Moonrise Festival returns to Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland this August 12-13, 2017. The two-day music festival will feature DJs, live bands, and performing artists performing on different four stages. The Phase 1 lineup has been released and features artists like Afrojack, Big Gigantic, Carnage, Excision, Madeon, Porter Robinson, Zeds Dead, Gramatik, Flux Pavilion, and many more. Tickets are currently available from the ticketing website, with 2-day GA tickets selling for $159.50 (not including taxes and fees) and 2-day VIP passes selling for $274.50 (not including taxes and fees). Additional information is also available through the information and FAQ pages.
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The country’s largest waterpark music festival returns Saturday, April 29, 2017, to Big Surf Waterpark in Tempe, Arizona. Presented by Activated Presents and Relentless Beats, Wet Electric is pleased to announced Diplo as the first headliner to this kickoff of the Arizona Summer. In addition to the Mad Decent label head, Wet Electric will be announcing its biggest lineup to date in the coming weeks. As the 7th edition of this massive pool party, the event features world renowned artists and DJ’s, 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.
“We are ecstatic to have Diplo grace the massive floating stage at Wet Electric,” says Activated Presents founder Steve Thacher. “Each year this party gets bigger and better and with this year the fan experience will be over the top.”
Big Surf Waterpark is located in Tempe, Arizona and features a 2.5 million gallon wavepool, which is the largest in the country. The park features rides, slides, and all the features of the waterpark. Wet Electric will be fans first chance to experience Big Surf for the season, which officially opens on May 6th.
Pre-Sale tickets are on sale now for $45 plus fees, before General Admission passes go on sale Friday, February 10th at midnight, for $55 plus fees. VIP passes, as well as the Super Party Pack Daybed Packages, Big Wave Cabana Packages and Big Baller Packages are available starting at $99 plus fees. Lockers are available for rent at $15 plus fees. VIP is 21+ 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 Presents 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.
Phoenix Lights, presented by Relentless Beats, has announced the final round of artists for their third annual event. The two-day music festival taking place in Downtown Phoenix on April 8 – 9, 2017, has added over 25 artists to an already massive roster, which includes: Above & Beyond, Alesso, Tiesto, STS9, Vince Staples, ZHU, Illenium, Keys N Krates, Oliver Heldens, Pete Tong, Thomas Jack, Coyu, Ekali, Ganja White Night, Grum, Hucci, Josh Wink, the Knocks, Pig&Dan, Robotti vs. Sirus Hood, Shaun Frank, Tokimonsta and Unlike Pluto. Newly announced artists for the 2017 festival are: 21 Savage, Griz, Zeds Dead, Bro Safari, Cashmere Cat, Justin Martin, Lane 8, Tchami, Tiga, Asadi, Billy Kenny, Codeko, Crizzly, Dr Fresch b2b Bijou, Felix Da Housecat, Go Freek, Helena Legend, Jax Jones, K?D, Loudpvck, Low Steppa, Manilla Killa, Said the Sky, Viceroy, Vindata and Wingtip.
New this year, Relentless Beats premiere house, techno, and underground brand, RBDeep, will host a stage during the festival boasting performances from some of the biggest names in the scene. Artists slated to take the RBDeep Stage include Justin Martin, Lane 8, Pete Tong, Tiga, Billy Kenny, Coyu, Felix Da Housecat, Go Freek, Jax Jones, Josh Wink, Low Steppa, Manilla Killa, Pig & Dan, Sacha, Robotti vs Sirus Hood, Viceroy and Wingtip On Sunday, a special stage hosted by Universatile Music, Phoenix’s premiere hip-hop brand, will include performances by Tokimonsta, Cashmere Cat, Vince Staples, 21 Savage, Griz, and more.
Finally, amateur DJs or those just looking for that big break, can take part in Relentless Beat’s First Encounters DJ Competition on March 9th, 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.
The multi-stage festival will be held at Margaret T. Hance Park, an urban setting in Downtown Phoenix. The 32-acre park located on the “deck” over the Interstate Highway 10 Papago Freeway Tunnel, between 5th Ave. and 3rd Street, is the home of the Japanese Friendship Garden, Irish Cultural Center, McClelland Irish Library, Phoenix Center for the Arts, and Burton Barr Central Library. First dedicated in 1992, the park is located near the Central Station METRO Light Rail and bus transfer stations and is surrounded by libraries, museums, educational facilities, and the arts district. Building off of this momentum, fans can expect top-level talent, cutting edge visuals, unique stage design, interactive experiential installations and more.
