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Behind the Scenes at BUKU: 4 Features That Made BUKU 2018 Standout

Bassnectar Performing at BUKU 2018

Pictured above: Bassnectar at the Power Plant stage at BUKU 2018

These days, you could be forgiven for looking at a festival lineup and confusing it with another festival, as the market becomes saturated with festivals, with each one trying to out-gun the others with massive lineups pulling in slews of headlining artists. As a result, some festivals end up booking many of the same artists as their peers. However, it’s beyond the music that really makes or breaks a festival; the little things that add flare and make a festival truly shine, like set and setting, art installations, location, environment, and the community of people that pull together to make it all happen.

BUKU Music + Art Project is a two day festival taking place at Mardi Gras World, along the Mississippi River in New Orleans, LA, which took place this past March 9-10, 2018. While the festival is often lumped in the same category as other EDM festivals, the BUKrewe always manage to pull together a healthy mix of musical variety, ranging from heavy bass artists like Bassnectar, Rezz, and Snails, to hip-hop and R&B artists Flatbush Zombies and Sza, house artists Green Velvet and Bonobo, and everything in between. While the music in and of itself is a joy, it’s the artistic extras that provide an immersive environment, creating a seamless experience as attendants move from stage to stage and explore the BUKulture.

Raven
Much of the BUKU production can be attributed to Raven, a New Orleans-based audio/video vendor that “cultivates a boutique design” for events that they work. The face of the company includes partners Chris Berends and Melinda Cohen, with president James Dufrene playing a more behind-the-scenes role, Marco Apostolico and Will Nemitoff working fabrication, and Jason Starkey and Ben Lewis in charge of production. The company is divided into different departments of Design, consisting of Chris, Melinda, and other architects, and Production, which is responsible for the stages and fabrication.

Raven VIP Viewing Area at BUKU 2018

VIP Viewing Area built by Raven at BUKU 2018

Raven has been around since 2009, with the artistic aspect having been around for about seven years. The company does sponsorship activations for Electric Daisy Carnival, Hangout Festival, Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, and Voodoo Festival. However, the festival Raven contributes the most to is BUKU. As Chris explains, “We actually met as partners at BUKU in the first couple of years. So our company is almost kind of constructed by the beginning of BUKU.” Expanding on that, “I was a street team member for Winter Circle when I was in college. When they said they were going to do a music festival, I pulled together a group of architecture students and we built some of the art installations for them and it kind of just capitulated from there.” For Raven’s contributions to BUKU, Chris explains:

“For the past seven years, we’ve been designing art installations for BUKU. All the art installations that you see on site, from the totems on the Wharf Stage, to Fort BUKU, the stars out in the field, the tree, all of those are built in our shop. Our team designed them. We also designed the Float Den Stage, the Wharf Stage, previously the Back Alley Stage and provide A/V solutions for a number of the different stages and components. We also started the Graffiti Gallery in year three.”

Many in the Raven crew came from architectural backgrounds, like Chris, who worked internships, but felt that he “had been beaten down by the corporate feel of a lot of architecture firms. It’s pretty depressing. Music festivals gave us an avenue to explore more of the fun side of architecture and build things like the stars and stuff.” Melinda adds that the exciting thing about music festivals, compared to traditional architecture work, is the pace of projects and modular design. Festival projects work on a much faster schedule, so that a design could go from inception to fabrication at a festival in a matter of weeks. On top of that is the extra consideration of mobility. As Chris points out, “It’s a different way of thinking about everything. Everything has to disassemble quickly and reassemble quickly.” The fast pace makes for long days, as in the case of BUKU teardown, a process which must be completed in 48 hours; the festival ends Saturday March 10 (technically Sunday, with the last stage closing at 1AM), and the site must be cleared by Monday night. Raven starts dissembling immediately after BUKU, running multiple teams 24-hours a day for two days; as soon as the festival ends, crews are already working on teardown.

