Tag - New Orleans

“Pass a Good Time” at BUKU

BUKU 2019 Art Backdrop

A short drive from the bustle of Bourbon Street, past the smell of Café Du Monde beignets and over south Canal Street, you can find a festival for music, art and traditional Louisiana cuisine known as BUKU Music + Art Project. The festival brings in major musical talents from various genres like hip-hop, indie, and electronic, but the most impressive aspect of BUKU is the amount and variety of art. BUKU encompasses the art-rich history of the Big Easy by showcasing multiple artists and art forms like roving musical troupes, acrobats, and dancers, while also creating fun backdrops like graffitied walls, revolving projection mapped spectacles, and Mardi Gras floats. Whether walking to another set or exploring the venue, you are always surrounded by art.

BUKU 2019 Shipping Crate Art
The BUKU shipping crate art installation was a popular backdrop

A crowd favorite was New Thousand with Adrian Jusdanis, who would wow passersby with an animated performance on his electric violin accompanied by Nick Haven, performing on five gallon buckets, used as drums. You couldn’t help but be drawn into the crowd that encircled Adrian and watch with eager eyes as he fervently plucked notes with his teeth while dancing around. The roving musical troupes added an essence of surprise to the BUKU experience by turning up unannounced with a group of dancing festival goers in tow as they moved to various stages as if the troupe was the Festival Pied Pipers.

Aside from the pop-up musical acts, BUKU hosted some major musical talent that undoubtedly helped them expand the venue and boast record numbers for their eighth year. Established artists like Lana Del Ray, RL Grime, A$AP Rocky, and Griz headlined the festival; all the musical acts big and small delivered. The Slander B2B NGHTMRE performance Friday night really set the bar for the weekend as the trio played a bass heavy set that got the whole crowd head-banging and sporting dirty bass faces. Yaeji performed her signature sound, hip hop house with mellow Korean and English lyrics, to a packed Float Den stage Saturday evening. Oliver Tree also graced the Float Den and despite starting 45 minutes later than scheduled, was greeted by cheering fans as he rode in on his Razor scooter while emulating the 80’s by sporting a brightly colored puffy track suit.

BUKU 2019 Oliver Tree
Oliver Tree Performing at BUKU 2019

Oliver Tree wasn’t the only BUKU attendee dressed to impress. The entire festival was flooded with outlandish and expressive fashions that one could only find in New Orleans. Everything from rhinestone cowboy hats to Carnival style bras and feather headdresses were seen cutting through the crowd or standing in line for water. You could also visit one of the many “style booths” and get glittered, colorful hair extensions, or body painted.

BUKU also incorporated the Big Easy’s foodie scene into the festival by allowing attendees the option to try traditional Louisiana food like shrimp po’boys, boudin Cajun sausage, and spicy gumbo. Those with VIP wristbands were invited to the Crawfish Boil Saturday afternoon where they could enjoy fresh crawfish paired with all the fixins like corn on the cob, potatoes, and Cajun spiced onions. Having access to these traditional Louisiana foods really brought the whole BUKU experience together.

The eclectic blend of music, art, fashion and food should put BUKU on your list as a must see festival. The culture of New Orleans flows through the venue and brings an exciting edge to the music and arts festival. As the locals would say, “Pass a good time” and come check out BUKU!

For full Dancebreak photo coverage, checkout our Day 1 and Day 2 albums on Facebook.

BUKU 2019 Reveals Daily Lineup & Talent Additions

BUKU 2019 Dog Blood

New Orleans, LA – The BUKU Music + Art Project today announced a handful of surprise additions to the lineup as well as the daily performance schedule for the festival taking place on March 22-23, 2019 at Mardi Gras World in New Orleans. Two-day passes for the event are available now with single-day admission sales beginning on Friday, January 18th. A portion of ticket proceeds support the Upbeat Academy Foundation, a non-profit organization providing New Orleans youth with opportunities to study hip-hop and dance music production.

BUKU 2019 Daily Lineup
BUKU 2019 Daily Lineup

The latest additions to the lineup of performers include: lyrical alt-rapper and Odd Future co-founder Earl Sweatshirt; Swedish DJ and producer Kasbo; experimental dance pop band Kero Kero Bonito; experimental low-fi soul and ambient artist Yves Tumor; jam-funk trio SunSquabi; UK house DJ Mason Maynard; and New Orleans swamp funk band The Iceman Special. These artists join a previously announced roster featuring: Lana Del Rey, A$AP Rocky, Dog Blood (Skrillex x Boys Noize), Excision, Kevin Gates, GRiZ, RL Grime, Louis The Child, Ella Mai, $UICIDEBOY$, Playboi Carti, Dashboard Confessional, Fisher, Toro Y Moi, The Black Madonna, TOKiMONSTA and many more. Artists will perform across six unique stages at the venue set along the Mississippi River. The daily schedule is as follows and is also available here:

Friday, March 22
Lana Del Rey
Excision
Kevin Gates
RL Grime
NGHTMRE B2B Slander
Playboi Carti
Claude VonStroke
Fisher
Mayday Parade
Toro Y Moi
Death Grips
Denzel Curry
Ekali
TOKiMONSTA
Kero Kero Bonito
1788-L
Rico Nasty
From First To Last DJ Set (Matt + Travis)
Yves Tumor
Kidswaste
SunSquabi
Whipped Cream
Dounia
Mason Maynard
sfam

