Passion Pit, Modest Mouse, MGMT and Purity Ring coaxed fans over to the Monterey County Fairgrounds for the first ever First City Festival this weekend.
Thirty-six bands, three stages and a full service carnival made this a hard-to-miss event in the Monterey Bay.
The music was ripe and the novice festival was, for the most part, a success, drawing in an eclectic set of music fans. Seemingly a full house for the first night and a sufficiently busy night Sunday, the good tunes reverberated throughout the fairgrounds and vicinity.
The best sets Saturday included the endlessly energetic The Hold Steady, vibrant and soulful Eli Paperboy Reed and the bizarre yet alluring Father John Misty with backbends and hip swings.
Sunday’s trophy performers were the well-synchronized and high energy Capital Cities, funky and invigorating Electric Guest, quirky Dr. Dog , heart-wrenching Lucero and the cryptic yet hypnotizing Purity Ring which had a plethora of lights and creepy stage presence.
Along with the enjoyable music, fans were able to be further amused with a vaudeville stage as well as carnival rides, for a price of course. Unlimited ride bracelets were $15/single-day, $22/two-day, or you could purchase individual tickets for $5 a pop.
Adding to the festival costs was the overpriced food --the cheapest being an order of fries for $4 but peaking at $10-- and drinks that quenched your thirst but left your wallet dry --$4 sodas and alcoholic beverages starting at $7 and topping out at $12.
With so many additional expenses, one of the few things First City Fest may want to reconsider in the coming years is a decrease in ticket prices.
Overall, with only about six months of concrete planning, Goldenvoice SF was able to pull off a solid event which will hopefully be a long-lasting tradition in the Monterey Bay.
If the festival is willing to be back, so are the fans.“I would definitely come next year and the year after if it continues because it’s such a different crowd from other festivals such as Outside Lands or Treasure Island,” said concert attendee and Capitola resident Ivette Diaz, 21.
"It was fun and there were a few things that would probably need some improvement but it is the first time they do this, [and] for its first year I would say it was a huge success."