This past Labor Day weekend, a two-day music festival including very popular Hip Hop, R&B, Latino and EDM artists took place in San Antonio, Texas. From a lineup perspective, the festival looked like it was going to be a blast. However,when the two Friday Headliners (Tyga & Boombox Cartel) cancel hours before they were supposed to perform, there was clearly something that was going majorly wrong.
I purchased my ticket nearly two months before Labor Day weekend. The festival was having a semi-blind sale (meaning only half of the lineup had been released) as well as a buy-one-get-one sale. Me and my friends got tickets thinking we got a great deal but once the rest of the artists were announced, the price never changed. What I thought to be the reason for this was that the lineup poster indicated A-B list artists were going to be announced but only slightly recognizable artists were added, as well as fewer than were anticipated. I kept a close eye on the festivals Instagram account and fans had begun voicing their concerns in the comments.
It was clear they were having a very hard time selling tickets. I frequently saw them giving away tickets on Instagram. At one point, you could get complimentary tickets by test driving a Toyota at a local sponsors dealership. Up until the day of the show tickets remained the same price as when I purchased mine.
The festival had announced when the gates would open for both days, a few days ahead of time but they weren’t releasing a performance schedule. You couldn’t find out who was performing when until you had already entered the festival grounds. As I entered the festival, I saw one average sized stage and it was uncomfortably empty. There were no lines anywhere and if you wanted to, you could have walked straight to the front of the stage (which is unheard of at a music festival).
When I saw the performance schedule, the first thing I noticed was 10.k Cash had pulled out. He was the only one, at that time. As the show went on the crowd didn’t seem to fill up and artists scheduled times were very inaccurate. Then, more artists began to drop. In no particular order, 24Hrs, Boombox Cartel and Tyga announced they were not coming.
Tyga said it was due to circumstances he couldn’t control and Boombox Cartel was not confident in the festivals production (I don’t blame him). Instagram personalities Chicklet & Maleni, who were supposed to host the event, never showed up either. After Chief Keef’s performance, electronic artist Crizzly (who had already performed that day) came back on stage to make up time for the artists who didn’t show. Some fans speculated if Tyga was ever planning on showing up at all or if he had just let the festival use his name for promotion. Hopes for day two’s headliner (Trey Songz) to perform were not high.
I questioned whether going to day two would be worth it. On Instagram, the festival was answering several questions in their comment sections. They told one person that headliner Trey Songz was going to show up. So, I went. Just like day one, it was very empty and the artists were not running at their respective times. Eventually, the festival released a revised lineup on their Instagram which notified us about even more artists dropping. Famous Dex and Dej Loaf dropped with no explanation. Klo dropped because she missed her flight and Carter Cruise dropped because he was at a pool party in Vegas. All these artists dropping made fans understandably outraged and they continued to voice their criticisms over social media, as well as in the crowd.
Amazingly, after they released the revised lineup, all the other major acts for that day performed including PnB Rock, Jhay Cortez, YBN Nahmir and Riff Raff. Trey Songz hit the stage over an hour after his scheduled time but at that point the crowd had been let down so many times, him showing up at all was enough.
I’m painting this festival out to be the Fyre Fest of San Antonio and it’s not. The performers who did show up put on great performances and the energy of the crowd was incredible. I would be very surprised if Sound of Summer is as ambitious next year if they even decide to give it another go.
Featured image by Daniel Richter