Euphoria Music Festival returns to Carson Creek Ranch in Austin, Texas for its 5th year. The event takes place from April 7th-10th and features artists like The Polish Ambassador, Bassnectar, Eric Prydz, Above & Beyond, Cherub, Dillon Francis, STS9, Jai Wolf, SNBRN, Wave Racer, Autograf, Break Science, GRiZ, Lettuce, Shiba San, The Motet, and many more.
A range of ticket options are still available, including 3-day GA tickets ($159 + fees), 3-day VIP tickets ($249 + fees), single day tickets ($54 + fees). Unfortunately, GA camping tickets are currently sold out. There are other amenities available including tent and RV rentals and locker rentals.
Euphoria is an all-ages event. Children under 12 will receive free admission. Minors under 18 need to be accompanied by a legal guardian. For more information about Euphoria, make sure to check out the FAQ and travel information pages.
Earlier this month, Okeechobee County hosted the inaugural Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival at Sunshine Grove. Fans that followed the coverage leading up to the festival would probably agree that there was a lot of hype to live up to. Before anyone knew much about Okeechobee, the festival was being promoted as a Coachella or Bonnaroo of sorts for Florida and the South East. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise when you consider that Paul Peck, a co-founder of Okeechobee Music Festival, is also credited as one of the masterminds behind Bonnaroo Music Festival. Comparing a first-time festival to well-established festivals like Coachella and Bonnaroo certainly sets the bar high. If anyone had any doubts about whether or not Okeechobee would live up to the hype, I’m sure those doubts were long gone by the end of the weekend. The reaction from fans was one of resounding success. The first Okeechobee Music Festival was a smashing success and it’s here to stay.
The weekend kicked off on the night of Thursday, March 3, with Miami Beach High School’s marching jazz band kicking off a parade around the festival grounds. Thursday night was largely limited to small and local music acts, as headliners were booked specifically for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night. Starting the festival with a local high school jazz band is an example of the great lengths that Paul Peck and crew took to curate an original festival—one that brings in big headliners like Mumford & Sons, Bassnectar, and Kendrick Lamar, while simultaneously enlisting the support of local musicians and artists. From the moment that I first arrived, it was very clear to me that Okeechobee was a festival created by musicians and artists for music and art enthusiasts. There were no cheap gimmicks, just a whole lot of passion, hard work, art and music. That notion becomes even clearer when you read about Paul Peck’s goals and ambitions, and what it takes to create a collaborative music festival.
One of the unique aspects of Okeechobee was the PoWow!. The PoWow! is a superstar collaboration that’s exclusive to Okeechobee. A host of talented artists from a range of genres share one of the main stages to create a special experience. This year, the PoWow! featured Miguel, Win Butler (Arcade Fire), Hall & Oates, Skrillex (performing on the guitar), and many more. Similarly, although not listed as an official PoWow!, the last night saw Mumford & Sons share the stage with The Avett Brothers, Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine), and Preservation Hall Jazz Band. That collaborative mentality is so important because it highlights a critical aspect that a festival should celebrate: inclusivity. There are a number of festivals that attract tens of thousands of patrons and have great monetary success, but can feel insincere due to the emphasis placed on headliners and big ticket artists. Okeechobee felt very different; instead of focusing on individuals, it focused on the group experience, which is what festivals are really all about: sharing a weekend of music, dancing, and art with incredible people.
In addition to the music collaboration, there was a significant emphasis on the art experience. Okeechobee had a number of different themed stages and art installations: The Grove (main stage area), Aquachobee Beach, Yogachobee, ChobeeWobee Village, Jungle 51, Natarja Torana, and more. Of the themed areas, Jungle 51 was one of the most mesmerizing. Jungle 51 was located in the middle of a palm tree forest. A stage at the back of the forest was complemented by a crashed UFO and generous amounts of fog, lasers, and lights. Jungle 51 featured 12 hours of music per day: from 9PM to 9AM, every day. This is where the house and techno lovers would go to dance until the early hours of the morning. The non-stop music combined with the unique lighting created an atmosphere that allowed patrons to get lost in the music for hours.
The Natarja Torana stage also played a special role during the weekend, as the structure was built with help from Dancebreak contributors, as previously noted. The Natarja Torana stage was located near Aquachobee Beach, giving patrons the opportunity to stop and dance or just listen as they passed by.
