If you haven’t been living under a rock the last few days, you’ve probably heard about the When We Were Young Festival (allegedly) happening in Las Vegas this October. The lineup alone was enough to get people to break out the eyeliner and go back to a side part, with every major emo, alternative, and/or pop punk band from the early to mid-2000s scheduled to perform. However, once the initial excitement from the announcement wore off, the question quickly turned from “how do I get tickets and pull this off?” to “how do they pull this off?”
With 66 bands slotted to perform within the original 12 festival hours (now updated to 13), people began to wonder if it was logistically possible to fit so many acts into such a short timeframe. Several outlets reported that there would only be 3 stages, giving each band a little over 30 minutes to perform if the time was split evenly, less if the headliners played longer. That does not factor in circumstances like technical difficulties or setup/tear down between sets. Additionally, all these acts are meant to play on the same day. An eagle-eyed TikToker briefly gave hope to the elder emo community by digging into the code and finding code for “Day 2”, something that would make the timing much less tight. However, when WWWYF Day 2 was announced, the festival clarified that it was not splitting the lineup into two days; it was a “second show” with the same lineup. A third day on October 29th was added on January 24th (presale begins at 10am Pacific Time on January 31st). Finally, there was the question of if the venue could even accommodate multiple sold-out crowds—the 37 acre Las Vegas Fairgrounds is a far cry from Coachella’s (8 stages) 642 acres or Bonnaroo’s (4 stages) 700 acres.
Additional questions about the lineup (and Fyre Festival comparisons) started circulating when Senses Fail guitarist Buddy Nielsen posted an Instagram story the day the festival was announced, stating that he had “no idea” he was playing it. (Fyre Festival famously blasted a graphic displaying acts for a lineup that were never paid or confirmed for the festival.) Multiple big names like My Chemical Romance, The All-American Rejects and Paramore have all confirmed they’re playing, though people are quick to point out that, for instance, Blink-182 were also confirmed for Fyre Fest. (In fact, Blink-182 only pulled out of Fyre Festival due to Travis Barker’s fear of flying and the Fyre Festival’s inability to accommodate another mode of transportation for him to its remote location—which might say more about the band’s due diligence than the festival’s legitimacy.) But at least Live Nation, unlike Fyre Media, is a well-known entertainment company that has successfully put on countless shows.
Also giving some fans sketchy vibes are the festival’s refund policy and wait list. The When We Were Young website states that “all tickets are final with no refunds or exchanges”, and given that General Admission tickets start at $245 (plus a $79 fee), a change of heart about attending would be costly. Even so, the festival quickly sold out, leaving many hopeful attendees disappointed and disgruntled. Some fans who didn’t quite luck out on scoring tickets were placed on a waitlist, which appeared to require them to provide payment information and would automatically charge them the full ticket price (with no option for the $20 down payment plan advertised) if a waitlist spot opened up.
All of these questions culminated in the theory that WWWYF is a scam designed so that Live Nation could pay off its legal fees incurred as a result of Astroworld, a tragedy that left 10 dead and dozens injured. It’s true that Live Nation is currently under investigation and facing multiple lawsuits for over a reported $2 billion as a result of the tragedy, but it’s also true the company has put on a number of events, and presumably earned money, since.
As for the performances, on Friday, the WWWYF website was updated to say there would be “multiple stages of varying size” and that sets would start at 11am and go until 12am. When reached for comment, Live Nation told Betches, “Set times will vary with earlier bands having shorter sets and the headliners having the longest. For many festivals it is typical for earlier acts to have 20-30 minutes, while headliners often perform longer, closer to 45 to 60 minutes or more.” As far as the size of the venue, Live Nation said, “The Las Vegas Festival Grounds is a large event space that has held multiple other large scale events and festivals in the past.”
And even though WWWYF’s policy is not to offer refunds, Live Nation automatically issues refunds if an event is canceled; Front Gate Tickets, which handles the ticketing for WWWYF, appears to offer refunds if an event is canceled or rescheduled. Plus, festival tickets (and concert tickets in general) are not typically refundable for reasons outside of cancellation or postponement of the event.