You can check out more of Raven’s work on their Facebook and Instagram pages.

NOLA Projection Mapped Art Installation
The art installations at BUKU are a significant feature that drive the intimacy of the festival, serving as interactive installations throughout the venue. One of the recognizable installations are the NOLA letters, naturally representing the host city of New Orleans, Louisiana. Located outside the Ballroom entrance, near the Mississippi River, the installation uses light projection mapping to illuminate the letters and the area, and often serves as the backdrop for group photos of passers-by. And for much of the weekend, a local band, New Thousand, served their “cinematic booty-shakin’ music” just steps away, pulling in crowds with their violin-infused music.

The NOLA art installation is a solo art project and the creation of Brennan Steele, a New Orleans local. After attending architecture school, Brennan dove into the world of festival art in 2012. He uses his architecture background as a foundation for art projects; it allows him to first design projects on a computer and then fabricate the final work with a solid blueprint.

NOLA Projection Mapped Art Installation

NOLA Projection Mapped Art Installation by Brennan Steele

Currently, art installations serve as a side project for Brennan, but he mentions that he would like to do more of them: “Art installations are something I do on the side. They are a great way for me to develop new techniques and concepts outside of my day job, which has led me to doing commissions, like a small art cart for Burning Man this year.” When he’s not working on festival art installations, he’s working in his company’s studio: “Day-to-day I’m a float designer, and I make Mardi Gras floats for a living. I operate a giant KUKA robotic arm that sculpts props  out of styrofoam.”

Brennan’s creations have made appearances at other festivals, like LUNA Fete, a festival that showcases light-based art, like projection mapping and LED art. However, BUKU is a natural draw for Brennan, as the festival takes place at his place of work. He elaborates:

“BUKU’s festival grounds are at my place of work, Mardi Gras World, so it’s kind of hard for me to not be part of BUKU. Like right now we’re having this talk in my office, which is kind of nice because we’re having a bit of respite from the festival. I like doing art and this is one of the cooler festivals in town to do it.”

When asked about his artistic motivations, Brennan comments:

“I’m inspired by a lot of art that I see at other festivals, like Burning Man. I kind of reverse engineer it and figure out how I can do it on my own and in my own style. I like incorporating all sorts of technology, like projection mapping and computer aided design. The robot I operate opens all kinds of possibilities. Really just pushing the envelope and doing cool new stuff, learning all the different trades, and using all those trades to make unique experiences that people will enjoy.”

If fan enjoyment is something that drives Brennan, then he is succeeding, without a doubt. For the entirety of the festival, lines of people formed in front of his NOLA letters, waiting their turn to capture a memorable moment at the festival.

Mobile DJs
The music never stops at BUKU. You can travel from stage to stage without an interruption in music, thanks in no small part to the mobile DJs, which include setups like a shopping cart and large tricycle decked out with lights, speakers, and DJs. That’s where guys like Graham Holly and Tatum Neill come in, two friends that operate the DJ Trike. The DJ Trike was built by Peter Stanley and is owned by the Organ Grinders, a New Orleans dancing troupe. For the entirety of BUKU, the DJ Trike is operated by Graham and Tatum. Graham got his start with mobile DJing on a shopping cart made by his friend Finn Stormo. It has 10” rubber tires on it, making it possible to traverse a variety of terrain, and it’s the same shopping cart still making the rounds at BUKU, inspired by Graham’s friend Mike Feduccia. As Graham notes, “It’s just kind of run in the family of friends to start doing this mobile DJ thing.”

After DJing on the shopping cart for some time, Graham got the opportunity to DJ on the tricycle, which holds four times the number of speakers. He enjoys it, because it’s “fun to roll up in the street and meet a bunch of people” and “have a bunch of people that don’t know you, just dancing with you and following you all evening,” the best parts being the “serendipitous moments” of running into someone he’s met before in a similar fashion. Describing the scene at BUKU, Graham explains: “at BUKU, it’s fun, people don’t expect it. Most of the time, right now, this year they’ve just been kind of passing by. We’ve had a couple of good moving dance parties, but it’s just something for in between. And we’re having a good time doing it.”

