Indio police are encouraging attendees at this weekend’s Phish Festival 8 to refrain from smoking marijuana to have a good time. Police aren’t disclosing their methods but said they will be on the lookout for anyone caught doing drugs during the three-day event at the Empire Polo Club in Indio.
San Bernardino County sheriff’s officials issued similar warnings to attendees at this past weekend’s Cypress Hill Smokeout Festival in San Bernardino, which celebrated marijuana legalization and its therapeutic uses.
Now, I don’t know what a Phish concert is like in Indio, CA, but I do know what a Smokeout Festival in San Bernadino, CA is like, and I know the reason that no arrests were made is because a beautiful pairing of Cop and Citizen came about. One where every pot smoker in the place was respectful of the Law(man) and kept their weed movement discreet, while every cop was courteous of an individual’s right to smoke and kept their eyes open for violence and crime and things that actually require police attention. The place was so chill, everyone was in a good mood, happy to be outside enjoying the gorgeous weather and the good music. I’m not kidding, I didn’t see one angry person the entire day, apparently I missed the one fight. And not that it should matter, but this was a hip hop concert, with stages full of mean looking rappers hollering about fuck dem po-lice; so go the lyrics to their songs. And still, the vibe was mellow crossed with soul-funky, the perfect accompaniment to the bass beat in the air.
The highlights for me would have been seeing Sublime perform again (the new lead singer, Rome, is pretty good) and then when Cypress Hill took the stage. Sublime was on while it was still light out and we sat up on the grassy hill in the sun, sharing joints and splitting a burrito, watching the people below us. Also the dude laying in the grass about 10ft in front of us, dead asleep. I was actually watching him for a while to see if his chest was rising he was that still. He must’ve laid there for 3hrs, not moving, until his buddy walked up and woke him. After sundown and a completed circuit walk around the grounds, we stood in line for 10yrs to get fresh beers and then wandered down to our seats. We had really good seats, the first row beyond the ‘mosh pit’, and I say that loosely since no-one moshed, and we could sit/stand with unobstructed views. There were joints being sparked left, right, front and behind. I could smell a lot of schwag, some hash, not too much dank, though. Times is tough! Cypress Hill took the stage and the entire surface area of the place turned into a haze of bud smoke, it was crazy. Then BReal lights this mic sized joint and then it REALLY starts to smoke out. If you can pardon my shaky camera work in the beginning, video is below.
Maddeningly, I missed the Geto Boys reunion the night before, but shit happens. And I was really, really disappointed by the vendor area, this was supposed to be where the “expo” would be. It was promoted as, “Cypress Hill’s SmokeOut Cannabis Cup & Expo will be the ultimate destination for all advocates, businesses and consumers. This expo will feature leading businesses impacting the multi-million dollar hemp and medical marijuana industries such as: cultivation, education, legal rights, clothing, accessories, cosmetics, health benefits, arts, crafts and more. Non-profits, and eco-friendly exhibitors will be on site as well. This will be the biggest and brightest showcase for dispensaries, licensed physicians, political organizations and all members of the cannabis community.” And it reality it was a tent with a few sloppy booths that were less impressive than your 5th grade science fair. Really, Cypress Hill, epic fail.
As for the venue, it was my first time at the San Manuel Amphitheater and I thought it was a great place for a concert. The parking lot wasn’t 20 miles away and they didn’t charge to park either. The only complaint I had was for the beer. My god, the BEER. They only sell Budweiser AND it’s 12 fucking dollars. Oh, my bad, you can also piss away $12 for a CORONA. Blech. We found one window that raped us for bottles of Stella Artois (less beer, still $12) so don’t expect likeable beer choices if you go.