VIP-Only Lineup:
CharlesTheFirst
Dabin
Noizu
AF THE NAYSAYER

New Orleans Artist + Showcase Lineup:
bàwldy B2B Boarcrok
Freewater
The Iceman Special
Klutch
Lleauna
TRAX ONLY
Trombone Shorty Academy

Saturday, March 23
A$AP Rocky
Dog Blood (Skrillex x Boys Noize)
GRiZ
Louis The Child
Ella Mai
$UICIDEBOY$
Dashboard Confessional
Gunna
The Black Madonna
Earl Sweatshirt
J.I.D
Getter (Presents: Visceral)
Yaeji
G Jones
Liquid Stranger
Oliver Tree
Kasbo
Peekaboo
Papadosio
EARTHGANG
Roy Blair
Doja Cat
We Came As Romans
Mersiv

VIP-Only Lineup:
Duskus
Jantsen
Kittens
Xie

New Orleans Artist + Showcase Lineup:
Dohm Collective
Freewater
James Seville
Lil Jodeci
Malik Ninety Five
Thou
Tristan Dufrene
Unicorn Fukr
Upbeat Academy

Inspired by the creative subculture of New Orleans, BUKU sits at the crosshairs of underground warehouse party and major urban music festival by fusing a progressive and diverse musical lineup with live street art, one-of-a-kind industrial art installations, local food vendors, and dozens of surprise “pop-up” performances.

Information on tickets offerings, travel packages and pricing can be found at http://bit.ly/BUKU2019Tickets. The first official BUKU 2019 after-parties will be announced in the coming weeks. The official 2019 BUKU Music + Art project trailer can be viewed here.

For additional info, visit BUKU Music + Art Project online or on the following platforms: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @thebukuproject.

BUKU Announces 2019 Lineup

BUKU 2019 Initial Lineup

NEW ORLEANS, LA – The BUKU Music + Art Project today announced the first round of performers for the festival taking place on March 22 and 23, 2019. Now in its eighth year, the two-day event will return to Mardi Gras World in New Orleans after a sold out 2018 event. A portion of ticket proceeds support the Upbeat Academy Foundation, a non-profit organization providing New Orleans youth with opportunities to study hip-hop and dance music production.

Artists announced on the 2019 lineup are: Lana Del Rey in what is her only currently-announced U.S. performance; hip-hop and fashion icon A$AP Rocky; the return and 2019 debut of Skrillex and Boys Noize’s collaboration Dog Blood; bass music torchbearer Excision; Baton Rouge rapper Kevin Gates in his first New Orleans play since 2016; a live performance by GRiZ who just released the first two tracks off of his upcoming 2019 album; RL Grime; Louis The Child; breakout R&B star Ella Mai; hometown horrorcore rap heroes $UICIDEBOY$; a rare back-to-back set from NGHTMRE B2B Slander; the first New Orleans play for Playboi Carti; emo mainstays Dashboard Confessional and Mayday Parade; Toro Y Moi who will release a new album in January; Claude VonStroke; Gunna; Fisher; the first New Orleans play for The Black Madonna; Death Grips; a unique set from Getter performing his critically-acclaimed new album Visceral; Ekali; Yaeji; Denzel Curry; a rare joint set from J.I.D and EARTHGANG; G Jones; Liquid Stranger; TOKiMONSTA; internet sensations Oliver Tree and Doja Cat; 1788-L; jam band Papadosio; Peekaboo; Roy Blair; a special set from We Came As Romans in memory of Kyle Pavone; a DJ set from Matt + Travis of From First To Last; Rico Nasty; Dounia; Kidswaste; Whipped Cream; Mersiv; sfam. VIP patrons will be treated to VIP-Only performances from: CharlesTheFirst; Dabin; Duskus; Jantsen; Kittens; Noizu; Xie; and AF THE NAYSAYER who is one of Upbeat Academy’s lead artist instructors.

The 2019 event will also feature a strong showing of local flavor with over a dozen New Orleans’ artists and showcases: bàwldy B2B Boarcrok; Dohm Collective; Freewater; James Seville; Klutch; Lil Jodeci; Lleauna; Malik Ninety Five; Thou; TRAX ONLY; Tristan Dufrene; Trombone Shorty Academy; Unicorn Fukr; and Upbeat Academy. Complementing the music acts will be the following graffiti artists and live painters participating in a Live Art Gallery: Art by Jay; Ceaux; Dvote; Fat Kids; Hugo Gyrl; Ink; J Hand Paints; Jedi; Knowla; Lipkis; Monica Kelly; Murky; Painter; PAWS; READ MF BOOKS; and Swan.

Inspired by the creative subculture of New Orleans, BUKU sits at the crosshairs of underground warehouse party and major urban music festival by fusing a progressive and diverse musical lineup with live street art, one-of-a-kind industrial art installations, local food vendors, and dozens of surprise “pop-up” performances. The 2018 BUKU Music + Art Project featured an expanded festival site that sold out with a daily attendance of over 17,500 guests, making it the highest attended BUKU to date. New additions included the Wharf Stage adjacent to the Mississippi River, a relocated main stage across the train tracks with the Market Street Power Plant serving as its backdrop, several new art installations, and an all new BUKU VIP Rooftop overlooking the main stage.

Tickets for the 2019 event will go on-sale Tuesday, December 11, 2018 at 10AM CT and include a variety of options for general and VIP admission as well as travel packages. VIP ticketing provides a host of special amenities that include exclusive VIP-only performances, premium viewing areas, as well as an open bar for guests 21+. When purchasing tickets, patrons should be mindful that BUKU is a 17+ event. More information on tickets offerings and pricing can be found at http://bit.ly/BUKU2019Tickets.

