The Bests (And The Unfortunate Worsts) Of The Music Festivals in 2016
    • THURSDAY, DECEMBER 01, 2016

    • Posted by: Baeble Staff

    Now that the year is coming to a close and the lineups for 2017 are starting to leak, we decided to reminisce on some of the festivals we covered here at Baeble. Every festival was unique in its own way - some brought us the best festival memories yet and some parts of them just weren't up to par. So here are the bests and worsts of 2016's music festivals.

    WORSTS

    GOVERNOR'S BALL: DAY THREE CANCELLATION

    Poor Governor's Ball wasn't so lucky (again) with the weather. We got off easy on the first day with only an early rainstorm but we don't think anyone will forget the torrential downpour that transpired on day two. The entire festival grounds turned into a big body of water so Governor's Ball had to cancel day three. This meant no Kanye, Chvrches, Death Cab, Chet Faker, Two Door Cinema, Whilk & Miskey, Cold War Kids, Thomas Jack, Bat For Lashes and SO MANY MORE. We all received a partial refund because of the cancellation but my heart remains broken.

    MEADOWS: KANYE LEAVING DURING SET

    Fans waited patiently for Kanye West to close out Meadows Festival and it's one thing for the set to start a few minutes late. But in true Kanye fashion, he moseyed onto the stage almost 40 minutes passed his set time. We instantly forgot about Kanye's tardiness after he started with "Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1." But after maybe thirty minutes of Kanye hits, he abruptly cut his set short while playing "Heartless" when Kim got robbed in her Paris hotel room.

    FULL MOON: CROWD BAILED

    Yet another festival that New York's moody weather put a damper on. A sunny first day took a turn once the sun set and it was windy and rainy all night. The majority of the attendees showed up unprepared for the rain and ran for shelter on the boat to head to the mainland. Because the majority of attendees bailed early, SBTRKT - who headlined Full Moon's first day - had only a couple dozens of fans at his set. Not only that, but poor SBTRKT had multiple sound issues and was asked to cut his set short by the festival staff due to curfew.

    PANORAMA: STAGE SET-UP

    Panorama was a *nearly* flawless first-ever festival. It was clean, organized, and insanely fun with one of the best line-ups of all the year. But the stage set-up at Panorama was not-so-great. The Parlor tent was an enclosed tent with much-needed air conditioning but once it reached capacity, they wouldn't allow anyone else inside. This meant a lot of us missed some of our favorite acts because of that tent. Additionally, sometimes the sound of the other stages would overlap with each other.

    OUTSIDE LANDS: WEATHER

    Ah, good ol' San Francisco "summer" weather: cold, foggy and breezy. For years, attendees have been begging the organizers to push the festival back a month so it falls on a weekend during one of SF's "Indian summer" months but for now, we shiver through the weekend. If you show up to OSL properly dressed, you'll be comfortable. But this year, it was freezing on Friday and Saturday and we all showed up overdressed for Sunday, which was a very rare sunny, scorchin' hot day. Outside Lands will always be unpredictable.

    Outsidelands


    AFROPUNK: CROWD CONTROL

    I feel like Afropunk has such good intentions with its location but I think it's a horrible setup for the amount of festival tickets that Afropunk sells. The walkways are narrow and they put bigger acts at the smaller fence-enclosed stages so the funnel effect is bad. There was one point where I was stuck in the middle of the walkway - squished against everyone around me - because the crowd couldn't move. There should be staff members assisting with the crowd control so everyone can see the sets they want to see.

    BONAROO: THE SMELL

    Sure, call me a princess, but seriously - what do you do on day four when you have to go to the bathroom but can't because there's sh*t all over the overused porter potties and little to no toilet paper? Also, we know that everyone in the crowd decided to skip some very necessary showers. How do we know? Because we smelt it. In the crowd. Yep, sorry dude, but I can't help but waft your, uh, strong scent, and it's distracting me from Father John Misty's set Festivals are hard enough. Throw a four-day-long camping trip in there and they just got harder.

    FYF FEST: THE LOCATION

    Whoever decided that The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum/Exposition Park would be a good place for a festival should be fired. Okay, I may be exaggerating since when you look at the facts, the location kind of makes sense. But still - on day one, especially if you've never been there before, it's confusing as all hell. It consisted of a series of circles with NO directional signs, so you'd guess a random way and get lost. There was only one exit for each stage so after each set, the crowd would get packed like sausages and push each other in an attempt to escape. If you wanted to see half of one set and half of another, you couldn't, because the walk from one stage to another was easily 20 minutes. And on top of all that, the main stage took place on a concrete parking lot, so it didn't feel very grand.

