UPDATED Free Press Summer Fest: The Worst Things Inflicted Upon Us, 2013

GetoBoysFPSF0602-MB.jpg
Photo by Marc Brubaker
Wille D and Scarface, minus Bushwick Bill
UPDATED (Monday, 2:05 p.m.). Regarding the bottled-water situation and prices, with comments from FPSF director Omar Afra. See "Water Rights" on Page 2.

Geto Boys Get an "Incomplete"
The absolute and definitive one goddamn thing I was truly looking forward to seeing at this year's festival was a reunited Geto Boys unleash their fury in the shadow of the downtown skyline. Regardless of the circumstances of Bushwick Bill's absence, and despite a still-tremendous effort by Willie D and Scarface, my biggest "must-see" quickly turned into my biggest disappointment and heartbreak of the year. Here's hoping it doesn't take another ten years before we see all three rappers perform together in Houston once again. MARCO TORRES

REWIND:

Free Press Summer Fest: The Best Acts of Sunday, 6/2/2013

Geto Boys at Free Press Summer Fest, 6/1/2013


Twenty minutes after the Geto Boys were scheduled to perform, I began to wonder what could be happening backstage. I wondered what would happen if the show didn't. Scarface and Willie D eventually came out, but Bushwick Bill was a no-show. I was excited to finally see the former two rappers onstage together, but it disappointing that a third of the group was absent. Scarface and Willie D's show great, but the Geto Boys are a three-piece, and I came to see all of them. MATTHEW KEEVER


Mom-Jean Cutoffs... Seriously?
The worst fashion trend I saw at the festival entailed young ladies wearing high-waisted, mom-jean cutoffs. Unless your name happens to be Lynda Carter, this is an unflattering look for your body type, and there aren't enough moccasin boots in the world to make it work. Judging by the sheer number of ill-fitting pairs I saw both days, though, this is probably the only kind of shorts that Forever 21 sells, so I guess we're all out of luck. NATHAN SMITH


Not For My Junk
There wasn't really much to be negative about this year. Got hot? I went in a tent or in the shade. Beer cost too much? I drank tons of free water and felt the better for it. Got hungry? I ate Cracker Jack'd. I did wear bad shoes on Saturday but I was lucky enough to meet a girl who introduced me Monistat chafing cream, which I will be adding to my survival festival kit next time. Of course that's after loudly announcing while buying it that "this is for my feet, not my junk." APRIL BREM PATRICK


Waste Not, Want Not?
The portapotties (is that how you spell that?) were overflowing -- like legitimately overflowing -- while Iggy Pop was playing. I don't need to spell out why that's the worst thing ever; it's pretty self-explanatory and really, really gag-inducing. Surely someone could have thought that shit out better, pun fully intended. ANGELICA LEICHT


Location Info

Map

Eleanor Tinsley Park

500 Allen Parkway, Houston, TX

Category: General

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59 comments
snapcity666
snapcity666

I can't believe people are bitching about the price of water...like others have said, there were PLENTY of free water stations that I never had to wait in much of a line to use. Why on earth would you waste beer money on water when it's there for the taking?

I thought this year was by far the best organized and most pleasant to attend..the Free Press crew should get much credit for listening to criticisms and suggestions and improving on them. Everything - entrance, food lines, water stations, traffic flow - seemed much improved. 

Can't wait for the blind pre-sale.

jarnac42
jarnac42

Where was the "private viewing areas" for people with the fancy pants tickets?? Last year there were risers and seats, this year nothing!!

captainpunch
captainpunch

The price of water is a non-issue. I live in Boston (Memorial day weekend was about 50 degrees) but have still never missed a hometown FPSF. The free water was cool enough and I never had to wait more than 30 seconds for it. When I wanted something 'ice cold' I would grab a beer, which was pretty fairly priced for a music fest. The only complaints I had this year were the lack of signage to the gate on day 1 and some stage placement issues due to the park renovations. Oh and those high rise shorts really do look terrible!

theonecalledjake
theonecalledjake

@SomethingOfANeerDoWell for all intents and purposes Mars and Saturn were essentially the same size. Judging by photos - The Postal Service and Calvin Harris essentially had a similar draw. I thought they did an excellent job with scheduling for the most part. As a bonafide rocker I saw basically every rock band I wanted to see and didn't see a single dance/electronic artist.

