For those who missed one of the most eclectic concerts of the year, here’s a quick rundown of my top nine most memorable experiences of this year’s Trillectro Music Festival:
1. Herbal Essences – No. I am not referencing that shampoo that had the risqué commercials back in the 90’s. While in the crowd observing performances throughout the day I was hit with numerous waves of what Snoop Dogg terms the “sticky icky icky“. Oh don’t worry, I didn’t catch any contact. One thing I will say is that I definitely think that green magical plant is what helped keep people in positive moods for the duration of the festival.
2. Food Trucks – The food at the fairgrounds was provided by a multitude of food trucks. The most noticeable trucks were the grilled cheese truck, the cookie truck and the cheese steak truck. I ate my first cheese steak filled with cheese whiz at Trillectro and I must say the whiz makes all the difference. They filled that bread with savory steak, cheese whiz, chopped onions and topped it with ketchup and I was feeling like I was in sandwich heaven. Downside: The nine dollar price tag, the fact it didn’t come with fries or chips, and the fact they only accepted cash. But hey, when you’re hungry and at a festival you expect things to cost more and you should know to always bring cash.
3. Two Stages – Stage One: The Karmaloop stage sporting the Karmaloop logo was where most, if not all, of the EDM Dj’s ran their sets. Jumping from those speakers were straight “wub wub!”, “boom! boom! boom!”, and a multitude of crowd snatching, endorphin surging tunes that kept the festival dwellers moving for hours. The second stage was the main stage. It was set up for the music performers. I arrived at the festival just in time to catch the last thirty or so minutes of EDM sets and then I stood in the crowd to watch Casey Veggies, Travis Scott, King Chip, Asap Ferg and Asap Rocky tear down DC like no other. Sidenote: Travis Scott is the most hype performer I have ever seen. His stage presence is not just strangely captivating, but even a little ominous. That could possibly be attributed to his hype and yet sometimes grim beats. But, there was no doubt about it. In the conversation of who reigned supreme at Trillectro, hands down it was Asap Ferg with the rest of the Asap mob. Those guys took over the stage and had the entire Trillectro festival jumping.
4. Drinks – Those who know me know that I love beer. So I was more than happy when I discovered tall boy (16 ounces) Redd’s Apple Ale was available at the festival. I think I drank three or four of them. They also had tall boy’s of Sam Adams Summer Shandy, Bud Light and a few other beers that I seldom drink. Margaritas and strawberry lemonade were also in their non-beer drink selection and when I tell you those margaritas were good too, I mean it. They were delicious! Downside: Sixteen ounce beers were priced as high as seven dollars. So make sure that if you go to the festival next year you have plenty of money on you.
5. DMV Music Artists – As a frequent planner of hiphop showcases in the DC metro area, a radio show host and executive producer I have developed a relationship with many local music artists. Trillectro was definitely not low on local talent on and off the stage. While walking around the fairgrounds I bumped into local artists Lyriciss, ill Stafa, Seph Ade, Nike Nando, Paperboy Prince of the Suburbs, Brain Rapp, Ike Da Kid, Kaye Trill, Stef, and many more. With all of the local artists so easily accessible, Trillectro almost felt more like the DMV’s (DC, MD, and VA) own smaller version of SXSW (South by Southwest). And let’s not forget those DMV artists who actually performed like New Retro, Phil Ade, Fat Trel, Shy Glizzy, RDGLDGRN and Wale!
6. Beautiful Women – Although there were many women who looked like they’d attended one too many ragers or just didn’t know what was appropriate for their body size. There were enough beautiful women to balance out the overall aesthetic of the festival. Needless to say, I definitely saw some head turners. But, it wasn’t just their faces that made them beautiful. So many women were dressed down and just ready to have a good time. It was moreso their pure style and what some may refer to as “swag” that drew me and many other guys eyes into their directions. It was not unusual to see natural hair, locs, tattoos, headbands, hand-made bracelets and chains, and completely couture outfits. Many women were on their hippy status and that made the vibe so much more enjoyable.
7. Eccentric People – The eccentricity didn’t end with the female festival attendees. Many of their male counterparts were adorned in hand-crafted wooden necklaces, tie dye shirts, and other throwback and vintage style getups. It was quite common to see a guy sporting camo shorts, a tye die tee, a bucket hat with marijuana leaves imprinted on it, slip-on flops, a drink in one hand and a doobie in the other. There were women wearing bra’s like they were bikini tops, kids sporting blonde locs, and black and white peace socks that revealed the plant just above their Jordans. I revelled in the environment. I loved the fact that no two people looked alike. Everyone had their own style. The festival of individualism was a great escape from the Monday to Friday, nine-to-five khaki pants and blue shirt wearing clone doldrums that many DC dwellers undergo.
8. “Turn Up!” – The phrase of the day was definitely “Turn Up!” (to become energetic, highly enthused or overly excited) And man did we turn up once the ASAP Mob hit the stage. ASAP Ferg’s “Work” and “Shabba” got the entire crowd off their feet. At that point anyone at the festival who hadn’t relaxed and let loose, did. For ASAP Ferg’s entire set everyone in the festival turned up and went wild for the night. Of course ASAP Rocky’s surprise guest appearance during Ferg’s set was definitely a bonus that took the level of excitement to higher heights. With the alcohol flowing, the green leaves lit, and the music pumping everyone was forced to Turn Up!
9. Comradery – Myth: When large crowds of black people develop, a fight generally ensues. Fact: During the four and a half hours I attended the Trillectro festival I did not experience one fight. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not saying there weren’t any. I am simply saying that I didn’t hear of any or see any while I was there. I feel like the type of people who attend an event like Trillectro aren’t there to cause problems. It felt like we were all there to have fun and relax from the everyday stresses of life. Within those fairground walls, the outside world no longer existed. We became immersed in the moments. Of course within the crowd shoes were stepped on, people regularly brushed against you or shoved a little to dash for a closer view of the performances. But, it was as if there was an unspoken agreement between all the attendees there that these actions were not out of disrespect. They were simply a result of heightened energy within the fairground walls and spatial laws that meant there was no way to avoid it. But, most people were smart to avoid wearing really nice shoes. And those who weren’t, either stayed out of the large crowd or were so turned up they didn’t care.
Overall, I had a great Trillectro experience. Although the four hours I spent there seemed to fly by and I spent more money than I may have planned, my greatest memories are the expressions on everyone’s faces, the people I encountered and the overall positive vibe. Everyone seemed to be having a great time. We were all happy. And that’s what festivals are all about. Right?