Graham doesn’t stick strictly to mobile DJing. He also followed in Brennan’s footsteps by working on art installations. For other festivals, Graham has built two effigies and participated in a deep-forest rave called Cinema Paradiso at the Louisiana Regional Burn called Engluf.  There are multiple light projections in the woods with Graham stepping in as a DJ.

Graham’s effigy building methods stem from his visual effects career. After studying business in college, he later learned post-production visual effects in New York, which led to his work with Flame, a visual effects program, leading to his involvement with effigies and the Burning Man scene. As far as DJing goes, Graham picked up those skills by teaching himself, first using Serato, and then later adding in Pacemaker, an iPad toolset that allows him to DJ mobily, away from his equipment. It adds an extra feature to his performance, allowing him to more easily move around, similar to how a singer might use a wireless mic for extra mobility.

Regarding his involvement at BUKU, Graham notes that he enjoys the festival because BUKU draws a certain crowd of people specifically there for the music. He likes DJing in the streets, which is “what makes it so fun. This is like a concentrated version of Mardi Gras.”

His excitement in DJing comes from the authentic reactions he gets from others when they make a music connection, through curating and sharing. As Graham adds: “when people are pumped about what I’m playing and excited about a set I did, there’s a lot of dopamine released in the brain. It’s like one giant Instagram like.  It’s nice to connect with people in that way.” He also adds that the connections he makes with others while DJing translate to confidence in the studio. Graham’s goal is to get more involved in music production, so the positive reactions from his listeners are reassurance that he’s working in the right direction. Of course, it also helps to have good peers. Graham points out:

“My buddy Tatum, he DJs with me, and he’s a great DJ too. He’s kind of why I started DJing, like one of the people in my life that was already doing it. We lived together in New York for a while and I would play with him every now and then. I just found a different way to do it. It’s nice that we can do that. We’ve been friends since we were toddlers basically. We grew up around the corner from each other, so it’s nice to be back in New Orleans from New York. Doing it in our hometown.”

Tatum Neill and Graham Holly at BUKU 2018

Tatum Neill & Graham Holly with their DJ Trike at BUKU 2018

Bassnectar Ambassadors
While Bassnectar Ambassadors are not exclusive to BUKU, any festival that books Bassnectar also invites the Bassnectar culture, which often includes Bassnectar Ambassadors. Ambassadors are part of an expansive network created and managed by the Bassnectar Crew, which includes groups like the Bass Network; the new community group Love Here; and Bassnectar Interactive, the new community organization that aims to “catalyze giving back to the world around us.”

Love Here is a Facebook community group created by the Bassnectar Crew as an experiment in positive interaction. The goals of the group are to “Celebrate what we enjoy,” “Share love & kindness” and “Nourish & enhance the Bassnectar Community & the world around us.” Love Here serves as an online sanctuary for Bassnectar fans and the general public to share their love, art, and charity with like-minded individuals. The group has been growing at a tremendous pace; started in early 2018, the group recorded about 7,000 members at the time of BUKU, increasing to currently over 10,500. The success of the group speaks to the eagerness the Bassnectar Community has to promote positive connections.

On a similar note, the Bassnectar Crew recently unveiled its newest community organization: Bassnectar Interactive. Although still in its infancy, expect to see Bassnectar Interactive serving as a platform for making a social impact through some of the social and political groups and campaigns that the Bassnectar Crew are passionate about.

