Excitement ran through me as I spent hours on the freeway and a good portion of it in traffic with my friend who doesn’t smoke weed. That didn’t stop me from blazing every minute while we headed to the middle of nowhere, Victorville. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but knew I had to prep myself or I’d never make it through my first cannabis festival.
Last weekend, July 7-9, owner Doug Dracup hosted his fourth annual Chalice Festival at the San Bernardino Fairgrounds. With dozens of artists, professional glassblowers, over 30,000 people and more than 750 vendors in this year’s attendance, as well as the need to be better than previous years, event expectations were bound to be set high. And though I consume cannabis all day, every day there was still no way, being a rookie, I could have been ready for what Chalice had for me.
After I got my “medicating” wristband we started to look around, it didn’t take long before the large fairgrounds became a little overwhelming and it was necessary to create a plan. So we started at Nature’s Lab and worked our way through the themed tents filled with various vendors towards the main stage. Thankfully, most of them were air-conditioned, so while I stopped every few steps with each new company and got my product knowledge, samples and free dabs I wasn’t disintegrating from the 115 degree heat.
The weather was the worst part of the entire weekend, the Big Splash log ride barely made a difference; it was almost unbearable and never let up. I was surprised with the overwhelming heat, there wasn’t more access to free water. In fact, I don’t remember seeing a single drinking fountain, which was a major complaint about the festival. “Charging for water in the middle of a severe heat wave, really guys?” said Chalice attendee Melissa Militia. “They could save themselves the legal fees from people getting heat stroke if they provided water stations.”
Personally, I was less worried about passing out from the heat, but rather dying from cottonmouth. Unlimited dabs were only the beginning: Chalice gives cannabis companies a chance to showcase their products to thousands of people from one spot for three days, what better way than to pass out tasters? Damn! I’ve never had so many edibles in such little time in my life, once those babies kicked in on top everything else, it felt like I tried to swallow a pack of saltines and a jar of peanut butter. It was awesome-the high, not the dry mouth. I had it wrong from the start, thinking I needed to prep instead of pace, I was lit AF and I didn’t smoke one bowl from my personal stash.
With the exception of watching Cypress Hill’s sick performance of songs like “Insane in the Brain” and “Dr. Greenthumb,” all of Friday I spent checking out and trying cannabis products. So Saturday we switched it up, taking the majority of the day admiring the graffiti, art, glass, live demos and in front the main stage. Chalice changed things up a little bit causing Cam’ron, Big Boi, Sleepy Brown, Lox and the rest of the music schedule to be delayed, but headliner Ice Cube was almost two hours late, claiming some bullshit about his limo breaking down-blah blah.
“We waited for an hour and a half for Ice Cube and then they announced he wasn’t even there yet,” said Speakeasy 710 president Mike Kelly. “So we left and went to Hesperia to pick some oil from my NorCal partners.”
Zeiki Farms, Jungle Boys, Hitman and other vendors threw weed, clothes and tons of free stuff into the crowd in attempt to keep them occupied. When he finally arrived the fans went crazy as Cube and WC started rapping old school tracks including I Rep That West and It Was A Good Day, forgetting they’d been waiting forever, focusing only on the hip-hop legend in front of them.
While everyone’s throwing shade at the “Westside Warlord”, they forgot one of the main reasons for this event-the competition. Nameless Genetics, Cannavis, Panacea x Luxe x Hive, The Proper Extracts and Crème de Canna were some of the chosen category winners for the 2017 Chalice cup. The ceremony to award these products was schedule for that Friday 3 p.m. on the main stage, but for whatever reason it was postponed until 2 p.m. the following day. Regardless of who I asked, no one knew who, what, when, or where about the ceremony, another breakdown?
Aside from Cube lagging, Chalice misplacing the awards ceremony, being overlooked for the stage giveaways and the intense heat, it was a lot of fun, overly awesome and I didn’t die. I officially survived my first Chalice. The festival was a success, but next year Dougie, can we do it near the beach?