|Warped Phoenix 6.22.2017 Recap.|
Yes we know it's the desert, it's June and it's hot enough to ground planes and fry an egg on the sidewalk here in Phoenix, Arizona but when and where there is music the burning sun will not hinder a true rock n roller.
Unfortunately we got a late start. Having to take care of a few things some bands we work with needed we didn't get on the road until an hour after opening gates. What usually takes us 40 minutes to drive took a bit over 2 hours due to traffic accidents, one pile up, being rerouted 3 times, and a fire along the 303 which caused traffic mayhem for 101 and I-17 connections which backed up the 202 and I-10.
Ah traffic. It is everywhere you go and you deal and keep it easy.
We arrived at our destination finally and there were still folks arriving, a good sign. We were able to find a parking spot fairly close to the entrance. With over 15,000 people coming through these gates on this particular day we would say that is pretty darn good as it had reached 117 as we exited the I-10 freeway.
Arriving at the spot to pick up our credentials we bump into a well-known valley photographer who had just arrived as well. Watching how quickly and easily he is taken care of felt good because the same was extended to us and the journalist behind us. They give us brief directions... which is to ask at the gate what we need to know...
The security people at the gate are great. Very pleasant to everyone. No one seemed to know where to point us to for press but one security person pointed us past several tents and said, "Maybe that way?"
30 minutes passed trying to find what all we both needed to start work. No maps left, so we circled the circumference to find the stages and the layout this year, which we both thought was much easier. It flowed better. Even though most we asked questions to didn't really even know where they were by location inside they all were very kind and helped us and others all while they were very hot, tired- but still smiling.
*BTW- Kudos to 98 KUPD for being the radio station we saw help others the most. That's one radio station that always seems to have a good attitude and genuinely have fun no matter what venue their remote crew does.
Splitting up to begin, one of us headed to figure out who was playing where and the other to find the press location. By this time the hot winds had really picked up and all the merch tents were experiencing how to keep their tents from becoming parachutes.
Due to wind even the press tent had to close early.
Okay so due to life unseen we couldn't do everything we had planned so you do what you can. That's life.
Overall attendance the age group was made up more of 30 plus it appeared and less of the usual teen angst crowd Warped is known for. Not nearly as crowded as it has been in years past. The layout of the stages and tents flowed better this year in phoenix. Even without a map it could be figured out. Many in the crowd looked burnt to a crisp and stated still not enough places to get shade and misting. Water stations to fill up were accessible. Food was yummy but expensive, nachos 14.00 dollars. But that's to be expected. The aid station was kept busy with overheated folks. The bands mentioned the heat prior to or in mid set but they powered through it. The bands kept to their time scheduled. A couple had electronic issues. One rappers computer was overheated and wouldn't work so they improvised.
Security and staff were present, pleasant and helpful. No one over reaching their authority. Pit entrance was clear. All photographers adhered to the perimeters given and it's always great to see pros that you admire at these events.
Yes, everyone was super hot but everyone smiled and joked through it. The frustrations most heard on covering Warped is they aren't able to have enough 'person' power on-site to get the coverage they want. That said, most festivals only allow a certain number of press in. This year according to postings read the number of tickets available per 'magazine' were limited due to an abundance of applicants. Thoughts? Our own are, if they give out more per 'magazine' that severely limits including several various outlets their chances to cover. So it seems to us they are trying to give equal opportunities to as many as they can. And another thought we had is maybe 'full coverage' isn't what Warped is all about. Maybe it's supposed to be varied and in the focused moments from multiple locations by a variety of varied observers. In the end we don't know, it's not our festival. Maybe we can email Kevin Lyman and ask. While asking offer up some suggestions you think of. That is helpful.
Every year is different. Every year and location brings new opportunities and challenges. Festivals are what they are and so far this years Warped was different in the bands and who the line up targeted- it's supposed to be different each year that's what makes it Warped.
In our opinion you should Go. It's always worth it. It's a day to absorb a variety of music, hear something new, find a new band you like, hang out with friends, make new ones, get involved in some new organizations who work with Warped and have a day to just relax and unwind.
Just have a great summer wherever you are along the way! And for the press that are doing multiple stops- more power to you!