Bassnectar Ambassadors at BUKU 2018

Bassnectar Ambassadors at BUKU 2018, with Raven art installation in the background

Although Ambassadors are not specifically connected to Love Here or Bassnectar Interactive, there is a lot of overlap of people and goals between the two groups. Like many other features at BUKU, Ambassadors help make a large festival more intimate, while also promoting safety. It’s especially important for large events that Bassnectar is playing, where crowds can be as big as 10 to 20 thousand or more. They promote health and safety by passing out water, ear plugs, and checking in on attendees to ensure that people are in a good space and being mindful of themselves. Ambassadors are tasked with creating projects to contribute, which can include things like art projects, community service, creating connections, and making memories. They are present at every Bassnectar-produced event, like Bass Center and New Year’s Eve. When possible, they make appearances at festivals like BUKU.

Mindfulness of the community is particularly important when it comes to Ambassadors. One of the ways they strove for that goal at BUKU was their Power Plant Stage cleanup; after Bassnectar closed out the main Power Plant Stage on the last night, Ambassadors gathered volunteers to pick up trash and debris that accumulated during the day, ensuring to leave the festival grounds trash-free as they left. The community projects are a regular fixture of Ambassador involvement. Ambassadors reach out into their local communities outside of festivals; they’re encouraged to give back and participate in things like beach cleanups, homeless outreach, and more. The daily practice of looking out for others extends into their festival presence at BUKU, serving as friendly faces in the crowd.

BUKU does a great job of booking a unique and diverse set of artists, ranging from up-and-coming to sell-out headliners, with lots of room to explore in between. On top of that, however, BUKU cultivates a unique Kulture by populating the venue with a number of art installations, interactive environments, and mobile music. While the music in and of itself is great, the extras ensure that the BUKU experience is an immersive one.

Relentless Beats Announces the Return of Goldrush

Goldrush 2018 Pre-sale

Phoenix, AZ (April 18, 2018) – Relentless Beats is excited to announce the return of Goldrush Music Festival, one of 2017’s best received new festival experiences, taking place at Rawhide Western Town in Chandler, Arizona, September 29 and 30, 2018. Following the success of the inaugural festival, which saw over 25,000 prospectors rush upon Relentless Beats’ blend of the Wild West, year two will dig further into the musical amalgamation of styles, tastes and energy. The fully immersive two-day festival will welcome electronic dance music and hip-hop fans from across the country to discover and experience world class DJs, across four expertly curated stages. The lineup will be announced in the coming week, with further details to accompany it. In the meantime, let’s go back and experience everything that makes Goldrush the can’t miss festival of the Fall. #InGoldWeTrust #CanYouDigIt

Rawhide Western Town & Event Center is situated on the Gila River Indian Community and is Arizona’s largest 1880s western-themed entertainment venue. Located just south of Phoenix, the venue is a mere 20 minutes from the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in Chandler, AZ. The venue hosts several marquee Relentless Beats events, including; BOO!, CRUSH AZ, Decadence, Global Dance Festival, and other major artist concerts.

A limited number of pre-sale general admission passes will go on sale Friday, April 20, at 10 a.m. MST, starting at $119 for a two-day pass. VIP passes will be available at two levels: Standard VIP, including everything that a GA tickets provides plus express VIP entrance, a commemorative lanyard, access to VIP lounge, access to VIP viewing deck, premium restrooms and passed desserts in the VIP areas. Platinum VIP includes everything that the Standard VIP pass includes, plus: complimentary drinks, side stage viewing at the Golden Gorge stage, access to artist hospitality lounge, steakhouse quality dinner, exclusive festival gift bag, and festival concierge. VIP options are available starting at $199 for a two-day pass and you must be 18 for Standard VIP and 21 and up for Platinum VIP to purchase. Table service will be available at the Golden Gorge stage. The general on sale will begin on Friday, April 27 at 10 a.m. MST. All ticket types are available online at www.relentlessbeats.com. Goldrush is a 18+ event..

Goldrush is produced by Relentless Beats, Universatile Music and Global Dance. Visit www.goldrushfestaz.com for the most up-to-date information. Stay connected on Twitter and Instagram at @GoldrushFestAZ and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GoldrushFestAZ.

