All Things (Come And) Go 2018: A Festival Review
words and photos by kariann tan
Amidst the frustratingly humid weather that seethed the crowd upon the second day of the All Things Go festival in Washington D.C this year, I was floored as to how cozy the entire atmosphere felt the entire time. And you’re right, cozy isn’t a word people (or I, as a matter of fact) would normally use in the context of festivals.
However, that really did seem to be the case for this one particular event. Right from the get-go, we are greeted to a groovy epitome of ‘cool’ with the first set of the lineup: Footsxcoles. While the slightly empty crowd seemed to linger during the first hour of the festival, those who remained at the barricade never seemed to dissipate. This was a good sign for sure, as that seemed to be the case for the rest of the lineup.
soon enough, i traversed my way through the indoor section of the union market as an escape to the glaring sun and instantly found myself amazed by the variety of activities and the compactness of the area. the food booths were minimal, yet each and every one of them yielded an interesting array of delicacies ranging from korean bbq buns to ice cream brands. at the corner of the area, we also find ourselves with a particularly interesting booth to note: one that leaned towards advocacy. as a staunch believer in the need to civically engage with others, this was food to my eyes.
but of course, majority of the concertgoers were here for one thing: music. the aces brought on a semi-packed crowd, unsurprising for an emerging band. it was fortunate as well that fans themselves were able to revel at the notion that the band’s drummer, alisa ramirez, was celebrating her 2st birthday on that day itself. as such, we were given a performance packed with a punch, with hits such as “stuck” and “volcanic love”. afterwards, we were graciously flooded with an immense period of rambunctious headbangers brought to you by the band two feet, as well as more scaled performances by snny and cautious clay.
as the sun dawned, the energy from the people only grew.
betty who, who was not a newcomer to the all things go scene, captured the attention of many others - mine included - with the bombastic choreography that was supplemented by her backup dancers. snappy, sensual and sophisticated, is what seemed to have been reflected throughout her entire show. it was definitely an act not to be missed.
another main highlight of the night would be misterwives, a vibrantly jovial band that lit up a fire within every lyric that they powered through. it was mezmerizing to see, as frontwoman amanda lee duffy stunned everyone with her powerful movement and voice. a standout track would have to be their politically-charged anthem “oh love” that eventually synchronized with classic “survivor” by destiny’s child. it was no surprise that it brought the entire house down.
to conclude the festivities, came on dazzling carly rae jepsen. as cheering roared throughout the market over the course of the entire show, the audience was treated to a full set filled with shimmering bops, ranging from disco-bangers “i didn’t just come here to dance” and “boy problems”, to cathartic ballads like “fever” and “all that”. in just under an hour and fifteen minutes, we were locked into the emotional rollercoaster of ms. jepsen, all of which the crowd seemed to have enjoyed immensely.
of course, one wouldn’t end with the all-time classic “call me maybe”, that transcended reality for three and a half minutes. it was hard not to succumb to the addictive beats that were so neatly embalmed with one another. for a moment in time, it seemed like everyone was in unity, a stark contrast to the devastating political events that had just occurred beforehand a couple hundreds of feet away from the festival itself.
looking back, it’s astounding how the festival was perfectly crafted together under the guise of truly empowering women and non-binary acts altogether. it’s a true testament to what festivals should incorporate in the future, and the fact that all things go 2018 made it all work, is a true significance in the realm of festival communities.
to all festival co-ordinators, i encourage you to take note as this one is, without a doubt, how it should be done.