Summer and Festival, perhaps the two most enjoyable words in the English language. Last May, a merry group of eight ventured to the Sweetlife Festival at the Merriweather Post Pavilion for some rain, music and mud. Once again I approached this excursion sleep-deprived and hungover (remarkable how often that happened in the US). That is what happens when you try to outdrink two US Navy Officers at a embassy intern party. Luckily there was coffee and excitements awaiting so I pulled myself together and seized the day
The day started off gloriously with sunshine and tailgating. However, it rather quickly became clear that Americans are not used to festivals, and as we entered the pavilion there were scores of people already passed out or vomiting at 2 pm (the gates opened at noon). There wasn’t either any of that amicable, cheerful ‘talk to random people’ atmosphere, but instead a rather uninterested and nonchalant feel to the whole thing. Perhaps it was because it was only a day festival and the majority of the crowd seemed to have just turned 18? There was simply no need for joyous frivolities with strangers. There was a strict dress code at the event: Hunter-boots, flowers in straightened hair, skimpy shorts and loose tops for the women and colourful sunglasses, tank tops with absurd messages such as YOLO, AIDS= CHOCOLATE and SWAAAAG, together with cool, floppy hair for the gents.
Yes, me and Angelica had the appropriate foot-wear as well. After having been laughed at at the parking-lot by our sandal- and flip flop- wearing companions, it was us who managed to keep or toes dry and mud-free by the end of the evening. Less of a fashion statement, more a practical solution drawn from previous festival-escapades. As the day progressed and the ladies bathroom turned into a swamp of questionable substance, I thanked myself for the choice of footwear.
The line-up was rather good with Solange Knowles, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Passion Pit, Kendrick Lamar and Phoenix.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs giving it all!
Love-birds being romantic.
Me, disturbing the love-birds. The rain-filled clouds were ominous at this point.
Yup. It started pouring. I bought a fancy see-through-parka for $10, very good investment it turned out.
After rain, there is sunshine! And then some more rain, and thunder, and then sun. Just general festival-schizo-weather.
Affection and beer keeps you warm. Beer got a bit watered-down by the rain though.
I had never heard of Kendrick Lamar before, so his gig was a great discovery. An absolutely amazing and humble performer, Kendrick engaged with his audience by being chatty and asking what everyone wanted to hear and telling little jokes and anecdotes. It was also amazing that as soon as he came on, there was a wall of weed-smoke fired up by all the people around us. Being white and middle-class in America is, after all, very tough.
Excuse me, do yo know where I can find… No? Oh. Ok. Thanks anyways.