Photos Courtesy of Adult Swim
Whether your musical taste buds take to the experimental sound of Tim Hecker, the eccentric flow of Vince Staples, or something on the harder side of town like Inter Arma, the Adult Swim Festival is the perfect festival for you. Despite the fact that the festival is only in its sophomore year, it did not fail to deliver a superior level of entertainment, authentic laughter, and a lifetime of cherishable moments. Didn’t get a chance to catch the festival? We’ve got you covered. These are five ways the 2019 Adult Swim festival made a huge splash.
From the line-up of artists and comedians to the fans that were in attendance, the Adult Swim Festival was swimming in an assortment of people. The Adult Swim Festival honored the age-old adage, “different strokes for different folks,” implementing different aspects of media and entertainment in order to simultaneously appeal to everyone and no one in particular. Staunch comedians took the stage such as Joe Pera and Sarah Squirm, accompanied by artists from a variety of genres like 2 Chainz, Speedy Ortiz, and Negative Gemini. The mash-up of different genres booming through the walls of the stadium made for an interesting experience that constantly kept people on their toes.
The diversity didn’t stop at just the entertainment, however. Walking through the crowd and spotting individuals dressed as Rick, Morty, and a number of other costumes that promoted a variety of personal identity expressions - my personal favorite was the festival-goer dressed as Elsa from Frozen - felt oddly comforting. When a space is so inclusive that a man dressed only in a leather harness can feel perfectly at home as someone in a full fursuit, you cannot help but feel welcomed.
We’re not sure what was in the air, but it seemed that every single performer, comedy and music alike, gave the crowd 110% of themselves in their own unique ways. Fans of hip-hop were treated to a back-to-back gust of rhythmic flow both from two exceedingly talented rap performers, Freddie Gibbs & Madlib and Rapsody. Leikeli47 kept the crowd hyped by constantly encouraging them to dance and even grabbing a few festival-goers to join her on stage. DETHKLOK gave their fans a night they’ll always remember after playing their first show in five years. Helado Negro separated the crowd's conscious from their body with a transcending performance. There were so many mind-blowing performances that it’s almost difficult to recollect my thoughts: did I actually attend this amazing festival or was it all a dream?
I remember the moment Flying Lotus announced that he had brought MF Doom out from London to perform the song they share together, “Masquatch.” The crowd was on their toes - it’s not often that the rapper is seen out in public, let alone performing at a festival. I clutched onto the railing separating me and the security team, gazing at the stage in awe just as much as the crowd was, and then… out comes MF Doom, silver mask clad and all, delivering his electrifying verse. I was juiced, thinking I was witnessing a once-in-a-lifetime performance and began to open Instagram to record the sweet, sweet moment.
The very second I decided to begin recording, the mask comes off and..oh, MF Doom was actually just popular actor and comedian Hannibal Buress all along. Despite my disappointment in realizing I had been monumentally trolled, I couldn’t help but laugh. I mean it is the Adult Swim Festival. The MF Doom plot twist wasn’t the only one the festival bore. From Eric Andre bringing out “Jay-Z” and Tierra Whack’s surprise guest being a literal potato with eyes and a mouth, Adult Swim did what it does best - instill a roar of laughter in all attendees.
Rick and Morty
Are you a true fan of Adult Swim if you’ve never seen Rick and Morty? The show, which first aired in December 2013, has become a monumental cult sensation. The show follows members of the Smith family's wacky adventures through infinite universes, spearheaded by the smartest man in the galaxy. Rick and Morty is arguably one of Adult Swim’s most stirring television shows, and it was definitely showcased at the festival. There were tons of Rick and Morty inspired merch and prizes, alongside a gigantic slide in Morty’s likeness, which was actually a lot of fun to race to the top of. And did we mention the exclusive premiere of the show's fourth season? Needless to say, there were plenty of ways fans of the TV show and newcomers alike were able to “get schwifty!”
Photo: Jarrett Lampley
Overall, the Adult Swim festival served as a beautiful platform for all artists, both well-known and up-and-coming, to showcase their music and their artistry in a free and unabashed way. Folks who came to watch 2 Chainz were put on to artists in other genres that they might not have found through conventional means, such as No Joy, Negative Gemini, and clipping. On the other hand, attendees who came to witness the re-emergence of DETHKLOK were treated to artists such as Cooly G, Ladies of LCD Soundsystem, and the illustrious Dawn. This was truly a melting pot of genres and talents, and there is no doubt in my mind that many festival-goers left the venue with a new artist to add to their playlists.