Thursday, August 22, 2002
Steamboat Springs I will miss the String Cheese Incident shows next Fourth of July and I don't care if you call me a hippie. Though no one is saying so, it doesn't look like the band will ever return, which makes me feel even worse about the situation.
Well, good job everyone. The "bad kids" were run out of town.
Sure, I can understand why a few folks felt a little uncomfortable with some of the people the show brought in.
However, didn't we go through this whole hippie thing in the society 35 years ago or something? Didn't many of the people concerned about the String Cheese shows live through that? Weren't they the hippie kids moving to Steamboat in the '70s? What exactly were they doing at Boogie Night in Oak Creek back then?
Basically, these hellion String Cheese kids aren't any different than anyone else back in the day.
The 57 drug arrests were the perfect fuel for the fire. In perspective, 57 arrests out of 11,000 are not that many. Plus, a two-day undercover sting operation on 11,000 skiers and riders here would yield the same results. It's not that shocking.
Then there are tax revenues, which makes the whole thing even more depressing. So far, figures show that camping and concessions brought in $9,000 in revenues, and I guess that's just not enough. And lord knows, everything that happens here has to be judged on a how-much-money-will-we-make basis.
Though that's the reality of things, it's bordering on being soulless. Would these same people be welcomed here if they were staying at high-end hotels and eating at high-end restaurants? Probably.
String Cheese Incident and similar bands provide something this community doesn't really support, an outlet for the young and middle class. There are just as many people in this community that were happy about String Cheese coming than anyone else. They just aren't the ones making the decisions and being involved in community surveys.
It's no big deal that String Cheese isn't coming back. You can go down to Red Rocks and see them next summer. The sad thing is the debate over the band just reflects some of the faces and ideas of the community. For the most part, that reflection is not that pretty.