Festival Review: Sad Summer Fest in Denver

Review & Photos by Yara Al-badri

Photographed: Miki Rich, Yara-Al-badri & Potter of Stand Atlantic

For as long as I could remember, summer has always meant tours, with Warped Tour coming to an end the announcement of Sad Summer was exciting; A new summer tour to look forward to, a second chance to create lifelong memories with favored artist and friends. For it being Sad Summer’s first ever run of the tour it was incredibly organized and an overall calm environment to be around. From the get-go, Sad Summer made it their first priority to make sure the festival was a safe environment for everyone, the first “rule” of the festival being consent. It was expected that every attendee and performer abide by the guidelines in ensuring a safe and secure environment, it was also made clear that if anything were to happen while attending the festival staff and performers were available to talk to and report any violations of said guidelines.

Photographed: John O’Callaghan of the Maine, Yara Al-badri, Liz Holland

With it being an outdoor summer festival, heat and hydration was everyone's first concern, Sad Summer allowed water bottles into the venue provided that the caps were off and the bottles were empty of any liquids. When entering the festival, a free refill station was provided, constantly being refilled and monitored by staff to ensure that everyone stayed hydrated during the summer temperatures. Vendors also offered ice cold water bottles that were cheap in cost compared to other festivals, further showing that Sad Summer wanted to ensure the safety of every festival goer. Now let’s get to the important part, the reason why we all went to Sad Summer in the first place - the bands. Not only was it a calm environment but it being only one main stage with bands going on every 1-2 hours, it made for a more intimate setting and a lot less stressful.

Photographed from left to right : Amii Meneses, Yara Al-badri and Liz Holland

There were zero worries of missing a band you’ve wanted to see due to conflicting set times. Not only that but it allowed a break between the pits and the surfing to grab a cold drink, check out some merch, and say hey to a couple of bands. The sets themselves were incredible, living up the energy that this summer deserved, the bands were incredibly kind and ensured that everyone had a safe and pleasant experience, with nothing but a positive outcome when leaving the venue. There is no doubt that Sad Summer has the potential to grow and become one of the biggest festivals in the scene, the first run was an experience that every music lover will talk about for the rest of their lives. It’s a bragging right to say that “I attended the first ever Sad Summer.” That being said, thank you Sad Summer, thank you to every hard-working staff members and most importantly thank you to The Maine for making it all possible.