As we’re sure you’ve heard by now, Elements Music Festival was pretty unorthodox this past Labor Day weekend. Heading into the weekend, attendees from all over the country couldn’t wait to have some fun, as festivals were being canceled left and right due to Hurricane Ida. However, upon their arrival, it appears that things were far from what was expected.
Before we begin, here’s the statement the festival has just released.
Arriving at Elements Festival
Set in Lakewood, PA, this was the festival’s fourth time on the grounds. Many of the issues stemmed from getting to the parking lots and then to the campsites. Hundreds of attendees paid top dollar to park in convenient lots, and then hop into a shuttle into the festival. Due to the hurricane, the grounds to enter were covered in mud, cars and shuttles got stuck, and little to no movement (10 hour+ wait for some) was the result.
Based on many stories, it looks like the arrival process went like this:
- Arrive at festival grounds early morning for check in.
- Wait multiple hours in line to then to be directed to a parking lot.
- Finally park car in muddy field and carry all belongings to security (nothing was searched).
- Stand for more than an hour for a UHaul/Penske truck to transport attendee belongings to campsites.
- Wait for school bus to pick up attendees and bring them to the campsites.
- Slowly drive in bus for an hour+ to get to the campsite (traffic from people and cars everywhere).
- Find camping spot (staff unsure of where camps were located) and set up camp.
Camping at the Festival
A Facebook page, “Elements Shit Show 2021,” has been the main source for everyone to share their horror stories. The page now has over 5k members. It is full of experiences, videos, and photos, both negative and positive.
There were multiple rumors going around speculating what made the festival operate so poorly this year. Some said that the festival increased the capacity by thousands from previous years. Others said the impact of the weather on the grounds made the festival uninhabitable. Lastly, no cell phone service definitely slowed down all communication across the venue.
Because of these issues, there became a cascading effect of craziness that lead to overflowing bathrooms, vendors running out of food, little access to water, vehicles constantly being stuck, and poor camping conditions overall.
Was Anything Fun?
Although the conditions were tough, we were able to enjoy some of our favorite shows of music ever. From Bob Moses to Chris Lake, Ganja White Night to Desert Hearts, the good parts of Elements were simply magical. Surrounding yourself with your loved ones, meeting new friends, and dancing the night away with fireworks exploding in the sky is always a special treat. The Air Stage and Earth Stage were two of our favorite stages.
What’s next for Elements Music Festival?
The hurricane and oversell of tickets seem to be the top factors in the festival’s downfall this year. In previous years, there has been more than enough space for campers and cabin-goers alike. This year, with the popular lineup, thousands flocked to a venue that was simply unfit to camp and enjoy a weekend on.
It seems as though despite all of the hardships, the attendees that were able to eventually set up camp and enjoy their weekend had a great time. Many say that they won’t return, and others say that they hope the festival will listen and make necessary changes for next year. Regardless, we’re interested and excited to see how Elements handles these suggestions for years to come.
Looking for new music? Keep up with our weekly Spotify Playlist, Fresh Hunts. Updated every Friday with all the latest releases. Whether it’s the newest drops from Sam Blacky, all your favorite artists, some old-school, or underground…we just want you to hear it.
September is National Suicide Prevention Month. Year-round, there need to be discussions over suicidal thoughts and mental health conditions. However, September offers a dedicated time to come together and learn or share strength about a heavy topic. The National Alliance on Mental Illness exists as a source containing information to raise awareness about suicidal thoughts and mental health crises. More people carrying the knowledge and tools will help more family members and loved ones down the line.