About Winter Circle Productions:
Winter Circle Productions began in 2009 as an independent promotion and production house to attract music that its founders felt was missing from a post-Katrina New Orleans. Creator of BUKU Music + Art Project and four-time recipient of the OffBeat Best Promoter Award, WCP is now celebrating its 10th year anniversary as one of the most trusted tastemakers on the Gulf Coast, having produced thousands of shows across many musical genres in dozens of venues. In July 2015, WCP joined AEG Presents to form and run its new Gulf Coast regional office, and in August 2017, took over a lease at the 1,200 capacity Joy Theater in New Orleans. In addition to concert production, the members of WCP founded the Upbeat Academy Foundation, a non-profit organization providing New Orleans youth with opportunities to study hip-hop and dance music production. www.wintercircleproductions.com

About AEG Presents:
AEG Presents, the live-entertainment division of Los Angeles-based AEG, is dedicated to all aspects of live contemporary music performance. AEG Presents is comprised of touring, festival, broadcast, merchandise and special event divisions, seventeen regional offices, and owns, operates or exclusively books thirty-five state-of-the-art venues. The current and recent concert tour roster includes artists such as Alicia Keys, Bruno Mars, Bon Jovi, Carrie Underwood, Cher, Daughtry, Enrique Iglesias, J Cole, Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bieber, Kanye West, Kenny Chesney, Leonard Cohen, Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift, The WHO, Trey Songz and Juanes. The company is also currently producing residency shows at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas including Celine Dion, Rod Stewart and Shania Twain and is the exclusive promoter at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas. AEG Live is also the largest producer of music festivals in North America from the critically acclaimed Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival to the Stagecoach Country Music Festival and New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. www.aegpresents.com

Behind the Scenes at BUKU: 4 Features That Made BUKU 2018 Standout

Bassnectar Performing at BUKU 2018

Pictured above: Bassnectar at the Power Plant stage at BUKU 2018

These days, you could be forgiven for looking at a festival lineup and confusing it with another festival, as the market becomes saturated with festivals, with each one trying to out-gun the others with massive lineups pulling in slews of headlining artists. As a result, some festivals end up booking many of the same artists as their peers. However, it’s beyond the music that really makes or breaks a festival; the little things that add flare and make a festival truly shine, like set and setting, art installations, location, environment, and the community of people that pull together to make it all happen.

BUKU Music + Art Project is a two day festival taking place at Mardi Gras World, along the Mississippi River in New Orleans, LA, which took place this past March 9-10, 2018. While the festival is often lumped in the same category as other EDM festivals, the BUKrewe always manage to pull together a healthy mix of musical variety, ranging from heavy bass artists like Bassnectar, Rezz, and Snails, to hip-hop and R&B artists Flatbush Zombies and Sza, house artists Green Velvet and Bonobo, and everything in between. While the music in and of itself is a joy, it’s the artistic extras that provide an immersive environment, creating a seamless experience as attendants move from stage to stage and explore the BUKulture.

Raven
Much of the BUKU production can be attributed to Raven, a New Orleans-based audio/video vendor that “cultivates a boutique design” for events that they work. The face of the company includes partners Chris Berends and Melinda Cohen, with president James Dufrene playing a more behind-the-scenes role, Marco Apostolico and Will Nemitoff working fabrication, and Jason Starkey and Ben Lewis in charge of production. The company is divided into different departments of Design, consisting of Chris, Melinda, and other architects, and Production, which is responsible for the stages and fabrication.

Raven VIP Viewing Area at BUKU 2018

VIP Viewing Area built by Raven at BUKU 2018

Raven has been around since 2009, with the artistic aspect having been around for about seven years. The company does sponsorship activations for Electric Daisy Carnival, Hangout Festival, Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, and Voodoo Festival. However, the festival Raven contributes the most to is BUKU. As Chris explains, “We actually met as partners at BUKU in the first couple of years. So our company is almost kind of constructed by the beginning of BUKU.” Expanding on that, “I was a street team member for Winter Circle when I was in college. When they said they were going to do a music festival, I pulled together a group of architecture students and we built some of the art installations for them and it kind of just capitulated from there.” For Raven’s contributions to BUKU, Chris explains:

“For the past seven years, we’ve been designing art installations for BUKU. All the art installations that you see on site, from the totems on the Wharf Stage, to Fort BUKU, the stars out in the field, the tree, all of those are built in our shop. Our team designed them. We also designed the Float Den Stage, the Wharf Stage, previously the Back Alley Stage and provide A/V solutions for a number of the different stages and components. We also started the Graffiti Gallery in year three.”

Many in the Raven crew came from architectural backgrounds, like Chris, who worked internships, but felt that he “had been beaten down by the corporate feel of a lot of architecture firms. It’s pretty depressing. Music festivals gave us an avenue to explore more of the fun side of architecture and build things like the stars and stuff.” Melinda adds that the exciting thing about music festivals, compared to traditional architecture work, is the pace of projects and modular design. Festival projects work on a much faster schedule, so that a design could go from inception to fabrication at a festival in a matter of weeks. On top of that is the extra consideration of mobility. As Chris points out, “It’s a different way of thinking about everything. Everything has to disassemble quickly and reassemble quickly.” The fast pace makes for long days, as in the case of BUKU teardown, a process which must be completed in 48 hours; the festival ends Saturday March 10 (technically Sunday, with the last stage closing at 1AM), and the site must be cleared by Monday night. Raven starts dissembling immediately after BUKU, running multiple teams 24-hours a day for two days; as soon as the festival ends, crews are already working on teardown.