Shambhala Releases 2018 Lineup

Shambhala 2018 Lineup

The 21st annual Shambhala Music Festival returns to Salmo River Ranch in British Columbia, Canada this August 10-13, 2018. This year’s lineup features an extensive and eclectic mix of music, featuring artists like Adventure Club, Brasstracks, Buku, Feed Me, Gramatik, Joker, The Funk Hunters, The Glitch Mob, and many more.

Shambhala is a four-day camping festival held in the woods of British Columbia, with a unique set of artistic stages and backdrops like The Amphitheater, Fractal Forest, The Grove, The Living Room, The Pagoda, and The Village. Shambhala is a 19+ alcohol-free festival, choosing instead to focus on the extensive selection of music and art available.

General Admission tickets are currently on sale for $420 CAD (not including taxes and fees), which includes basic tent camping. Additionally, there are a variety of early entry options available, ranging from $50-$150 CAD (not including taxes and fees). Early entry passes must be purchased at the festival. However, patrons that purchase any of the ShambhaLodging packages will receive complimentary early entry for two guests.

Sonic Bloom Releases 2018 Lineup

Sonic Bloom 2018 Lineup

Sonic Bloom has released their full lineup for Sonic Bloom 2018, taking place this June 14-17, 2018, featuring a funky mix of live electronic bands and DJs, like Shpongle (Simon Posford DJ Set ft. Live Visuals by Android Jones), Keys N Krates, Nightmares on Wax Live Band, Liquid Stranger, Eoto, Break Science, Desert Dwellers, and more.

Sonic Bloom is a four-day camping festival at Hummingbird Ranch in Spanish Peaks Country, Colorado. Tier 2 GA tickets are currently on sale for $199, not including taxes or fees. Car camping is an extra $99, while parking is $44, and to enter early on June 13, an additional $40 ticket is required. Tier 2 VIP tickets are on sale for $440, which includes early entry on June 13, and a reserved car camping spot.

Camp Bisco 2018 Lineup

Camp Bisco 2018 Lineup

Camp Bisco has announced a jam-packed 2018 lineup for July 12-14, 2018, featuring many Camp Bisco alumni, as well as new-comers ranging from jam bands to dubstep and everything in between. Naturally, The Disco Biscuits are headlining with six sets all weekend. Other artists include Bassnectar, Excision, Tipper, Bonobo (Live Band), Illenium, Lotus, STS9, Big Wild, and many more.

Camp Bisco is three-day camping festival at Montage Mountain in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Camp Bisco does not offer car-side camping, so come prepared. They note:
“There is no car side camping at Camp Bisco. There is wagon service to get you from the camping parking lot/gear drop off area to the campgrounds and ability to have a vehicle drop your gear off as close as possible to your campsite. We provide a large number of shuttles, all-terrain golf carts and staff in order to make it the easiest camping experience possible on Montage Mountain. There is continuous, expeditious valet service throughout the weekend but we still encourage Camp Bisco campers to pack light and bring something with wheels to transport gear in (think utility cart, not a radio flyer).”

If you intend on camping, make sure to buy a camping bundle, as the default festival option is for the festival-only and does not grant access to the camping and RV grounds. Early-bird GA tickets are currently on sale for $169.50 for festival only or $209.50 with camping, taxes and fees not included. Early-bird VIP tickets are on sale for $399.50 for festival only or $439.50 with camping, taxes and fees not included. Additionally, there are also glamping options and a 3-installment plan available.