General Admission tickets are on-sale for $159 plus fees for a single 2-day pass or $280 plus fees for two 2-day passes. VIP passes, with a separate VIP entrance, two (2) complimentary drink tickets, a catered spread, massive VIP deck with assorted seating, premium main stage viewing area, passed hors d’oeuvres, commemorative lanyard, and VIP restrooms are available for $349 plus fees. Table service will be available and VIP is reserved for ages 21 and up. Single-day tickets are now available for Saturday and Sunday, at $89 and $79 respectively. VIP single-day tickets are also available for $189 and $179, respectively. Tickets will be available online at www.phoenixlightsfest.com. Phoenix Lights is an ages 18 and over event.
Phoenix Lights Festival is produced by Relentless Beats. Visit www.phoenixlightsfest.com for the most up-to-date information. Stay connected on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PHXLightsFest and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PhoenixLightsFestival.
BUKU Music + Art Project returns for the 6th time to Mardi Gras World in New Orleans, LA. The two-day event takes place March 10-11, 2017 and features a variety of music and visual artists. This year’s event includes artists like deadmau5, Grizmatik (Griz and Gramatik), Travis Scott, Run the Jewels, Zeds Dead, Tycho, Zhu, Jauz, Lil Dicky, Cashmere Cat, Malaa, Rezz, Big Wild, San Holo, Lane 8, and more.
BUKU is held on the New Orleans riverfront, within walking distance of the Warehouse District and the French Quarter. In addition to musical performances, BUKU will feature art installations from local and national artists. Tier 3 General Admission passes are on sale for $189.99 (taxes and fees not included). GA Plus tickets are on sale for $289.99, while VIP tickets are on sale for $419.99. For a list of all ticket options, check the ticket website. If you’re attending the festival, make sure to check out the FAQs, travel information, lodging information, and safety information.
Hangout Music Festival is returning to Gulf Shores, AL May 19-21 for its 8th year. The festival regularly boasts an eclectic mix of music; this year’s event will feature artists like Mumford & Sons, Twenty One Pilots, Frank Ocean, Chance the Rapper, Major Lazer, Weezer, DJ Snake, MGMT, Marshmello, Sigur Ros, Dillon Francis, Band of Horses, Rufus Du Sol, Cash Cash, Gryffin, Louis the Child, NGHTMRE, and many more.
The three-day event takes place on the beaches of Alabama. Hangout is an all-ages event, however, attendants under the age of 17 must be accompanied by an adult over the age of 21. Children aged 5 and under are admitted free if accompanied by a ticket-holding parent or guardian. General admission tickets are currently on sale for $289 (all fees included), while VIP tickets are $1099 (all fees included) and Super VIP tickets are $1599 (all fees included). For a full list of ticket options and amenities, check the Hangout website. Additionally, make sure to check the full list of information to stay up-to-date with the festival.
Following two dynamic phases of artist announcements, Euphoria Music Festival has revealed the third and final phase and completed its lineup for the sixth annual event on April 6 – 9, 2017. The third and final phase of artists include: Chromeo, Knife Party, Moby (DJ set), Oliver Heldens, Post Malone, Auto Body, Bakermat (Live), Lost Kings, Russ, Chet Porter, FKJ, Minnesota, Prince Fox, Turkuaz, Eric Dingus, Forgotten Space, Magna Carda, Melvv, Montu, Abe Masaryk, Resonant Frequency, Thoreau, and Whereisalex.
“From top to bottom, this is Euphoria’s most amazing lineup to date,” says festival producer Mitch Morales. “We have major players, institutions, exciting up-and-comers and even a GRAMMY nominee – all of which cross a multitude of genres, yet still reside within our euphoric musical vibe. I cannot wait to host our festival family, both new and old, again this April.”
General Admission passes are available now for $149, plus fees for a 3-Day festival pass and $249 for a 3-day festival pass with camping. 3-Day “Fly Life” VIP packages with preferred viewing areas, private bars, VIP restrooms and showers, concierge service, luggage drop off, and express entrance are available starting at $269 (without camping) and $419 with camping. The Early Entry pass, which allows Wednesday access for up to 2,500 fans is available for $30. Price will remain frozen, until December 16th. Euphoria will be continuing its partnership with Affirm, offering clear, simple financing to split Eventbrite orders into 3 or 6 monthly payments. This offers patrons the most flexible option yet for affording festival passes. Tickets are available online at www.euphoriafest.com. Euphoria is an ages 18 and over event.
Zen Awakening Festival returns to Orlando, FL for its third year this November 18-20. Billed as “Orlando’s only transformational, music and arts festival,” the festival will feature a variety of DJs, jam bands, yoga, meditation, a water slide, a suspended tent village, Cirque performers, camping, and more. The festival focuses on personal transformation, healing, raising consciousness, selfless service, and community.
