I wrote the following for a transfer application essay. I was having insane writer’s block before I saw your tip, so thank you! (I also changed a few details to prevent internet creepers from finding me)
"WEEKEND IN WINONA"
“Well I suppose this is really more of a road trip at this point,” my friend Gerrad thought aloud as we drove past a sign that said “Neilsville 13 miles.” As I adjusted the radio to find a station that was not composed of 90% static, I realized he was right.
48 hours earlier, it was a typical Thursday. Gerrad (the Chief Announcer) and I sat at our desks in the campus radio station, mindlessly checking emails and finishing homework, when my inbox pinged that I had a new message. As the Promotions Director for the radio station, I sent out countless emails asking for merchandise to give away to listeners or tickets for concert reviews. It just so happened that my email to the organizers of Mid West Music Fest—asking for admission to cover the festival and discover new bands to play on air—had finally been answered, and that answer was “yes!”
After rushing around campus to talk to my Friday class professors, Gerrad and I were headed to Winona. The nearly six hour drive seemed to fly by as I played DJ, playing songs by Mid West Music Fest bands off Gerrad’s smartphone, and he focused on the road.
From the moment we got our wristbands, the first night of the festival was a magical blur. Between taking photos of each concert to put on the station’s Facebook page, running from venue to venue, and trying to get ahold of the people we were staying with during the festival, I was so happy to make it to the last venue of the night. Two songs in to Tapes ‘n Tapes performance, I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned around.
“Are you Lindsey?” the tall, dark haired man said. I instantly tensed up as I remembered all those “Stranger Danger” videos I had seen as a child. “Mary told me you would be here,” he added.
A light panned across his face and I recognized it from a Twitter profile. He was my older sister’s Chemistry professor, someone she frequently retweeted and as it turned out, had tweeted him to keep an eye out for me at the festival.
In between songs, he would tell Gerrad and I little things about the band’s history (neither of us were very familiar with Tapes ‘n Tapes), and recommended places in Winona to eat. While I was originally very cautious and timid of talking to some guy off of Twitter, he was genuinely nice and I could see why my sister spoke so highly of him.
The next day was the same magical blur, only much more exhausting. Instead of running from venue to venue for a few hours, it was for the entire day. By 10p.m., Gerrad and I were both exhausted and definitely feeling the effects of crashing on a couch and floor, respectively. We both figured that we had seen enough concerts for the day, and as much as we wanted to sleep, there was one band that the professor we met had recommended. Since his restaurant recommendations were all great, we decided to put aside our tiredness and go see one last band. We drudged out of the car, both of us whining that our feet hurt and no band with a name as weird as The 4onthefloor could possibly be very good. Gerrad bet that this would be the one recommendation where Christopher would be wrong; we would not like the band that had four bass drums and claimed they played “foot-stomping rock ‘n roll.”
Within 2 seconds of arriving at Jefferson’s, I looked at Gerrad and knew we were wondering the same thing. How could we be so stupid to spend time sitting in a car complaining that we were tired, when this amazing (and I do mean amazing) show is going on? I can’t believe we missed minutes of this show already!
When our new favorite band had finished playing, we picked our jaws up off the floor and headed to their merchandise table. To our surprise—and excitement—the man selling t-shirts was also one of the men in the band! I struggled to come up with any words other than “great show,” but luckily the guitar player/lead singer/t-shirt seller extraordinaire was better at conversing than I was.
“Thanks,” he said. “We’re playing a show in Neillsville, Wisconsin tomorrow if you’re not doing anything.”
Gerrad and I excitedly shook our heads. “Well it’s not like any other concert from now will compare to that, so yeah! Why not?” Gerrad replied.
After the Koo Koo Kanga Roo show the next morning (another spot-on recommendation, and the only band I had heard of previous to attending the festival), we were off to Neillsville.
Just to think that less than 24 hours earlier, we were attending a weekend in Winona with some strangers-turned-friends, and now we were on our way to see a band for the second night in a row. Even though the previous night we were exhausted and ready to call it a day, something in us knew that one last show would make a difference. Something made us trust this professor’s tip to check out the band with the silly name.
Luckily for us, that “something” turned the already great time away from campus into an unforgettable weekend, complete with some new friends and a new favorite band.