by Brianna Ford
This year’s sixth annual Sweetlife festival will take place from May 30 and 31 at Merriweather Post Pavilion, located in Columbia, Md. During the span of 22 hours, over 25 different artists will perform, including Kendrick Lamar, Calvin Harris, The Weekend, Pixies, Vance Joy and more.
The past few years, Sweetlife has gained popularity at Stuart, along with thousands of other high school students. This year, instead of having a one-day concert like subsequent years, Sweetlife will be two days long. This change has posed many negative effects for concert goers.
After raising the price from $75 (last year’s price) to $175, some former attenders have decided it’s not so “sweet” to pay that amount of money. And $175 is just the general admission fee. The Pavilion ticket, which guarantees access to unassigned pavilion seats and standing room in front of the stage, is $225. For the VIP tickets, customers will have to pay $350. This includes covered seating, VIP lounges, viewing areas for the main stage and Treehouse stage, pit access and multiple private bars and restrooms. Due to the raise in price, many people who have been to Sweetlife previous years are not attending this year.
“Sweetlife’s lineup last year was beyond ideal, with performances from 2 Chainz, Lana del Ray, and Foster the People: last year’s Sweetlife was a must go to show!”, said senior Yousef Mohamed Ali “Unfortunately this year’s lineup is mediocre, sure Kendrick and The Weekend might be attending but with the concert being divided into a two day fest, audiences are obligated to go through a full two day concert that might not be worth the buck.”
Changing this event to be two days creates complications for those who don’t want to drive to the venue (which is about an hour and a half away), then drive home and back again the next day. According to baltimoresun.com, venue spokeswoman Audrey Fix Schaefer confirmed that camping is not permitted on Merriweather grounds. The only other option is getting a hotel room, which requires you to be at least 18 years of age. Not only are not all high school students 18, but most do not have the money to book a hotel room. “Last year I went to both Sweetlife and Kerfuffle, but this year I’m only going to Kerfuffle. Sweetlife is way too expensive plus you have to go for two days, its not worth it,” said senior Allie Crain.
However, some Stuart students are still attending Sweetlife, despite the spike in price and commuting issues. “I think Sweetlife is worth the money because I really like the lineup this year and I’ll get to see friends from other schools,” said junior Becca Nelson.
Last year, many Stuart students attended Sweetlife rather than Kerfuffle, but it seems this year it’s the opposite. On May 3, The Offspring, Panic! at the Disco, Incubus, Dirty Heads and others will take the stage at Merriweather for the DC 101 Kerfuffle. Over three times cheaper than Sweetlife, Kerfuffle only costs $55. Reserved pit and Pavilion tickets are $75.
Many people are excited to see Panic! at the Disco, but unfortunately their drummer Spencer Smith recently quit the band. After taking a break from the band in 2013 due to an addiction, Smith overcame this problem and rejoined. However, according to the letter he posted on the Panic website, “he realizes he is not able to be there for Panic the way he wanted to be and the way they needed him to be.” After ten years, Smith and vocalist/guitarist Brendon Urie were the last remaining original band members. Despite Smith’s departure, this will not affect the band performing at Kerfuffle.