Even if Live Nation isn’t the evil genius scam corporation the internet wants them to be, they have had safety issues at some of their events. In addition to Astroworld, there are lawsuits against the company currently for the death of hip-hop artist Drakeo, the mass shooting of 58 people at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival, and several other safety violations endangering cast and crew. “The safety of fans, artists and staff is thoroughly planned for among event organisers and in coordination with local authorities,” Live Nation told Betches. The company also released an official statement in which it encouraged fans to “check the festival website and socials for all of the latest updates” regarding updated safety protocols as the festival gets closer. The festival’s website now directs people with “specific questions regarding safety, security, medical, and any others” to reach out via an email address.
Bottom line: Is this festival happening? It appears so. With both festival dates being sold out and a third one in the making, it’s apparent that fans are
in the business of misery okay with taking a bit of a risk in the hopes that When We Were Young is the ultimate nostalgia trip they want it to be. For the more cynical of us, we’ll have to wait until October 22nd to find out if it lives up to the hype.
Live Nation says “Additional details can be found under “Festival Information, Dates & Hours” on the festival website at whenwewereyoungfestival.com”.
In recent weeks, we’ve all had a lot of time to think about what’s really important in life. More than ever, we’re thankful for our health care workers, we’re aware of our own actions, and we’re thinking about the people we love. That’s all great, but did you stop and think about how Billy McFarland is doing? That’s right, even in the middle of a global pandemic, it’s time for an update on our favorite scammer. (Okay, my favorite scammer is probably Elizabeth Holmes, but Billy is second.)
As you may recall, the disgraced Fyre Festival founder is currently serving a six-year prison sentence, after pleading guilty to two counts of wire fraud in 2018. Billy is being held at a federal prison in Ohio, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, he wants out. Well, he probably wanted out before, but now he might actually have a chance.
In a filing obtained by The Wrap, Billy McFarland’s attorneys requested that he be allowed to serve the remainder of his sentence under home confinement, rather than in prison. According to the petition, McFarland has pre-existing conditions that put him at higher risk, including asthma, “extreme” allergies, and heart issues “he has experienced since his early 20s.” I’m not saying I don’t believe any of these health issues, but I would like to see a doctor’s note, just to make sure it wasn’t signed by Dr. Ja Rule, MD.
Billy McFarland’s health conditions aside, the situation at his prison facility sound pretty bleak right now. According to his team’s filing, at least 24 inmates and 14 staff members (including the warden) have been diagnosed with COVID-19. The Columbus Dispatch reports that six inmates at the Elkton prison have died from the disease. Furthermore, Billy’s team claims that he is being held in a large room with over 100 inmates, and that “30 of them have gotten sick and been relocated.” Yikes. These are definitely not socially distant conditions, and it’s no wonder coronavirus has become such a big problem in the prison system.
Naturally, Billy McFarland’s petition cites that he is “not a risk for the community nor a threat to public safety,” but I think anyone who tried to attend the Fyre Festival might beg to differ. Sure, he’s not a violent criminal or anything, but we all saw two documentaries about the mass chaos he caused, and just think about what kind of scams he’d try to pull in the midst of a pandemic. Those sh*tty cheese sandwiches were definitely a risk for the community. And you know Billy would be the type to hoard toilet paper to resell it at a markup, at the very least. But all jokes aside, he would have been eligible to transfer to home confinement starting next year, so it seems like he might have a decent case.
The petition for an early release is a marked change from a couple weeks ago, when Billy McFarland told The New York Post that he was “not worried about catching the coronavirus.” At that time, he was working on a project aiming to crowdfund phone calls for “in-need inmates and their families who are affected by coronavirus.” Wow, was Billy actually trying to do something good for others? With no apparent personal gain? They say prison changes people, but this is truly a surprise.
But obviously, sh*t has gotten real in the past few weeks, and Billy McFarland is ready to bounce. I don’t blame him, but I’ll be curious to see if the judge grants him early release. And if he does get out, I’ll be even more curious to see what kind of scheme he cooks up while on house arrest. Maybe a fake retreat for elite influencers in the Hamptons? He’ll probably just do the rest of his sentence at the Magnises loft, so all the hottest up-and-coming people can come party with him. Maybe Elizabeth Holmes will come hang out, and they can work on a coronavirus vaccine together! If that happens, I better f*cking be invited.
