This past weekend was the fourth annual Bunbury Music Festival. I missed the first year completely due to prior commitments, but I’ve attended at least one day in every year since. Aside from some issues on the first day this year, this year’s fest was probably my favorite to date.
Kid Runner on Sawyer Point Stage
First my favorite addition for this year was the Sawyer Point Stage, which was added adjacent to the permanent Sawyer Point Pavilion Stage. However I still feel that this should become the main stage, over the currently used Yeatman’s Cove Stage. The reason is simple and I’ve said it before, the Sawyer Point area seems much more conducive to large crowds than Yeatman’s Cove. A large video screen occupied the back of the sound booth for the main stage, but since the space is too narrow views of the stage from the back of the crowd are nearly impossible.
Walk The Moon on Yeatman’s Cove Stage
The lineup for this year was also very good. With The Avett Brothers, Old Crow Medicine Show, and The Decemberists all playing on the second day, I knew this would be hard to top. But I really enjoyed seeing sets from Father John Misty, Bleachers, and Walk The Moon on the first day. I wasn’t overly thrilled with Sunday’s lineup, but I was still able to catch a great performance from Shakey Graves before leaving early due to the heat.
The Devil Makes Three on Sawyer Point Stage
As I mentioned earlier there were definitely some issues on the first day, all of which were due to the large attendance, which lead to lines for nearly everything. Some friends waited an hour and a half just to get through the main gate. While I didn’t face much of a wait there, our group waited over an hour and half for pizza! For the second and third day, additional entry gates were opened and I walked right through each day. Water lines were also terrible and something that needs to be addressed for next year, though it was nice they changed the policy for the second and third days to allow sealed water bottles to be brought into the festival.
The Decemberists on Sawyer Point Stage
I’ll be honest and say that the issues on Friday were enough for me to consider making this my last Bunbury, but I was happy to see the organizers make some changes to try to fix the mistakes made. I’ve heard rumors of the festival possibly moving up I-71 to remote locations between Cincinnati and Columbus, which would offer more space and room for camping. But I really hope that this is not the case. I enjoy the festival where it is, even if that means there are ongoing issues to be worked through.