Lost Lands 2018 Lineup

Lost Lands 2018 Lineup

Lost Lands returns to Legend Valley in Thornville, Ohio this September 14-16, 2018, with another heavy-hitting Dubstep and Bass extravaganza, featuring 1,000,000 watts of bass, dinosaurs galore, and an initial lineup featuring headliners of Excision (performances all weekend long), Flux Pavilion, Ganja White Night, Illenium, Jauz, Nero, NGHTMRE, Rezz, Rusko, Slander, Snails, and Zomboy, as well a slew of other bass-heavy artists. A variety of ticket packages are currently available, with Tier 4 GA tickets selling for $199 (plus $49.72 in fees) and VIP selling for $324 (plus $74.71 in fees).

Lost Lands is a three-day camping festival, with an option to purchase an additional Thursday pre-party pass. For people not interested in camping, hotel and shuttle suggestions and packages are available from the Lost Lands website.

Sunset Music Festival Releases 2018 Lineup

Sunset Music Festival 2018 Lineup

Sunset Music Festival returns to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida for its seventh year, this May 26 & 27, 2018. The lineup is bass-heavy this year and features headliners Marshmello, The Chainsmokers, and Excision, with artists like Anna Lunoe, NGHTMRE, San Holo, Herobust, JOYRYDE, Slander, Space Jesus, and more rounding out remaining spots. Weekend tickets are currently on sale with GA selling for $164.95 (plus taxes and fees) and VIP selling for $259.95 (plus taxes and fees).

For more information, read up on the official press release:

Sunset Music Festival has become the staple in its hometown of Tampa, Florida at Raymond James Stadium. What started as a single day event grew to a two-day fest by its third year and now Disco Donnie Presents and Sunset Events, purveyors of the festival in the Sunshine-State, are announcing an unprecedented lineup-up for their 7th consecutive year.

Sunset Music Festival returns under the Floridan sun for an electric Memorial Day Weekend on May 26 & May 27. Pushing boundaries, this years’ line-up represents the many facets of the festival and its inclusive and innovative spirit, adding R&B and Hip-Hop talent to the best of the best in dance music.

The Chainsmokers, Marshmello, and Excision are announced to headline the two day fest and will be joined by “Goresteps” own Borgore, Destructo, Anna Lunoe, Bonnie x Clyde, Canadian trap queen DJ Cray, Australia’s GG Magree, K?D, Baltimore’s GypZ and Elephante + many more.

Disco Donnie comments, “This year’s SMF lineup includes a lot of firsts to make the lineup our biggest yet — three top tier headliners, new genres like hip hop, a focus on female artists, back to back sets, stage takeovers by All My Friends and Brownies & Lemonade, plus some new surprises in store in coming weeks.”

John Santoro of Sunset Events adds, “I feel that we really dialed in the operations last year and can’t wait to show all the added toys we put into the festival this year for our family to enjoy. I hope everybody’s ready for an unbelievable festival. From the start in 2006 to now is simply amazing how our fans love for this festival made it grow to what we are all going to experience this memorial weekend. Can’t wait for memorial weekend and for all the memories to be made.”

Leading up to the festival, SMF released a series of comedic teaser trailers, featuring Levi & Flynn, a tale of two aspiring musicians, living in a RV in Tampa, who were mistakenly convinced they were booked to headline this year’s event, since the duo shared the same name as one of the 2018 artists, Hippie Sabotage. The videos were the work of Agata Alexander, Jason Kaye, Rob Michaelson, creators of the Hard Music Festival trailers.

This year will see the debut of two exclusive stage takeovers, where electro meets hip hop featuring Destructo & Yo Gotti at the All My Friends stage, plus A-Trak and YehMe2 will headline the Brownies & Lemonade stage. The two recently declared “We’re open for festival season” and they’ll be bringing their impressive energy to the party.