Images: Patrick McMullan / Contributor/Getty Images
We’re officially in the lead-up to festival season, which means new lineups are being announced almost daily. While we’ve already talked about the disappointingly male-heavy Coachella lineup, and which Bachelor alums will be getting hot and heavy at Stagecoach, but this week, we got a look at the lineup for Lovers & Friends, a new festival in LA this May, and it almost seems too good to be true. Stacked with iconic rappers pretty much from top to bottom, people were quick to question the legitimacy of the lineup, and basically all of Twitter was already calling Lover & Friends the next Fyre Festival.
So, first of all, let’s talk about this lineup. Usher, Ludacris, and Lil Jon could all be headliners on their own, so it’s crazy that they’re sharing one slot. I would pay a premium JUST to see TLC. Megan Thee Stallion and Summer Walker are two of the biggest newer artists in hip hop. And Ms. Lauryn Hill? A total legend, even if the chances that she shows up on time are slim to none. When it comes to hip hop festivals, it’s hard to imagine a better lineup than this. And, because they’ve been burned before, people were skeptical.
And all of the questions weren’t without good reason. While many of the artists on the lineup have posted about the festival, some have posted cryptic messages or outright denials. Lil Kim, one of my favorite messy queens, posted on her IG story, saying that the lineup is “so fake” and that she’s “not a part of this.” Yikes.
But Lil Kim later deleted her story, and we got clarification on what happened from none other than Snoop Dogg. Snoop, who says he’s one of the booking agents and promoters for Lovers & Friends, posted a video on Instagram, asking Lil Kim to hit him up in the DMs. He says that his team was in contact with someone who claimed to be on Kim’s team, but obviously they got scammed or something. He’s adamant that he wants to “get you this money,” so we’ll see if they’re able to work something out.
While it seems that Lil Kim’s inclusion was a genuine misunderstanding, she wasn’t the only artist to call out the new festival on Instagram. In a comment on the lineup post, Mase was not thrilled with his inclusion. Honestly, this comment is me any time I’m included in a meeting that I don’t actually need to be in. Best of luck, but miss me with that sh*t.
Twista also had something to say in the comments, but later changed his tune, presumably when the deposit hit his account. As someone who’s been a freelancer in the past and sometimes had to beg to get paid, I respect this!! Twista got his bag, so now it’s all good.
But aside from these few artists speaking out publicly, fans noticed that a couple artists on the lineup were now double-booked. In particular, Megan Thee Stallion is scheduled to be at Broccoli City, in Washington DC, on the same day, and T-Pain is on the Saturday lineup for Rolling Loud Miami. Interestingly enough, neither of them have made any public comments about whether or not they’re actually playing at Lovers & Friends, or if they’ve discovered the real-life version of Hermione Granger’s time-turner.
Broccoli City obviously noticed the tweets pouring in about the booking situation, and they tweeted saying that Megan Thee Stallion would be doing both shows. Duh, private jets are a thing! But interestingly enough, this tweet has now been deleted, which makes it seem like maybe the logistics weren’t so easy after all. It’s a six-hour flight from DC to LA, so even with the time difference, they would have to line up the schedules perfectly if there’s any chance of this working.
Rolling Loud Miami, where T-Pain is scheduled to perform on May 9th, didn’t make any official comment on the situation, but posted this tweet, which seems to be throwing a little bit of shade at Lovers & Friends.
Can’t wait to see a real Florida legend like T-Pain at Rolling Loud Miami 🤯
— Rolling Loud (@RollingLoud) February 18, 2020
So, as Oprah would say, what is the truth? Basically, the festival is definitely real, and the organizer is the same company who does Coachella. But, as any festival will tell you, lineups are always subject to change, and I would be pretty shocked if everyone who’s on this lineup poster actually shows up. Like, Lauryn Hill is showing up two hours late, if at all. So if you live in LA, it’s probably worth buying a ticket just to see wtf actually ends up happening, but don’t get your hopes up that Megan Thee Stallion will actually make it in time. But hey, at least you won’t be trapped on some remote island in the Bahamas!
