By Nick Horn
Now in its fifth year, LouFest shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Five years ago, the inaugural LouFest saw a turnout of just over 8,000, and was considered an overwhelming success at the time. While the final numbers for LouFest 2014 aren't in yet, we do know that attendance on Saturday alone more than doubled the first year's total weekend turnout, with approximately 17,000 people from St. Louis and beyond converging on Forest Park to check out what this year's festival had to offer.
So how did it go? Here's our round-up of the best and worst that LouFest 2014 had to offer.
See also: Our complete LouFest coverage
This Poster - For this year's LouFest, organizers commissioned a poster by enormously-talented local designer Carlos Zamora. Even if you're not familiar with Zamora's name, you've almost certainly seen some of his work. Zamora has created designs for events and organizations all over the city, including the Laumeier Sculpture Park Art Fair, the International Photography Hall of Fame in Grand Center, the Shakespeare Festival St. Louis and STL design week. For this year's LouFest, Zamora crafted a festive poster with a much more organic look than much of his work. The result is an attractive way to both promote and commemorate LouFest 2014.
The Weather - After a week of good old-fashioned, swampy southern-Missouri heat and humidity, the festival gods smiled upon our fair city. Storm clouds began to roll in Friday night, bringing with them an almost immediate ten-degree drop in temperature. Save for a light shower during the first hour of Saturday's performances, the rain left, but those delightfully cool temperatures stayed.
The Food - Thanks to an all-star cast of local eating establishments including Kitchen Kulture, Cleveland-Heath and Aya Sofia, the food available to LouFest attendees was better than the food... well, pretty much anywhere. Both the breadth of options and the quality of the culinary delights available at LouFest was something to behold. Aside from more standard festival offerings, Strange Donuts, Smoothie King, Jeni's Ice Cream, and Kaldi's Coffee were all there to ensure that no sweet-tooth went unsatisfied and that even the most hopeless of caffeine addicts got their daily fix.
The Organizers/Staff/Volunteers - Here's to all the wonderful people who made LouFest happen, all the way from Brian Cohen himself to the crews who put up the stages, the security guards who manned the gates, the cooks, the bartenders, the volunteers at the information booth, the people picking up the trash and everyone else who did any of the million little things that go into making a music festival of this size run as smoothly and easily as this one did. From the RFT and all those in attendance, thank you.
Continue to page two for the bad.