It's the fourth year in a row Houston's Free Press Summer Fest (FPSF) has been cursed with bad weather. Previous years saw venue changes and delays, this year saw cancellations and refunds. Throughout the two days of the music festival, I was not able to catch more than a few openers before the rain came in, made a mess, and then kicked everyone out.

On Day 1, the schedule I picked up at the information booth on my way into the festival contained some set time errors. This lead to much confusion as I was watching Khruangbin thinking it was supposed to be Frightened Rabbit. Eventually, I did catch Frightened Rabbit at the correct time and they proved to be the highlight of the day. I stayed for their whole set, taking it easy on the grass, believing I still had a long night ahead of festival coverage. Unfortunately, the rain hit the festival soon after, about a quarter past five, as I was making moves towards Mercury stage for Cashmere Cat. I stuck around to see if the rain would lighten up but was soon updated through the FPSF app that the festival was being evacuated. Even though I was looking forward to seeing Cage the Elephant headline, I really had no idea whether or not the festival would resume, so I went home for the night.

Frightened Rabbit 1

The day I was most excited for was Sunday, Day 2, where Charli XCX, Solange, and Lorde were all set to play. Sadly, the festival was evacuated around 2:30 pm, 30 minutes before Charli XCX was to hit the stage. This left festival goers to flood downtown and take shelter in parking garages during a lightning storm, again unsure if the festival would reopen. I waited in my parked car reading a book and checking for updates, which were slow to arrive. After three-and-a-half hours of waiting around, FPSF finally announced it was cancelled and festival goers would be receiving a refund.

Cherry Glazerr 3

What I did manage to catch on Sunday was Cherry Glazerr, my favorite performance of the weekend. This was the last stop on their six-month tour supportingApocalipstick, so they were sharp and still full of energy. At first, I was a little sceptical about a noon set time, but there was a decent sized crowd given it being the first band of the day. The early set time also meant that they actually got to perform instead of being cancelled later on in the day. The other band I found myself dancing along to was Bad Suns who performed right after Cherry Glazerr.

Bad Suns 5

Overall, what I mostly took away from my short amount of time at FPSF was that this festival isn't really for me anymore. The festival was packed with teenagers and early college students, and looking at the lineup it is easy to see why with acts such as Flume and Lorde headlining and the many electronic dance acts. The only people I really saw over the age of 30 were part of the media or security. In addition, the lineup was considerably scaled back from previous years, whereas the admission price was not.


I also found it hard to see what direction FPSF is going in. Obviously something has to be done about changing the weekend FPSF falls on. I understand festival organisers can't be blamed for the bad weather, but this was the fourth year in a row to be affected by rain. It was nice to see the venue back at Eleanor Tinsley Park, a much more scenic backdrop than the parking lot that was NRG. Unfortunately, the grass quickly turned to mud at the first sight of rain. Hopefully festival organizers get the hint that the first weekend of June is not a good time of year to host a 'Summer fest' next to a bayou that is known to flood.

It will be interesting to see what happens for next year's festival and what changes will be made because, right now, I can't say I would want to return.

Bad Suns 2
Bad Suns 6
Bad Suns 9
Bad Suns 14
Bad Suns 16
Cherry Glazerr 8
Cherry Glazerr 13
Cherry Glazerr 15
Cherry Glazerr 18
Cherry Glazerr 19
Cherry Glazerr 22
Cherry Glazerr 23
Dreamers 3
Frightened Rabbit 2
Frightened Rabbit 4
Frightened Rabbit 6
Khruangbin 1
Khruangbin 2