Images: Vadim Ponomarenko/Shutterstock; goldenvoice, lilkimthequeenbee, snoopdogg / Instagram; broccolicity, rollingloud / Twitter
It’s been nearly a year since Hulu and Netflix released their competing Fyre Festival documentaries, and sadly, the Fyre-related drama has slowed down. Billy McFarland is in prison, Ja Rule’s tweets are complete nonsense, and Andy King’s days of sucking dick for water seem to be behind him. But this week, the official Fyre Festival Instagram account popped back up in our timelines, and I’m confused, to say the least.
Gone are the photos of feral hogs in unnaturally blue water. Gone are the models hanging out on a boat. Instead, the account has been completely wiped clean, and rebranded with posts about… the fires in Australia. Over the past week, there have been 20 posts on the account, all about the devastation caused by the bushfires, and what we can do to help. So essentially, they’re now taking their name literally, and telling us all how we can help fight fires. Or fyres? Idk, something feels weird about this. Billy McFarland isn’t out here selling his nudes or anything, but it’s an unexpected turn of events nonetheless.
Originally, the Fyre Festival IG was shut down after the festival disaster, but it was reactivated in the wake of the documentaries last year. The account is being run by Oren Aks, the designer and social media strategist behind the original festival, who was featured prominently in the docs. The account hasn’t really been active in the last year, so the recent rebrand seems especially random. Like, can we not just let the Fyre Festival brand die? The bushfires are important, but literally every other person on Instagram has already posted about them, so I don’t think the Fyre Festival IG is really going to be the tipping point in saving the koalas.
All of these posts are especially weird considering that the bio of the account still says the “page is now an Internet archive.” That’s obviously not true anymore, now that all the original posts have been deleted (or archived). I kind of assumed the posts were still there for legal reasons or something—idk, is deleting Instagram posts like, tampering with evidence or something? Slide into my DMs if you’re a lawyer, I know nothing. Either way, it’s odd that the old posts are gone, but the bio of the account hasn’t been updated to include anything about the
fyres fires. Oren should know that he needs to keep his message consistent, at the very least.
I’ll admit, I’m really curious to see if the Fyre Festival account continues with this new activism focus after caring about the fires stops being trendy. The post captions seem pretty in-depth, and not gimmicky at all, so the intent here does seem fairly genuine, even if it’s odd. I don’t know how busy Oren Aks is these days, but there’s literally always a new natural disaster to focus on, so this could just become their main thing?
Honestly, it’s probably only a matter of time before there’s like, a Fyre Festival Foundation or something, dedicated to fighting bushfires, and also probably paying off Billy McFarland’s legal bills. Even if Oren Aks is ostensibly the one behind all of this, I still can’t shake the feeling that Billy and his scammy energy must be involved in some way. A scammer is always gonna scam, and you KNOW Billy McFarland already has ideas for how to con people once he gets out of prison.
At this point, we really have no idea where this Fyre Festival rebrand is headed, or if there’s some ulterior motive, but you bet I’m going to turn on post notifications for this sh*t until we find out. As tired as this sh*t makes me, I hope the Fyre Festival never truly dies. And also, go donate to help fight the fires.
Images: fyrefestival (3) / Instagram
Hate to break it to all of you festival enthusiasts and influencers trying to make an honest living off using filters to get likes, but it looks like Alienstock, the party scheduled at Area 51 the day of the pretend raid, is just Fyre Festival 2.0. Yesterday, a mere 11 days before Alienstock was set to welcome 10,000+ people to the tiny town of Rachel, Nevada, the event creator, Matty Roberts, has pulled out. The music festival was created after Matty’s joke Facebook event “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop Us All” went viral and he freaked out, deciding it probably wasn’t a good idea to ask 3.5 million people to try and fight the U.S. Government to catch a glimpse of possible aliens. The festival was set to take place on the same weekend and in the same town of Rachel, NV where Matty originally had intended the world to storm Area 51.
Matty had enlisted the help of Rachel native and owner of the only restaurant/bar/hotel in town, Little A’Le’Inn, (lol I can’t) Connie West, to help get everything in order in the tiny town of only 56 permanent residents. The town had concerns about people not realizing how off the grid they really are, with the nearest gas station being 46 miles away and the nearest emergency room 80 miles away. If anything went wrong, help wouldn’t be so quick to come. Matty started getting concerned when Connie didn’t provide proof of anything she had agreed to provide to him, including contracts, proof of deposits, or paper proof of literally anything.