Wet Electric Announces 2018 Lineup

Wet Electric 2018 Lineup

Phoenix, Arizona (March 23, 2018) – Presented by Activated Events and Relentless Beats, Wet Electric returns Saturday, April 28, 2018, to Big Surf Waterpark in Tempe, Arizona. Back for its 8th rendition, the country’s largest waterpark music festival continues to make tidal waves of sound by announcing Adventure Club; Bro Safari; Crizzly; Dr. Fresch; Loud Luxury and Sevenn. Additionally, the Relentless Beats premiere house, techno, and underground brand, RBDeep, will host a takeover during the festival boasting performances from some of the biggest names in the scene. Artists slated to take the RBDeep Stage include: JPhlip; SNBRN; Codes; Lavelle Dupree (of Scooter & Lavelle); Shift K3Y and Worthy b2b option4. Fast becoming a favorite aquatic adventure among fans, past installments of Wet Electric have included: Tiesto; Diplo; Dillon Francis; Dada Life; Eric Prydz; Borgore; Destructo; Justin Jay; Dash Berlin and more.

Big Surf Waterpark is located in Tempe, Arizona and features a 2.5 million gallon wave pool, which is the largest in the country. Wet Electric will be fans’ first chance to experience Big Surf for the season, which officially opens on May 6th. The event features world renowned artists and DJs, the largest wavepool in the country, waterslides, luxury cabanas, bars and much more. Wet Electric is a truly unique experience as it combines the thrills of a waterpark along with the sights and sounds of an electronic music festival.

General Admission tickets are on sale now for $49 plus fees. VIP passes, as well as the Super Party Pack Daybed Packages and Big Wave Cabana Packages are available starting at $125 plus fees. Lockers are available for rental at $15 plus fees. VIP is an 18+ area. For full details and to purchase tickets visit www.wet-electric.com. Wet Electric is an 18 and over event.

Wet Electric is produced by Activated Events and Relentless Beats. Visit www.relentlessbeats.com for the most up-to-date information on Wet Electric and all Relentless Beats events. Stay connected on Twitter at www.twitter.com/RelentlessBeats and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RelentlessBeats.

BUKU Expands its Footprint in 2018

BUKU 2017 Back Alley Stage

Just one weekend stands between us and BUKU Music + Art Project, which returns to Mardi Gras World this March 9-10, 2018 in New Orleans, LA. The festival continues on years of success as music and art exhibition on the banks of the Mississippi River, with a diverse hip-hop, dance, and funk lineup that features the likes of Bassnectar, Migos, MGMT, SZA, Porter Robinson’s side-project Virtual Self, and many more.

BUKU 2018 will feature some significant changes as the festival grows into its space. The Power Plant Stage, hosting the festival headliners, has been moved across the railroad tracks to accommodate a larger space. A new VIP Rooftop has been added, adjacent to the Power Plant Stage. A new Wharf Stage has been added along the Mississippi River, opposite of the VIP Back Alley Stage. The Wharf Stage will host all the artists that traditionally played on the Back Alley Stage in previous years. This year, the Back Alley Stage will be reserved for VIP only, as the VIP barge is no longer part of the festival. The Float Den will remain in the warehouse, generally featuring heavier bass artists, while the Ballroom will remain in its usual spot, hosting a mixture of funk and live music. On top of the main stages, there will be a Front Yard area, which will feature a local showcase of music and visual art, with an opportunity to bid on graffiti art. For more info, check out BUKU’s page detailing the stages.

A unique aspect of BUKU is the art curation and BUKULTURE. The festival features numerous art installations, art carts, and other eye candy around the festival. Take a step away from the stages and get immersed in BUKU’s world of art.

If you don’t get your fill at the festival itself, BUKU will be hosting a number of late night parties, starting Thursday and ending Sunday, featuring artists like Papa Roach, Boogie T & Russ Liquid, Borgore B2B 12th Planet, Ski Mask the Slump God, Truth, and many more.

Make sure to check out BUKU’s info page to stay updated with travel information, FAQs, and security information. Additionally, the full lineup and schedule are also available. A range of ticket options are still available, but selling quickly, so make sure to grab yours before it’s too late!

