Yesterday could have been a perfect day. The weather was perfect with the sun shining and an almost constant breeze. I was excited to be outside in the sun surrounded by some of the best of friends with a cold drink in my hand while we watched some great live music. Like I said, it could have been perfect.
I noticed blaring issues as soon as I walked up to the “Big Fancy Go Show” hosted by local radio station Go95.3 and a slew of other big name sponsors. The organization at the will call table was a mess. After waiting in line for about fifteen minutes, it was finally my turn. I handed the young girl my ID and waited for her to find my name on the massive list in front of her. When she found it and crossed my name off she told me to get into a different security line. She didn’t give me a wristband, stamp… anything. I could have easily just hopped in that specific security line and gotten into the show for free. This was such a small little issue that I shrugged it off and chalked it up to it being a new event and just being an silly oversight.
I made my way up to the security guard, showed her my ID to get my wristband for alcohol and opened up my bag so she could inspect my things. I was bummed when she told me I had to dump my water bottle out but figured I could just fill it back up once I got inside the gate. Although there was a breeze, it was still a warm day and I was about to spend the next five hours standing in a parking lot– all I wanted was some water to stay hydrated so I didn’t pass out. As soon as I got in, I found the first security guard I could and asked him where I could fill up my water bottle. He informed me that water bottles were being sold throughout the area for $3 a pop. I was pissed to say the least. I was not looking forward to spending a small fortune just to keep myself from passing out in the heat. How does an outdoor event not have free water? You are just asking for trouble. Thankfully, I had cash on me for the first time in my life but, had I not, I would have been royally screwed like many of the people I saw being carried out by medics.
I had gotten to BFGS about forty minutes after the gates opened and I had already seen three ambulances come and go and watching a least half a dozen people who had passed out being carried out by medics. The party hadn’t even really started yet and this was already happening. I was disgusted. Absolutely disgusted. But when I realized there was no chance of free water, it made sense. If I was back in my younger days and only had $20 to spend, I would obviously spend it on alcohol, not water. To hold an outdoor music festival (even if it’s just a couple of hours) and not have free water available should be a crime and is a sign that the hosts are more concerned with the money they could make selling bottled water than the safety of their patrons and that broke my damn heart.
As the music started, I tried to block out the chaos around me and just immerse myself in the show. I mean, that’s why I was there anyway right? The music was great. The day started with local rap and hip-hop stars and ended with some international heavy hitters including a closing performance from Wiz Khalifa. Throughout the day I was introduced to new artists that I absolutely loved and others that I could do without but that’s was the charm of the line-up. There was something for everyone and, although it was all rap and hip/hop, each act had a distinct style about them that kept the day feeling fresh.
I completely fell in love with Mac Irv and Finding Novyon. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen both of these guys previously being that they are local but there was something about their sets on Sunday that had me completely hooked. Both of them had an energy about them that just screamed positivity and fun. They were easily able to get the crowd moving and into it even though there were probably only a handful of people that had heard of them before. With so many local acts to choose from for this festival, Mac Irv and Finding Novyon were the perfect role models to pick and watching them open up such a hyped festival was a great feeling.
Another one of my favorite acts of the day was definitely Vince Staples. This guy came up on stage without a giant intro and left the same way, without a word. His music was politically charged but didn’t come off as over-powering. He had a very professional attitude about him that I wish more people had. It was clear that he was all about the music and just there to perform. I don’t think he addressed the crowd once and, although that may come off as a bit cocky to some, I thought it was smart. Sets were super short, as in twenty to thirty minutes short, so why waste time explaining who you are when you can just grab the microphone and show the sold out crowd. It was perfect.
Unfortunately, even the great music and attitude wasn’t enough to distract me from what was going on around me. As the day went on, the drinks started flowing a bit more steadily and the fresh air was replaced by the smell of marijuana smoke. Now, I don’t care if you smoke weed and I am one of those people that think it should be legalized- that wasn’t my problem. My problem with the whole thing was the fact that I couldn’t bring in my water but the security was lax enough that nearly everyone was able to bring in marijuana. How is that okay?
People were dropping like flies around my friends and I. We had found some open space towards the back of the parking lot but there was no security anywhere near us. People who should have clearly been cut off from drinks hours ago were walking around with fresh beer but would quickly collapse. As much as I wanted to help the people who had passed out, finding security was damn near impossible where we were. I couldn’t help but feel bad and wonder what was happening closer to the stage where there was literally no way to get out of the mass of people other than a small gate that led into the street which was also packed with people.
The poor planning of yesterday completely ruined what could have been a perfect outdoor festival. The fact that the organizers of the Big Fancy Go Show were more concerned with making money off of water than the safety of their patrons was enough to make me sick. The fact that there wasn’t enough security on top of that was enough to make me disgusted. All of that mixed with the lack of recycling and the rampant underage drinking due to bartenders not checking wristbands made yesterday the worst festival I have ever been to.
Dear Go95.3, If you plan to continue doing these day fests, please pull it together and make it a safe event. If you can’t do that, then just stop doing these events.
Venue: Fine Line Parking Lot
Sausage Fest Meter- 6 out of 10
Average Age of the Crowd- 21
Crowd Surfers- 0
Stage Divers- 1- Finding Novyon
Broken Bones- 0
Spotted Flying Through The Air- Confetti, Water
Passed Out People Being Carried Out By Security- Lost Count After 38
Number Of Ambulances That Came And Went- Couldn’t Keep Track But At Least 7
Celebrity Sightings- 0
Overall Score- 0 out of 10
Show on Deck- Top Secret Metal Fest