I attended possibly the worst organized music festival I’ve ever been to this past Memorial Day Weekend. I’m talking about the UCLA Jazz Reggaefest. First of all the “festival”, which is actually more like a carnival on UCLA’s practice football field, was only held from 12-7PM. Second, and most important, they never listed their set times. There were no set times on their website and when I got to the festival absolutely no one there knew when any of the artists were going on. What the Fuck?!
Why no set times you ask? It’s because of the misleading flyer. I attended on Jam Day to see my favorite new band of the past 5 years or so, Little Dragon. And the rest of the bill looked pretty decent, with sets from Pharoahe Monch, Talib Kweli, Quadron, and what looks like the Miguel Atwood-Ferguson Ensemble featuring one of my favorite soul singers, Bilal. But I was wrong. If you study the flyer closely you will see that the Miguel Atwood-Ferguson Ensemble features not only Bilal but Talib, Pharoahe Monch, Quadron, and the rest. It was one super group. Not different performances. And I promise you if they would have released that information before the festival through the courtesy of set times it would not have lead to the subsequent sell out. Any festival that tries to trick their audience into thinking there is more talent on the bill is deceitful and evil.
The biggest deal would be that Little Dragon, who appeared to be second billed, went on around 2:30PM?! I can only guess that’s when they went on because I got there at 3:30 and they were already finished. A fact I didn’t realize until I saw the sub-par headliner Lupe Fiasco take the stage at 5:50. You would think 3:30 would be early enough to see the second billed band at a festival that ends at 7. And to add insult to injury there was no fucking alcohol at the festival. It was literally the worst festival experience of my long festival attending life. Fuck you UCLA Reggaefest! Never again!
As for a festival that knows what their doing (maybe), Coachella just announced that they will be expanding their festival to two weekends. The idea is that there will be 2 identical festivals on consecutive weekends. Sounds crazy, but after the overwhelming demand from last year’s festival they want to make it easier for more fans to be able to attend. A good idea I guess. Just seems impossible to pull off. But we’ll see.