    THE BESTS

    PANORAMA: BEST OVERALL LINE-UP

    Panorama's line-up blew our minds. There were so many good acts that it *literally* gave us anxiety thinking about the set overlaps. LCD Soundsystem, Kendrick Lamar, Arcade Fire, The National, Alabama Shakes, Sia, Blood Orange, Foals, Oh Wonder, Run The Jewels, Anderson .Paak, FKA Twigs, Sufjan Stevens, Kaytranada, Major Lazer, and it goes on and on. And a huge highlight of the year happened at Panorama: Arcade Fire's tribute to David Bowie.


    GOVERNOR'S BALL: THE NOSTALGIC FEELS

    Governor's Ball had a killer line-up this year but what made it even better was the amount of acts that brought us all the nostalgia feels that Governor's Ballwas able to round up in the same place. The Strokes, Beck, Robyn, The Killers, Bloc Party - and we would've had Death Cab and Cold War Kids if day three hadn't been canceled.

    AFROPUNK: FESTIVAL FASHION

    I have never seen such beautiful fashion until I stepped foot on the Afropunk festival grounds. It doesn't get much better than beautiful people wearing breathtaking threads and freely expressing themselves. There were headpieces, metallic bodysuits, every pattern you could ever imagine, cotton candy afros, statement jewelry, kimonos, face paint - you name it. Afropunk brings together some seriously stylish festival goers.

    Afropunk


    FULL MOON: THE ATMOSPHERE

    It's a nice change to take a break from the commercialized music festivals and hop on the ferry to Governor's Island for Full Moon Fest. I love when festivals change it up and create a lineup that isn't the same artists that are at all the other festivals (this year's headliners were Santigold and SBTRKT). What makes this festival one of my favorites of the year is: the atmosphere. It's at the beach on Governor's Island so it feels like you're taking a mini vacation on a tropical-ish island (where you can see the Manhattan skyline). The crowd is a mix of creatives, foreigners, free-spirited hippies and extreme trendsetters and everyone seemed to instantly befriend one another. This year brought some stormy weather and as the majority of fest goers ran for cover, it was extremely relieving to see the rest of the crowd whip out hula hoops and frolic on the sand. Only happy vibes at Full Moon Fest.

    OUTSIDE LANDS: THE EXTRAS

    Outside Lands is a festival that unlike the rest of them. Along with the incredible music, Outside Lands brings the festival goers a whole bunch of fun extra goodies. There are a variety of different lands such as Choco Lands, Wine Lands, and Beer Lands, as well as a mini golf course, story time with people dressed in costume and so much more. It's like escaping to a magical land in the middle of the forest.

    MEADOWS: BEST FIRST TIMER

    You gotta hand it to Meadows Festival for being the best first-ever festival of this year. Brought to you by the people who created Governor's Ball, Meadows was a two-day festival in the parking lot of Citi Field (weird, right? But it totally worked). Meadows rounded up incredible artists like featuring Chance The Rapper, J. Cole, Kanye, Kygo, Twin Shadow, Grimes, Mac Miller, Cage The Elephant, and more. It was extremely easy to get to any of the stages within 7 minutes and the festival was clean, organized, and transportation was simple. Well done, Meadows.

    Chance The Rapper


    BONAROO: TAME IMPALA'S LATE NIGHT SET

    At this year's Roo, Tame Impala was gifted with the opportunity to play the late night set (rightfully so), which is a full two-hour show that takes place during dangerously late hours of the night. Although they confusingly didn't take advantage of the full amount of time they were given, they still put on a killer show that left each audience member satisfied. Blasting through hits like "Feels Like We Only Go Backwards," "The Less I Know The Better," "Let It Happen," and more, they put on a dreamy, psychedelic show that was so good, the overtired, sunburnt audience winding down on their highs were completely okay with standing for another 1.5ish hours.

    FYF FEST: THE LAST MINUTE ADDITION, MAC DEMARCO

    Amongst a lineup of Grimes, Tame Impala, Kendrick Lamar, Beach House, and LCD Soundsystem, Mac DeMarco probably wasn't the best actHowever, he was most definitely the best surprise. After FYFs lineup had been set for a while, they later added Demarco, who turned out to be an awesome addition to the lineup with his carefree vibes and guest "performance" from comedian Nathan Fielder.
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