This weekend Hampton Roads was introduced to the LAVA Music Festival at the Executive Airport in Suffolk. The AltDaily Extended Family was out in full force, taking in the sun, music, and that brand new festival smell.
From our team we had Hannah Serrano, Jesi Owens, David Paul Kleinman, Elliott Moore Addesso, and Joe Sleeper. Overall, we were very impressed–for a first festival, that was some seriously high production value and organization, DPK noted–but there’s always room for growth.
what we loved
[images in this section by Joe Sleeper]
The lineup: great mix of local and national. [hs]
How well organized the inner logistics seemed to be, tons of facilities (never been to a festival where the hand sinks didn’t run out of soap and water), the extra amenities (arcade lounge, human Foosball and rock wall were fun additions). [hs]
Setup–parking, getting from stage to stage, restrooms, food trucks, merch, etc. were all very easy to navigate. Also loved the decent amount of activities outside of music (beer pong, arcade, etc.) [jo]
Flow of bands. There was never long after a band finished on one stage when the next band started on the other. [js]
Discovering a new favorite. I hadn’t really known much about Robert DeLong (below) prior to the festival, but left a big fan. [jesse]
what we liked
[images in this section by Elliott Moore Addesso]
Each band had a decent amount of time to play. No band seemed less important and rushed. [js]
People parachuting from the sky was extra entertainment for everyone! [js]
The location: hard to get to in time for the first band, but otherwise a perfect festival site, plus you can watch sky divers. [hs]
The sound quality: heard a couple issues with speakers, but they were quickly rectified. [hs]
The crowd it drew: lots of people I knew, but mostly people I didn’t know, said Hannah. DPK agreed, noting he loved the fact that there were a lot of young people, including some obvious Daddy-Daughter dates.
what we hope they improve upon next year
[images in this section by David Paul Kleinman]
So sunny! Create some more shaded areas somehow. [js]
Tokyo Police Club.
More straight up cooling stations. Not just the lounge, but a tent that’s just for shade, and those fans that spray misty water on you. [hs]
Could have used a folk singer (early? third stage?) and perhaps–get ready to groan–a jamband. Something like Galactic or Lettuce or Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe to lay down the funk in the mid-afternoon. [dpk]
Main thing would be posting the lineups in prominent places so everyone knows who is playing next and at what times, said Hannah. Jesi enthusiastically agreed, saying knowing who is playing next is a good thing and when your phone dies you can’t rely on the site anymore.
Kishi Bashi, this pic and next.
Local artist/vendor section, an interactive art element (maybe a graffiti or autograph wall), more visual art/artists. [ea]
More stuff to buy or rent to make your day easy (stuff like sunscreen, flip flops, tank tops, floppy hats) or rent (like folding chairs–I brought a blanket not realizing it’s largely concrete vs grass). [jo]
Camping, shuttles, Suffolk hotel takeover. They were smart to not overextend to every great idea possible, but next year making it more of an all-inclusive, possibly 24 hours+ experience could take it to the next level.