This year’s event will feature headliner Michal Menert & The Pretty Fantastics, with other artists including Buku, Eliot Lipp, Spankalicious, Space Jesus, The Russliquid Test, Zoogma, Levitation Jones, Yheti, and many more. Tickets are still available with General Admission 3-day camping passes selling for $144. VIP TeePee camping options are currently sold out, however, Enlightened Glamping options are still available for groups of two ($850) or four ($1500). For more information, make sure to check out the rules and guidelines and camping information.
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.
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.
Last weekend, approximately 30,000 patrons per day took over Raymond James Stadium in Tampa for Sunset Music Festival, leaving behind the bitter-sweet memories of a weekend packed full of music and dancing.
When Sunset’s lineup was released, I was a little disappointed to see that there were a lot of repeat artists. However, I think I was a little quick to judge, because once I got into the festival, I was reminded of why I always have so much fun at SMF: carefully crafted stages that cater to different styles of music. SMF is by no means the only festival that does this; they just seem to do a particularly good job of balancing the stages with great headlining artists for specific styles of music. On both days, the main stage naturally attracted the more popular and mainstream styles of dance music, artists that are more likely to be played on the radio. Over the weekend, the main stage had performances including 3LAU, Hardwell, Galantis, Borgeous, Jack U, The Chainsmokers, Cash Cash, Jauz, Marshmello, and others. Regardless of your tastes in music, it’s healthy to see big names like this at a festival like Sunset. The big names attract a large crowd and allow promoters to make the entire event a much bigger spectacle. There’s a trickle-down effect, so that when patrons pay to see big names at a festival, the other stages that showcase less-popular, but still immensely talented artists, benefit. Speaking for my own personal preferences, this is something that I love to see. Even though I don’t spend much time at the main stage, I still appreciate the presence, because that means I can spend my days and nights dancing and marveling at the side stages.
Day One of the Eclipse Stage targeted the trance crowd with artists like Pierce Fulton, Andrew Bayer, Ilan Bluestone, Tritonal, Ferry Corsten, and Seven Lions. It’s always a pleasure to see veterans like Ferry Corsten. He put on a spectacular show, and his decades of experience as a DJ and producer were evident with the way he captivated the Eclipse Stage.
Day One of the Horizon Stage targeted House and Techno fans with artists like Rezz, Shaun Frank, J.Phlip, Mija, Justin Martin, and Claude VonStroke. I was not previously familiar with Rezz (shame on me), but she was the first artist I caught a glimpse of at the Horizon Stage. It’s been a while since I walked onto a dance floor and been completely caught off guard with the music, but Rezz did just that, in the best way possible. Rezz’s take on music feels a little dark. She blends different genres together, with the core element of her music seeming to be bass. Transitioning between dubstep-ish and bass-heavy house music with thumping beats, Rezz throws down tracks that sound like they come from an earlier, less pop-influenced time of dance music. Originally from Niagara Falls, Ontario, and with releases on deadmau5’s label, mau5trap, Rezz showed her support for a fellow Canadian producer by throwing in some older deadmau5 tracks like Right This Second and Raise Your Weapon; the nostalgia in me was giddy with joy.
As Rezz’s set came to a close, Shaun Frank took the stage and put down some more upbeat tracks with his signature wobbly house sound. The Tampa Bay area is no stranger to Shaun Frank, as he performed last summer at Shephard’s in Clearwater. It was nice seeing him back in the area in front of a larger crowd. After Shaun Frank, J.Phlip took over with some alien-sounding house music, which was followed by another female DJ, Mija. Mija had a great performance at SMF last year, so it was cool to see her progression as an artist, with her set being scheduled for later in the evening this year. It’s refreshing to see artists like Rezz, J.Phlip, and Mija, three females that have a fresh take on dance music, commanding the stage for a good period of time. I took a short break from the Horizon Stage to catch some other artists, but made sure to get back for Claude VonStroke. I had high expectations for this veteran, and I was not let down. His mastery of the DJ decks was evident as he closed out the Horizon Stage.
Day Two of the Eclipse Stage showcased bass-heavy artists like Team EZY, Party Favor, Funtcase, Bro Safari, Snails, Zomboy, and Borgore. Team EZY played a nice blend of Hip-Hop and electronic music. I really appreciated that at an early slot like 3PM, he played music that was upbeat enough to get the crowd dancing, but not so heavy that it wore the crowd out early in the day, a trait that other opening artists could take notes from. He fills the opening set appropriately, but with his technical skills, it’s clear that he is destined for bigger sets as his music gains in popularity.