After an experience like Okeechobee, it can be difficult to try to put together a list of top performances at the festival. The music was so carefully curated; many of the artists put on spectacular performances. Robert Plant brought some good old nostalgic classic rock. Medicine for the People brought the musical medicine. Bassnectar, per usual, got the crowd rowdy, as did RL Grime and Kill the Noise (who also decided to Rick Roll everyone). Classixx presented a smooth exploration of retro-sounding Nu Disco music. Lettuce and Lotus brought the jams, while Big Gigantic fused heavy-hitting dubstep with their usual jazz-infused music. Big Wild brought a dynamic performance with a range of different percussion instruments (check back here soon for our follow-up interview with Big Wild). Bonobo crafted an artful set that coincided with the setting sun. Big Grams provided an eclectic mix of hip hop and vocals. Personally, my favorite moment of the weekend was when Odesza rocked the crowd with cerebrally blissful music, followed up by the outstanding closing ceremony with Mumford & Sons, The Avett Brothers, Tom Morello (who absolutely shredded on the guitar), and Preservation Hall Jazz Band.
Overall, there was little to complain about at Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival. From my experience, it was one of the most professional and well-organized festivals that I have been to. The festival suffered from some of the normal festival madness, like long waits for showers and the general store (at peak hours) and long wait times to leave the festival at the end of the weekend; all issues that are not unique to Okeechobee. Perhaps one of the only warranted gripes was the size of the stages. Okeechobee could certainly benefit from larger stages to accommodate a larger crowd next year, especially if they plan on growing. It certainly will be necessary, as I can only imagine that Okeechobee will have tremendous growth as word gets out of this incredible experience. Thank you Okeechobee and Okeechobeings, we hope to see you all next year!
Make sure to check out our photos from Okeechobee on our Facebook page!
When I first heard that a festival was coming to Okeechobee in 2016, I was curious, but hesitant. Long before any details were released, the festival was advertised as being comparable to Coachella or Bonnaroo. Combine that with the close proximity to my home, and I should have been much more excited. In fact, five years ago I would have been elated at the prospect of a festival in my backyard that’s comparable to two of the oldest and most respected mega festivals in the US. However, it’s 2016 and the reality is that the festival scene has become so saturated that it takes a lot more to get fans excited for a new festival, when fans already have a plethora to choose from. As details started to trickle to the public, my doubts about the festival slowly started eroding. What started as a solid first wave lineup only got better as the host announced more artists and revealed details about the venue. It became clear that Okeechobee was not set to be just another festival. We previously covered some of the sights to look forward to at Okeechobee, now let’s get down to the sounds to look forward to.
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One of the aspects I am most excited for with Okeechobee is the diversity in music. My music preferences are slanted towards electronic genres, but that doesn’t stop me from appreciating diversity in music. The first festival I ever went to was Camp Bisco and I fell in love with Bisco at the time. The appreciation of musical diversity that I experienced at Bisco is something that has stuck with me. As I mentioned, there’s no shortage of festivals for fans to choose from; it becomes very easy to find an event that heavily caters towards a specific genre. What’s harder is finding a festival that brings in the big headliners, while maintaining an eclectic mix of genres and artists. Enter Okeechobee.
Okeechobee has its share of festival headliners that are no strangers to the festival circuit: Mumford & Sons, Bassnectar, Skrillex, etc. I’m here to shed some light on some of the artists that aren’t necessarily on everyone’s immediate radar.
Ok, maybe ODESZA was already on your radar, but that’s a primary reason why I’m including them: ODESZA has been on my radar for far too long, without having the opportunity to see them live. ODESZA is an electronic duo hailing from Seattle, Washington. Their music is dynamic and eludes genre labels for that reason: Electronica, Indie, however you want to label it. Their music is often heavy on percussion and synthesizers, producing a euphoric and uplifting sound.
Big Wild is fresh off GRiZ’s 2015 tour as a supporting act. I guess you could say it was successful, because he’s already booked a headlining 2016 spring tour, with Okeechobee as his first stop. Hailing from Los Angeles, CA, Big Wild produces some percussion-heavy music. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Jackson Stell, AKA Big Wild, is on the same list as ODESZA, given that the two acts are frequently compared by fans. It’s clear that Big Wild’s career is just taking off; you won’t want to miss this up-and-coming artist! Take note: Big Wild is scheduled to play Thursday night, which means that only patrons with a 4-day pass will be able to see his performance.
