Tag - SMF

Sunset Music Festival 2017 Artist Preview

Sunset Music Festival 2016

Sunset Music Festival takes places this Memorial Day Weekend at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL, May 27-28, 2017. If you haven’t purchased tickets yet, single-day and weekend GA passes are still available, however, VIP passes are now sold out. As you gear up for Sunset Music Festival, check out some of the artists we are excited to see.

Goldroom (Live)
A multi-instrumentalist originally from Massachusetts, Josh Legg is an LA-based songwriter and producer performing under the alias Goldroom. He credits his inspiration to his childhood, where he spent countless hours sailing around New England with his dad, listening to music. As a result, his style is serene, yet energetic. He performs on Sunday, May 29 from 11:00PM-12:00AM at the Horizon Stage.

Dusky
This duo hailing from London began performing under the name Dusky in 2011. Since first breaking into the underground UK music scene, the duo has pushed their sound forward, becoming a household name. Their wide-ranging musical influences include everything from Polish orchestral music, to soulful jazz, French house, and everything in between. They perform Sunday, May 29 from 9:30-10:45PM at the Horizon Stage.

G Jones
This California native has been crushing the bass music scene lately, having opened for and collaborated with artists like Bassnectar. He credits his growth and influence to the bustling music scene of the internet. His style can be described as dark genre-bending bass music. G Jones plays on Saturday May 28 from 7:30-8:30PM at the Eclipse Stage.

Yotto
This talented artist from Helsinki, Finland has music in his blood, having started his musical career at the age of 12. The son of an ex-rocker, he grew up listening to blues, classic rock, and disco. He lists his inspirations as artists like Moby, The Chemical Brothers, John Digweed, Royksopp, and more. Yotto will be playing on Sunday, May 29 from 7:00-8:15PM on the Horizon Stage.

San Holo
This Dutch songwriter/producer refined his craft at Rotterdam University, where he studied guitar and music production. In addition to his San Holo music, Sander van Dijck also runs the record label and artist project, bitbird. 26-year-old San Holo has been injecting the dance world with his unique brand of uplifting music. He will be performing Saturday, May 28 from 6:30-7:30 at the Eclipse Stage.

While we’re particularly excited to catch these five artists, Sunset Music Festival features a full lineup of great musical talent that you don’t want to miss. As you prepare for the festival, make sure to check out the festival guide, wristband information, and schedule.

Sunset Music Festival 2016 Takes Over Tampa

SMF 2016

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.

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Take us back #SMF16

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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.

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Rezz SMF 2016

Rezz gets the crowd moving at the Horizon 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.

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Just a small Marshmello in a really big world 🌎 #SMF16

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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.

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#tbt @samfeldtmusic closing out the #horizonstage at #smf

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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.

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!

Sunset Music Festival 2015 | Artist Preview

Sunset Music Festival is just days away and if you haven’t grabbed your Tickets, make sure you do before it’s too late, and check out the daily artist lineup. As we gear up for some fun in the sun next weekend, we’d like to draw your eyes and ears to some artists that we are excited to see. While Sunset has some of your usual festival headliners playing like Tiesto, Skrillex, Armin van Buuren, Cedric Gervais, Flosstradamus, Showtek, The Chainsmokers, and more, we’d like to point out some of the guys that are making fresh waves in the dance music world.


Duke Dumont

British producer Duke Dumont could be credited as one of the artists that helped bring back the resurgence of popular House and Deep House in the United States. With songs like Need U and I Got U, you can expect Duke Dumont to bring some fun, feel-good, groovy house music to Tampa next weekend.


SNBRN

Coming out of LA, SNBRN is a relative newcomer to the festival scene, which is all the more reason to hear him play some new sounds at SMF this year. Producing feel-good music that could be described as House, Deep House, and Tropical House, his name seems to suite him appropriately as it draws connotations of good times in the sun.


Porter Robinson (live)

No stranger to the dance world, Porter Robinson has been making his rounds since 2011 when he seemed to explode on the scene overnight. You may remember some of his older bangers like Vandalism, but the Porter Robinson as of late is a new artist. If you’ve seen one of his DJ sets, but not his live show, you’re in for quite a departure from his original style. Last year he debuted his live show during his Worlds Tour and it was quite a spectacle. With a heavy emphasis on live instruments, live sampling, and complementary lights that set a magical atmosphere, his live show is something different that needs to be seen!


