Category - Events

Bassnectar Bucks the Trend with Basslanta

Bassnectar in Atlanta

It seems that lately the general trend with music festivals has been: bigger, flashier, more lights, flames, fireworks, costumes, dancers, confetti, lasers, LED panels, etc. Often times it feels like the main attraction has changed focus from the music to the stages, marketing, and overall spectacle of the event. All those aspects certainly hold an appropriate place in the live music world; they serve as a useful tool to transport fans into another universe and provide extra visual stimulation to complement the music. But at what point does it all become too much? Can you really have too many lights, lasers, and the like? Bassnectar’s two-night “gathering” in Atlanta, GA earlier this month seems to confirm that, yes, there is such a thing as too many visuals at live music events.

Bassnectar announced the Atlanta gathering earlier this year, in April. The Bassnectar team tried to maintain as much secrecy about the event as possible, revealing only a GPS drop pin on a map, and a short description about how the event would differ from other music events: “We are going back to our roots – the underground parties of the 1990s: one room, one floor, no seats, sweat dripping from the ceiling, secret location…” The goal was to put the focus on the music and the people, and remove attention from the artists and the stage.

Just days after Labor Day, thousands of Bassheads descended upon the secret location in Atlanta for the two-night gathering with Bassnectar, Hudson Mohawke, Lunice, Truth, Big Wild, Atliens, and Hustle Up. Although the event was not held in an actual warehouse (in 2016, the logistics of having an officially sanctioned event of this magnitude would make that quite difficult), it was clear that Bassnectar was trying to recreate the warehouse vibe of the old days.

As fans arrived at the location, they traveled down to the bottom floor of a dimly lit, wide open space. There were no gimmicks. No fireworks, costumes, dancers, or flames. Sure, there were lasers, lights, LED panels, and confetti, but all were used sparingly. Indeed, on the first night, Bassnectar played several songs with hardly any lighting at all for large swaths of time, occasionally illuminating a small array of lights to set the mood. At many points, there wasn’t much to see at all, but you could feel everything. With the focus on the environment and not the artist, the surroundings felt barebones and minimalistic, allowing the music to do the talking. A normal festival or concert is often tight and packed. This event felt looser; an emphasis on negative space with large open areas that echoed music off the walls and through your ears. The goal of the event was not to have a large group of people packed around a stage, but instead, a large group of people letting their senses run wild, roaming the dark space both physically and mentally—a paracosm.

Bassnectar is incredibly talented at creating a unique atmosphere for his events. It’s one of the reasons his fans remain so loyal and attend countless Bassnectar events across the country: each one is uniquely different. Much of this can be attributed to his obsession with sounds, samples, set and setting. He [thankfully] doesn’t spend much time on the mic, but when he does, Bassnectar is cool, calm, and collected. A stark difference from the crowd in front of him that is visibly going apeshit crazy for his performance. Basslanta is a quintessential example of Bassnectar’s passion for music, his fans, and being unique. It was a gathering that bucked the trend of bigger and flashier, and instead was an exhibit of how a properly balanced artistic event can foster a much more memorable experience.

Note: One of Bassnectar’s goals with this event was to maintain a sense of mystery, paying homage to the old days of underground parties that were secretive and revolved around the music, rather than the marketing. In writing this article, I wanted to highlight some of the positive aspects of the event, without revealing too much of the mystery. For the full experience, you should check out a Bassnectar event for yourself, if you haven’t already.

Okeechobee Music Festival Returns in 2017

Okeechobee 2017

It should come as no surprise to anyone who attended Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival 2016 that Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival will be returning in 2017. Okeechobee 2016 was a smashing success, so the festival was all but guaranteed to return. The festival will return to its home, Sunshine Grove in Okeechobee, FL, March 2-5 2017. The privately owned ranch features a sandy beach, grassy flat lands, and tropical jungles. The festival promoters have vowed to build upon last year’s success; Chief Creative Officer and co-Founder Paul Peck says, “There were so many once-in-a-lifetime moments at Okeechobee ’16. In 2017, we’re going to build upon the magic we created last year by adding new, next level surprises. Those special, shared experiences that will never happen again is what Okeechobee is all about.”

A very limited amount of pre-sale tickets will be available for $229.50 for General Admission, and $599 for VIP, tomorrow (Wednesday, August 17) at 11AM EDT.

Euphoria Music Festival Returns in 2017

Euphoria Music Festival 2017

Euphoria Music Festival, produced by Vivid Sound Entertainment, returns to Carson Creek Ranch in Austin, Texas April 6-9, 2017. Euphoria 2017 will mark the fourth consecutive year at Carson Creek Ranch, and the sixth year overall for the event. Last year’s event saw a record-setting 50,000 fans in attendance, with musical acts such as Above & Beyond, Adventure Club, Bassnectar, Cherub, Crizzly, Dillon Francis, Eric Prydz, Pretty Lights, STS9, and more.

