As the weekend comes to a close, D.C.’s All Things Go wraps up another excellent festival featuring some of the music industry’s current breakout artists. This year’s rendition, curated by Maggie Rogers and Lizzy Plapinger (LPX), focused on the empowerment of women and spread awareness for inequalities in the music industry. Near the end of Maggie Rogers’ performance on Saturday night, the two spoke of their desire to create the perfect music festival that enabled promising young artists to share their thoughts regarding the importance of a positive body image and foster an attitude of empowerment among both the artists and their fans. Billie Eilish, Maggie Rogers, Betty Who, and Carly Rae Jepsen openly expressed their desire for women to not limit their goals because of their gender.
Maggie Rogers expressed frustration that women are often referred to as “Women Songwriters” or “Women Musicians.” She insisted that women should be thought of as “Artists” and “Musicians” instead to foster an attitude of equality among artists. Additionally, Billie Eilish commented on the great potential of young girls and reinforced the idea that nothing should restrain them from setting ambitious goals. Eilish has herself defied many boundaries by making a name for herself in the Indie Pop industry at the young age of 16. During her set she reinforced to her fans the idea that each individual should have complete autonomy over their actions, regardless of their age, race, or gender.
Not only did the theme of women’s empowerment remain strong throughout the weekend, but the current political situation also inspired some showcases of discontent regarding the recent decision made in the appointing of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Maggie Rogers mentioned that she had a “difficult day” because of the decision to confirm Kavanaugh as a justice. During her final song, Rogers displayed a picture of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford to signal her stance of standing with those who have been impacted by sexual misconduct. The crowd immediately reacted to the image with cheers as it impassioned the audience for Rogers’ final song. Billie Eilish commented on the situation by declaring that the senate were a “bunch of b******” and that the senators displayed “some of the smallest d*** energy I have ever seen.” Near the beginning of her set, Eilish led the audience in a chant of “F*** Brett Cavanaugh” while giving the finger. Most of the audience joined into the rallying call, which served to inspire additional passion among the crowd.
Other artists responded to this situation with disdain and attempted to not focus on the difficult decisions that were made in the past, but rather focus on the potential positive possibilities for the future. Emotions were certainly running high throughout the festival, but the artists were able to lead the festival goers to use their emotions to create an electric atmosphere as the artists rocked Union Market.
Best of the Sets
Saturday featured a stunning set by Billie Eilish, with fans packed to the gills to see the 16 year old phenom come to the District. In the middle of the set, she played a surprisingly charming cover of Drake’s smash hit “Hotline Bling” that gradually morphed into her charming ballad “party favor.” Additionally, she performed her hit new single “you should see me in a crown,” to an enraptured audience. The set ended with a bang with the unique pop undertones of “COPYCAT.”
The great music kept on coming with a powerful set by Maggie Rogers. As the curator, she exuded an umistakable joy not only in performing, but also in the realization the festival came together this year. She also spoke about her unique background, where a viral video two years ago propelled her on the spotlight she now enjoys today. In the spirit of the moment, Maggie Rogers played the entirety of her unreleased album to a crowd of swaying onlookers feeling the spirit of the music absorb into their willing veins.
Betty Who played a stunning set on Sunday, electrifying a packed audience at the venue. Seamless transitions combined with a seemingly unceasing energy led to an electric show that caused many onlookers, including the FestivalPulse staff, to forget the time.
The beauty of the All Things Go festival was the diversity and class of the lineup. As Maggie Rogers insightfully noted at her set, there lacked a competitive aspect to the weekend, and instead she noted the environment was more of a celebration. Each artist also maintained their unique style. Eilish’s unconventional indie pop resonated with the crowd, as did the genre-melding, joy-infusing Maggie Rogers. Betty Who put on a performance alongside her backup dancers. MisterWives played a set to remember with their strong stage presence and distinctive vocals. Last but certainly not least, Carly Rae Jepsen owned the stage as a seasoned performer belting global hits such as “Call Me Maybe” to more intimate yet undeniably catchy tracks like “Emotion.”
In addition to scintillating sets, All Things Go featured a diverse array of tents to appease both the taste buds and the prefrontal cortex. An excellent array of food vendors, including Deep Eddy Vodka, Shake Shack, Vice Cream, Buredo, Rocklands BBQ, Timber Pizza Co. & Sweetgreen provided some excellent food options (and they lacked the upcharge common at other internal venues (cough cough National Park)). There was also interactive art exhibits. Festival-goers could write & draw on an inflatable ball or watch artists paint.
Despite some lineup tumult, All Things Go continued to please music-lovers in the greater D.C. area. We can only hope it’s back and better than ever next year!