Sweetlife Festival 2014: FuseBox Radio Broadcast x BlackRadioIsBack.com Mini-Review & Pictures

This past weekend we were able to go out and attend the Sweetlife Festival being held at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD on May 10, 2014.

The 4th annual music festival and healthy lifestyle event has grown quite a bit from it's beginnings in the Georgetown area of D.C.  And with that exponential growth, there was a mixture of good and not so good with a few things during the day's happenings.

Good/Great Things:

  • The Diversity of Acts on Deck: From Dance and EDM sonics to Rock grooves to Hip-Hop beats on the indie and major label ends, each of the 3 stages had enough going on to find something folks were interested in hearing.

    And (happily) damn near everyone did a decent to stand up as hell job in performing (well, at least at the "dance in some way, shape or form" Treehouse Stage where I camped out from 2 pm until closing).
  • Ease of Transportation Getting To The Location: The private Rock & Bus service,  various shuttles, the MARC train and Howard County Transit ran relatively smoothly that Saturday, so it wasn't too bad getting to the concert venue at all via public transportation.

    Even folks who drove in weren't complaining too much about getting parking and directions to the action, which is a rarity.
  • Food Trucks & Samples of Eats Galore: Thank the Higher Power for those being out there along with Merriweather Post Pavilion's regular food selections to keep things pretty straight price & selection wise, from vegan treats to delicious health wrecking amazing monstrosities (Astro Donuts' Chicken BLT - great for everything except a waistline unless you exercise).

    Also, there were enough companies giving out decent snack samples to keep folks from starving throughout the 10+  hour day if you felt like being tight with your wallet.

Not So Good/Oh NO Things:
  • Some of the Audience: Perhaps I only dealt with relatively decent festival audiences throughout the years at events such as CMJ, North by Northeast and such, but I never ran into the stereotypical "we f***ing HATE jackass music festival hipster" types en masse until I went to this event.
    There were entirely too many people at Sweetlife trying to preen for a future VICE Magazine "Yes/No" fashion column, extremely rude young women (shoving like a blind herd of buffalo isn't going to get you up to the front row but a short person's elbow to the kidney), beer boozy dudebros galore and I'm sure so many poor flower families mourning their children's fate of being placed upon the heads of pseudo hippies.   

    While the acts were diverse, the crowd definitely WASN'T, which is a shame especially since the tickets for the event weren't too crazy.  There was enough Billboard Top 100 & up and coming musicians that deserved more of a balanced non-monochrome audience to perform to.
  • Too many folks in said majority monochrome crowd being a tad TOO happy chanting 2 Chainz "REAL N****A ALERT" line during his performance: ...yeah. Not too beat for that.
  • $6 Lemonade, $8 French Fries: WHUT.  I like Boardwalk Fries like everyone else but seriously...No.
  • Random A** Rain: Granted, this was nothing anyone had control over, but it was not awesome around the last end of the festival when the skies opened up and hit folks with heavy showers, getting people good and soaked on the way out of the event.

Overall, I mostly had a pretty good time at the Sweetlife Festival. 

Besides learning about some quality musicians I wasn't familiar with (the really talented EDM/House/Dance crews of ASTRCapital Cities where folks could actually sing, dance crazy hard and play instruments while bringing the fun), it was easy to get into the groove with others I listened to briefly beforehand (St. Lucia, who I definitely now see why they're damn near at every summer festival in 2014 thus far with their lively brand of Dance Rock), peep new age vets who did OK (rapper 2 Chainz, who came as a duo with his DJ and inadvertently made me feel old for asking "Who knows about Playaz Circle?" and the mostly below 23 crowd being silent as hell) and discovering folks who I already liked also have an  AWESOME stage how (Chromeo, who, Holy Crap, pulled out all the stops).

Hopefully, the event will keep on going and growing while promoting a solid lineup of acts to a  more diverse audience of music listeners that transcends the boundaries of mainstream radio station advertising/marketing demographics.

Hope that everyone dug the mini-review and enjoy all of the pictures of the performers, scenery and crowd on display from the Sweetlife Festival below! :) - DJ Fusion (FuseBox Radio Broadcast) 

 ** All pictures taken by Mary Nichols (DJ Fusion/FuseBox Radio Broadcast) under a "Creative Commons Attribution - No Derivatives" license. Please feel free to use & share them if you wish with attribution/credit to the photographer (besides these pictures, more our at the official FuseBox Radio Broadcast's Flickr Page and Behance/Prosite Page) ... thank you! **

Sweetlife Festival Audience:


St. Lucia:

Capital Cities:

2 Chainz: