Earlier this month, about 50,000 music enthusiasts gathered at Carson Creek Ranch for the 6th annual Euphoria Music Festival, held from April 6-9, 2017. Tucked away along the Colorado River and on the outskirts of Austin, this year’s event included a diverse lineup of live music, DJs, and hip-hop artists, including artists like Alesso, Chromeo, Zeds Dead, Pretty Lights Live, The Floozies, Oliver Heldens, Moby, Papadosio, Yotto, Wiz Khalifa, and a slew of other musical talent. In addition to the music, Euphoria continued its successful Ecophoria initiative: a comprehensive program that aims to preserve Carson Creek Ranch and its surroundings. The Ecophoria initiative tackles some of the issues that affect music festivals by setting up donation bins drop-offs (to keep campers from leaving unwanted items behind), encouraging carpooling and recycling, setting up water stations for filling up reusable containers, employing a Green Team to manage waste and encourage mindful participation, organizing river cleanups, and more.
With the venue being so close to Austin, one might wonder how Euphoria could serve as a traditional escape from the mundane and normal life that many attendants tend to look for in a music festival, but upon arriving at Carson Creek Ranch, all doubts would be washed away upon seeing the musical sanctuary that hosts Euphoria. The festival features three stages, the largest of which is aptly named Euphoria, sporting pyrotechnics, fireworks, and a traditional array of lights and lasers to complement the musical performances. Due to unfortunate circumstances with flights, The Knocks were left grounded in Atlanta, with The Disco Biscuits filling in on Friday. In addition to the two sets of The Disco Biscuits, Pretty Lights Live closed out the main stage on Friday, putting on a display of live music, lights, and lasers—a relaxed way to kick-off an eventful weekend.
The weekend kicked it up a notch at the main stage on Saturday evening. Poolside put on a show that was naturally appropriate for an early pool party vibe. Towards the end of their set, the percussionist jumped out into the crowd to join the dancing fans and to preach a message of love and friendship. Artists Bakermat and Bob Moses continued the trend of live instruments mixed together with DJing as Bakermat incorporated a live saxophonist, while Bob Moses performed with a live guitar, drums, and keyboard. The tempo increased later in the night as Oliver Heldens and Alesso played the last two dance-heavy sets of the main stage. Meanwhile, Chromeo’s Sunday performance felt retro with their Nu Disco style.
The Elements Stage displays a large colored cutout of a coyote’s head, with lights projecting onto the cutout, and illuminated eyes that scan the crowds at night—watchful eyes overlooking the dancing madness of the weekend. Friday night, Chet Porter put on a sunset performance, which was followed up by heavier acts like SPAG HEDDY, Minnesota, Mija, and Knife Party. Saturday night saw a mixture of dance music like CID and Alan Walker, mixed in with some hip-hop and rap like Post Malone and Young Thug. Sunday’s Elements Stage worked its way through some crunchier sounds, with artists like BREDE, The Widdler, and ill-esha, giving way to more dance-centric artists like The Funk Hunters, Lost Kings, and the legendary Moby. Zeds Dead closed out the main stage Sunday night with a grimey dubstep set that had the whole crowd going wild.
The Dragonfly Stage sits adjacent to the Colorado River, with crowds facing the river. At night, projected lights bounce around the amphitheater and onto the river behind the stage, setting the tone for an immersive musical experience. FKJ (short for French Kiwi Juice) took full advantage of the Dragonfly ambience, getting the whole place groovy on Friday night. Meanwhile, Prince Fox incorporated his signature style of remixing old pop tracks into contemporary dance tunes. Later in the night, Yotto took the crowd on a musical journey through trance and house music.
With a weekend full of musical diversity, taking place on sprawling fields and along the Colorado River, we found our euphoria at Euphoria Music Festival. Did you find yours?