Indie Fest: Is it Safe?

A video for the people from Coors Light Puerto Rico organizing the Indie Fest:

I’m having a problem with something called the Coors Light Indie Fest. This year’s edition will be in San Juan on April 14, which sucks since if I decide to go I have to drive approximately 2 hours to get to said “festival” instead of the 30 to 40 minutes that it takes to get to Ramey Base in Aguadilla. The other thing is that this year’s edition is more expensive. Right now at the precise moment I’m writing this, the tickets cost 30 dollars plus additional charges and tax. After Monday, March 12 this price will go up to only the Lord and Coors Light Puerto Rico people know how much. And now the reason why I ask “is it safe?”; the lineup for this edition right now in this precise moment consists of six bands with “more to be confirmed”. I already smell the desperation of the struggling musicians along with the usual smells that they tend to have. The “festival” is almost a month away, ticket prices are going up, and I only know that six bands will be playing.

So this puts me in an uncomfortable and not enjoyable position similar to Dustin Hoffman in the 1976 film “Marathon Man”, where the mad doctor played by the great Sir Laurence Olivier asks him: is it safe? You’re probably wondering: “will I get shot in a drive by?” since San Juan and its freeways have turned into a light brown skinned Compton circa 1990. Maybe, but that’s not why Mr. Olivier and myself are asking this question. Is it safe… to buy a ticket? I ask. The bands that have been confirmed in the past two weeks are the following: MGMT, Babasónicos, Circo, Los Petardos!, The Disfunction, and Message to Venus. This…is just not good enough to sell me a ticket for $30+whatever. Although I love, fully support, and am very proud of the guys from The Disfunction, I’m a big fan of Los Petardos!, and it’s nice to see Circo get back together, MGMT has never played here and I know they’re huge among the hipster movement but still… I’m not aroused. Four of the six bands in this lineup I can see or have seen for the price of NADA. I remember listening to the first rehearsals of Message To Venus’ original lineup at my ex-boyfriend’s house 4 years ago. This makes me feel that I’m paying to see MGMT and Babasónicos, and the latter are past their prime and I have little interest in them.

And I still ask: is it safe? To pay $30+ to go to a venue where I can’t leave because they won’t let me in again and get sodomized by the high prices of beer (which is ALWAYS cheaper than water in this specific event, so imagine how much water can cost), food, and whatever else the people of Coors Light decide to hawk for this edition while using porta-potties that are dark, scary and obviously disgusting? To try to not kill people that don’t know how to drink and are acting like fucken’ idiots because of this. That if I reserve a hotel room near the venue this whole adventure will cost me approximately $400. To drive to SJ and be pissed off because my car didn’t make it past Barceloneta. I know I sound like a bitch, and I sort of am (sometimes), but if you’re from the west coast of the island, you’re probably in the same pickle as I am. And I honestly don’t mind doing most of this stuff (I have a job), my problem is more about the reward after the long journey. So I still ask, is it safe? Is it worth it? While I’m thinking about this I imagine myself on top of a fence and have no idea which side to jump to.

There’s one thing that I do know: the first Indie fest back in ’08 was the best and sadly with each edition and money hungry execs with superficial taste that come along, this “festival” has lost the reason why it was made in the first place: exposure. Independent and local bands (as in have NO RECORD DEAL!) looking for groups (larger than the usual 20 kids from the pub) to listen to them, and maybe even like them. The true and unfiltered musical experience. It’s so nice to see a band you’ve never heard of before live for the first time and be immediately into them. It’s the coolest thing ever. You could see that vibe back in ’08 with a varied and large lineup. But that’s been gone for years and it sucks. And the only band among the six that doesn’t have a record deal is Message to Venus so I ask, is it safe… to continue calling this an indie fest? I think not! I know that the people at Coors Light Puerto Rico won’t answer me if it’s safe or not and I can’t torture them by drilling holes in their teeth because I have no friends that are dentists nearby and have better things to do. They simply won’t care about me or anyone like me who’s expressing themselves by way of the world wide web since they know that people will still buy their tickets, beer, food, dildos, umbrellas, and whatever else they sell at these events. But I warn CLPR that a LOT can happen in 12 months so I ask once again: Is it safe…to make an Indie Fest next year? I’ll leave it at that until I see the rest of the lineup because my decision will entirely depend on who else is gonna play this year. And if it’s safe. Think wisely my friends.

UPDATE (March 30, 2012): Dávila 666 has been added to the lineup. Great band, but I’ve also seen them for free. The “festival” is a mere two weeks away and nothing else has been announced. I’m NOT going.

A pic from last year’s Indie.

What are your thoughts on this event? Is it safe? Sound off below! You can comment in Spanish too.

Hasta el próximo post. .

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8 thoughts on “Indie Fest: Is it Safe?

  1. Pingback: Lady Goodman on: Valentine’s Day | Lady Goodman

  2. Pingback: From Me to You: A Playlist for the Festival Deprived « Pink Wedges

  3. Love this post Sheyla!!! I have to agree, at first I was excited because I’ve never been able to go to an indie fest because it’s far for me, and for all the reasons you have said that you don’t want to come here to San Juan. but, after I’ve seen the lineup, I have to say, I don’t think it’s worth $30. your money is better spent anywhere else, and besides, you’re right about this fest not being “indie” anymore, it’s just an excuse for them to keep hawking their beer. :D

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