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All Points West Takes the Fun out of Fest

August 20, 2008

I meant to write this before, since it is kind of two weeks late, but I caught the first half of the All Points West Festival in Liberty State Park on Friday August 9th. I only saw the first bit because I had to run back to my place and grab all my stuff to hop on a Chinatown bus to Boston by 8pm (I had a 6am flight out to Vancouver from Boston for the Alaska trip).
I don’t mean to sound like a whiner, but I was really shocked with the way the festival was handled. For instance, their puritanical drinking policy. You go up with your ID and receive a wristband that limited you to 5 beers (5 beers!! for an event that lasted from 12pm to 12am! I’m not saying I’d drink more than that, but I don’t appreciate being limited to a certain number of brewskies at an all day festival. And it wasn’t even like the beer was free! They just allowed you that much). It gets worse, though…So, part of why I love watching live music is the pleasure of drinking as I watch my favorite bands play out. Well, tough luck doing that at APW. All the drinkers are penned up with their beers in a gated area and not allowed to bring their beers outside of it (Now, granted, it helped me quickly spot my buddies who were also at the festival, but come on!) And you weren’t allowed to hand in tabs that were broken off–the bartenders had to break it off for you–ostensibly to prevent people from getting more tabs from their friends’ bracelets (I figured out a way around that by simply buying my friends drinks with my bracelet so they didn’t use their’s up).
The sound on most of the stages was also a travesty, and I’m surprised that a festival that size could get away with a sound system that was so unbalanced and crappy. Maybe they bumped it up a few notches for Radiohead, which I regretfully had to miss in order to catch my bus. Let’s not talk about it.
All I can say is, it wasn’t worth the 100 bucks I dropped on the ticket, and I spent my lonely solo ferry ride back to NYC wishing I had finished up all 5 of my precious drink tabs instead of giving them to my friends.
[Thanks to my girl Angela for the photo. Did I mention they banned umbrellas and it poured on and off throughout the show? Yea. Awesome. Thank god I smuggled one in anyways.]

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