Big Grams (Big Boi + Phantogram)
I previously mentioned musical diversity as a motivating factor for my excitement for Okeechobee. Big Grams seems to embody this. Hip-hop legend Big Boi (half of Outkast) and electronic rock duo Phantogram seem like an unlikely combination of genres, yet the two acts combined make for some smooth listening. This is also one of those acts that puts on a select number of performances every year, making their Okeechobee performance that much more special.
RL Grime is no stranger to the festival circuit, surely due to his ability to command a crowd with his DJing skills, while also pumping out great polished productions. DJing and producing are very different skill sets, but out of necessity, producers have been forced to learn DJing and DJs have been forced to learn producing in order to stay relevant. Mastery of one skill does not necessarily translate to proficiency of the other. RL Grime, however, is one of those guys who has mastered both, which is one of the reasons why his shows are so much fun: he has a strong catalogue of originals and remixes, but is also able to seamlessly weave in other music. His ability to move between genres and tempos is impressive and makes for some engaging live performances.
Tom Morello (and Bassnectar? Or Skrillex?)
Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine guitarist) was a late addition to the Okeechobee lineup and I couldn’t be more thrilled. He’s officially slated to perform a PoWoW with Mumford & Sons, The Avett Brothers, and Preservation Hall Jazz Band. That in itself will be a great performance, but what I’m really hopeful for is a performance with Bassnectar. Ever since Lorin Ashton (AKA Bassnectar) revealed last year that Morello had been working on electronic music projects with Knife Party, Bassnectar, and Skrillex, I’ve been praying for a Morello & Bassnectar performance. Seeing as Skrillex and Bassnectar, two artists that have previously worked in the studio with Morello, are booked for Okeechobee, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to suspect that Morello might jump on stage with Bassnectar, Skrillex, or both. This is pure speculation and nothing official has been announced, but stranger things have happened.
Bonus: Nataraja Torana Stage
The Nataraja Torana Stage is an art installation stage located next to Aquachobee Beach and the Big Wheel (Ferris Wheel). I have to give a shout out, because it will feature some performances from Dancebreak contributors. Keep an eye out for:
Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival makes its debut in Okeechobee, Florida in just over three weeks. Camping begins at noon on Thursday March 3rd and ends at noon on Monday March 7th, with headlining artists playing from Friday to Sunday night. The festival is compared to other festivals like Bonnaroo and Coachella for its diverse range of musical acts, art, and other attractions. For its inaugural year, Okeechobee will featured the likes of Mumford & Sons, Kendrick Lamar, Skrillex, Odesza, Bassnectar, Mac Miller, Big Grams (Big Boi & Phantogram), Big Gigantic, RL Grime, Kill the Noise, Bonobo, Shpongle, Gramatik, and many more.
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The festival looks like it should be a unique experience offering a variety of sights and sounds that will appeal to a range of music enthusiasts. The festival has broken down its layout into different themed areas, which include ChobeeWobee Village, Yogachobee, Aquachobee, Jungle 51, and PowWow. Perhaps one of the more anticipated themed areas is Aquachobee, Okeechobee’s very own beach, complete with its own bar and waterside stage playing music from 9AM to 9PM.
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Okeechobee is an all ages event, however you must be 18 years old to camp on site. A range of ticket options are still available, including 3-day General Admission, 4-day General Admission, VIP experience, RV parking, and more. Be sure to visit Okeechobee’s information page to get the full details. Don’t miss out on what is expected to be an incredible experience!
The weekend of August 30th and 31st has come and went and the second annual Imagine Music Festival is officially in the books, and what a weekend it was. There was incredible music, amazing vibes, tons of friendship and good times were had by all. I was curious to see how the festival would handle the increase in the crowd’s size that would be inevitable as a result of the stacked lineup, and as a whole it was handled very well. I’ll review all the acts I saw over the course of the weekend as well as the positives and negatives of the festival I experienced (not that there were many negatives but there were a few).
