Tag - 2015

Mysteryland USA 2015 | Solving the mystery

Bringing together eclectic music, extraordinary art installations, and overflowing with positive vibes, Mysteryland USA 2015 smoothed out many hitches from its initial year in Bethel, NY and left attendees with smiles on their faces, candy on their arms, and one of a kind memories in their minds. Mysteryland’s mindful curation and diverse line-up, brought alive by a gregarious, fun-loving crowd, immersed attendees in a fantasy world of their very own. A land of mystery where barriers are broken and magic is not only real, but apparent just about everywhere.

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THE ATMOSPHERE

Nearly everyone I spoke to at Mysteryland experienced a moment that sent chills throughout their body, brought on by the spirit of music lovers both now and of the past. Mysteryland USA is held at historic Bethel Woods, home of Woodstock ’69, and the energy from this monumental event remains. To stand atop the rolling hills and farmland that changed music forever is a truly remarkable opportunity. Now home to a gorgeous pavilion with bright green grass marked with colorful Mysteryland flags billowing in the wind, the impact of this history on the overall atmosphere was not taken for granted. The festival grounds of today are minuscule compared to the expansive hill of Woodstock’s past, humbling onlookers, and evoking an immense feeling of gratitude for all that came before. At the same time, this historic site was contrasted with futuristic displays of art, including a giant teddy bear and a life size Mouse Trap game, making you feel like a storybook character straight from a wild fantasy world.

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THE MUSIC

One of my favorite parts of Mysteryland was the extensive variety of artists represented. While many festivals are inclined to a specific genre of music, Mysteryland purposefully showcases an expansive array of music, represented through the different stages, many hosted by notable pioneers of their given genre. For instance, the Boat was hosted by trap powerhouse Bro Safari on Sunday. The boat stage hosted heavy hitters in dubstep, funk, trap, and all things bass, and as a self-proclaimed basshead myself, by the end of the weekend the boat definitely felt like my home away from home. All types of electronic dance music fans were able to find acceptance at the stage of choice, with new and old friends, joined by a common love for music, dancing, and connecting with others. Many displayed their genre of choice with flags or totems of their favorite artist or stage. Notably represented were Q Dance paraphernalia and costumes for the famed hardstyle themed stage on Saturday. For those not inclined to a specific genre, the numerous acts to explore made the festival a smorgasbord of sounds to taste test. The stages were uniquely built to fit to the music played there as well. The gnarly nautical boat was a proper match for bassheads, while the Main Stage, complete with two massive, brightly colored horse heads, matched the degree of talent and larger than life acts which graced the stage. The Main Stage held memorable performances by Dillon Francis, Diplo, Porter Robinson, and Netsky.

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Curated by the Brooklyn venue and hosted by THUMP, the Verboten Spiegeltent was held in an enclosed house of mirrors and wooden floors. On Sunday, Verboten presented the notorious Flying Circus party with Ibiza mainstays The Martinez Brothers, Audiofly, and Guti (live) that awed onlookers. Another NYC venue, Webster Hall, hosted a stage on Sunday as well, a favorite location for the heavily New York based crowd. The Owari No Nai stage by Sin Sida was another site to see. Meaning “No Exit” this was a unique party that lived up to its name by enticing individuals with outlandish acts. Complete with geisha girls, dancers, and other performers, I found it beautiful that while some stared at the stage with confusion others found it to be their home for the weekend. There was truly something for everyone.


NOTABLE SETS

Space Jesus

Space Jesus was the first set on Saturday at the Boat and whoever was able to squad up in time soon found it was worth every effort. Playing at the height of the afternoon, with the sun shining in a cloudless blue sky, Space Jesus took the crowd to space church, tantalizing fans with his signature sounds of bass with heavy hip hop influences. The vibes at this set were unbeatable and he got the crowd jumping and moving in every which way. A notable set and artist to keep your eye on.

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Netsky

Netsky was a highly anticipated set this festival weekend, and although this legend had lofty words to live up to, together with his live band, the drum and bass DJ/producer delivered ten fold to a massive crowd at the main stage on Sunday evening. Live instruments, an energetic MC, and their impeccable drum and bass mastery awed the audience. I enjoyed the end of this set in the front row, and let me tell you, that was an experience I will never forget.

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Beats Antique

Having seen Beats Antique before I was excited, but thought I knew generally what to expect. Boy was I mistaken. They were relentlessly mind blowing throughout their set, playing an array of beats from tribal to breakbeat to dubstep and more! Their unique style was not lost, but amplified with a fullness and expertise that only Beats can continuously deliver in the way they do. A spectacle to see and hear alike, they blew die hard fans away with their fresh set and gained many new followers.

Doctor P

One of the original dubsteppers and hailing from the UK, Doctor P did not let up for a minute to deliver his heavy hitting baselines, high energy beats, and dirty drops. Everyone went GORILLAS. Nuff said.


SOLVING THE MYSTERY

While I may have got ship wrecked at the boat, I ultimately realized that that is the true beauty of this festival. Everyone finds a home of their own. Everyone enters as nomads and organically makes a family over the weekend. You are able to connect and camp with people from all different places and who may have favorite artists you never even heard of. You are able to see your personal picks while discovering new artists and even new genres all together. Because overall, every single person came together for one underlying reason, the love of music.

The theme of Mysteryland, and slogan “Yesterday is history, today is a gift, tomorrow is a mystery,” was notably strung throughout the festival experience. Attendees were encouraged to be present, cherishing each magical moment and intimate interaction, while keeping in mind that the future is yours and can take you anywhere your heart desires or mind imagines. Overall, I learned the mystery is never completely solved…and that is the beauty of this life.

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PHOTO CRED

1.Atmosphere: Danilo Lewis for Mysteryland
2.Teddy Bear: Julian Cassady for Mysteryland
3.Mainstage: tomdoms.com for Mysteryland
4.Space Jesus: Andrew Rauner//@AJR_photos for Mysteryland
5.Netsky: Danilo Lewis for Mysteryland
6.Sign: Julian Cassady for Mysteryland

Big Guava 2015

Big Guava Music Festival returns to Florida State Fairgrounds and MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater for its second annual event, which takes place May 8th – 9th. Headliners include The Strokes, Pretty Lights, Pixies, and Hozier with additional performances from Passion Pit, Awolnation, TV on the Radio, James Blake, Run the Jewels, Death From Above 1979, Iration, and many more.

GA Pit and Super Guava Pit tickets are sold out, however, you can still pick up two-day GA tickets for $115 (not including taxes and fees) and Super Guava Reserved for $350 (plus taxes and fees). Single day GA and Super Guava Reserved tickets are also still available. Super Guava Reserved gets you some nice upgrades including private restrooms, preferred viewing areas, access to two Super Guava Lounges, and more. Check their website for a full list of ticket options and prices.

In addition to the musical acts that will be performing, the festival will also have unlimited rides for all ticket holders, food trucks, art vendors, and craft beer. For more information, check out Big Guava’s FAQ.

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.