My 1st Henny Palooza
"Treat my first like my last and my last like my first..."
When I interviewed the Godfather of HP a few months ago I revealed that I never attended one of his events. I promised right then and there in that Starbucks in Downtown Brooklyn, that I would be there to help celebrate the third year anniversary. Of course I am a man of my word.
Henny Palooza is an interesting experience for someone who has never attended. For one, my biggest mistake was not getting there early. The line that started from Webster Hall all the way down to 3rd Ave is as discouraging as it sounds. So right off the bat, my first suggestion is to get there an hour before the event starts. Thankfully I had my VIP band waiting for me at will call and THAT particular line was non-existent. Upon entering the building the first things I pondered were "where do I go, what do I do, and where's the bar?" There were bars on all levels including the VIP area, which was upstairs. All levels were flooded with patrons, cups in hand, trying to hold conversations over boisterous music. I can't front the massive crowd is my biggest complaint about HP. Patience is the best thing for you if you've never attended, as getting a drink at the bar can get frustrating. Be mindful of the impolite ladies who often try to squeeze in front of you to get drinks for their lady friends. My best suggestion at the bar is to ask the people waiting behind you for their drink orders. Grab their tip money, combine it with yours and try to get the bartenders attention. You'll get your drinks faster, the bartenders respond better to good tippers, and you can make a few acquaintances. Please bring your tip money ladies and gentlemen; these bartenders are working their asses off for a ton of people.
The lower level that is the reggae room was the only level I avoided most of the night. It was way too hot down there and heat mixed with Hennessy is never a good thing. The main floor where most of the action is was the best experience for me. I was equipped with my GoPro and got excellent footage of the people and the stage. The best part about VIP was as the night wore on it became easier to get drinks and it was air conditioned in certain spots. I suggest if you can spend the extra chicken get yourself a VIP band. It's worth it and you can come and go as you please. Also it's a great view of the action going on down below.
Now for as much fun as I had let me be clear that I won't be a regular at HP for these few reasons. The hassle to get your drinks and grab the bartender’s attention is annoying. I was overlooked even with money in my hand. Even though she apologized the damage was already done. Secondly, the crowd is ungodly. Yes it is one of the largest events in NYC but trying to squeeze between people spilling drinks all over you can piss off Buddha himself. Third seeing as it was so crowded no one could mop up spills at all. I witnessed a few people fall and took a spill myself coming down the stairs. My ass is STILL hurting but my pride hurt even more.
What I WILL do is try to experience HP in other venues, states, and countries. What makes HP so great is it's expansive growth and the amount of people you can meet. For as many frustrating moments I experienced, I had more memorable ones. I ran into some familiar faces and met some new ones. The event is full of energy, smiling faces, music and of course, Hennessy.