I went to Summerfest Weds and Thursday this week (3rd & 4th). We stayed in Glendale next to Kopps (yum!). The room was very reasonable at $140/nt for a suite. Festival tix were $17/day. I think they knock off a few bucks if you get there before 4pm or something. We parked in private lots very near the north gate. I noticed that parking rates were about double Wed compared to the following day, I guess for the expected fireworks crowds ($20 vs 10).
We didn’t get there till after dark on Weds (I drove up after work) and the fireworks sounded good but the fog was so low and thick, it only occasionally lit up the clouds.
The music was disappointing on both evenings. We went in without looking at the schedule at all and had to rely on wandering tactics.
We saw a large crowd of people waiting for Bare Naked Ladies (we couldn’t think of their radio hits) but called it quits after their first few songs.
There were huge crowds at one of the main stages for Skillet (never heard of em) but we moved on when they started playing what turned out to be their highly produced, over the top Christian rock.
We stood around for some of Dark Star Orchestra but maybe I need to be on mushrooms or something to like them. I wasn’t and didn’t.
There was a Latin themed band at one of the small stages and the people gathered were calling for an encore as we walked up so we stayed. The band came back out and someone apparently pressed play somewhere and music started. Thing is, these guys were just kind of playing along with a prerecorded track. There were two guys playing flutes and panpipes and not only were these instruments not mic’ed, they couldn’t even pretend to play properly during the sweeping pipe solos. The guitar player wasn’t synched to the strumming and there were solos from instruments not even present. The bass was booming but no one was playing it. Drums, too as I recall. People were dancing and cheering and the ‘musicians’ were grinning widely so maybe this is an established thing but these eyebrows were raised high.
In years past, I have fond memories of sidling up to a small stage and being anything from blown away (I’ll buy your CD) to content. This year, I didn’t stay in one place for more than maybe 30 minutes.
A greek plate with a kabob, rice and a gyro. (I just got back from the store where I bought stuff to make …greek kabobs).
Reuben eggrolls (Great in the past but this time, I think they’d been fried earlier in the week and held. Very chewy wrapper).
As always, the facilities were great. The grounds were lovely, it was as clean as can be expected, security was visible present but very hands off, the vendors were organized and friendly. All of this adds up to a great time, even if the music wasn’t so hot. Oh, speaking of hot, except for the fireworks fog, the weather was certainly cooperative. Last year, it was 20-30 degrees hotter so that was nice. World-class people watching is included with the price of the ticket so there’s always that.
I went to Koppas Fulbeli Deli on my way home on Friday for a sandwich. Great as always, though I found out it has new owners and they’re not allowed to have picnic tables outside anymore.