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4Knots Wrap-Up Report

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4Knots Festival
Pier 84, New York NY
July 11, 2015

Written by Jon Hecht

Crowds:
The crowd was there for
the lovely sun by the Hudson River under a sky that redefined my understanding
of the color blue. They were also there for some music, but not as a priority.
People wandered. They went to booths (and there were a whole bunch of
booths—more on that in a bit). Those who were very important got to hang out on
a boat.

The people who actually
watched intently did so pretty intensely. They cheered, they danced, and when a
guy in the Meatbodies jumped down to join them, they even moshed. They
completely lost it for Twin Peaks, as they should have. Smiles all around, and
lines not too long. B+

Grounds:
I’m not really sure what
Pier 84 is used for when it’s not a festival. It’s clearly not for boats, right
next to the Intrepid there, and there’s not really enough grass for it to count
as a park, even in the loose definition that we New Yorkers use for the word.
It’s just a big piece of concrete, jutting into the Hudson River a bit and
letting you see New Jersey.

Being a big empty lot
allows it to work for 4knots well. There were a whole bunch of people but it
never got too crowded. It had the gentrified over cleanliness of New York in
advertisements, and jutting into the water made it pretty. There still wasn’t
enough grass, so the people who like to pretend a festival is also a picnic got
a little squeezed together, and being a pier made it narrow, so everyone else
did as well. For those who were really intent on staying near the stage and
focusing on the music, this was perfect, and the excellent sound setup helped.

I suppose that in order
to hold a festival with a whole pile of good bands and keep prices down to $25,
you need sponshorship. There’s a whole “stick-it-to-the-man,” leftover Gen-X
mentality that I have that says that’s disgusting. But in effect, it just meant
there were little booths everywhere giving free samples of stuff. That isn’t so
bad. I might actually really like that. I forgot sunglasses, which was real
stupid, since it was very sunny (have I mentioned that it was very sunny?). But
there were people giving them away all over. I got a pair from the Village
Voice that I wore all day, and even when I lost those I still had some from a
wine company. There are worse ways to sell your soul.

Also, there was a boat.
It had a big vodka bottle on the bow (is that the front? I won’t check). It
didn’t really add to the music much, but if you were the kind person who wants
to hang out on a boat on a summer day (and also a Very Important Person, with a
badge showing such), it worked pretty nicely. I went on it briefly. I think
there were parties on it later. I dunno. It was kind of weird. A-

Weather:
In case I haven’t made
it clear by now, the weather was amazing. I got very sunburned and I don’t even
mind. A+

Amenities:
There were
porta-potties. That’s annoying. The brand was called Royal Flush, which I
thought was funny-ish. They were pretty good as porta-potties go. The
handwashing station ran out of water near the end of the show. Gross. There was,
as far as I could tell, only one proper water fountain, near
the entrance. There wasn’t really a line for it, surprisingly. It was also next
to some sort of water playground thing, where you could crank a pump and make
water flow through some gears or whatever. I watched a little girl with
fantastic cornrows play with it near the beginning of the festival. I thought
it was adorable how she was too small to work the pump very hard, and there was
only a little trickle going through the waterworks. Then I tried it myself and
I realized the whole thing was semi-defective so I couldn’t get more than a
trickle either. I owe more respect to the little girl with cornrows.

There was a good phone
charging station near the entrance, but you had to listen to a spiel about how
it was solar power and you should change your house to solar power. They were
nice about it though and understood that you didn’t really want to sign up
there. Not too bad. B-

The Most Hard-Core Quote
of All Time:
At one point,
one of the twin guitarist/vocalists of the Meatbodies apologized for his
voicing being a little screwy:

“We had a bunch of
cheese last night. Too much dairy. Bad for the throat! Fuckin’ Rock n’ Roll,
right? Fuckin’ cheese!” A+

Overall:
The day time was full of
youthful exuberance. The evening had a bit more adult sobriety, but it didn’t
mar the fun too bad. A-

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