Playground Festival at Irvine Last Weekend

playground-festival-panic-at-the-disco-the-bravery-kid-sister-new-boyz-shiny-toy-guns-and-more.7234233.87.jpg
Kevin Lara/OC Weekly
The Bravery--at least they showed up!

Playground Festival
Sept. 3rd-4th, 2011
Hidden Valley, Irvine

What do you get when you mix together the leisurely spirit of the long weekend with about 300 high school kids, no-show performers and about 75 bajillion OC cops? You get the waste of perfectly good Labor Day weekend time that was the OC Playground Festival.
If you were there, that means you likely bought tickets, feel like a queef and know exactly where this review is going (in which case -- solidarity, bitches). If you were smart enough to stay your ass at Burning Man, the beach or even at the damn DMV over the long weekend, then listen up because you done dodged a bullet!
Initially dubbed as the "Coachella of OC," (cough!), the Playground Festival was Sept. 3rd-4th at the Hidden Valley in Irvine, and was set to feature The Game, Lil Jon and Too Short as the big name acts on Saturday (with The Game as the main headliner), and Panic at the Disco, Big Sean and Steel Panther on Sunday (with Panic as the headliner).
And while the line-up posted on the Playground Festival website listed around 200 acts between both days with Nick Canon hosting, by 4pm on Saturday, it became painfully clear that this shit was a scam, or a mistake, or something.

How so? Well, while many of the local bands and up-and-coming acts were in tow to bring the live ness to the lil OC kiddies, the bigger names on the bill who could afford to skip out on the event did. Meaning, not Too Short, Lil Jon nor the Game showed up to perform on Saturday. And with at least three cops per person in attendance (no joke), it was clear that Playground fest was not the most hip-hop lifestyle friendly venue.
And while it's still not known exactly why it all went down like that, with all three of Saturday's big name acts bowing out and taking Nick Canon with them (that's right, Mr. Mariah only had to come out once to see that this was some sketchy shizz), it is known that something went epically awry in the planning and promotion of this event.
Whether or not we're going to get some answers why there were no-show performances or whether anyone can get their money back (at least for Saturday), what is known is that OC Weekly was there, so at least you'll get the full 411 on this event, highlights, lowlights and the like.
Highlights:

Mickey Avalon: Even while piss drunk and pilled out (we're guessing), girls, glam and death rapper Mickey Avalon brought his fantastically offensive show out to Playground fest and the kiddies licked it up! Accompanied by his DJ, a background track (ugh) and a couple of strippers you just know he picked up from the strip joint on his way to the show (who I imagine were in mid-twirl on the stripper pole when he roped them into doing his show with the promise of doing rails off of his wang later), Avalon may have mumbled his way through his set, but at least he showed up! His set included the early stuff like Mr. Right, My Dick and Jane Fonda, to the more recent, What Do You Say. Sure he was too wasted to remember the words to at least 85% of his songs, but we still love Mickey and his special brand of Hollywood bad boy for that ass!!
Nick Canon's 5 minute on stage: Although he briefly appeared to get the crowd going before Mickey Avalon, Nick Canon's stint as host on Saturday was an eye-opener for those of us who only seem to know him as Mariah's man and/or homeboy from Nickelodeon. Commending OC women for "keeping it lit and passin it around," Canon looked ready to have a good time hosting before he found out none of the main acts were performing and bounced.

Lowlights:

Shiny Toy Guns: Dude, how did these guys get on the radio again? Yeah, I don't know, but what I do know is that they are weak live. Sure they're newcomers and all that, but being that their look, sound and act as a whole resembles that of a shitty cruise ship band. I think this group needs to lose any illusions of mainstream success and go back to their day jobs folding khakis at the GAP and blowing Mickey Avalon for dope.
The Cataracts: Not as weak and out of tune as Shiny Toy Guns, these guys do have a little more clout in the business, and evidently, a little more appeal to match! So why are they among the lowlights of the show? Because they could have saved the day by staying on and doing a longer set, or coming back out and giving the crowd a little more after learning the rest of the performers weren't going to show. And whether or not they could have dome that without being assaulted by the crowd, we don't really care. All's not fair in love and concerts!


Critic's Bias: When I was 12 my big brother made m listen to Too Short every morning in his car on the way to school. That's how I learned you should get in where you fit in, beeotch!
The Crowd: This was an all-ages thing, so you best believe the bored OC jr. high and high school kids were there to get loose before school's back. Howevs, there also seemed to be a huge go-go dancer population with nearly every other high school girl wearing nothing but her undies and some furry boots... I guess, in that way, you did miss out on something if you weren't there!
Overheard in the Crowd:

"This is some bullshit."
"I want my money back"
"How come we got dissed by Game, short dawg and lil jon?!"
"Game, game, game!!"
"You know that dude used to be a male prostitute, right"? (during Mickey Avalon)

Random notebook dump: This was a porta-potty only event and on more than one occasion the porta-potty I visited smelled like someone had just blazed a fat chronic blunt to the head in there, leading to only one conclusion - the cops were on their Nazi game that day!



Follow OC Weekly's music blog, Heard Mentality, on Twitter @ocweeklymusic and like us on Facebook!



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19 comments
Lynhal21
Lynhal21

Hey, I was at that event on Sunday and there was this cool band I had never heard of.  It's kind of techno - sort of like Kesha or Lady Gaga.  There's a guy singer and a girl singer.  They sang a song that I think was called "Do You Want More?"  I think they're from Orange County, Phoenix and maybe L.A.  Any idea what the band is called?  I really liked them.

