Voodoo Fest is so incredibly different than last year. We have beautiful weather, but the ground is so parched that people are basically tripping over roots and uneven ground all the time, so be careful if you head out! Don’t run for anything. The beautiful weather is also bringing really huge crowds out. It was harder to find a spot to chill out on this popular day; there are people everywhere almost like Jazz Fest, but still not quite as bad. The big difference is that the people are far more laid-back than they are at the way too overcrowded fest.
I wanted to check out some of the vendors on this day, as well as discovering new music I haven’t heard yet. As I was walking over to the 1893 Tasting Lounge, I caught some of Léon; she’s a Swedish chanteuse specializing in soulful, bluesy ballads. She definitely had a raspy, cool voice and carried herself with great confidence for someone who had never performed at a festival, as she said.
The 1893 Tasting Lounge is an area dedicated to the new colas of Pepsi. They’re old-school, master-blended, natural ingredient-concocted colas with original and ginger flavors. Just to prove their worth, you can get a few signature cocktails made with these delicious colas, and you can taste some local hot sauce to pair with it. The Lounge also features a cola sampling area and chargers for those of you burning through your batteries.
Surprisingly, wine is huge with the young Millennial crowd at Voodoo, and Cupcake Wine is all the rage. Cupcake is sold throughout the festival, but the Cupcake Vineyard is a great place to get some wine, relax in the shade, and even play a few games like giant Jenga with your pals. But that’s not all! Take your cup of wine (I chose prosecco because I’m fancy like that) over to the Cupcake Truck and they’ve got some super delicious and sophisticated popsicles for you to pair your wine with. You might as well just throw it in your cup and swirl it around. The Lemon Basil was absolutely perfect for prosecco.
If you’ve been the fest or are following it closely, you will have noticed there’s a lot of acts performing at the Toyota Den. The always busy tent features a small stage amongst their cars, and Toyota has allowed some of the fest bands to play again on their stage. It’s great because you can see your favorite band in an extremely intimate setting. The drawback is that everyone wants to see that band in that setting. There’s so many people who are just setting up at the tent now. Reignwolf was one of the most popular shows, but I know that Saint Motel was a close second in crowds if not a tie. Toyota has also paired with VH1’s Save the Music program and plan on donating instruments and resources to kids in Chicago soon. Stay tuned to find out what happens today at the Toyota Den; you won’t be disappointed!
The band I really wanted to see the most was Die Antwoord; the South African avant-garde rap duo wasn’t a band I thought that I would get into, but something about them captured me. I was so excited to see them live, but as many rap groups do, they play their tunes and rap along with them. If Die Antwoord did it, it wasn’t quite as blatant, but they still followed their recorded music very closely. What I like about seeing music at festivals is that bands will do different things, new songs, cover songs, jam for a while. They’ll explore their sound since they’ve got a captive, yet relaxed audience. Die Antwoord’s show was incredibly fun, don’t get me wrong. They came to entertain, but it was not quite what I was hoping for either.