Bad news first: By far the worst part of RTB was the venue itself. When you attend a festival along with roughly 17,000 other fans you must endure the humiliation of port-o-potties and possible death by trampling. Hey, it’s all in the game.
But a ferry ride? As if the march of the lemmings at the entrance and exit wasn’t bad enough, having to get on a line to board a ferry boat (still the slowest form of transportation) to make the crossing to Governor's Island is worse, much worse. Although the trip is short (10 minutes, tops) the arrival process was sluggish even when most of the crowd was still sober.
All of which explains why we got to hear the sounds of Random Axe booming through the speakers but didn’t really get to see them perform. But as we made our way onto dry land, we could sorta see them blessing mics on the distant Rock The Bells Stage. And they weren’t the only acts we missed.
On the opposite end of the main stage were three smaller ones: The 36 Chambers Stage, the Paid Dues Stage, and the Grindtime Stage. We never made it to the Grindtime Stage, but that was all DJs and battle rappers. We spent too much time running back and forth to the main stage and 36 Chambers that didn’t find time to make it to Paid Dues either—which was unfortunate, since it featured plenty acts we love like Freddie Gibbs, Big K.R.I.T., and Slaughterhouse. Yes that’s right, despite being signed to Shady Records, Slaughterhouse couldn’t get a set on the main stage. Where is the love?