The streak of phenomenal Dark Lord Day weather has been snapped at 2. After a fairly hot streak with unblemished weather the last 2 years, a thunderstorm came through at 3:00pm and did a number on the festival. Let’s talk about how this all went
- The lines for variants seemed a little more controlled than last year. It wasn’t perfect but some additional gates made line jumping in the final stretch not really as possible or frequent as it had been previously. This isn’t a win, but it’s at least an improvement
- The food was great. No complaints. The corndog had a great tempura and the Zombie Dust ketchup was welcome. Yes, I put ketchup on a corndog. Don’t @ me.
- The free water station was welcome. How did it take Floyds so many years to get this figured out. The humane society ‘$1 water’ has always been reasonable, but for an event like this, there’s never been a good reason water wasn’t complimentary and everywhere.
- The bottle pickup line is as smooth as ever. No complaints
- It felt like there was less people stealing bottles than past years but that’s entirely anecdotal.
- The admission/entrance process was smooth. Security wasn’t overly invasive or militant about the ounce limit as long as you weren’t entering early in the AM.
- I’m a huge fan of the originality of this years dark lord variant labels. On all of the new variants (and some of the renamed older variants,) had 8-bit game inspired labels. While I will always be partial to the silkscreen bottles from 2011-2016, these are still topical based on the retro gaming trend of the last few years.
- To discuss the water station in the Rave above, why carbonated water? It’s very much an acquired taste for the American palate (compared to Europe where water ‘with bubbles’ is as common as still.) Both the $1 cans and the free water stations had carbonated water, which felt like that Frogurt scene from the Simpsons.
- The coordination of the emergency-take shelter stuff seemed not well articulated. It wasn’t clear what people should do. People outside of the large tents obviously sought shelter inside it but police were encouraging some to get out from it. I don’t know what the right approach is but it didn’t seem like people knew what they should be doing. Thankfully the storm wasn’t awful. I imagine if the storm had been severe with hail, high winds, etc, the event could go total Lord of the Flies.
- I’m entirely ok that the beer stations stopped doing pours in the storm. I’ve heard it was for safety, and also heard it claimed it was to protect the point-of-sale systems. I don’t mind that they stopped but it did suck that the variant tapping schedule kind of ceased at that point. Some stations didn’t tap what they were scheduled to and some volunteers didn’t seem to know what the plan was. This is probably trivial, but room to be improved upon.
- The traditional late BVDL tapping didn’t go down as it typically does. That’s always been a late treat to those that stuck out the day.
- Every year we tiptoe ever closer to an inevitable major change in the event thanks to the collective drunkenness of the attendees. Several videos are out there of people screaming at other people (both at attendees and law enforcement/security.) On the whole 98% of the attendees are chill, but that 2% of people is going to eventually do something that results in a major change to the event. I don’t mean to sound like a wet blanket, but we’re probably enjoying what will one day be looked back on as the glory days of Dark Lord.
Over a week ago I released my predictions for how the Dark Lord Variants were going to be. So far it seems the biggest airball in my predictions was Loadstar. Apparently if you put enough coconut in anything, tickers will rave. Loadstar has seemed to finish in many peoples top 3 with Handjee and ChemTrailMix. That isn’t the case for all but it certainly has done better than my prediction of 2nd worst variant.
As far as overrating, Reptilefund seems to be scoring among the bottom 2 variants so far, though it doesn’t have enough check-ins to qualify for a composite score on Untappd. I also overrated Cavaleiro of Varnov by a few spots, though I personally liked it a lot.
The middle seems fairly interchangeable based on some of the full horizontal tastings that have taken place already. This includes the new Lounge Against the Macromachine, BBADL, the new BBA DVR and RBA DVR, and FVM.
The most interesting beer seems to be Rrari Crochet as it seemed early on people were very vocal that it had to be the best beer. Score wise, it’s sitting in a tie for #3, but I believe a lot of my friends who’ve said it’s fairly middling. It does seem to be fairly polarizing, at the least, and a quality first run variant at best.