We in Austin are blessed with an unusually rich festival calendar. South by Southwest in the spring and Austin City Limits in the fall frame a year-long extravaganza scattered with musical gems like JMBLYA,Urban Music Festival, Austin Reggae Fest and Free Week. Beyond that, Sound on Sound Fest and Float Fest take place just outside the city limits.
Apparently, our neighbors in North Texas are not quite so lucky, and at least one area writer, Alex Macon of D Magazine is fairly certain that the new Starfest in Plano is not going to help. In a blistering piece titled “The Starfest Music Festival Will Not Be the Next Fyre Festival” he implies it totally will be — minus the beach and the Instagram models, that is.
The festival, announced today and scheduled to kick off Sept. 8, promises an “out of this world lineup” featuring 60 artists. So far, they’ve announced one, Lil Wayne.
Macon’s interview with the festival founder, a self-described ““marketing innovator and disruptive technologist,” does nothing to inspire confidence in the event, but the most damning part of his piece is a map that has now been deleted from the festival website. It splits the festival grounds, an open field, into four areas, placing the $140 general admission ticket-holders in the far back of field, an area the founder compares to the nosebleed sections of Dallas Cowboys football games. To add insult to injury, the map labels the general admission section “Groupon.”
Those wanting to actually see the performers on stage would be better off paying extra for one of the three sections, where, again, two-day passes range from $225 to $375. For comparison, three-day tickets to the well-established Austin City Limits, which announces its lineup comfortably in advance so that festival-goers know what they’re getting themselves into, go for $255.
Suffice it to say, we won’t recommend a road trip to the festival. If you’re dying to see Weezy at a fest, we recommend Mala Luna, produced by local powerhouse Scoremore, in San Antonio instead. (We assume that following logistical issues at Jmblya, they are stocking bottled water as we speak.)
We will however, be eagerly awaiting the Starfest live reports.