Alienstock was advertised as an alien-themed party in the desert, with EDM music, art installations, surprise performances, and camping. With the organizer dropping out, it seems logical to conclude there’s no way this is happening. The Alienstock website features the disclaimer: “Due to the lack of infrastructure, poor planning, risk management and blatant disregard for the safety of the expected 10,000+ AlienStock attendees, we decided to pull the plug on the festival. The permit holder (Connie West) was given multiple opportunities to provide us with the proof that things expected at this festival were in place. In fact, she refused to provide to us, as agreed upon, contracts, proof of deposits or any paper proof of anything.” The site adds, “We are not interested in, nor will we tolerate any involvement in a FYREFEST 2.0. We foresee a possible humanitarian disaster in the works, and we can’t participate in any capacity at this point.”
However, Connie has no intention of Alienstock not happening. Even though Matty has announced a one-day party in Downtown Las Vegas instead during the same weekend as Alienstock, with amenities like a green pool and a 40-foot-flying saucer, Connie thinks they’ll still be welcoming 10,000 people to her restaurant/hotel/inn…pictured below:
Connie insists she was blindsided by Matty’s removal, claiming he texted her at 3am saying he’s out of the festival along with his partner, event producer Frank DiMaggio, and now she’s out nearly $18,000 from a non-refundable security deposit. She plans on pursuing Matty and Frank through the legal system to get back money she claims to have already spent on the festival. She goes on to say she expects to break even with merchandise, parking fees (that run anywhere from $40/day to $1,000/weekend), camping spot rentals, and through performances she’s allegedly secured from 20 musicians and two comedians. (Did she book them through the Fyre app?)
However, If you go to the Alienstock festival website, there’s seemingly no way to buy tickets for the original 3-day event in the desert—only an RSVP button to the free event in Vegas. According to the Alienstock Facebook, there are currently 613 people attending the Bud Light sponsored event in Vegas, slightly less than the 2 million that originally set out to raid Area 51. While brave festivalgoers can still buy parking and camping passes to Connie’s desert Alienstock, it really seems like a bad idea, kids! I’m sure if all those Fyre Fest people could go back in time and go to a free one-day event sponsored by Bud Light, I’m sure they would. After all, at least Bud Light contains drinkable water.
Images: Giphy; Google Maps (3)
Anyone who’s ever put together even a halfway decent birthday party knows that event planning is a pain in the ass. There are always unexpected factors, and it’s difficult to make everyone happy. Multiply that scale to a large music festival, and things are bound to go wrong along the way. Even if a festival isn’t organized by sociopaths like Billy McFarland and Ja Rule, sh*t happens. Case in point: this year’s Governors Ball festival in New York City, which took place this past weekend.
Things ran smoothly for the first two days of the festival, but then on Sunday, everything went wrong. There was rain in the forecast for much of the afternoon and evening, calling the outdoor festival into question. On Sunday morning, the festival organizers announced that gates for the festival would be delayed until 6:30pm, a casual seven hours after the festival was supposed to open. The only problem? The weather on Sunday afternoon in NYC was literally beautiful. Like, at 2pm I willingly walked 30 blocks instead of taking the Subway because it was so nice outside.
People were understandably a little pissed that their festival day was being shortened because of “thunderstorms” while it was bright and sunny. I’m not sure what weather forecast the Governors Ball team was looking at, but apparently they were in a room without windows to just look outside. Either way, 6:30pm was the start time, and the performance schedule was moved around to still fit in as much as possible. Sets were shortened, things were pushed later, and everyone still made their way to Randall’s Island Park to enjoy what was left of Day 3.
But that was another problem. When the festival starts at 11:30 in the morning, people trickle in throughout the day. When the festival starts at 6:30pm, everyone shows up at 6:30pm. One of my roommates was at the festival yesterday, and she detailed her experience getting in: “We waited 40 minutes to get our will call tickets and another 45 to get into the actual festival. If they had just started the festival during the day, there would have been much better crowd control.” With shortened sets starting as early as 6:45, many fans were stuck in lines while their favorite artists were performing just a few hundred yards away. It was already a clusterf*ck, but the Gov Ball nightmare was just getting started.