First off a disclaimer to all those reading this: I am a bass head to the core. I live for those gnarly crushing bass lines that smack you in the chest and make your face contort as if it were hit by a sledgehammer. I live for unique and original sounds, concepts, and rhythmic patterns, anything that catches me off guard and keeps me on my toes. So with every festival I attend that’s what I hunt for. If you’re looking for reviews of Morgan Page or Dada Life you can just stop reading this article now. I respect house artists and what they do, but I can listen to approximately 6 seconds of four on the floor music until I’m too bored to deal with it. SO without further ado, my weekend went a little something like this:
We arrived at the festival just in time to catch the up-and-coming melodic bass producer Illenium. I had heard some good things about the young gun so I thought I’d check him out. He wasn’t disappointing necessarily but I was very far from impressed. The all too familiar major chord progressions over basic bass lines left much to be desired. His tunes were pretty, sure, but he didn’t leave a lasting impression on me. Using a drum pad to add some percussive elements to his set was a nice touch, but it wasn’t enough to make it memorable. Followed by Illenium was the trap king Buku. Having opened for Buku myself as well as seeing him at last year’s Imagine Festival, his sound was very familiar to me, yet still very get-down worthy. His fat beats and fun synth lines always make Buku shows a good time and I was not disappointed with what he brought to the table, despite it being an early set.
Then came iLL.Gates vs. KJ Sawka and this is where it starts getting real good. ill.Gates kicked things off with the most absurd mash up I’ve ever heard of, his tune I’m Eel, Ice by Corporate, and a slew of other epic bangers perfectly stitched together to make everyone in the crowd effectively lose their shit. ill.Gates continued to bring massive amounts of heat including his super epic remix of Monkey Crunk by Opiuo, as well as some unreleased bangers that left multiple faces lying in a puddle on the floor. KJ Sawka was decent but trying to battle ill.Gates is like trying to battle Yoda in a light saber battle, you just stand no chance. ill.Gates is a certified Ableton instructor, mentor to Bassnectar, conductor of the fattest beats, and just an overall genius. KJ Sawka is an incredible drummer and as a member of Destroid is the single greatest at what he does, but directly next to ill.Gates his set seemed sloppy and unimpressive. Had he been his own separate set he would have been more appreciated for what he was doing, but side by side with the Phat Conductor just left me feeling like I wanted an all ill.Gates set and KJ Sawka should stick to what he’s best at which is being an epic drummer.
G Jones was nothing short of epic. He was one of my top acts to see and not only did he meet my expectations, he surpassed them. Hearing G Jones on a great sound system really allowed appreciating the genius of the young producer. You could really hear every subtle detail in his productions, the epic vocal panning, and experimentations with reverbs, crazy delays. Despite the speakers only being in front of us, it sounded like his music was coming from every direction. Listening from the mindset of a fellow producer, it really felt like getting to hear a master at work. The future is incredibly bright for G Jones and I can’t wait to see him again. Following G Jones was the always-incredible Griz. With the sun setting in the background lighting up the sky a brilliant orange hue, the moment couldn’t have been more perfect. Griz played the perfect collection of soulful sax-filled tunes and crushing bass bangers that had everyone in the crowd getting their boogie on. It was one of the more magical moments that life has to offer and it was amazing to share it with so many other people.
After Griz ended we made our way over to Shpongle, mostly just in anticipation of Tipper. Despite never really knowing what exactly is going on during a Shpongle set, I enjoyed it nonetheless. The lasers on the Amazonia stage were on point and watching how different people dance to Shpongle is massively entertaining. As Shpongle was coming to a close we steadily crept into an ideal spot for Tipper and Android Jones. If you’ve never heard Tipper’s music on a great sound system before, it’s something you should do if you ever get the opportunity. I truly believe everyone should attend at least one Tipper set in his or her life if anything to appreciate the genius that is Dave Tipper. The man is the king of glitch hop, a sonic wizard. The dude makes sounds that are so out of this world and hearing them on a big sound system really accents all the subtle details that makes his music what it is. Android Jones’ visuals were nothing short of incredible. The man is a true artist and it was a distinct honor to get to experience the combined genius of Tipper and Android Jones to close out day one of the festival.
Day 2 for us started with the representatives from the Pretty Lights Music label Eliot Lipp and Paul Basic. Both playing their signature hip hop beats and original music, which was a great way to get day two started. After Paul Basic, we left for our interview with MartyParty (full interview to come soon) and then rejoined the festivities. Here is one of the few moments in which Imagine could have done better. Lil Jon had to cancel his set due to health concerns and as a result all of the sets on the Oceania stage were moved back an hour and there was no notice whatsoever. There was no email or announcement of any kind informing the patrons of the schedule change and as a result there was massive amounts of confusion. We were very excited to see 12th Planet but thanks to the unannounced schedule his set was moved to the same time as MartyParty’s so we had to skip 12th Planet. Luckily he played at the afterparty so it actually worked out. MartyParty’s set was a great time, playing some of his signature tunes like Greedy and V8 and just slamming the crowd with his crushing bass lines.
