It's a Free Country: Fans Second-Guess Summer Fest Lineup

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Which of these bands would you cut?
The late Rick Nelson once sang, "You can't please everyone, so you've got to please yourself."

For sure, there are better credos to live by, but this would be the one I'd hang onto were I tasked with booking talent for Free Press Summer Fest.

A week and a half away from the event, the caterwauling about who should or shouldn't be on the lineup is still loud enough to hear, and won't be drowned out until the first bands crank up the amps May 31. Scrolling through Facebook one afternoon, I came across a prime example written by one Jonathan Matt Adame.

Adame posted a one-star review of the lineup on Summer Fest's Facebook page. His chief suggestion to organizers to make this event more inclusive was, "Please quit with the shitty EDM and indie bands, that shit is lame." His second suggestion was to hire him to help book bands for next year's event. His last bit of advice: "Don't let the egotism go to y'all's heads...fuckin' corporate pigs."

I disagree with the kid, on the whole. I think this year's lineup is pretty solid, though it did skimp a bit on pure rock acts or punk bands. At least last year we got Iggy Pop.

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Where are the punx?
I like the idea that Adame voiced his opinion, though. Some part of me hopes FPSF's organizers want to hear the discord as much as the praise. Maybe they heard you loud and clear last year, Houston, and maybe your voice helped shape this year's schedule.

All of this got me wondering who you'd scratch from this year's lineup and who might replace them. A few Rocks Off faithful -- readers and staff -- offered the following:

Reader Daniel Torres suggested removing Edward Sharpe, Lauryn Hill and Cage the Elephant.

"Sure, these names have potential to bring Houston a great performance, but with the omission of these three, it frees up some money for one banner act to round out the headliners," said Torres, a perennial FPSF patron who has also been to Coachella, Voodoo Fest and ACL.

"The undercard at this year's fest is impressive with the inclusion of The Naked And Famous, Washed Out and Tune-Yards, but it lacks that headliner punch to solidify our fest as a contender with the big boys in Austin and in the desert," he added. "My pick would be The Black Keys, The Killers or Queens of the Stone Age."

Steve Ruiz is a local promoter, so he's no stranger to booking acts, albeit on a much smaller scale. He's an idea man.

"I would replace the Ying Yang Twins with Insane Clown Posse," he said. "Both groups bring a scummy crowd, but for the sake of people-watching ICP takes the cake. Plus, like it or not, ICP would move a lot more tickets."

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50 comments
Scott Fuchs
Scott Fuchs

It is a very disappointing lineup this year; nowhere near as good as last year.

roperez22
roperez22

Egotism?  Ice-T?  Corporate pigs?  lol  this dude is an idiot.  Let's just book all his "bros"in local bands and all the shit he used to listen to when he was a teenager.  

Ian T. Komouss
Ian T. Komouss

I would replace the lack of any clear headliner while also making sure that said headliner was more mainstream-indie then mainstream-top 40.

Ian T. Komouss
Ian T. Komouss

Who the hell would replace Edward Sharpe, that's like the best act on the line up.

ohbabybaby
ohbabybaby

Bad schedule too. There are whole blocks of time with nothing that I'm interested in. Think thay went overboard ont he headliners, Jack White has to be the mose expensive act they have booked, and didn't really put any effort into the rest of the line up.

Since we are bitchin' how about that app??

Jorge R. Carrillo-Rosa
Jorge R. Carrillo-Rosa

Peter Hook & The Light Gary Numan Official The Human League The Smithereens AJ Davila y Terror Amor The Presets and many others...

Lynnette Marie Elad
Lynnette Marie Elad

I was expecting Outkast to be added. Get rid of jack white, please. Add more indie bands.

Noah Ramon
Noah Ramon

Well, if I can dream big, THE JUDY'S. I would pay full FPSF ticket price for a Judy's show.

Dennis D Shamblin
Dennis D Shamblin

Surviving Bigfoot and the Dixie Mafia is a terrific book, which you can read free online. True book soon to become a motion picture.