At 9:35pm, Governors Ball posted the following message on their social media accounts, as well as on the screens at the festival. It still wasn’t actually raining yet, so people were both confused and annoyed. Most people at the festival had only gotten to see one set by the time the evacuation started, and the headliners for the day (The Strokes and SZA) never even got to go on.
It’s important to understand that Gov Ball doesn’t just take place in a park somewhere in NYC. It’s on Randall’s Island, a tiny little island in the middle of the river between Manhattan, Queens, and The Bronx. There’s no Subway stop on the island, so the only way to get back into the city is to take a bus or walk across the bridge. Predictably, things got bad quickly once the torrential downpour started. The initial round of shuttle buses was gone after a few minutes, so people took things into their own hands.
One person at the festival described her experience: “We tried to wait it out under a (leaking) tent but the crowd didn’t die down and neither did the rain, so we left and the shuttles were all gone so we joined the literal hoards crossing the bridge by foot.”
Yes, you read that right. Thousands of people were crossing the bridge back to Manhattan in the middle of a lightning storm BY FOOT. This truly looks like the scene after a major natural disaster.
Another festival-goer had a similarly awful experience:
“Everyone left at the same time so I knew it was going to be chaos. We were body to body walking through mud to get to the bridge. There was so much water that people’s shoes were coming off. When we got to the bridge, it was raining so hard that it felt like a kids water park where the bucket just dumps water on you. People were pushing and stopping to avoid the rain, so we kept pushing through to get over the bridge.”
Here’s a video of what it was like on the bridge:
Gov ball evacuation was apocalyptic pic.twitter.com/wHl8Hqn1Cg
— negative nancy drew (@k8sanz) June 3, 2019
One of the Gov Ball attendees also added that “there was no one directing anything. We just had to figure out how to get out.” To me, that’s the craziest part. Even if things are messy and overcrowded, how do they not have an actual plan for how to deal with a situation like this? You can’t just flash a giant sign telling people to proceed to the exit when the exit is just a bridge with no shuttle buses in sight.
Pretty quickly, the Governors Ball team announced that they would be issuing refunds for Sunday, which is obviously the right decision. It was clear why the festival got shut down when it did, but it seems like they majorly screwed up by delaying the start time so much. Even if the headliners wouldn’t have gone on, at least people could’ve seen like, two acts before the bad weather started.
Though this year’s Governors Ball will probably be remembered for the absolute sh*tshow that was Sunday evening, the other two days were actual pretty great. The highlight? Probably when Matty Healy, the lead singer of The 1975, called out Kendall Jenner and a bunch of influencers for walking in front of the stage.
here y’all go pic.twitter.com/xCnSnMW0ZM
— isa hates u (@imjustisa) June 3, 2019
For every thousand people that were stuck on that bridge, at least we got one excellent takedown of a Kardashian. It’s the little things. But this isn’t even the first time that Governors Ball has been messed up because of bad weather. Back in 2016, organizers canceled the third day of the festival, which was set to feature Kanye West as the headliner, and people were outraged. Ouch. If you’ve been personally victimized by the Governors Ball monsoon of 2019, feel free to drop your experience in the comments below, and make sure to cop that refund for your troubles. This is why I don’t go to music festivals!
UPDATE: Well, the Governors Ball organizers clearly got a lot of angry DMs, because on Monday night they put out a message from the founders on their website. In the message, they give a more detailed explanation of what went into their decisions on Sunday. Most importantly, they explained why the starting time for the festival was pushed back so far. At 8am, the team was told “that there was a high likelihood of thunderstorms and lightning throughout the afternoon, with 4pm-6pm being the most problematic and the most threatening.” At 11am, they got an updated forecast with the same information, and pushed back the gates to 6:30.
In the statement, they stick by their decision to push back the opening. “At around 5pm, the expected weather system did in fact come through the NYC area and hit Manhattan and Brooklyn with thunder, lightning and heavy rain. This weather was close enough to the festival site that we would have had to cancel and evacuate had it been a normally operating festival day.” Okay, so I live in Manhattan and I didn’t see any thunder, lightning, or heavy rain at 5pm, but maybe the storm didn’t hit my neighborhood. Who knows.
