The Best Non-Festival Ever
In an alternate universe somewhere, I'm standing on the Loufest grounds in Forest Park as the festival approaches its close. But that is not the one I live in. This year's festival was canceled last minute due to mismanagement and weather and will likely not recover. Its sad to see that happen. And yet I find myself content and prideful for a different reason.
Many bands had cleared their calendars to play and vendors had stocked up with food, apparel and other items for revelers. The questions quickly became, "do we have somewhere to play?" and "what do we do with all this inventory?" Bands may have passed up other paying gigs and vendors may have called in credit advances to bolster their stockpiles and to make matters worse, many had perishable items on their hands.
While I do not know at this moment what became of each band and vendor, I am proud of my city for organizing #inLieuFest on such short notice. Popup events seemed to be happening everywhere and reports I heard from many I didn't attend were those of people crowding in. When a group of friends and I dropped in at 2nd Shift Brewing on Saturday afternoon, the expansive and usually tame brewery was jammed with people at every table and I would bet more than 40 people were waiting in line for beer.
Our city rose to support its artisans and small businesses in a difficult moment. Some may have come out better than others and for some it may still have been a massive blow. But while some in our city were quick to say, "another blackeye for St. Louis", or some other variant of that statement, many of us got work rallying behind the people and places we love in the place we call home. For this, I am proud and happy.
Go Forth Boldly St. Louis