Today is not only 4/20 and whatever the name for the Wednesday of Holy Week is - sorry, it's been a while since Rocks Off has been to church - it's the one-year anniversary of the BP blowout in the Gulf of Mexico. It's also the latest April Fool's Day in history, because earlier today, the pranksters at Free Press Summer Fest announced via "press release" on the Free Press Houston Web site they had signed up two new sponsors for the festival scheduled for June 4 and 5 in Eleanor Tinsley Park:
Free Press Summerfest is proud to announce not one but TWO new sponsors for this year's festival - British Petroleum and HUMMER! And with the new sponsors comes a new name: the Houston Free Press Summerfest will now be known as the BP HUMMERFEST.
Nice try, guys, but Rocks Off isn't buying it. For these kinds of events to succeed, they need to sell tickets. Lots of tickets, and that makes us think "I'll take 'PR Disasters' for $2,000, Alex." But hey, times are hard and music festivals aren't cheap, so Rocks Off thought we'd help out and suggest five other companies who would probably be willing to help underwrite some of the fun.
TOMS Shoes: If the weather at this year's festival is anything like the past couple of years, leave your good shoes at home unless you really, really like "the muddy look." Since TOMS already donates a pair of shoes to a needy child for every pair of shoes bought, perhaps Summer Fest could make a similar arrangement.
Fest-goers could get a brand-new pair of TOMS comfy (and washable) canvas slip-ons in exchange for their nappy old shoes, which would promptly be burned in a giant bonfire during Black Dahlia Murder's set. Note: This would be a different bonfire than the one planned for Weezer's set, during which copies of the band's last three albums will be properly disposed of.
Blast: If the makers of Colt .45's brand-new, controversial "alcopop" beverage had any idea how many
underage drinkers customers-in-waiting are going to be at Summer Fest, they would slap their name all over this thing in a heartbeat.
High Times magazine: 4/20 or not, this one seems like a no-brainer. Bring five empty plastic bottles to the High Times booth and get a free pack of rolling papers.
Rheem Air Conditioning: Hoping to brand Summer Fest as more of a destination event and less as something for Star Pizza drivers to do on their day off, the festival could strike a deal with the HVAC conglomerate to erect giant vents around the park so out-of-towners (especially the bands' girlfriends) don't have to sweat.
U.S. Army: Why let Buzzfest have all the fun?
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OK, all kidding aside, here's what we do know about Summer Fest. The contest for local bands to win a spot on the main stage ends today (so hurry), and the schedule will be announced in mid-May. Neon Indian, Chromeo and the other acts originally slated for the "Dancey Pants" tent have been upgraded to the main stage.
The High Roller package is sold out, but other passes are available at Cactus Music, Taxi Taxi, Soundwaves in Montrose, BC Smoke Shop, Smoke Dreamz and all Houston-area Fiesta locations. See the festival's Web site for anything else you need to know.