The founders acknowledge that the evacuation situation wasn’t ideal: “While we are happy that no injuries were reported during the evacuation, we aren’t going to sugar coat things here. When you are evacuating tens of thousands of people from any site, it is a challenging endeavor.” This is obviously true, but they didn’t really have anything to say for why the actual evacuation was such a dangerous free-for-all.
After reiterating that everyone will be getting refunds for Sunday, the message concludes with the announcement that the Governors Ball team will age doing a Reddit AMA this afternoon at 1pm. I have a feeling it’s going to involve a lot of angry Strokes fans, and probably some people trying to explain how weather works. If you want to follow along on Reddit, here’s the link, and please tell me if anything important happens.
Images: @govballnyc (2) / Instagram; @k8sanz, imjustisa / Twitter
Despite how many influencers go to Coachella every year, the original Woodstock is still the most iconic music festival of all time. In August 1969, over 400,000 people made their way to upstate New York for a music festival that would be a defining moment in the counterculture generation. Over the years, there have been various revivals of the Woodstock festival, and this year, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, is going to be the biggest of them all: Woodstock 50. Well, it’s supposed to be the biggest, but right now it’s looking like a total sh*tshow. Let’s examine what’s going on with what may end up being the Fyre Festival of upstate New York.
Earlier this year, Michael Lang, one of the co-founders of the original Woodstock festival, announced that he would be organizing a 50th anniversary edition. The site for the festival, Watkins Glen International Racetrack, already has an iffy past with music festivals. Last summer, there was supposed to be a Phish festival there, but it got shut down due to water quality and safety issues due to flooding. Lang announced that for Woodstock 50, a separate water supply would be brought in to avoid these problems. Already, this sounds like a mess.
The lineup for Woodstock 50 was announced in March, and it’s pretty impressive. Headliners include Miley Cyrus, Jay-Z, Halsey, The Killers, Santana, and Chance the Rapper. It’s a little all over the place, but I’m still impressed. Reportedly, though, iconic acts like Led Zeppelin, Paul McCartney, and Billy Joel all turned the festival down. Looking back now, maybe they knew something we didn’t at the time?
Tickets for Woodstock 50 were supposed to go on sale on April 22, which already seemed a little late for a festival of this size, but that date came and went with no updated information. Then, on April 29, the main investors in the festival, a company called Dentsu Aegis Network, announced that they were pulling their financial support, and that the festival would therefore be canceled. The issue? Besides being surprised to learn that “Dentsu Aegis” is a real company, and not a secret society from a sci-fi movie, the Woodstock 50 organizers pulled some shady sh*t. The festival reduced the capacity to 75,000 in order to make room for people camping. The capacity was initially promised as 150,000, so Dentsu Aegis was understandably upset that they were only going to get half the ticket sales.
Despite a main production partner, Superfly, also pulling out a couple days later, Lang said that the festival would still go on as planned, and that they were seeking out new financial backers. That sounds fine, but it was revealed that all of the artists on the lineup had made payment deals through Dentsu Aegis, not the festival itself, so they were no longer obligated to show up at the festival. Yikes.
Earlier this month, reports circulated that Michael Lang had found a new financial backer for Woodstock 50, but he still needed a mass gathering permit for the festival to go on. Additionally, he filed an injunction against Dentsu Aegis, saying that they had no right to declare the festival canceled, and also demanding that they return $17 million that they removed from the Woodstock 50 bank account. He also alleged that Dentsu had prevented the tickets from going on sale on April 22.
This week, a judge ruled that Dentsu Aegis did not have the power to cancel the festival, clearing the way for it to proceed in August. However, the judge also said that Dentsu did not have to return the $17 million, so Woodstock is still broke. Now, Michael Lang is adamant that Woodstock 50 is going to happen in August as planned, but it’s still unclear who’s paying for it, or when tickets will go on sale.
As if this story wasn’t already messy enough, there’s a whole other situation going on with Woodstock 50. Live Nation, one of the biggest concert promoters, is holding a separate Woodstock 50 anniversary concert, also taking place in August at the site of the original festival. Some of the same artists are even scheduled to perform at both Woodstock 50 events. Michael Lang filed a cease and desist order against the Live Nation event, but it’s still moving forward, and tickets have been available for weeks. Honestly, if I had to choose one, the Live Nation concert is definitely a safer bet.
