Sunday, September 9, 2012

Riot Fest Brooklyn

So yesterday was the first installment of Riot Fest in Brooklyn. The F and G trains aren't running toward Coney Island this weekend, so shuttle buses are required to get to them. Buses are awful because they have to follow the basic laws of traffic, as opposed to the trains that just run on their own tracks. Oh, then Queens-bound G trains were only running to Bedford-Nostrand before turning back around, so you'd have to switch tracks to another G train in order to get any further on the line.
I mention this because it tacked on an extra forty minutes to what was supposed to be a half hour journey.

Arrived at Williamsburg Park right as the Menzingers began to play. That was rad, at least. Missed Larry and His Flask though. The Port-a-potties were gross (as always), but the food wasn't too terribly priced (a pulled pork sandwich was going for $7, cod burger & chips went for $8... didn't see the portion sizes, but I assume they were fair). Screaming Females put on a great set, and the mint-lemonade wasn't too bad (plus $3 for lemonade was much better than the $9 for wine and champagne).

The Bronx started playing on time and the crowd began to fill up. I'm not a huge fan of them, but it was still pretty great. Halfway through the set, the clouds started forming and it got really dark and ominous. It was pretty fitting with the music, actually. I thought I'd play it safe and buy a hoodie to keep myself dry in case it began to rain during Hot Water Music's set. It started to drizzle right before I put it on, and almost immediately afterward came the announcement that the park needed to be cleared out because of heavy rains and an impending tornado, and that we could check the Riot Fest's Facebook for updates. That's when it started to pour. The timing worked out pretty well, and everyone was audibly complaining about the lack of Hot Water Music, Descendents, and Gogol Bordello.

Not one to want to stand around aimlessly in the rain, we headed back to deal with the infuriatingly slow G train and bus transfers. All while constantly checking Facebook for any updates. We decided to grab dinner around 7:15, when I saw that Riot Fest had officially canceled the rest of the event but that people could contact their point of purchase to be refunded, or that their ticket would be respected at next weekend's event in Chicago. It also mentioned that Hot Water Music and the Descendents (no word on where Gogol had gone off to) would be playing a free show at a bar in Greenpoint starting at 8. Which meant going all the way back, dealing with more buses and G trains. Seemed totally worth it though. It was even worth rushing a quick meal at Wendy's.

So a short 45 minute trip later, we were walking down Manhattan Ave to finally get to see the bands we had intended to see all along. Except then a group of people coming from the other direction told us that no one else was getting in. But they were a group of four or five, while we were just two, so surely we'd have an easier time getting in.

Nope. Apparently the bar only had a capacity of 250 or so. And of course it filled up quickly.

While I was waiting for an update from Riot Fest, I saw that there were posts from several people who had traveled a whole lot further than the 45 minutes from Carroll Gardens. One guy biked from DC. Another person flew up from Brazil. There was a group who had come from LA and another from Florence. I want to pretend that, even though I didn't get to see the Descendents, the people who did get into the bar were these people who traveled from all these far away locations. I'm still upset that I didn't get to go, but at the least it would make me feel better to know that those lucky few to get in were the ones who put a huge effort into getting there.

That said, if you wind up reading this and you happened to have gotten into the bar despite not having been at Riot Fest, I have one thing to say:

Fuck you. No, seriously. Fuck you for taking away an experience from someone who paid a whole lot of money to be there. You're an asshole.

It's also worth noting that there was no tornado in the later half of the day. Just heavy rain for about ten minutes. I realize that with the threat of such unsafe weather conditions that it makes total sense to cancel an outdoor event, but I kind of wish that the weather had at least stayed terrible to make the cancellation seem worth it.

But hey, at least I got a nice Descendents hoodie.

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