My only surprises are - I'm shocked Iggy got a small stage - that particular stage was the most crowded I'd seen at that stage all weekend.  Also, as far as our local scene is concerned, how the hell did Saddle Creek-rejects Buxton get to play the main stage, but well known Houstonian artists like Bun B and Paul Wall were forced to perform at side stages? If this is the best Houston has to offer locally, we're in really bad shape.

77006-er
77006-er

Body shaming the beautiful ladies of Houston doesn't make you clever, Nathan Smith. It just makes you a sexist douche-bro.

Deja Cain
Deja Cain

I've been lamenting the mom-booty-jorts trend for THREE SUMMERS. When will it stop?! Someone make it stop.

Dodd Melcher
Dodd Melcher

I don't get the cutoff mom jean shorts either, they look disgusting... On the other hand, I do like bacon.

camelliac1
camelliac1

The $3 bottle of water were NOT 24 oz bottles. Not one bottle that I bought was a 24 oz bottle, only a 12 oz. Both days, all day.

Jason McElweenie
Jason McElweenie

I just want to make sure math still works: $2 for 12 ounces. $3 for 24 ounces. 12 ounces x 2 is 24 ounces which would have cost you $4 last year. But this year it cost $3. Was this written by the GOP? :P

superfluousyou
superfluousyou

This year was so painless. There were tons of water stations, and they never had a queue. The weather wasn't bad for a Houston June and if you got too hot, there was plenty of shade. If you're someone that really needs a refuge from the outdoors (like me), splurge on the FancyPants tickets. As for "why a summer fest", why not? It's an awesome event to celebrate the end of the school year for some and just a general kick off to a season of fun, sweaty shows for others. Omar & the whole FP team did a great job, hands down. Sure, I have minor complaints but I realize they are stupid and petty, so I won't even share them. Thank you thank you FPSF. I'm all over the 2014 blind presale...

Chrisfgee
Chrisfgee

Plenty of free water. The water lines were much shorter than last year for sure. The organizers do seem  to pay attention to the legitimate issues that people bring up. This is not one of them. (it not legit) Small example they had people directing the crowd to entrance gates on Sunday after we wantered aimlessly trying to find our way in Saturday as the Sabine St entrance was not open this year. Many fewer carts and vehicles on the walkways which was nice. Hope they can spread the stages out a little when the overall construction is done, maybe they can have some input so that the parks department "improvements" don't make the site any worse for concert viewing.

TedStickles
TedStickles

If those $3 water bottles were 24 oz then my dick is 17 in long

pancake
pancake

"[There was a SHFL puppet trailer near the Mars stage -- Ed.]"   Perhaps this puppet stage in the far east corner would have been more evident if Free Press had included it on their official app/map of "things to do".  Last year SHFL were not given a sound system or a cover for their stage, so were reluctant to manage one this year, and the lack of off-the-wall performers in this year's event was a side effect of this scenario.   That said, SHFL books off-the-wall performers frequently for their venue and attendance to those shows is a lot cheaper than a festival wristband.   

April Sanchez
April Sanchez

Mavis Staples knocked my socks off. She was amazing!

Nathan de Paz
Nathan de Paz

I think the worst thing over the 2 day span were people's general inability to pick up/clean up after themselves.

gossamersixteen
gossamersixteen topcommenter

Funniest thing I heard -- walking down my street (I live 2 blocks from the main entrance).. "I'm 22, I have skinny jeans, a beard and I define my generation".. Yeah captain vapid, you certainly do. Very teenage lineup this year, and very teenage festival goers, here's hoping for some real content next year..

Amanda Rae Hrubes
Amanda Rae Hrubes

I dug her. She was losin her voice. Came out with a cup of tea lol.

