Photography by Philip Cosores
There are reasons that outdoor music festivals in February aren’t a thing. Namely, the weather. Even in typically sunny Southern California, even as the region tries to pull itself out of a draught and has been enjoying unseasonably warm weather all winter, even when the music festival is tagged as a ski and snowboarding competition — there are still reasons why Air + Style was destined to disappoint. Today is the second day of the event, and it is forecasted to rain. Couple that with the fact the Academy Awards are the marquee event for the region on this Sunday and the fact that the festival disappointed on its first day, and, well, you can understand why we’re just writing this review rather than taking in another day of tunes.
So, yeah, poor planning was part of the problem this weekend at the grounds surrounding the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. Lines for beer and bathrooms were reported in the 30-minute to one-hour range at peak, which is just unacceptable. Who knows how long the food truck lines actually took, as they were just too lengthy to even consider waiting in. And the music, which was slated to be a marquee attraction, was muted throughout the event (especially on the main stage), with no real explanation as to why volume was an issue at a music festival.
We’ll let the blurbs explain more of why the music was very hit and miss on the first day of Air + Style, but before, we should note that the sporting aspect of the day seemed to be its best offering. The coverage of the event is partnered with ABC and ESPN and was filmed for television, so that shit was all pro, all the way. The ramp that was constructed was gigantic and impressive. Organizer Shaun White dabbles in both the extreme sporting world and the music world, but it was very clear, both from watching his band and from attending his event, that he is much more adept in one than the other.