I have some advice for Country USA attendees who are complaining this week about parking issues, the wait to get into the parking lots every night, the cost, the mud, the lackluster lineup of headliners and the behavior of other attendees: If you don't like it, don't go.
The intensity of the complaining has been ramped up this year after the parking lots were shut down Tuesday night and all of those people blocking two lanes of Highway 41 from South Park back to the Causeway were told to find their own way in. That was followed by yesterday's decision to allow only those with VIP tickets or handicapped plates to park on the grounds--while everyone else was directed to far-flung public parking lots spread out around Oshkosh that would be serviced by shuttle buses--for a $15 fee.
As someone who lives near Oshkosh West High School, I was not pleased to see that parking lot on the list. The last thing we need is busloads of drunken out-of-towners dumped off at 2:00 AM to find their way out of our neighborhood. Fortunately, I didn't hear any jacked-up, mud-covered pickup trucks with Confederate flags roaring down our street while getting ready for work this morning.
I notice that the Country USA complaints always start with "Every year...." which leads me to ask them "If it's a problem every year, why are you surprised or upset when it happens again?" Every year the campgrounds turn into a mud bog--so why don't you stay in a hotel? Every year it takes two hours to get from 41 to the parking lot--so why not leave earlier in the day? Every year it takes two hours to get out of the parking lot--so why don't you, again, leave earlier and beat the traffic?
Invariably, my suggestions are met with "Well, they should still do something about...."--and I just cut them off. You see, "they" don't have to do something, because even if they don't do something, you will continue to give them your business. Starshow Presents doesn't put on Country USA and Rock USA because they want to "make Oshkosh a more enjoyable place to live or visit". They do it to make money. And to address the problems out there would require spending money--in the case of improved traffic flow and ground conditions--a lot of money. But as long as the complainers are still willing to plunk down cash for tickets, campsites, parking, beer and glow sticks every year--nothing is going to change.
Besides, for a good percentage of the attendees every year, Country USA has nothing to do with music. To them, it's about gettin' drunk, gettin' high and gettin' lai....uh, friendly with members of the opposite sex. And if that means standing in mud up to their ankles--that's what ya gotta do to git 'r dun.