Houston Whatever Fest Deserves Another Shot

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Photo by Jim Bricker
This guy gave Houston Whatever Fest two thumbs-up, anyway.
There are better ways to tell, but one indicator of whether your music festival is meeting expectations is the "Chi'lantro Test."

It's not a real thing -- I dreamed it up -- but it seems reliable enough. If the Chi'lantro Korean BBQ truck is parked at your festival and there's not a line in front of it, attendance might be subpar.

This was one of the troubling signs for Houston Whatever Fest, the latest addition to the city's always-growing music festival slate. This one featured an amalgam of national acts, some very talented comedians and a robust lineup of locals. Everything was located on five stages within walking distance on St. Emanuel.

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Photo by Jesse Sendejas Jr.
Maybe everyone simultaneously opted not to indulge in kimchi fries this weekend? Let's hope that's the case, because this festival has a lot going for it and needs to return in 2015.

REWIND: The 10 Best Acts at Houston Whatever Fest


For one, the layout was pretty fantastic. Three outdoor stages were perfect, because that meant there were two indoors. As in indoors, safe from summertime pop-up thundershowers, a.k.a. the place where luxurious, polar vortex cold blows nonstop from air conditioning. Also, with everything so compact, I never felt as if I was running a marathon on Allen Parkway just to get from one act to the next.

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Photo by Jesse Sendejas Jr.
Iliza Shlesinger
Speaking of Free Press Summer Fest, it no longer really affords local bands what Whatever Fest can, which is a chance for scores of them to play alongside big, heralded acts. As the festival grows, fans will come. And when they come to hear their favorite, known acts, maybe they'll wander in and discover a Fox & Cats or a Featherface or something else spectacular from their own hometown. It's nice to see HWF fill a niche FPSF has simply outgrown.


Story continues on the next page.


Location Info

Map

Warehouse Live

813 St. Emanuel, Houston, TX

Category: Music

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32 comments
budnickto
budnickto

I thought the fest was fun, but I wouldn't have paid that much for that line-up. Luckily I got in free because I was helping one of the bands out. With some tweaking, it could be a cool thing. Definitely enjoyed the comedy. Too bad the times got off on Sunday. Missed most of Filter. Even Richard Patrick mentioned "oh, now people show up when we're almost done"...half the crowd was over watching Bobcat Goldthwait.

Tcoyne
Tcoyne

Why can't these festivals (yes, you too FPSF) hold these damn things in March/April or October/November? 

At some point, even if you have a semi-solid lineup, spending $1-500 per year on festivals while trying to avoid a heat stroke gets old.


Is it just that you can't get enough "good" bands together in the non-summer months? How does Fun Fun Fun Fest do it?

Temujin Scott
Temujin Scott

I went and had a great time. I thought the comedy acts were very good. It was also an opportunity for me to meet the comedians up close and personal. The only bad thing about the festival was, of course, the heat. But at least you could cool off in the surrounding restaurants & at Warehouse Live.

Elliot Irish
Elliot Irish

Too many festivals will water it down. A few premier festivals is all you need. Just because you call it a "fest" doesn't mean it's going to be any good. When Bobcat Goldwaith puts on the best show, you should just call it quits. But... Whatever...

Tina Martin Jones
Tina Martin Jones

Can the name of the festival be changed? The name of the festival turned me off. Whatever Festival sounds so unimportant, like whatever!

Nelo Maciel
Nelo Maciel

Houstons free press was shitty the first year as well, they all have to start somewhere

Tony Warner
Tony Warner

It's because they ran it on a weekend of mayhem! That's a big no no!

Wayward Shepherd
Wayward Shepherd

It was fun, and my friends enjoyed themselves. We'll go again next time.

Eduardo Powers
Eduardo Powers

"NOBODY" WENT CAUSE "NOBODY IN HOUSTON KNEW ABOUT IT" ...THEN AGAIN, NOBODY KNOWS ABOUT THE HOUSTON PRESS ALSO.....(σˋ▽ˊ)σ

Mike Leonard
Mike Leonard

Whatever! Not 1 band I heard of or wanted to see.

jberlat1
jberlat1

One of the worst advertised festivals in a long time. 

Karla Saia
Karla Saia

The folks who put this on should apologize for the disservice they did for some of these truly talented acts by not promoting the event properly and by having truly abhorrent sound engineering at the inside venues. They deserved better and I hope the artists know this event was not truly representative of what Houston can offer.

Chris Glazier
Chris Glazier

Sure thing. As soon your "whatever" newspaper begins to write articles or support causes that we think offer a lot to us readers.

Kim Nguyen
Kim Nguyen

I'm a big convention go'er for the Houston area. I propose that they make badges that can be used for all the days available and offer the individual rate for people who want to go for one day of that weekend.

Römër Vëntürä
Römër Vëntürä

It was total shit for the price... That's why attendance was so low... $20 per day, yes i'd had done it, and i live in those apts. But at $35 or $55 per day..? F* that..!

Michelle Rivera
Michelle Rivera

Going there I felt like "whatever" really was there motto and not really in a good way.

Matt Hines
Matt Hines

There is a reason why it's a good idea to have some sort of organizing principle when it comes to booking acts at a festival. This festival didn't draw crowds because the audience liked maybe one or two bands booked but not the whole lineup. And I think the name "whatever fest" doesn't exactly do them any favors in terms of exciting the fans.

Ya Bro Roo
Ya Bro Roo

Agreed, good job Houston Press Rocks Off for nailing it (again)

malicet
malicet

@Tcoyne Yes I was going to say the same thing... I will never go to ANY music festival or any other kind of festival in Texas summer heat.  I love to listen to new bands or bands I have not yet heard so the line up of bands is never an issue for me.  It's the heat.  I would love a music festival in late February or early March, but maybe these summer festivals going to allow the kids to all attend in their bathing suits maybe that is why they like it - really no ideas here...

h_e_x
h_e_x

@Tcoyne Even a mediocre festival would make a killing in the fall or winter. It seems so obvious.

h_e_x
h_e_x

It had some charm and was a great price ($15 tickets, won't be seeing that price ever again), so it had that going for it.

TSpoth
TSpoth

I played on the Ballroom stage on Saturday and it sounded great from my experience.


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