In response to fan feedback, the festival producers claim that they are improving the camping experience by making it easier to camp in groups, decreased wait times for entrance, and improved shuttle service. Additionally, Euphoria is continuing its partnership with Keep Austin Beautiful. The partnership is part of a green initiative titled “Ecophoria,” which aims to keep the area clean and green through river cleanups and additional programs that will be announced in the future.

A limited amount of Loyalty tickets will go on sale on Friday, August 12th at 10AM. A 3-Day general admission pass will cost $119, while a 3-Day pass with camping will cost $199. VIP “Fly Life” passes, which include preferred viewing areas, private bars, VIP restrooms and showers, concierge service, luggage drop off, and express entrance, start at $219 (without camping) or $349 with camping. The early entrance pass, which allows Wednesday access for up to 2500 fans, can be purchased for an additional $30. Additionally, financing options will be available for fans looking to pay for the ticket in installments.

Imagine Music Festival Releases 2016 Schedule

Imagine 2016 Schedule

Imagine Music Festival takes place at the Atlanta Motor Speedway August 26-28 in Atlanta, GA. The festival producers have just released the full schedule, along with daily ticket passes. In addition to the schedule, the festival producers have teamed up with AQUA for the main stage experience, which includes their 3D water hologram production. Water fountains and 3D images will float next to the headliners, as they play out their set. For more information, check the official press releases regarding the daily schedule and AQUA partnership.

Meet the Founders of Imagine Music Festival

Imagine Music Festival 2015

(pictured above, The Glitch Mob perform at Imagine Music Festival 2015)

Summer is in full swing and for music fans that also means Imagine Music Festival is just around the corner. Imagine Music Festival will be taking over the Atlanta Motor Way in Atlanta, GA August 26-28. The final lineup has been released and includes some big names like Adventure Club, Benny Benassi, Borgore, Dillon Francis, Excision, Steve Angello, Zeds Dead, The Disco Biscuits, Gramatik, Caspa B2B Rusko, The Bloody Beetroots, and many more artists. If you haven’t purchased tickets yet, a range of options are available with General Admission tickets starting at $199 (plus taxes & fees).

Leading up to the festival, Dancebreak had the opportunity to talk to the founders of Iris Presents, Inc. and Imagine Music Festival, Glenn and Madeleine Goodhand. Continue reading below to get a look into what goes into planning Imagine Music Festival and what to expect at this year’s event. For clarity, Dancebreak comments are italicized, while responses from the founders are not.

You folks have been putting on events long before Imagine. How did you come to decide to create Imagine Music Festival?

We have been putting on events for over 20 years. The impetus behind creating Imagine started from a void of authenticity felt at other festivals. We felt that the experience was lacking and people were not being treated right.  For all of our events, our motto has always been “treat others as you would like them to treat you.” With this core value in mind, we sought to create a festival that was 100% customer-centric, maintained its integrity and had the thickest vibe possible.

Have either of you been involved with writing or creating music, or have you primarily been focused on putting on events?

Our primary focus is putting on events, however we also are passionate about helping develop local up and coming artists. By providing the highest quality production – our stage creates a platform like none other for local acts to practice and grow their fan base. We believe Atlanta has some of the best talent in the land and we are blessed to be able to showcase it.

What goes into creating something like Imagine? For patrons, it can seem like new festivals pop up rather quickly and without warning. What kind of work goes on behind the scenes leading up to a festival? How long was Imagine in the works before its debut?

A lot of blood, sweat, tears and more work than you can “imagine.”

What sets Imagine apart? Objectively speaking, it seems like you have gained quite a bit of recognition. But, at the ground level, what makes Imagine different? If you were to teleport someone to Imagine without telling them where they were, what sights and sounds would that person see that are unique to Imagine?

The biggest difference that you will feel is that we are one of the few remaining independent festivals. At Imagine you will experience a spectacle of aquatic themed performers; circus acts; transformational village; a colorful lineup with many gems to discover; and an incredibly positive vibe from both festival-goers and our staff.

Is IRIS primarily an Atlanta-based initiative? Are you involved with other events outside of the Atlanta area? If not, do you have aspirations to grow outside of the Atlanta area?

IRIS is currently based out of Atlanta, with most of our events happening in the area. We have been involved with almost every major EDM event to come through the city, since the nineties. It’s our home and therefore has been a great place for us to start. We are always looking for opportunities to expand and eventually would like to be an internationally recognized brand.

Are you primarily focused on dance music, or do you have other ventures unrelated to dance music that you’re involved in that you would like to share?

Our roots are in electronic music – it’s where we got our start and is what we know best. Music is always evolving however, and we will evolve with the music. That being said we have some other projects in the works that would open us up to experimenting with other genres and new experiences.

