Indie rock bands rocked 97X Backyard BBQ Music Festival

Backyard BBQ featured some of the most popular indie rock bands all the way from Europe.

This year, the radio station 97x hosted a free show with some of the most popular indie rock/ alternative bands of the moment. After months of free ticket drop opportunities, anxious fans were waiting as early as 8:00 a.m., even though doors did not open until 11:00 a.m. Upon the opening of the gates, 15,000 fans were lined up, waiting for the performances of Bastille, The 1975, Sleeper Agent, Bad Suns and many other indie rock bands. As stated by sophomore Bailey Pibolnooruk, “BBQ is basically becoming another NTB music festival.”

Backyard BBQ did not only offer performances but international food, booths for shopping, and contest stations. If an attendee purchased a VIP ticket, there was a separated tent with free food and opportunities to meet the band members. Sophomore Valerie Ely got the chance to see Matty Healy from the 1975. According to Valerie, “Seeing him in person was a whole different experience. I wasn’t just listening to him in my room, I was in front of him: he was real. He’s also the most beautiful man I’ve ever seen.”

Fans started lining up hours before The 1975 and Bastille performed in order to make it to front row. Crowd surfing was also pretty intense at the concert; so intense that singer, Healy from the 1975, felt obliged to speak up: “If any men try to crowd surf, I’ll personally hop down and fight them.” ” This girl,” he said (referring to a fan), ” has been kicked about seven times in the last 10 minutes, and I will not tolerate it.”

By the time the 1975 started playing, the floor in front of the stage was barely visible. They played all their top hits from “Chocolate,” “Robbers,” “Girls” and “The City.” Healy pointed out the beautiful sunrise at Vinoy Park as it was beginning to set during their performance.

After The 1975 ended, the venue was completely crowded to the point where several people had to sit on someone else’s shoulders in order to see the headliners of the night, Bastille. Singer, Dan Smith, had the crowd dancing and singing along through the whole performance. They played every song in their most recent album, Bad Blood and a the popular song, “Of the Night.” Smith made the fans crouch down for the beginning of the song, and once he hit the chorus, everyone began to jump. Having 15,00 fans jumping and singing along, with little-to-no personal space was the way Bastille concluded the night.

After acknowledgements and goodbye messages, the crowd dispersed quickly for a good night’s sleep after an excellent day. Downtown St. Pete was crowded with teenagers in their flower crowns and band shirts for the rest of the night. Several people opted to celebrate the successful day at Paciugo, a Gelato store in St. Pete, while others headed straight home to rest.

Overall, Backyard BBQ included some of the best bands of the moment, food, friends and celebration. The fans owe it all to 97x who did a fantastic job with the lineup, and Budweiser for being able to bring a free show to town.