Once MartyParty had finished playing he came out into the crowd and jammed out to Papadosio with us. Papadosio absolutely crushed their set. I have seen them a few times before but this was definitely the best Papadosio set I have seen to date. They debuted one of their new songs for us and it was absolutely incredible. I highly recommend seeing Papadosio if you get the chance. Crizzly absolutely blew me away. Another act I’ve seen a few times before but also the best time I’ve seen him. Something about Imagine Festival brings out the best in artists I guess. His mixing skills were so on point and the transitions were flawless. His blend of hip hop and grimy dubstep is unique and satisfying to a wide range of people. Datsik brought the heat too, playing banger after banger to close out the festival. With fireworks shooting off from the main stage and Datsik hitting us with wave after wave of heavy bass music, it was the perfect way to end a perfect weekend.
The only other negative note I have is that the festival ran out of water towards the end of the second day, which obviously posed a huge safety hazard for those in attendance. Hydration is incredibly important and not having water available exposes the festival to potential lawsuits if anyone were to suffer dehydration to the point where hospitalization was necessary. So for next year as long as they ensure they have enough water for everyone and keep those in attendance well informed of any changes in the schedule, I think they’ll have a perfect festival on their hands.
Electric Daisy Carnival returns to Tinker Field in Orlando for its fifth consecutive year. EDC’s Orlando festival is quickly turning into a national, if not international destination festival. Every year Insomniac seems to step it up with increased production and attractions. Last year’s EDC Orlando saw the introduction of the Kinetic Cathedral in Orlando, the same stage setup that was used in EDC Las Vegas 2014. There are two other stages, in addition to the Kinetic Field: Circuit Grounds and Neon Garden. All three stages typically have a specific genre that dominates a day, ranging from headliners at the Kinetic Field to other genres including bass, trance, house, and more.
This year’s festival has booked artists of Bassnectar, Calvin Harris, Slander, Eric Prydz, Kaskade, Flux Pavilion, Tiesto, Paul van Dyk, Excision, Ferry Corsten, The Magician, Carnage, Gorgon City (Live), Seven Lions, and many more. The lineup has a good range of major headliners, mixed in with some new faces and up-and-comers.
In addition to artists, EDC also features free carnival rides for all attendants, art installations, performers, food vendors, merchandise vendors, and free water refill stations. Tickets are still on sale, which are currently priced at $189.65 (including fees) for a two-day general admission wrist band and $312.75 (with feees) for VIP. Don’t forget to check out the Insomniac’s guidelines and frequently asked questions for more information.
Zen Awakening, a music and arts festival will be returning to Orlando this November 20-22 2015. After its inaugural year in 2014, Zen Awakening is expanding its music, art, and reach. The three day festival includes camping, art installations, themed villages, yoga, food vendors, Cirque performers, fire performers, a 20 foot water slide, and much more. As the name might suggest, the festival aims to integrate music with art, nature, and spirituality.
This year’s musical performances include Eoto, Thriftworks, Govinda, Archnemesis, Sugarpill, and more. Early bird tickets have already sold out, but three-day general admission camping ($89) and VIP TeePee camping passes ($500, includes four passes) are still available. Make sure to come prepared by checking out the rules and guidelines and camping info.
The String Cheese Incident’s Hulaween returns to Live Oak, FL this Halloween 2015 for its third year. The festival will take place at the iconic Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park & Campground on the Suwannee River. The Spirit of the Suwannee is home to some popular annual festivals and is often praised by festival-goers for its idyllic surroundings. This year Hulaween will see the likes of The String Cheese Incident, Pretty Lights, Primus, Chance the Rapper & The Social Experiment, Odesza, Slightly Stoopid, GRiZ, Lettuce, Papadosio, Goldfish, and many more.
Early bird tickets have already sold out, but there are three more tiers of tickets available. General Admission tickets are currently selling for $239, which includes taxes, primitive camping, and a weekend pass (Friday to Sunday). Other options are available, including Saturday and Sunday only, single day passes, and VIP. Check out the full list of ticket availability via Hulaween’s website.
Memories of Sherwood is an annual mix series by Common Notion to both mark the end of summer and recount some of the styles of music and artists that inspired them over the course of summer. It was also conceived to embody what was most intriguing about Electric Forest; a festival that they attend annually both for inspiration and as a reset from the trials and tribulation of real life. Take a moment to travel through the music and emotions that most got them at this years festival.