The Ride Festival Finally Announces Lineup – Less Than Impressed

Unfortunately, it looks like Ratdog will not be playing at this year’s The Ride festival in Telluride & it was simply wishful thinking … unless they’re simply waiting to announce it, but this is doubtful!

While I hope the event ultimately succeeds along with KOTO, it is very doubtful I’ll be paying a daily rate of $82.50 (about 1.5x the rate of the three other big music festivals) given their existing lineup … or at least until I’ve had a chance to more thoroughly review those acts which I’m unfamiliar with.

Edward Sharpe & the MZ are certainly very good, but not exactly my cup of tea … or at least they weren’t on their last iteration through Telluride. Maybe I just can’t get past their shtick of constantly commanding the audience to do things such as telling everyone to put their hands in the air, sit down on the ground, etc. Seems very contrived, but this is probably just one of my own pet peeves. Musically, they do have some interesting tunes, but I think they just seemed to be lacking a melodic element in a live environment (such as a lead guitar with a stronger role/presence) to really bring things to the “next level”. Still, I can see how some might be much more into their material and certainly don’t begrudge anyone for doing so. I’m just having a difficult time seeing how they’re considered “the” headliner is all … especially on the festivals 3rd year after David Byrne being a headliner last year.

I also like Joan Osborne a lot, but mostly re: her past role as a vocalist with “the dead”. Working further up the list, I do like JJ Grey & Mofro, but that’s basically where it stops for known acts on the list for my particular tastes. As for unknown acts, I’m truly willing to give anyone a chance and actually try to do so as often as I possibly can, but not to the tune of $165 for two days. I’d much prefer to methodically seek them out individually.

At the end of the day: given the lineup & price, I’d much rather apply that $165 to a show I’d REALLY like to see at Red Rocks, Mishawaka, State Bridge, etc. I just see way too many shows over the course of a year (82 last year) that I’ve realized it’s sometimes necessary to really pick and chose. I’m now curious as to what the proposed lineup may have been had the partnership not fallen through? I suppose the breakup might explain the EXTREMELY late announcement of the lineup; nearly 3 months out is virtually unheard of!

And this whole thing about it being a “rock and roll” festival to differentiate itself from the other major music festivals is simply ludicrous IMO. For starters, I’d be surprised if any of the acts are truly “rock and roll” bands in the technical sense (i.e. Bill Haley and
The Comets); which leaves the field of “rock” bands to be extremely wide open to interpretation. But more importantly, I simply don’t believe it’s necessary for The Ride to cower to the other big three music festivals by (falsely) pigeon-holing itself into a particular genre or sub-genre of music. Typically, contractual radius clauses (not that I’m a fan of these either) and existing/lasting relationships between promoters and musicians will take care of sorting out things so as stepping on toes is kept to a minimum.

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