You can check out more of Raven’s work on their Facebook and Instagram pages.

NOLA Projection Mapped Art Installation
The art installations at BUKU are a significant feature that drive the intimacy of the festival, serving as interactive installations throughout the venue. One of the recognizable installations are the NOLA letters, naturally representing the host city of New Orleans, Louisiana. Located outside the Ballroom entrance, near the Mississippi River, the installation uses light projection mapping to illuminate the letters and the area, and often serves as the backdrop for group photos of passers-by. And for much of the weekend, a local band, New Thousand, served their “cinematic booty-shakin’ music” just steps away, pulling in crowds with their violin-infused music.

The NOLA art installation is a solo art project and the creation of Brennan Steele, a New Orleans local. After attending architecture school, Brennan dove into the world of festival art in 2012. He uses his architecture background as a foundation for art projects; it allows him to first design projects on a computer and then fabricate the final work with a solid blueprint.

NOLA Projection Mapped Art Installation

NOLA Projection Mapped Art Installation by Brennan Steele

Currently, art installations serve as a side project for Brennan, but he mentions that he would like to do more of them: “Art installations are something I do on the side. They are a great way for me to develop new techniques and concepts outside of my day job, which has led me to doing commissions, like a small art cart for Burning Man this year.” When he’s not working on festival art installations, he’s working in his company’s studio: “Day-to-day I’m a float designer, and I make Mardi Gras floats for a living. I operate a giant KUKA robotic arm that sculpts props  out of styrofoam.”

Brennan’s creations have made appearances at other festivals, like LUNA Fete, a festival that showcases light-based art, like projection mapping and LED art. However, BUKU is a natural draw for Brennan, as the festival takes place at his place of work. He elaborates:

“BUKU’s festival grounds are at my place of work, Mardi Gras World, so it’s kind of hard for me to not be part of BUKU. Like right now we’re having this talk in my office, which is kind of nice because we’re having a bit of respite from the festival. I like doing art and this is one of the cooler festivals in town to do it.”

When asked about his artistic motivations, Brennan comments:

“I’m inspired by a lot of art that I see at other festivals, like Burning Man. I kind of reverse engineer it and figure out how I can do it on my own and in my own style. I like incorporating all sorts of technology, like projection mapping and computer aided design. The robot I operate opens all kinds of possibilities. Really just pushing the envelope and doing cool new stuff, learning all the different trades, and using all those trades to make unique experiences that people will enjoy.”

If fan enjoyment is something that drives Brennan, then he is succeeding, without a doubt. For the entirety of the festival, lines of people formed in front of his NOLA letters, waiting their turn to capture a memorable moment at the festival.

Mobile DJs
The music never stops at BUKU. You can travel from stage to stage without an interruption in music, thanks in no small part to the mobile DJs, which include setups like a shopping cart and large tricycle decked out with lights, speakers, and DJs. That’s where guys like Graham Holly and Tatum Neill come in, two friends that operate the DJ Trike. The DJ Trike was built by Peter Stanley and is owned by the Organ Grinders, a New Orleans dancing troupe. For the entirety of BUKU, the DJ Trike is operated by Graham and Tatum. Graham got his start with mobile DJing on a shopping cart made by his friend Finn Stormo. It has 10” rubber tires on it, making it possible to traverse a variety of terrain, and it’s the same shopping cart still making the rounds at BUKU, inspired by Graham’s friend Mike Feduccia. As Graham notes, “It’s just kind of run in the family of friends to start doing this mobile DJ thing.”

After DJing on the shopping cart for some time, Graham got the opportunity to DJ on the tricycle, which holds four times the number of speakers. He enjoys it, because it’s “fun to roll up in the street and meet a bunch of people” and “have a bunch of people that don’t know you, just dancing with you and following you all evening,” the best parts being the “serendipitous moments” of running into someone he’s met before in a similar fashion. Describing the scene at BUKU, Graham explains: “at BUKU, it’s fun, people don’t expect it. Most of the time, right now, this year they’ve just been kind of passing by. We’ve had a couple of good moving dance parties, but it’s just something for in between. And we’re having a good time doing it.”

Graham doesn’t stick strictly to mobile DJing. He also followed in Brennan’s footsteps by working on art installations. For other festivals, Graham has built two effigies and participated in a deep-forest rave called Cinema Paradiso at the Louisiana Regional Burn called Engluf.  There are multiple light projections in the woods with Graham stepping in as a DJ.

Graham’s effigy building methods stem from his visual effects career. After studying business in college, he later learned post-production visual effects in New York, which led to his work with Flame, a visual effects program, leading to his involvement with effigies and the Burning Man scene. As far as DJing goes, Graham picked up those skills by teaching himself, first using Serato, and then later adding in Pacemaker, an iPad toolset that allows him to DJ mobily, away from his equipment. It adds an extra feature to his performance, allowing him to more easily move around, similar to how a singer might use a wireless mic for extra mobility.

Regarding his involvement at BUKU, Graham notes that he enjoys the festival because BUKU draws a certain crowd of people specifically there for the music. He likes DJing in the streets, which is “what makes it so fun. This is like a concentrated version of Mardi Gras.”

