Langerado Music Festival Takes on a New Location

You’re on a grassy field, squeezing through a massive crowd of dancing strangers encased in a cloud of marijuana smoke. Then, finally, you see the stage where one of your favorite bands is playing.

    This is Langerado, an outdoor music festival founded in 2003. It has become increasingly popular with every passing year. But with the festival’s 2009 move to Miami from the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation in the Everglades, many concert-goers have their doubts about going.

    “I might not even go to the 2009 Langerado,” says Lauren Birth, a junior psychology major who attended the festival in 2008. “I love music festivals, but a festival in downtown Miami? Come on! Why would you go from a festival on isolated land, surrounded by nothing but trees and grass, to a festival in the middle of a noisy, hectic city, surrounded by buildings and cars? It just doesn’t make any sense.”

    The 2009 Langerado Music Festival, shortened from four days to three days, is the weekend of March 6 – 8. Since it will be held in Miami, a four-day event would have interfered with a busy workday.

    Many fans are greatly upset over the festival’s shortened duration, but this is only the first of many disappointments for fans.

    “First of all, Miami freaking sucks. Who cares about the nightlife; it’s not what a music festival should be about. And the fact that now it’s being reduced from lasting four days to three? This festival seems to be going downhill,” says Cindy Brunetto, a sophomore undecided major at FAU.

    The shift in the music genre of the artists is tremendous, according to fans. Last year’s artists were more considered “jam bands,” and this year’s lineup of artists is quite the opposite.

    “The new bands are way too commercialized. Death Cab for Cutie? Dashboard Confessional? Are you kidding me? Yeah, I’m really looking forward to going to a festival full of emo high school kids!” says Birth.

    Last year’s Langerado was held in a large but enclosed outdoor area in the middle of nowhere, whereas, according the official Langerado Web site, “The 7th Annual Langerado will feature live music on multiple stages spread throughout Bicentennial Park — late night shows will take place at multiple venues throughout Miami, including downtown, the Miami Design District and world famous South Beach.” Fans will have to drive from stage to stage, rather than being able to walk from stage to stage like last year at the reservation.

    “Let’s spread the festival throughout Miami so we can drive around messed up,” says Kevin King, an FAU economics grad student who attended Langerado in 2008. “Music festivals are widely known for their high drug and alcohol consumption. The last thing we need is for people to be driving from concert to concert all throughout Miami in that state of mind.”

    But the major reason why many fans are outraged at the location change is that the festival will no longer provide on-site camping, which gave the festival a more traditional festival feeling.

    Many even compared the festival to a modern day Woodstock, a three-day music festival held in rural New York in 1969. Performers included Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, the Grateful Dead, Santana and The Who.

    “Last year, there was a 15-mile single-lane road on the highway, and it was difficult for attendees coming for single days. We just want to make it as easy for fans and especially the bands that are coming to play a great show,” said festival co-producer Ethan Schwartz to www.Billboard.com in an interview about why the festival
changed venues.

    “We are trying to get as many people as possible to either call or e-mail them and voice their dissatisfaction with this move to Miami,” says Rugh Cline, a member of the Langerado Music Festival Fan Club. “Specifically, we are trying to get people to demand Langerado provide on-site camping. Also, we are trying to get people to demand the concert be held at one — and only one — location and not spread across a city.”

    So if you’re a Langerado Music Festival fan and are as unhappy about the festival changes as many other fans are, make time to call or e-mail, and tell the Langerado people directly how dissatisfied you are with the venue change. But if you still want to go, take a cab from stage to stage if you are going to be drinking.

For more information and a full list of bands, log on to www.langerado.com.

THE 2009 LANGERADO LINE-UP:

Death Cab For Cutie • Snoop Dogg • Thievery Corporation (Live) • Slightly Stoopid • Ryan Adams and the Cardinals • Dashboard Confessional • The Pogues • Matisyahu • Flogging Molly • Michael Franti & Spearhead • Broken Social Scene • Cafe Tacuba • Umphrey’s McGee • The Disco Biscuits • Robert Randolph & The Family Band • Pepper • The Faint • Cold War Kids • Steel Pulse • Public Enemy • Gym Class Heroes • Tricky • Girl Talk • Chromeo • Mute Math • Bad Brains • Ozomatli • Against Me! • George Clinton & Parliament / Funkadelic • Tortoise • DeVotchKa • Black Kids • Grupo Fantasma • Holy Fuck • Budos Band • Tokyo Police Club • Lotus • The Virgins • The Gaslight Anthem • King Khan and the Shrines • Lucero • Murs • Ra Ra Riot • Tortured Soul • Rebelution • K’Naan • The Egg • Zac Brown Band • Tigercity • The Aggrolites • Cloud Cult • Spam Allstars • Rachel Goodrich • Blue King Brown • The Heavy Pets • Awesome New Republic • The Postmarks • Suenalo • Live Painting by LEBO

Additional artists to be announced.