Over the weekend Forest Park got rocked by well over 50 bands and an attendance that STL Today is reporting to be in the upwards of 17,000! Lou Fest seemed to be a success in it’s 5th year of tenor as a festival in the St. Louis, which brought in the likes of Arctic Monkey’s, Cake, Outkast, Grouplove and much more! It was my first year coving the event and in being a newbie I spent most of the day on Saturday taking it all in and experiencing the scene. I only covered Saturday so I wanted to make sure I walked away with an accurate view of what this festival has to offer our fine city, below are some of my observations.
- The Scene – It was very chill with a high female attendance and it turned out to be a very family friendly event for hipster couples with kids. I inadvertently felt like I was in an episode of Girls and at the VP Fair off and on throughout the day. I did walk away from the festival with an overall feeling of being comfortable and would love to attend next year without any media obligations because it was truly a festival set up to entice attendees to sit in the shade, listen to new indie acts, and sip on a local micro-brew provided by Schlafly.
- The Fo0d – Lou Fest had much of a Lollapalooza feel/setup and offered more “gourmet” or organic food options than you would find at a festival at Verizon Wireless. It was actually awesome and offered a great selection of local businesses to experience like Kaldi’s Coffee, Sugarfire Smokehouse, and Aya Sofia who had food stations decked out with restaurant quality dishes. I literally could have ate all day at the fair and enjoyed the live acts a soundtrack to food porn that the concessions area had to offer!
- The Style – As I mentioned the attendance was very high female which was awesome to experience because you got to see this subculture of the city that cares about fashion trends and really owns the whole “hipster” vibe that seems to permeate out of those in the age ranges of 20 – 30. It was a great representation of our city and the indie pop community that is growing fast and is responsible for cultivating art based events like Lou Fest, which St. Louis constantly needs to keep providing for our community.
- The Music – With the headliners being Arctic Monkeys and Cake on Saturday it left the day open for a lot of musical discoveries. With four stages to choose from and three stages that had bands on at the same time slots you almost had to pick the bands you wanted to see like picking Powerball numbers. I went in with a list of bands to catch throughout the day and it was like Christmas waiting to see how these acts were going to be to experience live. Between San Fermin, Skaters, Washed Out, Those Darlins, The 1975, and Future Days I can’t say which act I liked the best. Those Darlins caught me by surprise because they are led by two women who just rocked their set for the crowd and The 1975’s surprised me by the frenzy that ensued amongst the crowd as they took stage. Of course I enjoyed Arctic Monkey’s and Cake but the band I was really geeked out to see was Yo La Tengo. They are such an awesome jazzy/psychedelic jam band that you can totally get lost in!
In all it was a great day and I look forward to next year, where I plan on attending both days and sampling a whole slew of new indie acts!