It’s new, it’s hip, and it’s quickly becoming the hottest ticket for the summer: All Points West. Originally considered “Coachella East”, the New Jersey-based festival hit the market in the summer of ’08 with the likes of Radiohead (two nights!), Kings of Leon, and The Roots. Immediately, festival goers across America clogged Jersey City and created massive pandemonium. The result? An incredibly successful weekend for AEG Live and Goldenvoice, though one hectic, rushed, and chaotic one for music fans.
As with any new festival, they live to learn, and as organizers try to improve their product, festival goers should take some precautions, as well. That’s why Consequence of Sound put together another 100% safeguarded, primo Festival Survival Guide all for your safety, benefit, and good fortune.
How nice, right? Well, get packin’!
Location, Location, Location
Just as it was last year, All Points West returns to Liberty State Park — a patch of land on the Upper New York Bay in Jersey City just opposite of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Historically, Liberty State Park has been a major waterfront and harbor, supplying a lifeline for New York City but after the decline of railroad that began in the early 20th Century, the island became a wasteland of refuse and overgrown foliage. On Flag Day, June 14, 1976, New Jersey gifted the country with a clean and beatified Liberty State Park including the renovation of the Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal (CRRNJ) in celebration of our bicentennial.
The CRRNJ was where many immigrants would hop on a train after checking through Ellis Island. The organizers of APW responded to the location by assigning the name of each stage according to a major train line that was once used to cart off immigrants to New Jersey and the West.
The Blue Comet, Bullet, and Queen of the Valley stages hosted a massive litany of bands such as Radiohead, Girl Talk, and the Roots in its inaugural event. But as our own “Coachella East” expands this year, the list gets bigger and better with the likes of Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs, My Bloody Valentine, Tool, Coldplay, MGMT, and now the newly added Jay Z (among the insane company of the greatest bands of the last few years) who replaced the Beastie Boys due to recent MCA’s health problems.
Unfortunately, there are no campgrounds on site but it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t pack as if you were setting up for a three night stay. July and August can get ridiculously hot in New York/New Jersey area, so here’s what you should bring to keep you nice and comfy.
- Cash – Once inside, credit cards will not be accepted; however there will be ATMs in the most convenient places so you can enjoy all of the fun drinks and food.
- Sun block – You know how it gets up here in the dead of summer. Hot. Blistering hot.
- Medium to small backpacks – Since your days will be long, you may want to carry one of these around.
- Small beach towels – These are allowed. This is a rain or shine event so keep that in mind.
- Ponchos – You never know how if the weather will comply with your idea of a good time so you may want to pack this in your backpack.
- Sunglasses – Your eyes. Your precious eyes.
How to Get to All Points West
One of the perks in having a festival in an urban area is the ease in which to get there. Much like Lollapalooza, this is a non-camping event with no places to stay at the festival. There are a number of ways to get to Liberty State Park, either by car, by train, by boat or bike. You name it, it’s available. Since APW and Liberty State Park are eco-friendly, the best means of getting there is via mass transit.
The easiest way to the festival is via waterway. The scenic ferry route provides a quick hop from Manhattan into New Jersey. Roundtrip tickets are $15 dollars in advance, $20 week of the show, and $25 at the ferry box office. You can purchase advance tickets at Ticketmaster. To get on the ferry just make your way to Battery Park Pier from there the ferry starts at noon and continues all day until the festival ends and everyone is back safe and sound.
Another way, which in turn could be the cheapest way, is the free Light Rail run by the New Jersey Transit. You can check out APW’s fantastic list on the various connections where you can drop off your car and ride the Light Rail. The mass transit way is taking the E train to the World Trade Center, which is the last stop. From there hop on a PATH train to Hoboken or Exchange Place and get onboard the Light Rail on the Hudson-Bergen line. The Light Rail runs every five to ten minutes and, as always, expect some crowding. A roundtrip fare will cost you $8 dollars ($2.25 for a ride on the subway wit one transfer, and a $1.75 to get on the PATH train).
You can ride your bike or have a nice scenic walk along the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway. Once in New Jersey you can follow the walkway in Hoboken or Jersey City, just stay on the route to the festival and enjoy all the sights!
Where Am I? Where Do I Go to See My Favorite Band Ever?
Well, luckily for you APW is a lot smaller and centralized than some of the bigger fests. First things first, the gates open at noon and last year the earliest any act went on was at 12:45p.m. Last year there were three stages, Blue Comet was the main stage, the Bullet stage was in the middle and the Queen of the Valley stage was the stage closest to the entrance. A change we do know about is the Queen of the Valley stage will be a tent, bringing in some Coachella flavor to the East coast. The tent will house electronic acts, comedians as well as bands. There was also a cool little arts and interactive dance and multimedia section run by The Do Lab last year which will be back again.
Another thing that will be back again, much to the chagrin of many patrons, will be the separate sections for beer drinking as well as a beer limit. That’s right, you can’t take your beer with you to watch a band or get as drunk as you can be. They upped the limit to seven this year as opposed to five last year. Food areas were located near Blue Comet and Queen of the Valley last year, in addition to several shade tents and free water located throughout. There were also smoking lounges as well as your usual merch tents. The full list of activities or a map has yet to be posted, but expect one shortly.
This is straight from the event’s official site, so this is about as legitimate as it gets.
- OK Backpacks (medium)
- OK Hats
- OK Sun Block
- OK Lighters
- OK Cell Phones
- OK Sunglasses
- OK Cigarettes
- OK Small Beach Towel
- OK All Ages Welcome
- OK Fanny Packs
- OK Digital Cameras (Non-Pro)
- OK Disposable Cameras
- OK Film Cameras (Non-Pro)
- Doors open at noon all 3 days
- Show ends 11:30pm all 3 days
- Box-office open 11am-8pm all 3 days
- All Ages Welcome
- NO Ins & Outs
- Ages 5 & Under free
- Rain or Shine
- ATMs will be available on site
- Line up/set times subject to change
- Everyone subject to search upon entry
- Food/Beverage & other items are sold at the venue for CASH only.
- Tickets to be picked up at will call / box-office require matching I.D.
- Set times will be posted a few days before the festival.
Written by Carlos Detres and Charles Poladian