Category - Events

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.

BUKU 2015: The Rewind

The pace of my on-trend sneakers eagerly increased as I stepped from the paved streets towards the muddy fields lining that beautiful Mississippi River. The energy of the crowd was crunching paths of freshly placed gravel to a beat, a high-energy electronic beat. I was ready to check out what summoned beaucoup believers to the Buku experience. Game on New Orleans, let’s go.

Mardi Gras World was the scene of a play and diverse in its characters and stages. Sexy youthful girls geared with hula hoops and highwaisted booty shorts playing to dudes sporting perfectly mismatched prints and muscle shirts. The smell of vaping was in the air. I had my eye and ear on one of the outdoor stages ‘Power Plant’ which yes had a most awesome vintage and seemingly abandoned power plant behind it. The breeze from the river was hitting as I scanned my wristband and entered the madness. I was smitten by the chill funk ST69 was emitting but had to explore the rest of the fest before relaxing to those perfect sunset beats. Right past the Power Plant Stage was a docked paddleboat, the VIP S.S. Buku. It’s tall vertical exhaust stacks were dressed in black costumes mimicking those of the electronic Blu cigarettes, smoke emitting and all. One thing that’s certainly a staple at all fests are the tabacco industry. Interestingly I think this was this fest that confirmed for me that those dirty, smoky, cumbersome cigarettes are out and electronic is now the way. A kid came up to us and opened his backpack ready to sling us his homemade oils and solutions 5 minutes later. Call me old-school, but I was intrigued and took his card. I wasn’t cool enough to make it on the S.S. but I certainly heard that a local talent Boyfriend 69 played one hell of a show.

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As we veered past the Ballroom, the scene took a dive towards urban, “gangsta” vibes. Straight ahead was a bold, beautiful wall boasting live action graffiti readying to be auctioned off at the end of the fest. It was organized, well displayed and impressive. I love art and this art was worth every penny. The prices for some were as low as several hundred dollars and these pieces were like 10×20’. A scene like this next the flowing river waters was sweet and definitely a moment in our era that I savored. There were other arts for sale as well. Technicolor, highly saturated hats, tights, tapestries, and glasses galore. I was tempted to strip and go full on makeover but I decided to spend my money on booze and food instead. Note to self: if you’re going to New Orleans, you must remember – this is what they do. Well too. Just ask Lil Boosie, LA native, who was giving a triumphant return performance since his recent release from prison. After grabbing some grub, we headed to the float den, a warehouse where the traditional Mardi Gras floats are created and stored all year long. Remanants of the décor remained on the outskirts, but the space was now overflowing with lasers perfectly highlighting hundreds of jumping, moving, girating silhouettes. Zomboy was hittin it and an overall crowd pleaser where I was standing, but I had to hit up Portugal The Man as they’re all over my playlist at home. I headed to the Ballroom and was stoked to hear them play some of my favorite jams as well as some really fun covers. They’re cool, it’s true. Rounded out the rest of the evening with some Flosstradamus and Empire of the Sun.

@flosstradamus. Much Turnt. V fun. Wow. #BUKU2015 A photo posted by BUKU Music and Art Project (@thebukuproject) on

Who caught Empire of the Sun’s incredible #PowerPlant performance last night? #BUKU2015 #TOOBUKU

A photo posted by BUKU Music and Art Project (@thebukuproject) on

Round 2 on Saturday yielded most of the same crowd with the addition of more costumes. Unicorns, Robots, Globots, and who knows nots roamed about the crowd ready to rev it up. I enjoyed all of the above and once again considered a costume change. The weather was still rockin, a little cooler than Friday and a little greener too…. It was St. Patrick’s Day Parade time in New Orleans after all. While TV On The Radio was rocking out, an influx of green locals came pouring in. The energy leveled up. I felt it. All of this was leading up to one act though and it certainly made itself known without introduction needed. From across the festival I could hear it loud and clear – Bassnectar. All electronic music sounds the same, huh? No way in hell. My body felt the rhythm, the buildup, the blow out, the rush. They are royalty for a reason. Beaucoup thanks to Bassnectar as I wouldn’t have been nearly as satisfied without you.

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Mind Blown Always, Cheria.

BUKU 2015 | Initial Line-Up Announcement

Last year we had the opportunity to travel down to good ol’ NOLA to cover the Buku Music and Art Project 2014 and we were completely surprised by the high caliber production that was packed into the little area of Mardi Grais World near the Port of New Orleans. We couldn’t be more excited to see BUKU continuing to book a widely diverse and MASSIVE line up for the event in 2015.

This year’s event returns to the warehouse district continuing its tradition of bringing hugely iconic artists spanning many genres of music from hip hop to funk to electronic music. Some of the biggest artists to preform are bass guru Bassnectar; arguably the biggest name in downtempo, GramatikEats Everything and Justin Martin with a Dirtybird B2B set; the masterful production duo Odesza in the wake of their huge LP release, “In Return;” the face of tropical house, Thomas Jack; hip hop soothsayer A$AP Rocky; and Soulection super star Mr. Carmack.

Coupled with this heavy hitting line up, BUKU is also set to feature a number of pop up street artists (hopefully including the graffiti wall that they have every year), local food vendors bringing you authentic tastes of Louisiana, and a number of art installments to round out the aesthetic of the festival.

Tickets are now on sale for the gracious price of $179.50 for general admission along with an array of VIP options including regular VIP and Too BUKU. Click the buttons below, grab your tickets, and we’ll see you in beautiful New Orleans in a few months.

GA

VIP

TOO BUKU