I actually woke up upset with life the morning after the Haunted Harborfest. The event was rumored to be Charleston’s premier Halloween party. With an indoor and outdoor stage hosting bands like Dub Island Soundsystem, Chronicles of the Landsquid, and Manic Motion until 4 a.m, it seemed like there was no way Harborfest could be disappointing. Especially after it was announced that the late-night mystery guest was going to be Derek Vincent Smith of Pretty Lights.
The event was a sell-out. When we arrived shortly after midnight, a line of people were waiting to get past security. Located right on the marsh, the Vue at Ripley Point seemed like an ideal location. The city lights and stars flickered past the boats in the harbor and the smell of salt water made the breeze feel gentle.
But the inside of Harborfest was clamorous. Hoards of people packed the place, and though we saw some killer getups, the costumes were mainly a glut of girls dressed as sexy (insert noun here)s. At one point the venue was so full, security guards on the stairs were almost stampeded by people trying to make it to the bar on the balcony by the indoor stage. They stopped serving alcohol early, and though it was previously advertised that Harborfest would be BYOB after 2 a.m., security made people pour out their drinks before entering — a rep from Collaborative Productions says this was due to liabilities with underage drinking.
For those coming from the Pretty Lights show at the Music Farm, a $10 discount was offered. But as soon as they arrived, so did the cops, and at 2:30 a.m., everyone was sent home — according to our source, a noise ordinance had been filed.
Derek Smith of Pretty Lights says he was just as disappointed as anyone when Harborfest got shut down. Smith asked us to extend a personal apology to his fans.
We’re not the only ones that traded our tickets to the Music Farm to see Pretty Lights at Harborfest instead. It was like we spent the whole night waiting to see a show that never happened. What hurts the most is not the money spent on tickets and costumes, or the case of PBR that never got consumed. It’s hearing about how mind-blowing the show at the Music Farm was, and knowing that this Halloween, melting our face off to Pretty Lights was the one thing we didn’t get to do.