For the second year in a row, the 420 Rally at Civic Center Park was a bummer. Last year's event was snowed out and canceled at the last second. This time, an afternoon deluge didn't prevent a passionate crowd of thousands of cannabis lovers from standing out in the rain. But the event didn't do them justice.
Here are five things that sucked about this year's 420 Rally, with suggestions for how they can be improved next year. Because we still love weed, and love the idea of this annual celebration.
1. The cheesy glass-shattering sound after someone spoke on stage
When you say, "We're at ground zero," and "It smells like freedom," you don't need a mic drop, which came this year in the glass-shattering sound that played anytime someone finished on stage. We get it. We're in Denver for 4/20. Stop with the cheesy sound effects.
Next time: Have really, really attentive emcees to speak about the issues and liven up the crowds.
2. The lines
Hundreds of people were still waiting to get in the gate when the proverbial ball dropped at 4:20 p.m. We're all in favor of bag checks, but when the lines are very, very long and there are only two security people at the too-few entrances, you're just asking for trouble. It took us 45 minutes to get up to the front (we got in line at 3 p.m); when finally reached the gate, we saw security personnel just shoving festival-goers in.
Next time: Please, please, please have more entrances.
3. The rain
Were those gray clouds or plumes of smoke? It was impossible to tell because of the pouring rain. We understand no one could have prevented that — you can't blame Mother Nature. And anyway, after one of the hottest years on record, we needed the moisture. But it was rough timing.
Next time: Make it worthwhile for the droves of people who are willing to put up with the forces of nature.
4. Bad countdown
There was no warning, no real announcement, leading up to 4:20 p.m. The person on stage just started counting at 4:19: "Four, three, two, one, 4:20!!" If you're counting down for a group of hundreds, even thousands of stoned people, give them more warning.
Next time: Offer a few countdown updates — fifteen minutes, ten, five. With that much weed smoke in the air, it's definitely necessary.
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Recreational cannabis has been legal since late 2012, but smoking in public still isn't (social consumption will be soon, but in a very limited capacity). We get that cops were just doing their jobs today, keeping the peace and holding up the law. But what was the harm in some stoners partaking in their official holiday? Why issue citations?
Next year: During past 4/20 celebrations, police have been more lax. Why not continue that?