Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Wassup, Langerado?

Langerado, the South Florida jamband/rock/more fest that has gathered a legion of devotees, apparently ran into some logistical issues during this year's event at Big Cypress -- namely, huge traffic jams on the road leading to the event, and some crowding-related camping hassles.

I've never been to Langerado, although I've been eying the lineup - and thinking about going - for several years. I've heard great things about the performances.

Looks like I missed the boat on enjoying the music-and-camping incarnation of Langerado: Next year's fest, set for March 6-8, is being relocated from the swampy woods to various locations around Miami.

The announcement of the lineup for the '09 event has long been slated for November. Not sure how likely it is, at this point, that the info will be released by Monday.

No matter who's slated to play - with the reunited Phish playing Hampton during the same time period, that rumor/wish has now been squashed - some of Langerado's faithful are mighty hacked off by the change from country to city setting.

Max Paderewski, on the fest's Facebook site, had this to say (posting it as is, with the profanity excised):

"So i've been to langerado the past two years. The first year, it was in Sunrise, and that was a pretty good venue. Last year, in Big Cypress, it sucked ---. The dirt road to get in was so jammed with traffic, there were ants all over the campground, and the land was hilly and had shitty grass. I'm glad they've moved from Big Cypress.

But no camping for this year? That is ridiculous. They are turning a legit festival into a pseudo-fest like Lolla (which had an amazing lineup this year btw). You can't expect me to stay in a hotel; that is not happening. So what am I to do? Langerado, you have ------ me."

Can't say as I blame Max and the other angry commenters for how they're feeling, as a camping festival can be an awful lot more laidback and fun, and less expensive, than a cityside fest. For starters, out-of-towners will have to pony up for at least two nights' lodging.

And for some, particularly in this shaky economy, that will make the new Langerado too expensive to attend.

I expect that the loss of the camping festgoers, though, will be offset by the attendance of those who like the idea of going to a show at a non-camping concert venue, and then going home to a nice, clean, comfortable bed. There's lots to be said for that, too, particularly if your schedule doesn't permit a 3-4 day jaunt in the woods (and a couple of days off work).

Meanwhile, the Bear Creek Music & Arts Festival, which I had the chance to attend last weekend at Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park near Live Oak, is poised to become the Sunshine State's best all-round jamband fest - lineup was first rate, crowds were manageable, and weather was spectacular (if quite chilly on Saturday night).

I reviewed the fest for Relix mag. I'll post pics and more thoughts later. Here's hoping that Bear Creek returns in '09.

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