AaronD
AaronD

Is this an attempt at journalism?  Was hoping to read a creative review of one of my favorite bands Shiny Toy Guns, what I got was was a review of their hype level and look and that they are weak live.  Did they play any new songs, are they indeed performing with their original co-frontperson again?  Why exactly were they weak live?  This review was weak.

BE BACK JACK
BE BACK JACK

All the excuses could not excuses this cat from not showing up. I heard the promoters had a cashiers check ready for Game, but he decided to BREACH HIS CONTRACT, by demanding CASH an hour before he was to go on. Blame the PROMOTERS???!!! Seems like a banwagon. TOO SHORT just DIDNT SHOW UP, but that's WHO's fault, HMMMM, thats a hard one to figure out. THEY are the one's that made this show seemingly a farse, THEY DIDNT SHOW UP. Maybe they felt they didn't have enough of a fan base to bring the volume THEY STATED THEY COULD BRING!!! Oh yeah the GALAXY Im sure between the two Flakes they could maybe fill the Galaxy, IF THEY SHOW. By the way GALAXY, you better have CASH,  and if so, watch out you do'nt get robbed., But he may not show then, SOUND PRETTY THUGGISH TO ME. In my opinion, any act that doesnt show up IS THE REASON a show has this type of reprocussion and of course the fans are going to be pist.

AMERICA!
AMERICA!

Playground Festival may not have been as organized as it should have been, however 6,000+ people isn't bad for someones first festival.  They know what they did wrong and are correcting it... And to everyone bashing on it, grow up and try to do something with your own life and stop criticizing someone else's.

Heather
Heather

Tina...Are you serious?? You are still on this story...So there are a hand full of people pissed off....who cares....I was there with friends...we had a great time...get on to something else dude...Get some new material...Its clear you don't like the promoters

Aa
Aa

i wuz there and we heard cops saying that the old staff of verizon ampiteater was running this crap. maybe that is why they are the old staff bcauz they have no clue wut they are doing.

Michael
Michael

Tina, agreed with every word. Are these assholes going to jail?

mateo
mateo

i worked the event and th game was there, but the prodution crew who set this up did not know that the event was supose to be shut down at 8:00 p.m. and the game headlined at like 9:30-10:00.so once he herd out about that he left.suposably there was some other thing going on at the main amphitheater at 8 so they dident want the festival to interfere with it and they just shut it down.so thats why we never got a longer set from the cataracts. and alot of angery people.what they are goin going to do is a mystery.it wasent the best but it was a good tome the food was good and it defently was entertaining.to be honest is has alot of potentianl,try being a lil more optimistic,and maybe insted of bashing you could give more advice and that way next time it could be the coachella of the o.c. so that way i dont have to buy plane tickets to see what i want i could just dive like 20 min.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow

Damn OCWeekly, the stuff that gets posted on this site gets worse & worse by the week. Tina, this article/review is embarrassing (just like Playground Festival).

PS- Shiny Toy Guns are hardly newcomers. They've been around since 2002 w/ 3 major label releases. But they do suck. You got that right.

Yzeke
Yzeke

I paid for VIP tickets because of all of the cool perks that were promised on the site. I received none of them at the actual festival. How am I supposed to just be cool with that?

you are stupid
you are stupid

calling them "promoters" is an insult to people who actually promote shows, heather. they were snotty nosed brats who played with mommy and daddys money until it ran out. they should stick to driving bmws they probably can't afford and stay out of the OC music scene.

Hotty
Hotty

How do I know Playground was a scam? people like you who try to defend it can't even write proper english.

ANnoyed
ANnoyed

Bullshit. We heard direct from a good source that The game never showed up and te promoters didn't pay the bands. Fucking the worst "festival" ever. I called Verizon Amp today and asked and they said the 8pm thing was known days in advance and they coordinated it with the event and with the city. They knew the whole time and took our money.

Heather
Heather

stick to the point....the show was good....and yes they are promoters....as I said you dont like em... it's clear...if its an insult to you whatever...this is about the show not the problem you have with the promoters... who is stupid???? Just saying

Joe Blow
Joe Blow

I believe. Maybe the artists were there. Maybe they weren't. I'm pretty sure the reason they didn't perform is because they didn't get paid though. These artists usually require a certain percentage up front & the rest before they take the stage. I saw so many deals through Groupon & other sites for this festival. I'm sure it wasn't selling. Especially for $100.

Heather
Heather

Again Joe Blow.....an opinion  is like an a**hole everyone has one. Now go find something to do...like hey promote a show

Joe Blow
Joe Blow

Hey Heather, they must be great promoters since half the artists failed to show up. I'm assuming this is because the promoters failed to pay the artists. Why else would Game, Too Short, or anyone else pass up a pay day? Did you get free tickets? Also, they obviously didn't do a very good job promoting (or maybe it was just the horrible line-up) because this festival was all over the daily deals sites. You don't see Coachella, Bonnaroo, FYF, or any others discounting their tickets. I'm assuming you're friends with the promoters because I find it extremely hard to believe anyone would have been satisfied with this festival after shelling out $50-$100 plus all the overpriced beer you drank. Maybe you're still drunk.

Fhefive
Fhefive

Hey........ dont be being a tough "promoter"...keep my mouth shut..... HUH are you serious......I don't care girly.... I was there for music and a cold beer...over and out...take your promoter thoughts and shove them up your a**.......Ive got better things to be doing than to worry about your opinion of promoting....an opinion  is like an a**hole everyone has one. Now go find something to do...like hey promote a show

you are stupid
you are stupid

you just proved how stupid you are with your reply. if you had any idea how this works, you would keep your mouth shut.

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