As we made the scenic venture to TBD Fest, passing farm after farm driving down Highway 99 from Chico, one would wonder what the state's capitol would have to offer the festival scene. However after entering the city, we came upon our exit over seeing what could only be described as a mini Coachella right in the heart of ‘Sac-Town’. The festival included multiple genres ranging from; hip hop, electronic, alternative, funk, metal, and various degrees of those, as well as local vendors, live and interactive art, game stations, local food trucks, and artisanal coffee, beer, wine, and food. I expected the place to be covered with girls in big floppy hats and guys in neutral colors. Afterall, I brought my large floppy brimmed hat and neutral combat boots.
But what we found as we settled into the VIP section, just past the arcade games, corn hole, life sized jenga, and acrobats, was that this festival is much different than the Coachella we all see Instagram’s and celebrity blogs about. At TBD Fest everyone is whoever they want to be.
Many festivals, especially within the electronic music community, promote the ideal that one can dress and be whoever he wants without judgment when in the grounds. While that is a reality of many festivals, there is always a look that most participants go for such as ‘hipster clothes’ for Coachella or ‘rave clothes’ for EDC. I was happily surprised when I couldn’t settle one common style that TBD Fest attendees wore. There were girls in unitards, dudes in fraternity tanks, moms in sundresses, hippies in tie dye, guys covered in black and combat boots, and even kids running around in their everyday school clothes. You can’t place the crowd of TBD in any one category, making it the most unique festival I have had the chance to attend.
Aside from the style, the size and location of the event could not have been beat. Located alongside the Sacramento river, the festival featured the illuminated Ziggurat building, a pyramidal building covered in lights currently leased by the California Department of General Services, the vibrant yellow Tower Bridge, the free flowing Sacramento River as well as the towering Sacramento skyline which overlooked it all. TBD had an intimate yet busy feel to it as it held an estimated 21,000 music and art lovers alike. The five stages had people happily moving from one location to the next, never in a rush just excited for the next adventure. Adversely, many festivals have all their stages entertaining fans at the same time and yet TBD only had two or three stages running at all times: another positive, as my partner and I have found that we forget to enjoy the art and atmosphere of festivals when always scurrying from one artist’s set to the next.
The all encompassing interactive atmosphere that TBD Fest provides rises above its equivalents. It is a weekend event for people of all kinds to center themselves in the nature, music, art, and craft of the Sacramento area. TBD is a festival of the people. TBD Fest is a very prized possession of Sacramento.
Keep posted to check out all the incredible sights and sounds we were able to experience, as well as who we loved, and were taken by surprise by at Sacramento’s musical crown jewel, TBD Fest.
AUTHOR CREDIT: KRYSTINA RICCIO