For all of you wishing you were able to attend So What?! Music Festival on Memorial Day weekend in Arlington, Texas here’s your chance to live it. I know some may call me a little insane for flying from Delaware (I know my mom did), but I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity to network and make new friends.
Although the fest was Friday-Sunday, my trip started bright and early Thursday morning when I boarded my 6 am ET flight. Now I’m currently writing this on Monday at 5:27 am CST on my plane home. I should add I am not a morning person so I don’t know why I did this to myself not once, but twice.
On Friday I arrived at Choctaw Stadium at 9 am to volunteer with Fearless Records before my first set of the day. Doors were a little behind, but that’s expected for the first day of a huge festival, so alternative band Felicity had a small yet extremely energetic crowd. I also got the chance to interview them, which was one of the main highlights. They were so fun to talk to and I hope everyone goes and reads the interview when it’s up. Throughout the day I saw a ton of bands/artists I’ve been wanting to see for a while such as Hot Milk, who I couldn’t catch in Philly.
I got to interview glimmers as well, who are so chill to hang out with. Vocalist Maggie Schneider is a former member of Spinning Thoughts, so you know we throw all the support their way. Overall, I spent 14 hours at the venue on Friday which was the longest day of the weekend by far, and thankfully the coolest temperature wise.
I got to the venue on Saturday at 12 pm and didn’t have a set until 2:40 pm, which was Sarah Barrios. *Spoiler alert: you better jump on the train now because she’s going full speed ahead with no stops.
The best part of this day was recognizing photographers in the pit I had met Friday and chatting with them at almost every set. I’m definitely hoping to get to reconnect with them in the future since most were from the Texas area. Music highlight wise, the most memorable sets were from Stand Atlantic, With Confidence, and Heart Attack Man! They all just brought an insane amount of energy to a small crowd full of long time fans, with some head banging in the outskirts as they passedby. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time Saturday or Sunday to volunteer with Fearless as my priorities lied with Spinning Thoughts. As a newer concert photographer, I will say it hurt to be in the photo pit instead of the mosh pit for HAM’s performance of “Puke.”
Sunday was by far the busiest day, as someone who went primarily for pop-punk/alternative bands. I’m sure you’ve all seen the vague tweets about the idobi Radio stage hill. idobi and Hot Topic were the two pop-punk stages, so I really was “Runnin’ up that hill” all day. Highlights include Atlanta besties glimmers, Charlotte Sands and of course my favorite bands State Champs and Grayscale. There was a slight hiccup with security during Grayscale’s set, but I don’t blame anyone a part of the So What?! team. Baseball stadium security plus bands with a heavy amount of surfers is bound to equal some issues.
All in all, getting this opportunity was a huge honor. I mean, I got to share the photo pit and press room with people I’ve looked up to while shaping my own career. This festival really solidified where I want my career to go in the future and I would drop everything to experience it again. Mike Ziemer (founder of So What?!) has already started planning for 2023, so here’s your sign to go! Whatever your preferred music genre is there’s something for you at the festival, and who knows — you could end up discovering a bunch of new up and comers, just as I did.
Huge thanks are in order to Angelo for letting me represent Spinning Thoughts and have creative freedom over the content. If you missed the insta stories in real time they’re available as a highlight over on @spinthoughts. I would also love to shout out Big Picture Media for handling all the press and being an absolute pleasure to coordinate with. Lastly, thank you to Mike Ziemer himself for putting the whole festival together and allowing smaller content creators to be a part of the journey.
Please make sure to check out the rest of the So What?! content including interviews and photos. I spent around 35 hours total at the festival itself and too many hours to count putting this all together, so any and all support would be amazing. Make sure to tweet us @spinthoughts and @xMinexIsxGoldx and let us know if you’d like to see more festival coverage like this. Who knows, you could catch us at So What?! Music Festival 2023!
TAGS: So What?! Music Festival | Fearless Records | Felicity | Hot Milk | glimmmers | Sarah Barrios | Stand Atlantic | With Confidence | Heart Attack Man | idobi Radio | Charlotte Sands | State Champs | Grayscale | Mike Ziemer | Big Picture Media |