This year, I made a pact to myself; I would spend the 25th summer of my life shaking my flower-rimmed afro in the sunshine. Beer in one hand, makeshift musical instrument of some sort in the other, as I took on any music festival that MTA or MegaBus could get me to.
I kicked off what I thought would be sun-soaked festivities with a bus ride down to Washington DC to attend The Sweetlife 2013 Food and Music Festival, plastic tambourine jacked from a children’s birthday party in tow.
I couldn’t, but the weatherman could say rain, rain and more rain.
Let me start this off with where it ended.
Some pretty freaking rad performances.
AND MORE MUD.
I went to the festival with full intentions of snapping some on-the-scene street style, hoping to capture the essence of festival fashion at the event held at the Merriweather Pavillion (a one hour bus ride away from Washington DC, which I traveled to on the Rock and Bus, which had the absolute worst customer service known to man) but in the end, we were all cut from the same, drenched rag.
I arrived, scoped the style on the scene that mostly consisted of short cut-off denim shorts and bandeau tops (seriously, this looked like a Forever 21 ad campaign) and before running to shake my aforementioned tambourine and afro along to the sounds of Solange, who was set to hit the main stage at 1:40, I ran into a GlobalGrind reader who was serving up some head wrap goodness.
I loved @burningoil_n_incense’s personal flair tied in with the venue appropriate attire. She looked comfy, fun, and ready to rage.
Next stop, after grabbing some eats, was to the main stage to check out Solange’s set.
Solange rocked out in her retro-chic Kenzo minidress with white heels and a ‘fro spared from the humidity. She performed hits from her EP True, before turning the crowd into a “middle school dance party” and covering a version of her “favorite Texan” Selena’s “I Could Fall in Love.”
After shaking, dancing and instrument-shaking to my little heart’s content, Solange closed her show and I was on the search for more street style.
Animal masks were on the scene during the Haerts’ set:
And what is a music festival without seeing the senorita with flowers in her hair?
Some of the concertgoers had a more creative approach to rain protection that involved astronaut suits.
And others, like this concertgoer, opted for funky frames and sensible shoes (wearing sandals was apparently just a mistake made by a festival novice like me).
All was good and well with the weather, until Kendrick Lamar was about to hit the stage. We sat on the grass, awaiting his stage arrival, when the rain clouds rolled on in and torrential downpours threated the concert’s livelihood.
Those clouds meant business.
But rather than being a damper about it, crafty music fans concocted a makeshift slip-n-slide out of a tarp for strangers and friends alike to take their chance busting their ass in rain, water and mud.
Weather aside, Kendrick Lamar hit the stage and opened up with a few tracks from good kid, m.A.A.d. City, before dropping the beat for A$AP Rocky’s “Fuckin Problems.” Then something magical happened…
The sky opened right the fuck up, like almost on cue. Guess Mother Nature is a fan of the hit.
Passion Pit got everyone’s hands up…and the lines to the bathroom got longer as everyone got drunker and muddier.
And the Yeah Yeah Yeahs upped the energy, and made the crowd go a little insane when they dropped into their hit song “Maps.”
And alas, the grand close came from Phoenix, as they brought on the rain once again with an hour long set that I could barely shake my tired behind to.
But at no point was I tired enough to cuddle up in the mud like this couple behind me, who spooned through the entire Phoenix set in pouring rain…they say love keeps you warm, but I am not sure how warm.
All-in-all, Sweetlife 2013 was the rainwater Coachella could have used. It was the sandal cemetery that we never want to visit again, and weather conditions aside, a damn good show. With three stages and varying genre lineups, there was a musical act for every musical palate, and a local food truck on the scene for every gastronome’s palate.
Although all hopes of shooting street style were washed out in muddy rainstorms, I did learn a few style lessons:
1. Always wear closed shoes.
2. Buy that $5 poncho from the strange man outside of the venue.
3. Lip balm is the perfect alternative to makeup remover when the rain decides your cat eyes shall be no more.
I survived #Sweetlife2013 to tell the tale and will continue my hair shaking quest of liberation throughout the summer. Stay tuned.
Rachel is the Style Editor for GlobalGrind.com, proud graduate of a SUNY school, and as sarcastic as they come. Follow her on Twitter for random daily ramblings @MiissHislop and on Instagram for as many puppy photos and selfies as you can handle @AmazingRach
Photos courtesy of Sweetlife and My handy dandy tiny pink Nikon CoolPix.
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