His excitement in DJing comes from the authentic reactions he gets from others when they make a music connection, through curating and sharing. As Graham adds: “when people are pumped about what I’m playing and excited about a set I did, there’s a lot of dopamine released in the brain. It’s like one giant Instagram like.  It’s nice to connect with people in that way.” He also adds that the connections he makes with others while DJing translate to confidence in the studio. Graham’s goal is to get more involved in music production, so the positive reactions from his listeners are reassurance that he’s working in the right direction. Of course, it also helps to have good peers. Graham points out:

“My buddy Tatum, he DJs with me, and he’s a great DJ too. He’s kind of why I started DJing, like one of the people in my life that was already doing it. We lived together in New York for a while and I would play with him every now and then. I just found a different way to do it. It’s nice that we can do that. We’ve been friends since we were toddlers basically. We grew up around the corner from each other, so it’s nice to be back in New Orleans from New York. Doing it in our hometown.”

Tatum Neill and Graham Holly at BUKU 2018

Tatum Neill & Graham Holly with their DJ Trike at BUKU 2018

Bassnectar Ambassadors
While Bassnectar Ambassadors are not exclusive to BUKU, any festival that books Bassnectar also invites the Bassnectar culture, which often includes Bassnectar Ambassadors. Ambassadors are part of an expansive network created and managed by the Bassnectar Crew, which includes groups like the Bass Network; the new community group Love Here; and Bassnectar Interactive, the new community organization that aims to “catalyze giving back to the world around us.”

Love Here is a Facebook community group created by the Bassnectar Crew as an experiment in positive interaction. The goals of the group are to “Celebrate what we enjoy,” “Share love & kindness” and “Nourish & enhance the Bassnectar Community & the world around us.” Love Here serves as an online sanctuary for Bassnectar fans and the general public to share their love, art, and charity with like-minded individuals. The group has been growing at a tremendous pace; started in early 2018, the group recorded about 7,000 members at the time of BUKU, increasing to currently over 10,500. The success of the group speaks to the eagerness the Bassnectar Community has to promote positive connections.

On a similar note, the Bassnectar Crew recently unveiled its newest community organization: Bassnectar Interactive. Although still in its infancy, expect to see Bassnectar Interactive serving as a platform for making a social impact through some of the social and political groups and campaigns that the Bassnectar Crew are passionate about.

Bassnectar Ambassadors at BUKU 2018

Bassnectar Ambassadors at BUKU 2018, with Raven art installation in the background

Although Ambassadors are not specifically connected to Love Here or Bassnectar Interactive, there is a lot of overlap of people and goals between the two groups. Like many other features at BUKU, Ambassadors help make a large festival more intimate, while also promoting safety. It’s especially important for large events that Bassnectar is playing, where crowds can be as big as 10 to 20 thousand or more. They promote health and safety by passing out water, ear plugs, and checking in on attendees to ensure that people are in a good space and being mindful of themselves. Ambassadors are tasked with creating projects to contribute, which can include things like art projects, community service, creating connections, and making memories. They are present at every Bassnectar-produced event, like Bass Center and New Year’s Eve. When possible, they make appearances at festivals like BUKU.

Mindfulness of the community is particularly important when it comes to Ambassadors. One of the ways they strove for that goal at BUKU was their Power Plant Stage cleanup; after Bassnectar closed out the main Power Plant Stage on the last night, Ambassadors gathered volunteers to pick up trash and debris that accumulated during the day, ensuring to leave the festival grounds trash-free as they left. The community projects are a regular fixture of Ambassador involvement. Ambassadors reach out into their local communities outside of festivals; they’re encouraged to give back and participate in things like beach cleanups, homeless outreach, and more. The daily practice of looking out for others extends into their festival presence at BUKU, serving as friendly faces in the crowd.

BUKU does a great job of booking a unique and diverse set of artists, ranging from up-and-coming to sell-out headliners, with lots of room to explore in between. On top of that, however, BUKU cultivates a unique Kulture by populating the venue with a number of art installations, interactive environments, and mobile music. While the music in and of itself is great, the extras ensure that the BUKU experience is an immersive one.

BUKU Expands its Footprint in 2018

BUKU 2017 Back Alley Stage

Just one weekend stands between us and BUKU Music + Art Project, which returns to Mardi Gras World this March 9-10, 2018 in New Orleans, LA. The festival continues on years of success as music and art exhibition on the banks of the Mississippi River, with a diverse hip-hop, dance, and funk lineup that features the likes of Bassnectar, Migos, MGMT, SZA, Porter Robinson’s side-project Virtual Self, and many more.

BUKU 2018 will feature some significant changes as the festival grows into its space. The Power Plant Stage, hosting the festival headliners, has been moved across the railroad tracks to accommodate a larger space. A new VIP Rooftop has been added, adjacent to the Power Plant Stage. A new Wharf Stage has been added along the Mississippi River, opposite of the VIP Back Alley Stage. The Wharf Stage will host all the artists that traditionally played on the Back Alley Stage in previous years. This year, the Back Alley Stage will be reserved for VIP only, as the VIP barge is no longer part of the festival. The Float Den will remain in the warehouse, generally featuring heavier bass artists, while the Ballroom will remain in its usual spot, hosting a mixture of funk and live music. On top of the main stages, there will be a Front Yard area, which will feature a local showcase of music and visual art, with an opportunity to bid on graffiti art. For more info, check out BUKU’s page detailing the stages.

