Festival Review: Disrupt Fest in Hartford, CT

Over the summer of 2019, Vans Warped Tour celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary with its final run of festival shows. During the time that the tour celebrated with its last couple of anniversary shows, a few other travelling punk rock festivals that sought to fill the void that the legendary Warped Tour would soon leave, popped up. One of the more notable that did so, was Disrupt Festival, sponsored by Rockstar Energy.

The festival launched its inaugural year visiting many of the same cities and venues that the Warped Tour once did, Including the XFINITY theater in Hartford CT, which is where I was able to get the pleasure of experiencing this festival for the very first time.

The tour brought a wide variety of bands to the festivals dual stage setup, Including The Used, Circa Survive, Sleeping With Sirens, The Story So Far and Four Year Strong, among others. The first thing to be noticed about the tour is the lineup. The disrupt festival line up, as stacked as it was, was considerably smaller than that of the Warped Tour, lacking the several stage setup to showcase the smaller and indie bands like Warped did. With that being said, I really enjoyed the two-stage setup in which half the bands played on a stage in the parking lot for the first half of the day, and the remainder of the bands played on the amphitheater stage. With this, even though there were significantly fewer bands, there were no overlapping set times giving fans the opportunity to catch every band on the lineup, eliminating that daunting moment where you would have to decide between you two favorite bands, and also allowing fans to maybe catch band that they might not have seen otherwise. For me, that was Hyro The Hero, and I am so glad I did get to see him. The hardcore rapper that opened the show was a wildly fun and energetic way to start the day, and if it were not for the simple two stage setup at disrupt, I may never have discovered how awesome he is.

The other notable upside to a smaller lineup, is each individual band set times. The headlining bands at disrupt festivals got to play longer sets, unlike at Warped Tour shows where even the headliners got at most 35 minutes. Bands like The Used and Circa Survive played full hour-long sets, complete with intricate light and stage setups as if it were their own show rather than a festival set. It was super exciting to catch full sets from those bands in a setting that was unmistakably a festival, but had the feel of a headline show.

While it was a bit smaller than other travelling festivals have been in the past, The first ever Disrupt Festival Tour was an incredibly fun experience that I could not have been more thrilled to be part of, and I am very intrigued to see its future in the scene.

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