In Orange County, California, dedicated R&B fans ventured to Soulquarius. This is my story. Dun-Dun.
Before anyone could even set foot into Soulquarius, we were faced with festival HELL. The line to enter the Observatory grounds was so long, it spanned several blocks. Yeah, I’m talking 3+ hours long. Any buzz and excitement I felt about Soulquarius had waned after the first hour. By the second, I was frantically searching for a bathroom, and by the third I was over it.
Once we got in, festival-goers were greeted with over capacity at the Observatory stage, overcrowding at the Soulquarius stage, and unmoving stop-start traffic to reach the House Party stage. There was no direction and no staff with answers. How Sway?! Also, after waiting in a mob of a line for a 21+ wristband and traveling to the bar, I was informed that I had to stay at the bar tent until I was finished. What’s the point of this hard apple cider beer if I can’t drink it while swaying to the live music?
The pièce de résistance, however, was that Soulquarius scheduled so many artists at such conflicting times. Because all stages were running late, there was no way to know when someone was performing without fighting your way through the throngs of people to periodically check each stage. The few performances I did catch, though, were great. Ja Rule & Ashanti ruled their set, Kelis sang all of my favorites, and The Internet was a vibe. However, all of the logistical issues were enough to send me home right after DMX led us in prayer at the end of his set.
I’m convinced no one left Soulquarius because they were completely fulfilled, but because they just had enough and were tired.
Check out some of my personal favorite tweets from the festival:
Event organizer 1: how many people did we sell tickets to?
— Daryll (@_daryllsantos) February 19, 2017
— Ta 🛴ia (@meltedtalia) February 19, 2017
— RnBass (@RnBassMusic) February 19, 2017
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