Kylejack
Kylejack topcommenter

I think free tap water and shade is sufficient. If you want the cold bottled stuff, pay the concession price.

SomethingOfANeerDoWell
SomethingOfANeerDoWell

My major problem is that the festival is turning into a dubstep/dance fest for white college kids. Why in the world should Calvin Harris get the large stage over The Postal Service? Or Bassnectar over Social Distortion? That blows my mind.

Sapporo
Sapporo

It always cracks me up when people complain about concession prices.  You can pay the same amount for concessions at Minute Maid and watch a team lose 120 games, or you can see 50+ bands play all day for two days.  And it just goes to show, when you give people an inch (i.e., free water refilling stations), people take a mile and not only DEMAND ice cold water, but DEMAND it for a price less than your neighborhood Walgreens.  Huh?  I'm surprised people weren't complaining that the tickets weren't free, the food wasn't free, and the beer wasn't free.  

Robert Medlin
Robert Medlin

I haven't heard anything on Cat Power yet. She would've been my only reason to go this year but the price/headaches just didn't seem worth it. How was her set?

Caroline Evans
Caroline Evans

There were too many people for the space on Saturday.

Tobin W Harvell
Tobin W Harvell

.. my only proximity to FPSF was keeping sara gregory from going all postal service as she doled out access packets to performing bands at fitz/central .. this did, however, brought me to within arms reach of iggy pop and the stooges on friday, and the geto boys ( don't ask which ones, please ! ) on saturday .. 1). didn't actually talk to iggy, but met the stooges and helped load-out their gear ..2). kicked the geto boys off the front porch for drinking beer on property .. who knew, this may have been an ominous prediction of things to come later that very day ..

pennyme
pennyme

Bring your refillable water bottle, folks

mcwherty
mcwherty

@snapcity666 

Was a good event--I wish they'd scrap their scrappy paper and just focus on events like this. 

mabry34
mabry34

@77006-er  

Yeah Nathan Smith! Wow dare you criticize fashion?! Nobody else does that, you know. 

claymonster
claymonster

@camelliac1 never witnessed a 24 oz bottle, either. Although I'm not too mad about $3 - especially when you could buy one nice & cold, then refill all day at will for free.

DBylan
DBylan

@superfluousyou  

Agreed, big applause. Omar and company listened to the critics from last year, eliminated most of the probs, and things turned out great. I wish FPH would abandon its journalistic pretentions and just produce some good shows year round. We don't need any more poorly written screeds and shrill commentary, but we could sure do with a spring and fall music/arts festival, and maybe he's the man to pull it off.

gossamersixteen
gossamersixteen topcommenter

@pancake They got the cold shoulder from Omar and crew because according to them they were too messy last year, and disruptive. Real cool indeed guys....

claymonster
claymonster

@SomethingOfANeerDoWell I'm not into the current DJ worship scene. But, the Mars stage had the PA to handle the obscene bass (as anyone there will attest), room for the light/effects show, and the space for the crowd. I was happily at the Neptune Stage both nights for Iggy & the Stooges and Social D. I think there was plenty of variety this year unless you're a "country only" fan. With the exception of a bit of rain damage early Sunday at Neptune and a brief digital clocking issue at Mars, the production was incredible both days. It's funny to watch the sound guy during a Calvin Harris or Bassnectar-type show, tho... pushing up that one fader and looking for a book to read.

brown2te
brown2te

@SomethingOfANeerDoWell Easy answer, because those two needed the large stage. Did you not notice the crowd? If so, I'd be impressed. They get the big stage, headlining slot because right now their music demands it, it's pretty simple. I'm not white, nor a college kid, and Calvin Harris/Bassnectar over Postal Service/Social Distortion was an easy choice. But that's just my preference, as well as the thousands of people swarming to see those two. Not intending to insult the other bands at all either, just to be clear. 

