Houston’s Whatever Fest was… Well, just that.
Whatever Fest is a two-day music and comedy festival in Houston. Over 40 musical acts and comedians were scheduled to perform over the weekend on five stages.
“We went to get experience interviewing artists and stuff like that,” KNWD General Manager Courtney Page said. “That was the plan, but not many artists stayed and there wasn’t much communication.”
The festival’s attendance and lineup were hurt by the inflammatory transphobic comments that one of the event’s founders made. Several performers––including Giant Kitty, Rose Ette, Roky Moon, BOLT! and Hari Kondabolu––pulled out of the festival after these comments.
Saturday’s events were located outside as planned, but some of the performers were problematic. One of the comedians started his show with a rape joke.
The threat of inclement weather on Sunday affected the festival as well. The festival was moved to Warehouse Live and The Secret Group.
“The two locations were two blocks from each other,” Page said.
“They underwent something that [KNWD has] to worry about, too,” Page said. “DemonFest is an outdoor festival, so we have to think about a backup plan in case it rains. If it does, we’ll move the festival to Prather.”
Because the festival workers had to set up all of the equipment inside the clubs, Sunday’s kickoff time was delayed. The festival was supposed to start at 11:30 a.m., but the doors did not open until around 1 p.m. There was not much communication between the festival’s organizers and ticket holders, so there was lots of confusion. As a result, many people left before the day’s events began.
Bands were also affected by the poor communication. On their Twitter page, The Wrecks stated that they cancelled their set because the proper equipment was not provided for them and their set time was changed multiple times.
Although Sunday started off rough, those who stayed for the festival seemed to enjoy themselves, especially when headliner AWOLNATION took the stage.
“We expected a lot more; it was similar to one of the first DemonFests,” Page said. “Even though our festival experience wasn’t that great, we had a lot of fun with each other.”
Although Whatever Fest was a little rocky, Courtney Page believes it is important to support growing festivals.
“We hope they improve like DemonFest is improving, and we would love to keep supporting them in any way we can.”