Why The Return of The Skate and Surf Festival Left Me Unimpressed
The return of Skate and Surf started out as a cool little 2 day fest in a sweet venue called iPlay in Freehold New Jersey. That’s until Fall Out Boy got more thrust than anyone though upon their hiatus ending shenanigans and new LP. It got too big- the promoters did what all promoters do…sucked the bitch dry for every penny.
First off switching venues to Six Flags Great Adventure made the event drop like a rock on my psyched meter. Last thing I want to deal with is a mini van full of assholes in strollers. I had no control so I was forced to deal with nearly 3 hours of additional fucking traffic since Six Flags is not equipped for such a rush of people (why not?) A three hour drive from CT took 6 hours and what I got when I arrived was a pint sized poser Warped Tour. Seriously moving the venue and throwing in Mayday Parade is like free bread sticks, some people might be stoked but to me it was tossing me a bone for the extra travel time.
Multiple stages in a parking lot added to the ambiance of the event. Really the dimes were pinched on facilities on this one because this event was so poorly orchestrated with such minute stages that I felt it surreal. Aside from Fall Out Boy (who I bet wished they could bail out after they realized how huge their comeback tour became) the bands were your typical never ending tour bands with the only real standouts being Frank Iero of My Chemical Romance showing off his new band Death Spells and being able to catch the brilliant Balance and Composure who (for some reason) we keep missing when they come to our area.
Oh wait have I mentioned the set times? Apparently these guys were on a different time zone and every act was behind an hour. Sad news for labels like Fearless Records who tweet Mayday Parade (aka ‘Breadsticks’) is on at 7:15 and they come on after 8:15. Seriously, how amateur can you be? I have been to so many festivals and they’re precision timing. Perhaps instead of ripping off Warped Tour creator, Kevin Lyman you should be learning how to do it from him.
Skate and Surf as an event was terrible. Long gone was the ‘home town’ festival that anyone with $10.00 and a bike or board could get a shot at the half pipe. Instead it was a cash cow exploiting kids allowances at EIGHTY BUCKS a pop day of show. It started out as $49.00 at iPlay, how’d that gouge feel?
The venue and staff awful and the management pure greed. The kids will love it if they care more about the ‘festival’ atmosphere than quality of sound or proper planning. There is such a thing as allowing a show to sell out. That’s what GameChanger should have demanded. It would have protected their integrity and created future demand for those who couldn’t get in this time. Instead it was a jam packed nightmare run buy calculators without common sense.
John D’Esposito was the founder of Bamboozle. He was able to pump that one up until it exploded and was eventually absorbed by Live Nation. He is now using this silly ‘Skate And Surf’ (ps where the fuck was the skate or the surf on this one?) as a forum to launch his latest venture GameChanger World, a mobile gaming platform that allows those who download the application to play video games co-conceptualized by musicians. Rockband in your hand. Can I call this growing pains? Maybe a first year event that has to play out to find flaws?
No. Not from someone with festival experience. This wasn’t year one of Skate and Surf, this was a resurrection. The venue switching was the first indication that the event was poorly managed. My brief (and simply unprofessionally rude) interaction with the Festival was the second indication that this was a wallet puffing event. I’m sure it was a success but I hope with all my hear that they were fined up the sass for the late ending.