This weekend will probably be the final t&f event I attend. They are simply not the same, the way they have evolved is now out of my realm of enjoyment. This post may be unnecessary to some, but if you know me, I would never bring negativity up unnecessarily. I have nothing but love for this team, community, staff, and artists involved… but I feel as if it would be wrong to bite my tongue on this one…
First and foremost, the event is too crowded. Period. Please sell less tickets, have more installations to occupy patrons, or ban lawn chairs and inflatables in the floor pit which take up about 4 or 5 peoples space for 1 person. It is not only a safety hazard, an EXTREME buzz kill, and inconvenient to everyone in attendance, but these people came to a MUSIC FESTIVAL, not a theater. Get the f*ck up and dance, or go to the back and be lazy/enjoy the show from the back. I cannot believe it was run this way knowing how large this had gotten. The staff expressed to us several times that this is one of the worst festivals they host there. From the front gates when we arrived to the clean up crews this morning, it was mentioned several times randomly.
Second, the entire vibe of the weekend was a complete MISS. If I felt like I was the only person who felt this way, I would have kept quiet… but after talking to roughly 100 people after each night, and realizing the feeling was felt by many (by many long time loyal fans, great patrons, people who have helped push this for countless years) I knew it wasn’t just me. I would say 95% of tipper sets are perfect, and 99% of tipper events are also perfect, so I do understand also that nothing is always going to please everybody, and we are all human. But my fear is that this is the new norm, and if it isn’t addressed we are going to see this community lose exactly what it is we fell in love with. Felt more like tipper and strangers than tipper and friends…
Managment and the artists involved NEEDED to understand what we needed from this weekend. We needed to be uplifted. This winter was one of the worst ever, rocked by constant loss and death, mixed with depression, no new years celebration, inflation etc… we are HURTING. 140 (or higher) and abrassive dnb are NOT how you lift the most spirits. Loud noises are not fun for everyone. Being crowded where you CANNOT express yourself through dance is not fun. Seeing people drop out left and right, or being pushed by people walking through the crowd all night is also not fun. Things need to change or this will become nothing more than a clear cash grab. There are hundreds of artists who would have loved to play this weekend, who could have brought a DANCE PARTY… not just ones that offer sound design you can barely nod your head to. A ton of the renegades had more enjoyable music than some of the openers. Sound design does not mean it cannot be fun to groove to for everyone (ie: detox, mickman etc). I am all for putting new artists on, and expanding our ears, but it could have been done this time around with a bit more consideration for where we all are in life.
Next, the charlesthefirst memorial was listed as “special presentsion,” while the Rachel’s law was CLEARLY booked as is. I’m sorry but wtf. Charles was not only an artist IN our community (6 year anniversary of his opening set at suwannee) but he was also alot of our FRIEND. We PERSONALLY knew him and connected with him, yet for some reason he didn’t deserve to have his name or logo on the bill, which then caused thousands of people to miss it. But some girl none of us knew who became a snitch gets her own full day. BOGUS. Alot of us couldn’t make the Denver memorial show or gem and jam, so this closure was exactly what alot of us have needed the last 4 months. Idk why his logo couldn’t even have been listed next to the time slot. Disappointed
Time to address the elephant in the room that everybody’s been afraid to talk about for awhile not… bassnectars fan overflow have become an overwhelming issue. It may have to do with the fact that tipper played every major festival in America the last several years, so maybe his fan base is just growing… but too many similarities to BNs crowd/events. The music has changed imo to appeal to THEM. 2 straight events (red rocks & suwannee) where both booked sets were uptempo. I thought we were here to listen to him play, not here to have him play for us… When alot of us found this music, it was for the most part, split fairly evenly between up and down tempo. And ALOT of us fell in love with the downtempo/journey sets. They are moving, inspirational, exquisite, powerful, and intellectual. Uptempo (especially in a crowd you can’t even dance in) does not move our souls the same way. It’s very forced for alot of us too who have gotten older, our bodies do not want to be abused by sound, they want to feel it. The camping rail (ltj was SO PISSED during his first set at all the kids sitting on rail, you could see the disgust and disrespect he felt, in his face), the totems, the rudeness, the trash, and simply the lack of compassion for others in the crowd.
Maybe I’m out of line, maybe my personal life has shifted away from getting spun, maybe I’m getting old… but then I guess so are hundreds of other people. Some of us want to stay sober now, and if the music doesn’t appeal to all ears, sober or not, then it has lost its joy to me. I’m glad it can still bring that to others, but im genuiely happy it can do for others what it did for so many of us years ago. I don’t mean to get ahead of myself, but traveling for this isn’t worth it anymore to not feel fulfilled and like a better person after each one.
We have a multimillion dollar LED screen with top tier VJs, yet when a white light hit the disco ball, the crowd went bananas… over a disco ball. Didn’t even hear the crowd erupt for any of the best visuals. People would rather sit and listen/watch nothing then participate in movement. More arrests than I’ve ever seen. Less to do arounf the grounds than ever before. It’s a recipe for disaster. Seeing our friends from other states is the only saving grace these days.
I went into this weekend with no expectations, high moral, plenty of sleep, a smile, gifts, and a great attitude yet it wasn’t enough to feel like I was having fun. It’s draining, when these weekends use to bring so much bliss and relaxation, they now bring stress, drama, and uncomfortability. Paying over $1000, missing work, and walking miles for a few good sets in a weekend isn’t the move anymore. I would love to continue to support the artists and friends I love, but it will be done from afar now until the team has adapted to the ever growing size of the scene.
I will forever have all the love in the universe for the friends, memories, journies, and growth I’ve felt and experienced here, it’s time though to accept the reality of the situation for myself. Thank you for reading this, before everybody comments saying “just leave dont announce it”, or “bad vibes dude”, id like to end this with the fact that im not writing this out of anger. Im not looking for a fight, im not looking to tarnish anybodys name. I just know this is a nonjudgmental space, with alot of really incredible people with open minds, who can have mature conversations without putting each other down. Hope everybody makes it home safe, have a blast this summer