A unique aspect of BUKU is the art curation and BUKULTURE. The festival features numerous art installations, art carts, and other eye candy around the festival. Take a step away from the stages and get immersed in BUKU’s world of art.

If you don’t get your fill at the festival itself, BUKU will be hosting a number of late night parties, starting Thursday and ending Sunday, featuring artists like Papa Roach, Boogie T & Russ Liquid, Borgore B2B 12th Planet, Ski Mask the Slump God, Truth, and many more.

Make sure to check out BUKU’s info page to stay updated with travel information, FAQs, and security information. Additionally, the full lineup and schedule are also available. A range of ticket options are still available, but selling quickly, so make sure to grab yours before it’s too late!

BUKU Music + Art Project Announces Final Additions to 2018 Lineup

BUKU 2018 Final Lineup

NEW ORLEANS, LA (January 17, 2018)BUKU Music + Art Project today announced the final additions to the lineup for the annual festival, taking place on March 9-10, 2018 at Mardi Gras World in downtown New Orleans. Set across five unique stages, including the backdrop of an abandoned early 20th Century power plant and a warehouse featuring the city’s iconic Mardi Gras floats, the two-day event fuses a progressive and diverse musical lineup with live street art, custom-made industrial art installations and dozens of surprise “pop-up” performances. The Buku Music + Art Project is an 18+ event.

To apply for media credentials, visit: http://thebukuproject.com/buku-2018-press-application/

Artists joining the roster include: chart-topping Philly rapper Lil Uzi Vert; electronic producer Illenium bringing his full “Awake” production for a special live show; Montreal DJ and “vomit-step” pioneer Snails; Florida rapper and mixtape master Ski Mask The Slump God; Chicago rapper and poet Noname; synth-pop / R&B project Homeshake; Dirtybird house duo Walker & Royce; a B2B set from New Orleans DJs Nice Rack and Rusty Lazer; and exclusive VIP performances, hosted by Brownies & Lemonade and Space Yacht, featuring DROELOE, Melvv, Suicideyear, and a B2B set from electronic artists Eprom and Mad Zach; as well as a showcase curated by acclaimed local artist collective Pink Room Project.

The talent will join a previously announced lineup including: Bassnectar, Migos, MGMT, SZA, the U.S. festival debut of Porter Robinson’s project Virtual Self, A Day To Remember, Isaiah Rashad, Alison Wonderland, Rezz, Borgore, Sylvan Esso, Flatbush Zombies, Bonobo (DJ), Mura Masa, Ganja White Night + Boogie T, Little Dragon, Green Velvet and Jay Electronica to name a few. The complete list of performers can be found at http://thebukuproject.com/2018-lineup/.

A variety of ticket offerings and travel packages are currently available at www.thebukuproject.com/tickets. When purchasing tickets patrons should be mindful that BUKU is an 18+ event.

For additional information and to sign up to be the first to receive updates, including lineup + after-party announcements, ticketing, special offers and more, visit BUKU Music + Art Project on the following platforms: Web, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.

The 2018 BUKU Music + Art Project is presented by Winter Circle Productions, an AEG Presents company.

About Winter Circle Productions:
Winter Circle Productions began in 2009 as an independent promotion and production house to attract music that its founders felt was missing from a post-Katrina New Orleans. Creator of Buku Music + Art Project and three-time recipient of the Offbeat Best Promoter Award, WCP is now positioned as one of the most trusted tastemakers on the Gulf Coast, having produced hundreds of shows across many musical genres in dozens of venues. In July 2015, WCP joined AEG Presents to form and run AEG Presents’ new Gulf Coast regional office. Notable developments for WCP in 2017 include taking over a lease at the 1,200 capacity Joy Theater in New Orleans and contracting with Day For Night in Houston to associate produce the festival. In addition to concert production, the members of WCP founded the Upbeat Academy Foundation, a non-profit organization providing New Orleans youth with opportunities to study hip-hop and dance music production.

About AEG Presents:
AEG Presents, the live-entertainment division of Los Angeles-based AEG, is dedicated to all aspects of live contemporary music performance. AEG Presents is comprised of touring, festival, broadcast, merchandise and special event divisions, seventeen regional offices, and owns, operates or exclusively books thirty-five state-of-the-art venues. The current and recent concert tour roster includes artists such as Alicia Keys, Bruno Mars, Bon Jovi, Carrie Underwood, Cher, Daughtry, Enrique Iglesias, J Cole, Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bieber, Kanye West, Kenny Chesney, Leonard Cohen, Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift, The WHO, Trey Songz and Juanes. The company is also currently producing residency shows at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas including Celine Dion, Rod Stewart and Shania Twain and is the exclusive promoter at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas. AEG Live is also the largest producer of music festivals in North America from the critically acclaimed Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival to the Stagecoach Country Music Festival and New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

BUKU Music + Art Project 2018 Announces Phase 2 Artists

BUKU 2018 Phase 2 Lineup

BUKU Music + Art Project today announced the second round of artists for the annual festival, taking place on March 9-10, 2018 at Mardi Gras World in downtown New Orleans. The final phase of talent additions will be revealed after the New Year. Inspired by the creative subculture of New Orleans, BUKU sits at the intersection of an underground warehouse party and major urban music festival. The two-day event fuses a progressive and diverse musical lineup with live street art, custom-made industrial art installations, local food vendors, and dozens of surprise “pop-up” performances.

