DNC Media Party – Charlotte, North Carolina

Notice that we are cruising right through the red light.

The night started with a police escort! No, it wasn’t a funeral. We were on one of the many chartered city buses headed for the Democratic National Convention’s Media Party in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Expectations were that fifteen thousand media types from around the world would descend on the NC Music Factory just outside Uptown Charlotte for four hours of free food, booze, bands and comedians.

My Party Pass

The clouds looked ominous as we hopped on a CATS Lynx light rail train to go a couple of miles to the Stonewall Street station where it looked like a battalion of police, buses and volunteers waiting to march us into position to board the party bound buses.

Party Rules!

Among the long list of items listed on the back of the credentials banned from the party, besides obvious weapons, were umbrellas. Luckily we saw it as we were waiting for the train and we able to put ours back in the car. Others weren’t so lucky. The branches of trees by the buses were heavy with forbidden umbrellas as the raindrops started to fall.

There goes another police escort as we get ready to board a bus.

With several buses loaded at a time, the motorcycle cops pull into position, flip on the sirens and off we go. Media usually covers motorcades. Rarely do we ever get to be in one so it was fun to zip thru red lights. If I was a driver stopped at a green light, I would have been pissed to see the police being followed by a city bus full of partygoers but being on the inside gave it a festive atmosphere.

As we got off the bus, the sprinkles turned into a downpour but the organizers thought of everything. Volunteers were handing out rain ponchos as we hurried towards the venue from the parking lot.

A marching band greets us in the rain.

The NC Music Factory is a discombobulated complex made up of music venues, restaurants, bars and clubs. The first place we headed for was the closest, VBGB but it was packed to capacity (probably because of its proximity to the entrance from the parking lot) so we turned around and saw Halo where the orgy of eating, drinking and entertainment began.

The rain and the fact that a lot of the media are probably burned out from just spending a week in Tampa with the Republicans probably had an impact on the attendance numbers. Guesses probably put partiers at around a few thousand but it’s hard to tell because everyone was so spread out.

We didn’t see any stars and only ran into one local friend. Because I have worked in the media in so many cities, I was hoping I would see some old friends from other places but that was not to be. Nor did I find any of my co-workers who I know were there from posts on their Facebook pages. It looks like most of the people there were the worker bees behind the scenes, probably second and third tier production people.

There was the local weekend weather person on our bus, as well the very important woman from some large media outlet with her VIP credentials that gave her access to two places we minions couldn’t go. She had a swagger that told us she would get her story no matter what. And someone saw Ray Suarez from PBS.

We also met a nice man who looked a little like Morley Safer and worked out of the DC office of ABC on the bus ride back. We spent most of the time discussing our elderly pets. Who knows how we got on that subject?

Then we turned to the reason for the party, the conventions. Some brief insight from things that happened in Tampa and moments later we were back where our journey began. It was a good night.

You know it’s a good party when you need a map. Not to get there but to navigate the party itself. These are the maps of venues, menus and entertainment.

These pictures are snippets from the night.

The first of many vodka and cranberry cocktails at Halo.

Round 2 at The Fillmore

Carolina Crabcake with spicy mustard sauce and Shoe-Peg Creamed Corn at The Fillmore.

Wet Willies

Wet Willies’ Adult Slushie Choices

Monster Melon – Honeydew melon and vodka (l) and a Green Apple with more vodka (r)

Moseyed over to The Saloon to soak up the libations with Coconut Shrimp with Mango Salsa and a Carolina Pulled Pork BBQ Slider.

J Bliss performs at the Comedy Zone. We skipped the mini quiches from Costco.

Another stop at Wet Willies’ daiquiri bar for Chocolate Thunder – a fudgey drink of cocoa, vanilla ice cream and yes, more vodka. Sensing a theme here?

Chocolate Thunder in hand, we head to the Tin Kitchen for a Beef Brisket Taco with Mango Pico de Gallo and Chipotle Cole Slaw and chips and the Herban Legend Food Truck for Charlotte Shawarma. We also stopped at the Candy Bar. Stuffed, we need to walk.

Beef Brisket Taco, Chips & Salsa

Have no idea what band this is – it was outside of Bask on Seaboard and I can’t find it on the map.

A Cirque du Soleil-esque performance at the entrance to Club 2012.

Performers are rolled into a storage room.

Fried chicken and sweet potato fries at this station. Can’t eat another bite.

The band Chairman of the Board at Club 2012.

More Cirque-like performances.

He’s holding her with his feet!

Too full for Fried Green Tomato Sliders!

If I had a flash that worked well on my iPhone camera, you would be able to see that this is where the shrimp & grits are. Really. Can’t. Eat. Another. Tiny. Bite.

Another food station in Club 2012. Can’t get too close because I can’t look at any more food. Looks like crackers and dip. Maybe it’s the Southern Bruschetta Bar.

Waiting for one of the many buses parked on the other side of the lot to come take us back Uptown.

Goodnight Bus.

Goodnight escorts! We had a great time!

About Journeys By Jill

I have spent most of my adult life working in and around TV, film & radio production. As an avid traveler, I have a goal to visit at least 100 countries using the Century Traveler's Club Country List. At the moment, I have 54 to go. My favorite form of travel is to get off the beaten path and discover weird & wonderful attractions. Basically, I wing it. I'd love for you to come along for the ride.
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7 Responses to DNC Media Party – Charlotte, North Carolina

  1. Pat Bell says:

    Keep them coming! I felt like I was there. Thank you. Pat

  2. Patricia Bell says:

    wonderful as usual. Do you have a headache??? xopat


    • Surprisingly, no. Even though Mike said they were doing “bar mitzvah pours” of the vodka meaning they were stronger than a regular shot in some places, we didn’t even feel a buzz. Must have been the food and walking that kept us level headed. Stomachache? Yes. I have not felt that stuffed in a really long time. And looking at the pictures we didn’t eat all THAT much over three hours. Must have been the filling slushies.

  3. Scott Galloway says:

    SO HOT! This is great. It’s informative, fun, extremely well-written. You need to be doing this and getting paid for it. Hope all is well with you and Grey Hawk!

    Scott Galloway 704.370.2808 scott@susiefilms.com http://www.susiefilms.com Susie Films – YouTube

    • Galloway! I drove by your office the other day and realized we need to do lunch soon! All is good. Hoping to report on CarolinaFest today. Are you going? Free museums, James Taylor, Jeff Bridges in concert. Madeline Albright’s pin exhibit (more interesting than it sounds) is at the Mint Museum and Tavis Smiley’s America I Am is at the Harvey Gantt Center for African American Art. Should be fun. Come meet us somewhere!

  4. Pingback: Stalking Homeland in Charlotte | Journeys By Jill

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