Hanabi-chan
Hanabi-chan topcommenter

I would love to go and take my kid, but the ticket prices are way more than I can afford alas.

gossamersixteen
gossamersixteen topcommenter

The lineup is chock full of washed up has beens, b level indie bands (boring), and lousy EDM that only appeals to teenagers. Where as previous lineups had A-level talent and somewhat reasonable prices. This is precisely what happens when success goes to your head, it's called diminishing returns and that works for both the bands scheduled and the festival as a whole.

Jonathan Escobedo
Jonathan Escobedo

MGMT, Arcade fire, MF DOOM, I've seen many of these groups at fitz that are playing at FPSF.

Moses Martinez
Moses Martinez

i just want to come out and say that im very happy that this once cool festival has not sold out like last years. i only hope that they learn their lesson and provide a better lineup with more reasonable ticket prices and better time of year in regards to the heat.

RoosterMcGee
RoosterMcGee

The thing that hurts this festival and I hear it from everyone outside and inside Houston is that it's Free Press "Summer" Fest!  It's too damn hot in June for a Houston festival.  Why not have a "Spring" Fest?  Last months cool temperatures would have been ideal for this festival. 

h_e_x
h_e_x

The high priced pre-sale hurt them quite a bit. I think a lot of the criticism about the line-up could have been avoided if prices were lower. That's sets the bar for access pretty high, shutting out a large portion of the city. Everyone knows that yuppies and hipsters have money, but it seems a little shameless to only try to court them.

Chris Gore
Chris Gore

I have to wonder if people asking for headliners like Weezer bothered to go a couple of years ago when Weezer played? I was there, it was amazing, no reason to try to repeat the magic though, lets move on. Want the same headliners every year, I'm sure Muse will be back at ACL soon enough. I'm just happy we have something like this here. I've been going to shows in Houston since ~94 and there have been entire decades when everyone worth seeing would skip Houston entirely. Bands would route through Denton, Corpus, anywhere other than Houston. I've noticed a huge change in this in the last few years and think a big part of the shift has a result of the efforts of Pegstar to bring quality music to venues like Fitz and Warehouse as well as the way FPSF has put Houston "on the map".

popatop
popatop

I have taken my kids every year, but ticket prices are making that harder to do.  As much as I enjoy the headliners, I always fall in love with some act I never heard of on a side stage  -  Valiant Thor, Octopus Project, The Sword.  But I think some oldies would be cool -- ZZ Top, Al Green, The Neville Brothers or The Wild Tchoupitoulas.

Jason Smith
Jason Smith

Would love to see more bands like Grizzly Bear, Fleet Foxes, Local Natives... more focus on melody and harmony over rhythm and shock value. But I'm a dreamer.

Alan Spackman
Alan Spackman

The real problem with their line ups is that the acts don't compliment eachother. If Wu-Tang Clan is exciting to me, there really isn't a whole lot else in that same vein for me to be into, etc. Fun Fun Fun Fest is really so much better at creating a focused lineup

RecordScratch
RecordScratch

1. the bait and switch pre sale is total bullshit

2. the lineup is not near as strong as similar festivals around the country

3. Heat sometimes unbearable

4. dickhead who runs it hates criticism


but I'm happy to go every year anyway.


Bill Fool
Bill Fool

Replacements and Rocket From The Crypt should have been no brainers. Sadly the Replacements probably wont make it until next year. Swing and a miss with that one.

Griffin Morgan
Griffin Morgan

I'd replace all the shitty EDM with some quality drum & bass.

h_e_x
h_e_x

I have to question in what ways Houston has been put "on the map," and whose map is it? Is this map accessible to a diverse audience, or is it only available to those with capital, monetary or cultural that is?

CamByars
CamByars

@RecordScratch  My thoughts exactly. It's never done just right, but I still go and always have fun. That being said as the prices increase I feel the talent should as well!! 

h_e_x
h_e_x

I'd also settle for someone who actually plays on turntables. No need to pay someone thousands of dollars to play a megamix on a laptop.

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