Claptone

Hailing from Berlin, Germany, Claptone is another European that has helped popularize House music in the United States in recent years. Make sure to check out his set for some fun music that you can undoubtedly find yourself getting completely lost in.


Sam Feldt

This Amsterdam native had an explosive rise to fame. In the course of just a year, Sam Feldt has become a dominate force in the dance music scene, rising to fame with his signature Tropical House sound with bubbly beats. Fresh off of a successful week at Miami Music Week in March, where he played at a number of pool parties, sharing the stage with the likes of Don Diablo, Oliver Heldens, Robin Schulz, Kygo, Thomas Jack, and many more, Sam Feldt is certainly someone you will want to pay attention to at SMF. Check out one of his latest songs, Midnight Hearts.


Sub Focus

Rounding out the list is one of the older and more experienced artists of this list, hailing from Britain is Sub Focus. Like some of the other artists on this list, Sub Focus has made big splashes in the American dance world, primarily due to his remix of Rusko’s Hold On, back in 2010. Though his music style has evolved quite a bit since his remix of Hold On, he still knows how to bring the energy. Make sure to catch Sub Focus’ set for what is sure to be nothing short of high energy!

Tickets are still available for purchase so grab yours so you can experience these and many other artists perform live at Sunset Music Festival.

Sunset Music Festival 2015 | A Snapshot

It’s that time of the year when rising temperatures across the country signal the start of the summer festival season. This year, Tampa, FL will see the return of Sunset Music Festival at Raymond James Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. What started in 2012 as a small single-day festival has grown into a destination two-day event, drawing crowds from across the region. On its steady rise to prominence, Sunset experienced a bit of a breakout year last year when the festival spanned two days for the first time since its inception. Last year’s show touted headliners of Zedd, Benny Benassi, Hardwell, and Krewella, along with a range of other artists like Alex Metric, Tchami, Adventure Club, Candyland, The Chainsmokers, DJ Snake (with a special guest appearance from Lil Jon), and many more.

This year, Sunset continues its growth as a major dance music festival in Florida and the South East United States with the lineup being billed as the biggest in Sunset history. This year’s lineup includes headliners of Tiesto, Skrillex, and Armin Van Buuren, with other artists that are familiar to the festival circuit like Flosstradamus, Porter Robinson, and Showtek. However, Sunset will also see some relatively new faces that have been experiencing success with the resurgence of House music in recent years. Expect artists like Thomas Jack, SNBRN, Viceroy, and Sam Feldt to bring the tropical beats that helped kick their careers off, a sound that artists and fans have dubbed Tropical House. We’ll also see the return of Tchami to Sunset this year, who rose to prominence with music that he’s previously described as Future House. Expect similar styles that of Tchami with artists like Don Diablo and Oliver Heldens, the latter of which has seen breakout success in the last year. We’ll also see performances from a slew of other artists ranging from genres of drum & bass to trance and everything in between. Check out the full lineup for more.

Responding to criticism of VIP amenities and security issues that occurred last year, the organizers have stepped up efforts to make the experience a memorable one. Sunset has highlighted some of the improvements made this year, which include VIP amenities, security and entry improvements, water facilities, and more shade structures. While festivalgoers enjoyed shaded areas and free water last year, expect shade to be more abundant and water lines shorter with increased shaded areas, additional water stations, and increased personnel to cut down on wait times for water and security checks. You’ll also be able to light the night up this year with LED hula hoops and glow toys, which will be allowed this year, a move which will help satisfy fans that were not allowed to bring their glow toys in last year.

Remember that this festival is rain or shine! Despite some inclement weather last year, the festival still spanned both days (aside from a short break to allow for some thunder and lightning to pass). Food vendors will be available across the festival grounds. For more information, check out the festival guidelines and information.

Tickets are currently on sale for $149 (not including $13.19 fee, $5.50 shipping, and taxes), but prices are slated to increase this Friday, April 17. VIP tickets are available for $219 (not including $17.04 fee, $5.50 shipping, and taxes). Hotel packages, lockers, and other amenities and merchandise are also available at the website.