Phoenix Lights Announces 2nd Round of 2018 Artists

Phoenix Lights 2018 Full Lineup

Phoenix, Arizona (January 31, 2018) – The marquee Relentless Beats festival, Phoenix Lights, has announced a second round of artists for the fourth annual event. Presented by Relentless Beats, the two-day music festival is taking place at a brand-new, custom-built, permanent venue- The Park at Wild Horse Pass, in Phoenix on April 7 and 8, 2018. The festival has added nearly 20 artists to an already massive roster, which includes: Diplo; Gucci Mane (AZ Festival Debut); Martin Garrix (AZ Festival Debut); Autograf; Bad Decisions; Beats Antique (DJ set); Chris Lake; Goldfish; Gramatik; Joyride; Kasbo; Kuuro; Melvv; Minnesota; Morgan Page; Oshi; Seven Lions; and Zomboy. Newly announced artists for the 2018 festival are: Travis Scott; Arius; ATLiens; Bear Grillz; Boombox Cartel; Brownies & Lemonade; Gerry Gonza; GTA; Krane; Metro Boomin; Midnight Tyrannosaurus; Ray Volpe; Soulection, featuring: Esta & The Whooligan; Um.. and Wuki.

Building of its 2017 festival debut, Relentless Beats’ premiere house, techno, and underground brand, RBDeep, will return to host a stage with performances by: Bruno Furlan; Christoph; Eli & Fur; Huxley; Lee Foss; MK; Umek; and Will Clarke. Recently announced special guest Green Velvet, along with Catz ’N Dogz and Dosem, will be joining the party to round out one of Phoenix Lights’ more stacked stages.

“The evolution of Phoenix Lights in four short years has been incredible to be a part of,” says Relentless Beats founder Thomas Turner. “To see names like Travis Scott and Gucci Mane up there with the likes of Diplo and Martin Garrix is a testament to how far Phoenix Lights, Relentless Beats, and most importantly the scene has come.”

Also returning this year is Relentless Beat’s First Encounters DJ Competition, where the grand prize is an opening slot at this year’s Phoenix Lights Festival. Details will be announced in the coming weeks at www.relentlessbeats.com.

Phoenix Lights 2018 First Encounters DJ Competition

The multi-stage festival will be held at The Park at Wild Horse Pass, a brand new venue experience, specifically created with Relentless Beats and its events in mind. The custom built park situated at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler, Arizona, is being optimized in order to provide the best possible experience for the Valley’s biggest promoter of electronic dance music events. To be completed in a series of phases over the course of 2018, with the first event being Phoenix Lights, the park is situated adjacent to Rawhide Event Center, on a mostly grass plot able to handle the steady growth of Relentless Beats’ marquee events, including: CRUSH, Phoenix Lights, Global Dance Festival, Goldrush and more. Carrying the full support of the local community, The Park at Wild Horse Pass will provide an experience that will be devoid of the sound and size restrictions that were often a hinderance at previous venues. The park is set to open in April 2018.

General Admission passes are on sale for $159, before fees for a single 2-day pass. VIP passes will be available at two levels: Standard VIP, including everything that a GA tickets provides, plus express VIP entrance, a commemorative lanyard, access to VIP lounge, access to VIP viewing deck, premium restrooms and passed desserts in the VIP areas. Gold VIP includes everything that the Standard VIP pass includes, plus: complimentary drinks, side stage viewing at the main stage, access to artist hospitality lounge, steakhouse quality dinner, exclusive festival gift bag and festival concierge. You must be ages 21 and up to purchase Gold VIP passes. Single-day tickets are now available for Saturday and Sunday, for $89, before fees. All details and ticket types are available online at www.phoenixlightsfest.com and www.relentlessbeats.com. Phoenix Lights is an all ages event. Fans under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Phoenix Lights Festival is produced by Relentless Beats. Visit www.phoenixlightsfest.com for the most up-to-date information. Stay connected on Instagram and Twitter at @PHXLightsFest and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PhoenixLightsFestival.