(Originally Posted by Creeping Jennie on Saturday, 13 June 2015 in Sturgis.com Blogs)
What can ruin any experience for anyone? I say it's when a person's expectations are way too high, and reality proves it. I have noticed a trend in commenting on social media indicating that a lot of people do not have an accurate picture of what the Sturgis Rally is like, from the accommodations and pricing, to traffic.
A very common misconception that I have seen is that people seem to think that Sturgis is a naked free for all. Now while it is true that this type of entertainment can be found if one wishes to find it, you are simply not going to see naked or topless women at the bars, or walking around downtown. If you do see them, chances are pretty great that they will either be expelled from said bar, or dealt with by law enforcement. Often while correcting these misconceptions in social media, someone has to affirm that there are indeed naked women running around in the bars, according to his brother in law, friend of a friend, second cousin, or some random stranger in a chat room.
Another one that gives me a chuckle is that old, "We are just going to throw our tents down wherever. No need for a campground" explanation. Holy buckets! If you actually do that, you are in for a huge disappointment. Those days are long gone, my friend. The closest thing you have to that would be camping in a local resident's yard, and that can be hit or miss.
Comparing apples to oranges is also a sure fire way to achieve disappointment. "When I rented a hotel room in _______________ for $__________ I got four star accommodations with a suite in a major hotel. The hotel had a pool, hot tub, sauna, restaurant, bar, gym, and gift shop. I paid the same amount for a room in the Black Hills during the Rally, and I got a room with a single bed. The motel had nothing- no pool, no hot tub, no sauna, no bar, restaurant, or gift shop. I got ripped off!" No, you didn't get ripped off. If you were promised all of these things but they were not delivered, then you may have been ripped off. It's unwise to compare unlike things. Sturgis, and the rest of the Black Hills, during the Rally cannot be compared to any other place.
The same will hold true when comparing a certain campground that is known for its musical entertainment lineup to a major musical festival. I'm sure you know which campground I'm talking about. "I'm disappointed with the band lineup at ____________ ______ this year." Why? Are you camping there for the music alone? Why did you come all the way to the Rally? As far as I am concerned, the music is a bonus. Bands like ZZTop, Buckcherry, Alice Cooper, Puddle Of Mudd, Cheap Trick, Rob Zombie, Kid Rock, Halestorm, Shinedown, Saving Abel, and George Thorogood are just background music to the party. If you can't be pleased by at least two of the headline bands out of at least twenty four that play throughout the week, then that's on you. You should probably ask yourself why you didn't go to Coachella instead. Let's just put this into perspective: it's a campground at a bike rally.
Sometimes people don't realize that the roads will be so crowded. They are shocked when it takes 45 minutes to get from Lazelle Street to the interstate. Um, yeah……. Sorry. Not a whole lot can be done about that, except to understand that it's going to happen, and plan accordingly. This actually holds true with most things at the Rally. Understand that there will be lines for the toilets, for food and drinks, showers, at the gas pump, and anywhere else. Expect it. Please, don't be that whiny, fussy asshole who can't seem to shut up about how long he's been waiting to everyone within earshot. You aren't going to speed the line up, and since everyone else is waiting as well, we don't want to hear it.
There are so many other issues that if I were to illustrate them all, I would have a book written in no time. In lieu of any more specific advice, I simply offer this: RESEARCH. Join forums and message boards devoted to this very topic. Google is your friend. Go directly to the websites of the businesses you wish to visit. Learn all you can about what to expect at the Sturgis Rally. You will be glad you did.