Sunday, November 07, 2021

CoVID-19: Vax For Kids - Parents Just Want Return To Normal | Astroworld Catastrophe: Time To End Festivals? | Kaiser Sets Strike Date |


Sea World Dolphins at Dinnertime (Taken 11.7.21)

I'm not a festival person. 

The other day I was answering a survey and with my latest birthday, I've moved into a different age box, so that probably signifies my age as a reason, but that's only one. I've just not really been a festival person. 

I've been to my share. I've done two Coachellas, one Outside Lands, a bunch of Street Scenes (including the one where people were trampled during Tool), and an assortment of others including Wonderfront, Crssd, and some scattered radio station specific festivals. 

And I guess when I was younger they were more fun, but it wasn't just my youth. I liked when festivals were genre specific. I liked when they were run by independent promotors before corporations vacuumed them all up and sucked all the life out of them. I liked when "festival chic" wasn't a thing. I like when you could go to a festival liking three bands and leaving loving a dozen more. Nowadays, they want to be everything to everyone and end up being nothing to anyone except as thirst traps and bragging rights and a scene to be seen on Insta and TikTok. 

Maybe it is that I'm just old because that sounded a whole lot like "back in my day..."

So I spent Friday night reading and watching every video and account of what happened in Astroworld that I could find across socials and it was horrifying. I will say that I appreciate media who understand these incidents, here and at other concerts, are almost never due to mosh pits. They have everything to do with crowd surges. The headliner comes out, everyone pushes forward. A certain song plays, they push more. Bring out Drake as a guest performer, the crowd can't control themselves and push push push, not knowing they are crushing people instead of people simple displacing to make room. 

But I've also seen videos. The security seemed to ignore crowd pleas. The railing wasn't secure. The artist encouraged the crowd to rage. The videos techs ignored direct concerns and threatened the girl who was telling them what was going on. It should have been a warning, or called off altogether when the VIP section fences were breached and hundreds of kids flooded in earlier in the day. At the very least, when you start seeing ambulances driving into the crowd, the lights need to come up and the show is over. 

The investigation could be really long or really quick. Livenation could settle fast or fight cases until people have no will or money to fight back. But after this pandemic, we have learned some really gross truths about Americans, if we weren't already aware before. We are selfish. We are greedy. We want pleasure at all costs. We don't know how to act in public (Just look at all the airline fights). I don't know the festival's COVID protocols, but certainly going to a festival of more than 50,000 attendees during a pandemic says something, too? It's ugly and gross. You definitely won't find me at one anytime soon, and if that changes, I'm always aware of my exits, always stay on a perimeter, and my fight or flight switches are always turned on. 

Stay safe out there. 

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