Can I be honest with you? The idea of being in a crowd full of people gives me the coldest case of the sweats. Now I don’t know if that’s just the introverted anxiety filled mess that I am, or because as of late the world has gotten just a little bit crazier, but I’ve learned to hide it well for you, our readers. Just hours before I received news that I’d be covering day 1 of Vibe Fest, a local video shoot got shot up, so you know I was on high alert as I walked into the Symposium on Friday night. Now, maybe my hopes were a little high because of the incredible line up of talent, but as I sat waiting for the show to start I felt my concern quickly shift from my safety to my sanity. The first thing that I noticed was that audio was less than desirable. I’ve never been to a show at the symposium, and I can promise that if I have any say, I won’t go to one in the future for this reason. While that may not be the direct fault of the Foolish Artist team, I do believe that Is their responsibility to put the artists that they’re working with in the best possible position to flourish. I’m sure there are many factors that came into play when choosing this venue, and maybe things got switched last minute since the flyers going around Instagram did say Phantasy Nightclub, which wasn’t the case, but this issue alone made it hard to enjoy any of the artists fully. That leads to my next issue, the artists themselves. As the night went on I learned that a large portion of the performers had pulled out of the show. While I know that things in life happen, it was very disappointing to see that so many, upwards of 15, weren’t going to perform. To those that didn’t perform for any reason other than a family emergency, I offer a small piece of advice. Every opportunity to show your craft should be valued, if for no reason other than to network. You never know where these performances can lead to, what collaborations or relationships can be built. Every space presented to show your talent should be revered, and I hope in the future you look at it as such. As for the artists that did show up and performed, you are to be applauded. Cleveland is a city full of talent, and whoever oversaw selecting this talent did an amazing job. The variety in artists was amazing, from Pat W. doing a spoken word piece and leaving it all on the stage to Pandora letting you guys know that there’s no games to be played out here and a little bit of everything in between. Day 1 was a day to learn from, but I hope that the lessons learned made for an even better day 2, and a greater Vibe Fest in the future.