The sun was shining yesterday at the All Points West Music and Arts Festival, but many of the thousands who trekked to Liberty State Park for the second day of the East Coast's largest rock festival still had rain on the brain, writes New Jersey News.
Friday's downpour left spectators standing in mud up to their ankles. Many shivered through their skinny jeans and stylish T-shirts in the night air. As a reward for their perseverance, single-day ticket holders were admitted free for either yesterday's or today's festivities. Not surprisingly, attendance swelled yesterday afternoon.
As fans began filtering into the park, it was immediately clear that the Friday rain problem had begot a Saturday mud problem. Concertgoers stepped gingerly around the grounds as if in a minefield, looking for the least soggy route to where they were going.
Early in the afternoon at the main stage, on the south end of the festival, fans of Kentucky-based rock quintet Cage the Elephant splattered mud into the air with abandon as they jumped and danced. Some frolicked barefoot, with the deep brown mud caking their feet like low-topped shoes. Organizers spread wood chips and mulch as strategically as possible, but with the enclosed concert area stretching to about a mile from the main entrance to the main stage, the result was negligible.
"It was a wet mess, but it was fun," said Dennis, a 41-year-old attendee with a full three-day ticket who had survived Friday's downpour. "Today is nicer, but I could do without the smell. It's like old mud, as opposed to fresh mud. And the Porta-Johns -- you can smell them in a lot more places today." Dennis was waiting on a relatively short line for a free massage -- one of dozens of booths and tents at All Points West that offer everything from food to video games to cell phones to official Major League Baseball merchandise.
About 25,000 people are expected to attend each of the festival's three days. For Tony Belfer, a security guard checking IDs at the entrance to a sprawling on-site beer garden, this was certainly a good thing. "The biggest problem we're having is the mud, but all in all, everything is going fine," he said. Nearby at the Taco Heaven food stand, 27-year-old Mike Lucius was optimistic behind the grill as he tried to make up for the lost business on Friday.
"The rain hurt us, no doubt," he said. "But since they gave all the ticket-holders free passes for today, we're hoping it'll even out a little. Once the bigger acts start going, we'll start selling some tacos."
As dinnertime crept up, fans began to get excited about some of the evening's more well-known acts, including Arctic Monkeys, Gogol Bordello, My Bloody Valentine and evening headliner Tool. The latter, a veteran Los Angeles-based hard-core act that inspires near-religious devotion among its fans, was visibly represented all day by fans wearing a variety of Tool T-shirts.
All Points West is a staunchly rain-or-shine event, and with British mope-rock gods Coldplay set to close the festival, the crowds are sure to come trudging back. They'd be advised not to wear shoes they care at all about.
Source: New Jersey News
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