The latest additions to the lineup of performers include: Atlanta hip-hop trio Migos; the U.S. festival debut of Virtual Self, Porter Robinson’s new alter ego; Florida pop-punk-emo-metal heroes A Day to Remember; genre-bending electronic artist Rezz; Swedish electronic-indie group Little Dragon; a DJ set by British DJ/producer Bonobo; an extended collaborative set with Ganja White + Boogie T featuring a set by each artist and a B2B set together; a rare performance by legendary hip hop lyricist/producer Jay Electronica; electronic artists Snakehips; Gryffin; and Jai Wolf; house and techno pioneer Green Velvet; rappers Rich The Kid and Famous Dex; Vegas rockers Falling in Reverse; New York hip hop artist Princes Nokia; singer/songwriter Elohim; Dutch electronic artist Spag Heddy; rising West Coast rapper Lil Xan; Los Angeles emo revivalists Emo Nite LA; electro funk group The Russ Liquid Test; Chicago multi-instrumentalist/composer Nnamdi Ogbonnaya; local artists New Thousand; AF the Naysayer x Yung Vul; KTRL. B2B RedBarrington; and KiddLove; and the previously announced Soulection showcase will feature Sango B2B ESTA. B2B The Whooligan.

BUKU has also revealed the first VIP-only performances including EDM DJ/producers Graves and Medasin; experimental producer Ducky; industrial tech DJ/producer BlackGummy, electro DJ Squnto and local DJ TVBOO; as well as showcases from local trendsetters Freewater, Church* and BUKU’s non-profit partner Upbeat Academy.

These artists will join a previously announced roster including:

Bassnectar; MGMT; SZA; Alison Wonderland; Isaiah Rashad; Sylvan Esso; Flatbush Zombies; Borgore; Mura Masa; Bishop Briggs; Hippie Sabotage; Smino; Honey Dijon; CloZee; Jade Cicada; Zack Villere; and Bouffant Bouffant. The full lineup can be found here.

General Admission, GA Plus, VIP 21+, VIP, TOO BUKU VIP 2-Day Passes and Travel Packages for all ticket types are on sale now. When purchasing tickets patrons should be mindful that BUKU is an 18+ event. More information on tickets and ticket pricing can be found at www.thebukuproject.com/tickets.

BUKU Music + Art Project 2018 Phase 1 Lineup

BUKU 2018 Phase 1 Lineup

BUKU Music + Art Project, which takes place March 9-10, 2018 at Mardi Gras World in New Orleans, has released its Phase 1 lineup, which includes the likes of Bassnectar, MGMT, SZA, Alison Wonderland, Isaiah, Borgore, Sylvan Esso, Flatbush Zombies, Mura Masa, Bishop Briggs, Hippie Sabotage, Smino, Honey Dijon, Soulection, CloZee, Jade Cicada, Zack Villere, and Bouffant Bouffant. A variety of ticket packages are currently available, with 2-day General Admission tickets going for $175 (not including taxes and fees). For more information, make sure to check out the official website and BUKU Facebook page.

BUKU 2017 Takes Over Mardi Gras World

Jauz at Float Den, BUKU 2017

The forecast called for 75-degree weather, clouds, and rain, but it was BUKU weekend and the weather was not about to put a damper on a weekend of music and art. As I arrived on the first day, the sun peaked through the clouds—a positive sign of the weekend to come. The rain held off for most the weekend, save for a few light sprinkles, a far cry from the forecast of weekend showers.

As I made my way through security, my jitters gave way to excitement as the booming of the main stage, the Power Plant, intensified. BUKU Music + Art Project takes place at Mardi Gras World, overlooking the last stretch of the Mississippi River as it winds towards the Gulf of Mexico. Making my way towards the Float Den, I observed the adjacent Ballroom Stage, merchandise tent, and vendors, anxiously waiting for the sun to go down and the festival to light up. K?D was performing at the Float Den, essentially a large warehouse at the back of the festival, which would serve as the hub for bass music that weekend. After K?D wrapped things up, San Holo took the stage. At the same time, security guards drove through the crowd with two large industrial dehumidifiers towards the Float Den stage. The bass-heavy music of the Float Den got the crowd quite energetic. Combined with the large crowds that the Float Den attracted and the mediocre airflow of a mostly-enclosed space, the Float Den got hot and sweaty.

As the sun dipped lower in the sky, the Float Den turned up the energy. TroyBoi threw down a performance as gnarly as the air in the room—heavy bass combined with smooth transitions and seamless mixing. Looking for a reprieve from the heat, I found Opiuo at the Ballroom Stage, an indoor stage with much-needed air conditioning. The Ballroom was dimly lit with minimalist lighting and an electroluminescent wire chandelier that set the tone of room. The environment proved suitable for hula-hoopers looking for room to dance, and people just looking to soak in the sounds of the music without being distracted by the lights or crowds.

After Opiuo, I made a quick stop to see Whethan at the Back Alley stage, literally a back alley, tucked away from the madness of the rest of the festival. The Back Alley served as the home for House and Techno, with an illuminated gazebo viewing area for those wanting to escape the crowds. Friday night, the Back Alley saw performances from artists like Clams Casino, and a Shiba San B2B Justin Jay set. Unfortunately, Nora En Pure would miss the festival due to issues with her flight.

Back Alley at BUKU 2017

Back Alley Stage at BUKU 2017

On the way back to the Power Plant, I stopped in to catch a bit of Slushii, who was throwing down some wonky beats at the Float Den. After a quick listen, I continued to one of the main attractions of the weekend—the funky and saxy Grizmatik, whose saxophone sounds complemented the local New Orleans music scene. After Grizmatik, I split my time between two of the closing performances: a packed Zeds Dead show at the Float Den and a more chill and groovy set by Shiba San & Justin Jay at the Back Alley.