CoreyDeiterman
CoreyDeiterman

@Sapporo I can buy an ice cold bottle of water at Walgreen's that's three times the size of the ones sold at FPSF for one dollar. Three dollars for what is for all intents and purposes a miniature bottle of water is outrageous no matter how you slice it.

ricketz0r
ricketz0r

@pennyme SERIOUSLY WHY IS THAT HARD i even saw some folks passing out free plastic water container things (they were like bags with a screw top)

SomethingOfANeerDoWell
SomethingOfANeerDoWell

@brown2te But the question is why is FPSF catering to that crowd? Do they really think they can't sell a large number of tickets to the event with indie-centric bands like they did in the earlier years? I am quite sure they could. Just curious as to why Pegstar/Free Press would rather cater to that select group of music listeners. That's not the music they push at Fitz. I saw some of Bassnectar, and he played a Kid Cudi song and video. How is that original music? Can't we do better? Other cities make it work and FPSF has made it work in the past.

FPSF Headliners:
2009 - Broken Social Scene, Of Montreal
2010 - Flaming Lips, Girl Talk (Okay, that's more along the CH/BassN)
2011 - Weezer, Ween, MF Doom
2012 - Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg, Avett Bros., Descendants
2013 - Dance Music - both nights. Why?

Sapporo
Sapporo

@CoreyDeiterman Was there a constitutional amendment passed while I was  sleeping guaranteeing people low-cost ice cold bottled water?  The complaint is not that there wasn't free water (because there was), but that there wasn't cheap ICE COLD BOTTLED WATER.  And ironically, the people complaining about this are probably the same people who complain about how plastic water bottles destroy the environment and how we should all use re-usable water bottles (that is, of course, unless it's hot and we really want refreshing cold water).  And your comment about Walgreen's just reinforces my point--YOURE AT WALGREENS.  If you want to plug in your  ipod, load up the Postal Service, dance in the aisles, and buy ice cold water at Walgreens for $1 until the cows come home, more power to you, brother.  But a music festival isn't Walgreens, the same as Minute Maid Park isn't your backyard and The Houston Rodeo isn't two seat cushions shoved together in your living room.  

Kylejack
Kylejack topcommenter

@CoreyDeiterman @Sapporo Products cost more inside an event than at Walgreens? Imagine that. Next you're going to tell me that the beer and food are more expensive too.

GPackwood
GPackwood

@H_e_x @Sapporo You always charge what the market will bare unless you're an idiot!

How were sales?

conatonc
conatonc

@SomethingOfANeerDoWell @brown2te 

2013 and 2012 were essentially the same as far as EDM acts on the big stages. FPSF is doing a great job at getting a wide cross-section of music to appeal to all audiences while still retaining a major Houston focus. Your complaining about dance music closing out the festival sounds an awful lot like someone from the 90's whining about how that crappy hip-hop stuff is dominating the airwaves. There's also the fact that these acts rely a hell of a lot on presentation- light shows and video screens- and they pretty much need to play in the dark. Regardless of what you think of the music, these acts filled their audience areas to the brim so FPSF must be doing something right.

If you weren't interested in seeing Calvin Harris or Bassnectar, FPSF had you covered with The Postal Service on Saturday and Gogol Bordello and Social Distortion on Sunday. Or hell, you could've just called it a night and went home at 9:00 instead.

brown2te
brown2te

@SomethingOfANeerDoWell  I see your point-of-view and the "headliners" were a lot less diverse than previous years (this was my first FPSF, by the way). But I guess what I was trying to say was that there were other options at the end of the night, as you mentioned The Postal Service and Social Distortion. They were the last/biggest acts on the Saturn stage each night, depending on what music you're into. I also didn't notice much of a size difference in the two stages/viewing areas. The only big act I saw at Saturn was Macklemore and Ryan Lewis and although it was extremely packed, I don't know if the Mars stage would've made it much better for them. 

I did have a few friends who chose to see The Postal Service and I felt like it worked out having both Mars and Saturn going at the same time (10 minute difference in start times I believe). 

conatonc
conatonc

@GPackwood @H_e_x @Sapporo 

Hell, I didn't even see any for-sale water stations this year, but it didn't matter because the free water stations were so plentiful.

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