We had the wonderful privilege of spending and celebrating Labor Day in San Antonio and participating in their Laborfest. A culmination of local and National artists, who this year consisted of One Way Featuring Al Hudson, Lakeside, Ready for the World, Mint Condition, and The Bar Kays. This was our first year ever attending. Here is our review.
We personally purchased ULTRA VIP Tickets for the 2 day Music Event, included with those tickets was complimentary shuttle from a specified parking lot into the event, private event entrance, on stage VIP seating, Meet and Greet (Pictures) with the artists, OPEN Bar, catered meal ( for us included BBQ Chicken, link, salad, bread, and some small desserts courtesy of Larry's BBQ. There was ample to eat and the caterer was even trying to get you to take more with you. The bar served alcohol and non alcohol drinks of sodas. We also had our own (if you needed to use the facilities) Port-A-Potty. The seats were comfortable folding seats (you did not have to bring any) and the seats were located under a covered tent. HOWEVER we would warn as the sunsets you will want an umbrella (just a small hand held) and we also recommend hand towels for the heat. YOU are outside and you will sweat.
The staff kept the bottled water coming and continues to ask us about our needs. On Saturday we did not have a small fan facing us but on Sunday a small fan was provided which did generate a flow of air onto us. WE WILL WARN Sunken Gardens is an OUTSIDE Amphitheatre; this particular weekend the temperature was around 95-100 degrees each day. THIS event is not for anyone with issues or concerns with being in the heat; we witnessed many people needing medical attention from the heat. BE PREPARED if you opt to purchase General Admission ( $30.00 and upwards for lawn seating bring your own lawn chair) General Seating ( $60.00 the brown metal chairs were used for guests) VIP Seats are provided. ALL of these sections are close to the concrete and contain the heat. This is not a covered area. Based on what we witnessed, there was not a restriction to lawn chair size nor umbrellas we saw large sit under umbrellas and hand held.
The food court/food trucks offered your normal outside event food, jambalaya, fried chicken funnel cakes, crawfish, bbq, etc. MOST of the trucks required TICKETS and most of the food was an average of 5-8 tickets. Each ticket equals to $1.00. Most beverage vendors if you purchased a drink offered reduced refills.
T-Shirts were for sale for the event at $10.00 and they did have merchandise vendors as well.
Parking was $10.00
At 5PM each night D.Ellis Mr. Entertainment began the show ON TIME, and it did end each night approximately at 11PM.
The event was FABULOUSSSSSSSSSSS.....this year's selected artists had the concert being a Battle of the Bands and if you follow music you know why. Outside of the heat to which the promoters cannot do anything about the event was flawless from our viewpoint. IF anything seemed off it was on the first night the bank PM Soul performed too long. They were on stage about an hour and a half, even headliners do not perform that long. It seemed as if they were filling in time and their continuous time on stage was tooooooo much. You could feel the energy from the crowd draining. Ironically the band was excellent, but that was too long of a performance for a house band.
Although ULTRA VIP Tickets are pricey (aorund $350.00 pp) if you want to experience the concert in COMFORT, and not have to bring a thing that you don't wish to bring, this is the better of the 3 ticket options to purchase.
As to hotel accommodations it was offered to stay downtown, YES the downtown hotels were only 2 -3 miles from the event, but unless you plan on doing a lot of events downtown or socializing, downtown we suggest not staying downtown. 1) You have limited parking, 2) All parking is a minimum of $20.00 a day, 3) your hotels are pricier, as all downtown hotels and 4) You are basically forced to eat out everyday. Our room had a kitchen but being downtown where are your grocery stores? So it is really a waste, if you venture 20-25 minutes away you are seeing $65-$75.00 a night hotels instead of $130-$140.00
So on #DemButlers scale of 0-10 we both rank this event a 7. We would 100% return and just not stay downtown, if we do attend again, we will purchase ULTRA VIP again.
Some inside information from Jason Williams himself (the Organizer) 2016 Laborfest will be divided into 2 parts Daytime events will begin at 12 PM and feature JAZZ, Reggae, Old School R & B and end around 6. The outside events will begin at 7PM at Sunken Gardens and end around 11PM that will feature more modern, popular music artists. NOW outside of your 2 DAY or single day tickets you will also be able to choose BOTH locations or ONE Location. With the heat in Texas this addition alone is a great RELIEF for those attending or THINKING about attending.
The Bar Kays and #DemButlers