Dance music used to be more of a counterculture idea; the artists, patrons, and enthusiasts tended to be more on the fringe of what society considered “normal.” Yet these days, it’s everywhere. In your opinion, what caused that change? Did dance music become more “normal” or did society become more “weird?”

At its core, the scene was always about the music and gathering together for the music, the love, the party, and the knowledge. Dance music makes you feel good and creates an environment free of judgment where you could express yourself. I wouldn’t say that the participants were not normal, some were perhaps the most ordinary of people looking for an escape from their everyday lives. It’s hard not to like electronic music as it can be very uplifting. It was only a matter of time for the mass-market to catch on – we believe the internet and social media perhaps played the biggest role in lifting the music out of the underground. It simply became easier for more people to connect and share a common love for the music.

Has this changed the way you plan, promote, and throw events at all?

To keep some of our old school flavor, we still employ some traditional promotional methods, but Social Media sure has made getting the word out much easier.

What challenges has the commercialization of dance music presented for you guys? How have you benefited?

Most promoters will agree that skyrocketing DJ rates has created the biggest challenge for festivals. Now there is a larger market out there opening our events up to more people, but there is still a great deal of risk involved.

To wrap things up, can you comment on what patrons can expect for this year’s Imagine? What’s something that a returning Imagine fan can look forward to? What about someone who is coming to Imagine for the first time?

At the end of last year’s show, we took to the stage and promised everyone that things would only get bigger and better – and that still holds true. From a bigger lineup, more performers, more days, bigger venue with camping – there is a lot to look forward to this year. For someone coming to Imagine for the first time, we hope they feel the same energy and love that was felt by every first-timer before them.

Thank you for your time, we look forward to seeing you all at Imagine Music Festival this August!

Life is Beautiful 2016 Lineup

Life is Beautiful returns to Las Vegas this September 23-25 for its fourth year. Started in 2013, Life is Beautiful regularly features a healthy mix of hip-hop, alternative, rock, indie, and dance music. This year’s boasts one of its most robust lineups with artists like Bassnectar, Mumford & Sons, Flume, The Temper Trap, Third Eye Blind, Crystal Castles, Galantis, Die Antwoord, Chromeo, G-Eazy, The Shins, Duke Dumont, Gryffin, and many more.

On all three days, the festival opens at 2PM and ends at 1AM. Tickets are currently on sale with 3-day general admission tickets starting at $285 and 3-day VIP tickets starting at $655. A range of other ticketing options are available.

The event touts itself as a “movement,” a “soul collective” of “dreamers and doers.” Because of this, the festival boasts a number of attractions in addition to music, including art installations and learning workshops. The event looks like it will be a spectacular experience. For more information, check the Life is Beautiful website.

Sunset Music Festival 2016: Artist Preview

Sunset Music Festival is just around the corner (make sure to get your tickets!) and with that in mind, we wanted to let our readers know of artists that we’re excited to see. This year’s lineup is pretty star-studded with the likes of The Chainsmokers, Jack U, Galantis, Hardwell, and other big names. However, we like to shed light on some of the lesser known artists that are busy making fresh waves in the ocean of music. If you don’t already know about these artists, make sure to keep an eye out for them as their following only gets larger.

Team EZY

LA-based Team EZY AKA Drew Gold spent the last five years touring with Skrillex in various management roles. His debut single (Pretty Bye Bye) released earlier this year was a collaboration with Skrillex. Now he’s starting his own artist venture and Sunset Music Festival is one of his first stops. His music style ranges from chill and liquid to hard and raw. The influence from Skrillex and OWSLA on his music style is evident, yet he still brings his own special touch that brings his bass music to life.

Lost Kings

This duo consisting of Robert Gainley and Dr. No have been blazing their trail through the dance music scene over the last year, most recently inking a deal with Spinnin’. These make some really fun music and seem like they really know how to have a good time on stage.

Jai Wolf

Jai Wolf has been making moves in the dance world lately, having done official work for Alesso, Dirty South, ODESZA, and more. His style brings in hip-hop, pop, and bass elements, resulting in some smooth and euphoric tunes that fill the room and capture the moment. His remixes of Miss U, Heroes, and Say My Name are all great examples of his ability to take a popular song and put his unique feel-good spin on it.

Vanic

British Columbia native Vanic AKA Jesse Hughes has been absolutely crushing the bass music scene. With a wide selection of originals and remixes, his style is a nice balance of rowdy and euphoric. Vanic knows how to bring the party atmosphere, so definitely check out his set at SMF!

Louis the Child

This duo hailing from Chicago says their goal is to make music that makes people happy. With releases on Skrillex’s label OWSLA, the two have enjoyed widespread critical acclaim with their single “It’s Strange” having been featured on popular radio shows like BBC and Triple J. The two set the atmosphere with their chill bass beats.

