11.30am – On our way!
Wango Tango festivities kick off with a free precinct stage at noon. We wanted to get there early and avoid lines! Left our LAX airport hotel via Uber and arrived at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. The complex looked clean, almost new, the outside stage for Wango Tango set up in one of the many car park lots but easy to spot for first timers.
Making our way through security to check out the free precinct which was a mix of competition stalls – none of which us Australians could take part in, US residents only – and a main stage. After deciding to have our festival makeup done, bulk glitter added to our eyes and cheeks, we watched on as an insurance company activation simulated an earthquake! No thank you.
1.00pm – Will call tickets
For those who don’t purchase international concert tickets regularly, the box office collection is known as will call – why? not sure. But trying to find the box office at Dignity Health Sports Park was no easy achievement! From the wristband stand outside the free precinct, then to the box office behind it which we discovered was only for people picking up tickets they’d won… okay… then to the other side of the stadium where we were greeted by a life size statue of David Beckham – Dignity Health Sports Park is the home of the LA Galaxy who paid Becks the exuberant amount to play a few games – success a box office!
Tickets in hand we hiked back to the other side of the stadium to the wristband stand to get our floor access now we had our tickets! What a mission.
2.00pm – Back to the music
Heading back into the free precinct we decided to watch the main stage DJ for a bit but then we did as most Aussies would do and hunted for a bar. That was when we discovered there was indeed no bar in the free precinct. Mortified we’d have to spend the next three hours surrounded by teenagers, we weighed up staying and heading to the nearest bar for a bite and some drinks… the bar won.
2.30pm – Chilli’s $5 Margaritas
Almost as note worthy as the Wango Tango 2019 line up was the discovery of nearby chain restaurant Chilli’s. If you haven’t had the pleasure, Chilli’s is a mexican chain restaurant which boasts great boneless chicken wings and some tasty egg rolls – our favorites anyways. Arriving to grab a table by the bar and discovering the $5 monthly margarita flavour was strawberry, we settled in for some pre-concert dining and drinking.
5.00pm – Line up vs. line up
Much like an Aussie concert once we’d returned to the stadium the line at the entry gates was a few hundred deep and the security signs were everywhere. Clear plastic bags only unless you were carrying a clutch, metal detectors and at least three security guards at each entry point is only too common at US concerts.
6.00pm – Wango Tango ‘Summer Starts Now!’
The concert was a blur! Our seats were amazing and the free flashing glow sicks were a welcome surprise for all attendees! The atmosphere was electric and there were a lot of unexpected appearances, collabs and performances.