This was truly one of those times when working in the industry has its benefits. I was granted a press pass with VIP access for all three days of Panorama, which kicked off on Friday, July 28th and ended that Sunday, the 31st. Unfortunately, my fellow FlyGirl, Rose, couldn’t attend physically, but as always, she was with me in spirit. I originally requested a photo pass, but the way things worked out was that my good friend Conor was given a photo pass and I had a plain ol’ media pass. This meant he was able to bring his bomb camera while I stood next to him, mildly jealous, as I Snapchatted away on my phone. (First world probs much?)
I’m going to be honest: I only went to Day 1 of the festival. I know, I know, but in my defense, it was my mom’s birthday (shoutout to FlyMom S) and she deserved an entire weekend of celebration. Personally, all I needed was one day before the imminent after-festival death crept up on me. But in all seriousness, Day 1’s headliners made it the littest day of the three, in my opinion. Who were these magnificent artists, you ask? Solange and Frank Ocean. Yep, Solange and Frank… pretty much Cry Fest 2017.
Before those magic hours, Conor and I spent our time pre-gaming (duh), taking polaroids, applying flash tats (I may or may not have rocked a flower tat on my face, Mike Tyson-style), struggling for life in a bubble pit, and hunting down what sounded like a refreshing watermelon margarita (but in hindsight wasn’t the best idea, since I’m not even here for watermelon).
I for sure wanted to see MGMT’s set, and luckily for us, they performed on the same stage Solange and Frank were going to play. Plus, they were directly before Solange! We were able to enjoy their performance while slowly creeping all the way to the front. Like, second-row-from-the-front, just in time for Solange.
Solange Knowles. Girl killed it. Honestly, I would’ve been happy just seeing her dance. Her moves, which were definitely thrashy at times, were a sight. I mean, from what I saw, I have no doubt Jay was hurting after the elevator incident. (#4:44.) Her set was all red — the backlighting, the red sun backdrop, even her outfit was red. So much red, it was captivating. We were in the heart of the beast. Her voice was just as magnificent in person as it is on her records. The lyrics — well, if you’re a fan, you know — woke AF. She was lovely. Her voice was beautiful, her moves were enchanting, and her hair was gorgeous.
Now, Frank Ocean. I just want to hug and comfort Frank as he hugs and comforts me in return. Frank’s music touches on so many emotions in such a chill, laid-back, relatable way. (Even Brad Pitt is a fan!) Quite the opposite of Solange, Frank did not dance but roamed the stage. He wore a T-shirt that read, “Why be racist, sexist, homophobic or transphobic when you could just be quiet?” Which I immediately ordered online (you can, too, here). At the end of his set, a blue fog was unleashed on the stage, which really added a mystique to his performance. It was a casual moment of magic that gave the audience a glimpse into his mind — the feeler of all feels. Afterwards, I saw Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid and Hailey Baldwin get escorted out, a sight that woke us all up real quick. But for the performance, model or regular folk, we were all Frank.
Remember that after-festival death feeling I mentioned? Well, it hit me — and it hit me hard. By the time Conor and I walked off the island — I can’t believe I made it, after the Gov Ball fiasco — we were exhausted. We dragged our feet to the nearest Dominos and called it a night.