Bonus: Claude VonStroke

Ok, so Claude VonStroke is not up-and-coming by any means, but he really needed his own little shout-out. He has been a dominate force in the house music scene for over ten years. This is one of those artists that knows how to produce, but if you ask me, he really shines while on the decks. His technical skills when it comes to DJing will leave you floored. His set will undoubtedly get the feet moving!

Imagine Music Festival 2016: Lineup & Info

Imagine Music Festival Logo

Imagine Music Festival returns to Atlanta, GA for its third year. Previously a two-day event, Imagine expands to three-days this year, taking place from August 26-28, 2016. The festival previously took place at Atlanta’s Historic Fourth Ward and Masquerade Music Park, however, the location for this year’s event has not yet been unannounced. Undoubtedly, this has to do with their expansion, as this will be the first year that Imagine has the option to camp at the festival. This should be a great indicator of the festival’s prospects; Imagine has been hailed as one of the top festivals in the country, and continues to show its dominance as a music and arts festival. This year, the festival boasts an impressive lineup, with artists like Nero, Zeds Dead, Gramatik, Benny Benassi, Borgore, Dillon Francis, Excision, Beats Antique, Caspa B2B Rusko, Pantyraid, The Opiuo Band, Lotus, Doctor P, EDX, and many more. This is only the first phase of the lineup release, so expect even more top artists to be added!

In addition to the music, the festival curators have gone to great lengths to differentiate Imagine from other festivals by putting an emphasis on performance art and other attractions. This year’s festival will include special events and workshops, amusement rides, aquatic environments, circus performances, and a silent disco. Tickets are currently on sale: General Admission tickets are $188.44 (fees included), while VIP tickets are currently selling for $324.94 (fees included). For those looking to camp, all patrons must have both a festival pass and a camping pass. GA camping passes are selling for $84.43 (fees included), while VIP camping passes are going for $125.44 (fees included). This means that the total cost for GA camping is $272.87, while the total cost for VIP camping is $450.38. For those that are not camping and instead need a weekend parking pass, those passes are selling for $47.94 (fees included). A range of other options and amenities are available, including RV camping and shuttles. Make sure to check out the full list of ticket options and read the fine print carefully so that you buy the correct selection of passes! It looks like the Imagine Music Festival website still has some parts that are under construction. As the date gets closer, make sure to check back to see what FAQs and information are available.

Sunset Music Festival 2016: Lineup & Info

Sunset Music Festival 2016

Sunset Music Festival returns to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL for its fifth year this Memorial Day Weekend (Saturday May 28 to Sunday May 29). This year’s lineup will see some familiar faces like Hardwell, The Chainsmokers, Jack U (Skrillex previously played a solo set last year, but will be joined by Diplo this year for Jack U), Mija, Claptone, Sam Feldt, Thomas Jack, Cash Cash, Borgore, Funtcase, and more. Newer names include Snails, Seven Lions, Vanic, Jai Wolf, Jauz, Matoma, Marshmello, Lane 8, Claude Vonstroke, CID, Louis the Child, and more. Additionally, although this is pure speculation, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to think that Justin Bieber might make an appearance for Jack U, especially considering that he doesn’t appear to have any conflicting events booked for May 29. Check out the full lineup here.

The previous two Sunset Music Festival events drew crowds in the neighborhood of 40,000-50,000, in spite of some of the temporary weather difficulties the festival has faced. Expect this year’s festival to be, at a minimum, on par with previous years in terms of attendance and production value. Tickets are currently on sale with General Admission tickets going for $159 (plus fees), while VIP passes are $234 (plus fees). Make sure to check out Sunset’s information, including their guide, location, and safety. We hope to see you there!

Panorama Music, Art, & Technology Festival 2016

Panorama Festival

The inaugural Panorama Music, Art, & Technology Festival makes its debut July 22-24 2016 at Randall’s Island Park, New York City (which is also home to the annual Electric Zoo and Governor’s Ball festivals). Expectations should be high, given that the event is presented by the same people behind Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, a national icon for festivals in the US. The lineup includes a diverse selection of Hip Hop, R&B, Dance, Music, Rock, and Indie Music, with artists like Arcade Fire, Major Lazer, Kendrick Lamar, LCD Soundsystem, Classixx, Jai Wolf, AlunaGeorge, Alabama Shakes, A$AP Rocky, and many more.

In addition to the music and art installations, the festival’s media company, The Verge, have put together Future Lab, “an interactive, experiential installation that explores the possibilities of music and technology.” Tickets are already on sale with 3-day General Admission tickets going for $369 (fees included). VIP tickets are available for $769 (fees included), while limited General Admission single-day tickets are going for $125 (fees included). Make sure to check out the information page for a list of Frequently Asked Questions, travel information, rules, and more.