This weekend, The Village Voice hosted its 5th Annual 4Knots Music Festival on Pier 84 on New York’s west side. Overall, I had a great time at the festival, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching all of the bands in the lineup perform. They were all full of great energy and put on incredible shows. However, this festival was nowhere near perfect in my eyes.
Even before the festival began, I was a bit confused about the information The Village Voice released regarding set times. According to the official 4Knots Music Festival website, the festival would begin at 1 PM and last until 10 o’clock that night. However, on the poster with the bands’ set times, two bands named Surfbort and Heaven were scheduled to perform before 1 PM. Therefore, I was simply puzzled, and when I arrived at the festival, the confusion did not end.
To be frank, everything at the beginning of the festival was completely unorganized. As I entered the festival at 12:45, I expected Heaven to be performing onstage (since their set was scheduled to start at 12:40). However, instead, I found crew members still setting up equipment on the stage and quickly realized that no one had performed yet. Once the music finally began just after one o’clock, the beginning of the festival was still not up to par. There was barely anyone on Pier 84, and I legitimately felt bad for the first band, Surfbort, because they played to an audience of about ten people. The delay in the festival’s start time also caused a problem later on, as some of the later bands’ sets were cut short by the festival’s authorities.
Once five o’clock rolled around, 4Knots began to pick up speed and actually became very fun. A crowd of about 150 people gathered around the stage at the end of the pier and gained individuals as the festival progressed even more. The crowd was full of energy and sang along as each band took to the stage one after another. A mosh pit even began during Twin Peaks’ set. Some of my personal favorites from 4Knots included Heaters, Twin Peaks, and Super Furry Animals, who all performed excellently. Unfortunately, there were quite a few problems with the sound system during the festival, especially at the beginning of Twin Peaks’ set and during Super Furry Animals’ performance as well. Yet, for the most part, these glitches did not interfere with the bands’ performances, and the crowd was still able to fully enjoy the music.
Overall, I generally would recommend the 4Knots Music Festival to anyone who lives in the New York area. However, I definitely recommend arriving at the festival much later in the day at around five or six o’clock to have the best experience.