Day Two of the Horizon Stage had a mix of Bass music early in the day with House music later in the night. Louis the Child, like Team EZY, injects a bit of Hip-Hop into their productions and sets. Throwing in some old-school Kid Cudi was a pleasant surprise. After Louis the Child, Jai Wolf took the stage and graced the dance floor with his cerebral sound. As the sun dropped lower in the sky, Jai Wolf transitioned into more appropriately rowdy music.
After Jai Wolf, I made my way to main stage to catch a little bit of Anna Lunoe and Marshmello. Anna Lunoe was the fourth and final female artist to perform at SMF, and like the three that came before her, she did a stellar job. With the sun low in the sky, she played suitably groovy music to close out her set. Marshmello was up next. Although he produces some great music and can play a fun show, his set seemed far too similar to another Tampa set that he played at the Amp in Ybor in December 2015.
Back at the Horizon Stage, Lane 8 was playing his signature feel-good tunes that seem to cross between Progressive Trance and House. As he played “Midnight” with the sun beaming through the partly-covered Horizon Stage, I couldn’t help grinning ear to ear, knowing that the song was just getting me primed for the sun to go down and the music to kick it up a notch. Thomas Jack took the stage next and boy did he put on a show! Thomas Jack knows how to read a crowd and smoothly mix together a nice blend of Tropical House and House music, sure to get your feet moving. His complementary light setup is one that sets the mood through subtlety. Sam Feldt came up next, closing out the night at the Horizon Stage. Although his transitions are a little less subtle than that of Thomas Jack, he has a ton of fun with the crowd. He also brought along his live saxophone player, Justin Ward, which was a pleasant surprise as the sounds of the sax closed the night.
Unfortunately, SMF was not fun-filled for everyone. Tampa police said they made 25 felony arrests and 8 misdemeanor arrests. Additionally, 57 people were hospitalized, and two tragically passed away. 21-year-old Katie Bermudez of Kissimmee and 22-year-old Alex Haynes of Melbourne were both hospitalized, but ultimately perished. Toxicology reports have not been released yet, but heat was undoubtedly a contributing factor, as temperatures reached 93°F, with no relief from any rain this year. It’s always unfortunate to hear about deaths like these. An event like this should serve as an opportunity to educate patrons and improve the experience in the future. Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn hopes that this spells the end for Sunset Music Festival, but ending Sunset Music Festival is a seemingly simple solution for a complex problem. It may be the politically expedient thing to do, but it’s not any kind of long-term solution that would do anything to end drug-related injuries or deaths, and ultimately results in events going underground, where rules and regulations do not apply.
Tragedies like this should act as a reminder that the best way to address drug-related deaths are through education and promoting safety and harm-reduction. Unfortunately, the 2003 RAVE Act makes it very difficult for promoters and venues to educate the public, out of fear that they would be punished harshly. Due to the language of the law, promoters fear being prosecuted if their venue appears to condone drug use by providing cool-down rooms, free water, glowsticks, drug testing, or other amenities that are sometimes associated with drug use. Oftentimes, drug-related deaths at large events like SMF are a result of patrons unknowingly buying and using adulterated drugs, a problem that could easily be mitigated by allowing on-site drug testing. On-site drug testing should not be seen as condoning or encouraging drug use, but instead, it is a realistic attitude that encourages patrons to be as safe as possible. The majority of Americans believe that the most effect approach to sex education is to realize that adolescents are going to have sex, so the best way to address the issue is to ensure that they are properly educated and have the tools so that they do it in the safest way possible. Why would we not take this same approach with drug use?
Sunset Music Festival goes to great lengths to ensure the safety of its patrons; they were not negligent in this regard. At check-in, there is police presence, drug-sniffing dogs, and TSA-style searches. Once inside the festival, there are EMS, police, and security patrolling the venue. Additionally, free water is provided throughout the venue, as are cool-down areas. Ryan Raddon, AKA EDM superstar Kaskade said it best: “Clearly, if the US Government hasn’t come up with the magic bullet to quell the problem of drugs in this country, it is not reasonable to expect an event promoter to pull this kind of trick out of his hat either.” Banning EDM events is a short-sighted solution that does a disservice to the public. If we truly want to address drug use in the US and the world, the most effective approach is a realistic one that understands that drug use is a social problem, not a criminal one, which calls for social solutions, like prevention, harm reduction, safety, and education.
The promoters running SMF care about its patrons and the local community. I am confident that if they work with local law enforcement, EMS, and politicians, they can come together to create a solution that allows Sunset Music Festival to continue to spread the joy of music in the area, while also maximizing safety and preventing issues in the future.