LIVE: Trillectro Makes DC History
by Mercy Chikowore
You know you’re on to something when the mayor of your city tells you that your festival makes the city great. The dope collective of DC to BC put Washington, DC on the music map this weekend with their annual festival, Trillectro. When the group created Trillectro last year, their first ever hip-hop and electronic dance music (EDM) festival attracted hundreds of cool kids who descended upon the Half Street Fairgrounds to vibe to the likes of Tabi Bonney, Oddisee, Schoolboy Q and more. This year, Trillectro was out of control.
This year’s lineup included acts such as Casey Veggies, Travi$ Scott, King Chip and Nadastrom. With food trucks, vendors, the most fashion forward people I’ve ever seen and plenty of liquor, the festival gave attendees more than enough options to pass the time with. DC to BC’s insane amount of influence, hard work and an expert love of music brought together a roster of established and underground acts and a sea of people that caught the Fire Marshal’s attention. The festival, which was almost shut down due to capacity, gained so much notoriety and attention in a short amount of time, attracting a diverse crowd from all over the east coast and some came from as far as LA. This is rare in the nation’s capital, where D.C. natives travel elsewhere for music festivals.
Unfortunately, I can’t tell you about a lot of the performances because it took me a while to negotiate my way in. I got my media pass at noon and went back to work for the day. When I returned early evening, I was surrounded by what had to be 200+ angry ticket holders who couldn’t get in. A number of them asked me what I was going to write and even gave me some interesting suggestions with enough colorful language to put any sailor to shame. The crazy part about the experience was that as angry as people were, a lot of them wouldn’t leave. They still wanted to experience the festival with their friends who were waving at them from the other side of the gate. The festival’s popularity was so big this year that those who did come early enough still had to wait in line for an average of about 2 hours to gain entry.
When I did finally make it in, only because of my innocent looks and persuasive communication skills, I passed Fat Trel and his deep entourage going back to the artist lounge. Although I missed a lot of the performances I heard from some attendees (who were still sober) that one stage featured rappers and live bands, while another featured DJs such as Spicoli (from DCtoBC) and Alex Young who kept the crowd moving. I also heard local homegrown acts such as Raheem Devaughn, Shy Glizzy, Phil Ade, Fat Trel and the Slutty Boyz represented the city well.
I also made it in time to catch one of my favorite songs “Shabba” from A$AP Ferg’s new album Trap Lord. My five-foot stature usually doesn’t help me in large concert settings and this was the case as I could only make out a sea of people jumping up and down in tandem. What I thought was a track playing was actually rapper A$AP Ferg and surprise guest A$AP Rocky on stage- go figure! I should’ve known as the crowd went absolutely insane. Also on stage were entourages, groups of women and cameramen hoping to get a good enough shot of each artist’s performance.
Equipped with my vodka and lemonade, I also caught hometown hero Wale on stage doing only snippets of his songs. Apparently he had some contractual issues that left the crowd a little disappointed and annoyed as they couldn’t hear any Wale song straight through. DJ Carnage closed out Trillectro and kept the party going for the people who weren’t ready to leave. People stayed to turn up, which was apparently the motto for the day.
Besides the hundreds of people who attended Trillectro, notable guests included D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, Washington Wizards player John Wall and Vine superstar, Terio. The six-year-old was seen outside of the Trillectro after party and in front of the White House doing his infamous “ooh killem” dance.
As I chatted with security, who were impressed that I even made it in, I spotted one of the DC to BC members, Modi Oyewole. He looked tired but accomplished, concerned about the number of people who didn’t get in but happy that the ones who did enjoyed themselves. He ended his night humbly moving boxes and helping close out the festival. Despite the snafus, and a number of people who want a refund, the DCtoBC crew has a great problem on their hands. What they do with it, however, could easily influence the Washington, D.C. music festival scene for better or for worse.
If you missed Trillectro check out DC to BC’s official after-movie here.