'Like night & day': Sound on Sound social media feedback more positive after Day 2 changes

Photo of Abby Weiss

The flood of criticisms from Sound on Sound festival attendees seemed to slow on the event's second day after organizers made changes to address overcrowding and long lines. 

Social media users who attended the event's first day expressed frustration for the overcrowding and waiting hours in line for food and drinks, while others mentioned audio issues, traffic congestion and poor Internet connection. One Twitter user said her husband overheated from the large crowds and started fainting before audience members made room for him to sit down.

In a statement Sunday at midnight, festival organizers promised a better Day 2, which will include walkaways in the performance field, larger "No Chair Zones," more vendors and better sound quality. 

"We are learning and refining the experience in real time," the statement said.

People on social media reported notably smaller crowds on Day 2, along with better crowd control and significantly shorter lines for concessions. Many praised performances from Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds, Noah Kahan, Brandi Carlile and other headliners. 

"Today’s experience at the festival & yesterday’s were like night & day! Thanks for all the efforts to make improvements for us!" one Facebook user commented. 

The sound quality received mixed reviews among social media users, with many requesting staffers turn up the sound and others noticing an improvement.

Sound on Sound made its first appearance in Bridgeport's Seaside Park on Sept. 24 and 25. The first day featured performances from Stevie Nicks, The Lumineers and other artists. Organizers told WFSB that 30,000 people attended the festival on Saturday. 

Country singer Zach Bryan experienced technical difficulties for the first 15 minutes of his set and walked off the stage multiple times. The singer only played 20 minutes of the 55-minute set. 

In a recently deleted tweet, the singer called the first 15 minutes of the set "..the most embarrassing moments I have ever felt playing music through the entire last year of my life.." and retweeted a user's complaint about him playing only three songs. During the ordeal, audience members showed signs of impatience and chanted "We want Zach."  

Before the band Caamp performed, promoter Jimmy Koplik told the crowd to move their lawn chairs because too many people brought them and they took up a lot of space. 

"You should be ashamed of how your ticket holders were treated, and how grossly oversold this event was," one Facebook user commented under one of the festival's posts. 

Sound on Sound addressed the backlash in a statement just after midnight on Sunday:

"Our team is working overnight to expand and reconfigure the viewing area to accommodate more space for all fans, and defining walkaways across the performance field for crowd movement. We are also expanding the No Chair Zones in the viewing area and will be more actively enforcing the policy to keep the space in front of the stages open for fans to stand and enjoy the show. Please help us by respecting the No Chair Zone signs in the field tomorrow."

Festival organizers also posted a weather warning Sunday morning advising that attendees dress for rainy weather and allowing the use of small umbrellas. A thunderstorm occurred during Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds' performance Sunday night, according to one Twitter user.