At this point, it’s still wildly unclear if Woodstock 50 is going to happen, but if it does, I can’t wait to see how gigantic of a mess the whole thing is. If you’re planning to go, you should definitely bring your own water and toilet paper, because things are probably going to get dicey. I would give you the link to buy tickets to Woodstock 50, but lol tickets to this thing are never going on sale. Brb, gotta go send some emails to try and get press passes. Can’t wait for the competing Hulu and Netflix documentaries about this in 2021.
Images: woodstock / Instagram
On Monday, Apple hosted a major event at its headquarters in California and made some major announcements about upcoming projects. The most exciting was the official reveal of Apple TV+, the new streaming service that is Apple’s direct competitor to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon. They announced some enticing new shows, namely The Morning Show, a drama starring Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, and Steve Carell. It debuts this fall, and I’m basically already counting down the days.
But now that I’ve had a few hours to process my excitement about Reese Witherspoon, it’s time to talk about the other huge announcement Apple made on Monday: they’re making a credit card. I have questions, and so should you. It’s called Apple Card, and while Apple is claiming that Apple Card “completely rethinks everything about the credit card,” I’m juuuust a little skeptical. That’s because this all reminds me way too much of Billy McFarland and his legendary Magnises scam.
Someone at Apple must have watched the Fyre Festival documentary and was like, "THAT. MAKE THAT. THE COOL CREDIT CARD."
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) March 25, 2019
Let’s look at some of the features and benefits of the Apple Card, shall we?
On the website for Apple Card, the first thing Apple says is “A new kind of credit card. Created by Apple, not a bank.” Okay, so I’m not going to act like I’m the most financially literate person in the world, but is this supposed to be appealing? I already give Apple like half of my money, so why do I want them to have control of my credit card too? It’s not like banks are the good guy here, but is Apple any better?
Apple then says that the card represents “simplicity, transparency, and privacy,” which are all good words I guess. “It’s the first card that actually encourages you to pay less interest.” These sound like great things, but why does Apple want you to pay them less money? I don’t know about all this financial jargon, but I do know that banks make money off credit cards by charging interest (god, I hope I’m right). But the next line is what really got me:
“You can buy things effortlessly, with just your iPhone. Or use the Apple-designed titanium card anywhere in the world.”
A TITANIUM CARD. I bet it feels nice and hefty in your wallet, just like a Magnises card. People will be impressed by the clanking sound it makes when you slam it down on the counter. Here’s the card that is going to make everyone in the world think you’re a billionaire:
After running down the list of exciting features like Apple Cash (it’s basically just a regular rewards program) and great security (boring), Apple finally gets down to the nitty gritty of why there’s not technically a bank involved.
“Every credit card needs an issuing bank. To create Apple Card, we needed a partner that was up for the challenge of doing something bold and innovative. Enter Goldman Sachs. This is the first consumer credit card they’ve issued, so they were open to doing things in a whole new way.
Ah yes, let’s applaud the incredible bravery of Goldman Sachs, who dared to partner with Apple, the company with the world’s highest market value. They’re really stepping out of their comfort zone, so good for them. I’m not an expert on Goldman Sachs, but their Wikipedia page has a “Controversies and legal issues” section four times as long as this article, so I’m not fully convinced that this is some wonderful, groundbreaking partnership that’s totally safe for consumers.
So that’s a full run-down of what Apple’s website says about their new credit card, but this slide from their presentation yesterday is just asking to be memed.
Apple Card is the new Magnises. pic.twitter.com/rYqkONHqnA
— William Needham Finley IV (@WNFIV) March 25, 2019
No card number! No signature! A West Village townhouse! FREE tickets to the Met Gala!! Beyoncé will definitely perform at your birthday party!!! So far, Apple hasn’t made any promises about concert tickets that are literally impossible to get, but I’m sure that’s coming in Apple Card Series 2.
Apple Card is scheduled for release sometime this summer, and I can’t wait to see how many dumb rich millennials run out and get one on the first day. Lmk in the comments if you plan on getting an Apple Card, because in about three years I might be making a documentary about scams and need your contact info.
Images: Shutterstock; @parkermolloy, @wnfiv / Twitter; Apple