This week was the first whirlwind of many more adventures that will be taking place during fall quarter. It's only week 1 in the quarter but I've already endured nearly sleepless nights and full work days already. Weird, because for the first time in a long time it's been exciting and well worth the quick deadlines and high stress levels.
Last weekend, Sacramento's first annual TBD Festival Music Festival (formerly LAUNCH) took place near Raley Field in an empty plot of land where many TBD crew mates and volunteers gathered together to put on a large scale event that lured in 21,000 attendees. Not only was the line-up was stacked with star studded acts, but this festival definitely went all out with their creativity. A 65-foot-tall ferris wheel anchored the back of the festival next to the Beautiful Buzz stage with a vendor experience promoting local businesses, live cooking experience and art installations throughout the middle of the park with the Lowbrau main stage at the front of the festival.
I was amazed that TBD Fest founders Mike Hargis (founder of LAUNCH) and Clay Nutting (co-owner of Lowbrau) put on a music festival that made me feel like I was attending a major music festival like Coachella. This year they moved LAUNCH west to a bigger location to house the rebirth of Sacramento's music festival.
Not only did TBD Fest bring regular music festival headliners Empire of the Sun, but they also brought out Justice, a French duo, who inspired music of this generation and is a rare sight to catch at a live show. Watching Empire of the Sun's set on the main stage felt like a witnessing a fully produced Broadway show with dancers in elaborate costumes as well as the band's signature uniform and headdresses. As I was waiting for the band take the stage Saturday night I remember thinking to myself, "wow, TBD really went balls out for Sacramento!" I've attended quite a few music festivals throughout 2014 and feel so reluctant to say that a festival in my home town can definitely be a hot destination for music lovers in the coming years.
Although 21,000 attendees showed up to this year's festival, I didn't seem to encounter any overwhelming aggressive crowds that are usually at these types of events. Perhaps the festival was spread out enough with four stages, activities and a shopping experience that everyone could comfortably enjoy each set. Or maybe it was the heat that kept people from staying long periods of time at the festival. Regardless of the rather small crowds for these extremely impressive acts, this music festival is definitely one of the best music festivals / concert experiences I've experienced in northern California. I would definitely say it can compete with San Francisco's Treasure Island and Outsidelands music festivals, with line-ups with equal talent and an awesome art installation experience allowing attendees to get lost in a music wonderland.
I'm so grateful I was able to cover this music festival for Sacramento Press and feel so proud to come from Sacramento after seeing how this large scale event came to life from the ideas of two guys who live right here in Sacramento! I've always had an interest in Sacramento's music scene, but always felt it has been under appreciated... after TBD Fest I'm hoping that this will help spark the community's interest in music and supporting live music. I never thought Sacramento would be a hot spot for some of these artists to play a show at, but after attending the 3-day festival and seeing how well this festival's first year turned out, TBD definitely put Sac on the map and will be something to look out for in the future.