.


Chairs for river sitting are a good idea, too!

Actually, the distribution of numbers take place any time after 11 pm the night before, with the time the numbers are distributed being random. Last year, the numbers for Friday were handed out at 3 am, but for Saturday, there were handed out around 12:45 am (approximately 10-15 minutes after Uncle Earl’s Moongrass show ended).

While this could be considered a tribulation, it is one that is minimized; as prior to the numbers system, people would wait in line all night. Hence, the number distribution system (a) guarantees you a place in line while (b) not having to wait all night to get in.

I really wish they would use that Random distribution system for the TP line at Telluride. I realize that it probably would’nt work for the other line with it being so many more people.

My personal pick for the best festival chair is the Kelsyus Special Edition Mesh Backpack Chair.

They also have a nylon, solid back one but the mesh on the back is MUCH cooler. Most of the other low chairs don’t have any back support and my back aches after a short while…this one is more of a sling chair style. It also has a drink holder and the arms clip to the back so you can wear it like a backpack for carrying. (also available at REI).

Regarding the line / random ticket number thing: don’t forget that it’s festival rules that if there is a vacant seat you can borrow it until the owner returns. During the day there are usually scores of chairs to choose from if you want to be front and center.

  • AnswerGuru

Hey, Answer Guru! Thanks for the EXCELLENT advice on the chairs! Rockygrass was so freaking hot last year that a mesh chair will help out tremendously. I ordered one right away. Back support in a lawn chair is an added bonus and also mostly unheard of. So thanks. Regarding the numbers, how early does one need to get in line in order to secure a number that will score a place in the shade? Can I take a sleeping bag and cot to the line just in case the numbers aren’t handed out till the wee hours? After the numbers are handed out, everyone goes to bed, right? What time do you need to be back in line with your number in the morning? Hope you don’t mind all these questions, but last year was my first Rockygrass, and since I thought the line worked the same way as Telluride, I ended up in the sun all day, every day. Not complaining, but a scrap of shade this year sure would be nice. :lol :lol

Daniela :flower

A chair fit for a God :slight_smile: If the God doesn’t have back problems!

While I use this chair all the time, but I do know people who have problems getting out of it due to various back issues age brings on.

I’m sorry, but why would you want to get out of your chair?? :lol :lol

Well, the line is supposed to work like this: people start lining up at midnight, then somewhere between then and morning time (5am??) they will give out 1 ticket per person in line. In previous years, there was a small problem with people lining up earlier than that (like right after the music ended at 10pm-ish), but I think they’ve cut back on that. Once there was near mayhem when they ran out of line numbers…eek!

Once you have your ticket, you come back and line up before the gates open at (I think) 9am or so. If we happen to get more than one good number in our group (usually only a few people line up), we’ll give it away to someone who was less fortunate.

Shade, shade, shade. I can’t remember how “good” of a number you need…we just take what we get and party on!

Thanks for the info, Answer Guru. You said “if we happen to get more than one good number”. Does that mean the numbers are random or do they go in order like Telluride? Also, 11pm is usually my bedtime (don’t say it). What’s the problem with getting in line before midnight? Can you take a cot/sleeping bag to line with you? That would be the perfect scenario for me. :flower :flower

Yes, the numbers that are handed out are random. You could be first in line and get a 300, or 100th in line and get number 1.

11pm…ok, I’ll bite my tongue, but you might need some caffeine for this Rockygrass! Regarding cots and stuff, I think that chair and sleeping bag is ok, but a cot is a no go. See the Line Policy on the Planet Bluegrass site:

It also clearly states no lining up until midnight. I think there are 2 reasons this is true. First, the folks going to the Moongrass shows don’t get out until around midnight so they could be at a disadvantage. Second, theoretically if a lot of people lined up before midnight and then the “followers of the rules” came at midnight, they might run out of tickets (there is some fixed number, but I don’t know how many).

Also, sometimes they hand out numbers starting in the middle, end, etc so you never know what’s going to happen! Just be open minded and think of it like, umm well, a lottery!

See ya in line -

Okay, to the line I’ll bring my open mind and toothpicks to hold my eyelids open!! :lol :lol :lol

Beer :cheers and the aftermath

Best festival chair - ever - - -

Just ask Karlos, he’s had one or two stolen over the last couple of years - - -

Too bad it’s discontinued. :huh

Discontinued, maybe, but I would think (hope) that they would either have usold or unbuilt inventory on hand that they would sell or if someone were to order enough to make it worth their while and order say, 4 chairs or something, that they guy would come through.

This guy builds everthing by hand and is a “made to order” operation. Right now, it seems he is focused on the movie director’s chair he sells for $300-$400 ea., so maybe he’s a little less inclinded to build $98.00 festival chairs . . . . .

What if we choose not to get in line for a number the night before? Will we find ourselves sitting in the back by the porta potties? :slight_smile: (Why yes. Yes I am a newbie.)

Don’t knock the Pottie-Zone!

It’s quite a social locale - you see everybody!!! :wave :wave :wave


No, there were plenty of times that I didn’t have a number, but still was able to get a reasonably nice spot. Often to the right of the soundboard / or a little behind…it’s closer to the river, which is nice since it’s sunny all day there!