Grizmatik at BUKU 2017

Grizmatik performing at the Power Plant Stage

The second day saw light precipitation and a drop in temperature, a welcome treat to cool down the crowd. The Float Den continued its bass theme with early performances by Minnesota B2B Space Jesus, the alien-esque Rezz, and the mystery man, Malaa.

Back at the Power Plant, Tycho (Live) put on an incredible melodic sunset performance, accompanied by the design and photographic visuals of Tycho’s primary composer, Scott Hansen, also known by his design alias, ISO50. The strong hues of magenta and red complemented the sky as the sun dipped below the horizon.

Tycho at BUKU 2017

Tycho (Live) performing at the Power Plant Stage

Jumping from stage to stage, I spent more time hanging out at the art carts. BUKU creatively utilizes art carts, which are smaller in size compared the larger art cars seen at bigger festivals. Pedicabs and shopping carts adorned with lights, speakers, and DJs made the rounds at the festival, giving attendants a chance to stop and take a quick dance break in between stages. Or, if the music caught your ear, a quick dance break would turn into quite a long one.

Art Cart at BUKU 2017

An art cart at BUKU 2017

I jumped between performances of Lane 8, Cashmere Cat, and deadmau5, all masters at building musical tension, and then releasing it in a dance extravaganza. deadmau5 performed in his signature style—long build-ups in the beginning making way towards more intense music towards the end, often accompanied by some trolling on the mic. He apologized for not having his signature Cube stage display, and then made a plug for his afterparty, exclaiming “I hope you like techno.”

Back at the Float Den, the mysterious Zhu closed out the night. Starting with minimal lighting effects, his performance turned the Float Den into a dance hall as his set progressed, and with it, the lighting intensity. He jumped on the mic several times to perform vocals for his songs, a signature characteristic of his producing and DJing style. Zhu’s performance was a flawless way to end the weekend—an intense dance music experience that is simultaneously low-key, a perfect embodiment of BUKU Music + Art Project.

BUKU Music + Art Project Photos Day 1
BUKU Music + Art Project Photos Day 2

BUKU Music + Art Project 2017 Artist Preview

BUKU Music + Art Project 2016

BUKU Music + Art Project 2017 is right around the corner. If you’re interested in attending, but haven’t purchased tickets yet, all ticket options are still available for purchase. Make sure to check the schedule and plan accordingly. BUKU is slated to be an incredible exhibit of music and art. Check out some of the artists that we’re excited to see.

Malaa
The mysterious Malaa broke into the scene in 2015 donning a black ski mask. The identity remains a secret, but the project seems related in some way to DJ Snake, Tchami, and Mercer, three artists that share the same manager, and have similar roots in the French House scene. Malaa regularly releases his Who Is Malaa mix series, showcasing his style. Malaa is scheduled to perform from 6:00-7:00PM on Saturday at the Float Den.

Chet Porter
Chet Porter’s releases go back to 2014, with his remix of The Chainsmokers’ Kanye. Since then, he has honed his signature, chilled out dance style. Chet Porter continues to rise in popularity as people catch on to his feel-good aura. His recent release, Stay, was released on the Foreign Family Collective label. Expect a good show of talent from this budding producer. Chet Porter will be performing Friday from 9:00-10:00PM at the VIP S.S. BUKU stage.

Grizmatik
Grizmatik is the collaboration project between GRiZ and Gramatik. Both artists have hugely successful solo projects, but occasionally join forces to “show you how to weaponize the Uranium and cause Electro Soul devastation.” Their jazzy saxophone sounds will surely complement the local New Orleans jazz scene. Grizmatik will be taking the stage from 7:45-9:00PM at the Power Plant.

Lane 8
Daniel Goldstein, better known by his stage name, Lane 8, hails from Denver, CO and is signed to Anjunadeep. He made headlines last year on his “This Never Happened” Tour, when he had all attendants place a piece of tape over the cameras on their phone, so that people spent the show dancing and listening to music instead of on their phones. This move was generally well received; Lane 8 was widely applauded by attendants for the positive effect this had on the event. Lane 8 exhibits a style that seems rarer in the dance music world these days: extended sets that take you through a gradual musical journey, drawing on traditional House and Trance styles. Lane 8 will be performing from 8:45-10:00PM on Saturday at the Back Alley.

Opiuo
Hailing from New Zealand, Opiuo describes his sound as “Broken-frog-stomping-funkadelic-hippo-hop-monkey-crunk-chunky-bouncy-stomach-morphing-bassdolloping-scrumptious-bowl-of-glitchy-bass-love.” Opiuo has been gaining a strong foothold in the US music scene recently, joining festival lineups that cater towards Bass, Glitch, Funk, and Dubstep styles. Opiuo keeps things fresh with his genre-defying sound. Opiuo performs from 6:30-7:15PM on Friday at the Ballroom.

Zhu
Zhu was thrust into the limelight in 2014 with his release of Faded. Although his identity is not a secret like some of his contemporaries, he puts the emphasis on his music and keeps the focus away from his personal identity. Zhu is now a household name. He draws influences from seemingly all styles of music, with a penchant for remixing classic pop and hip-hop songs with his dark style. One’s for sure, Zhu knows how to throw a late night party, which will be perfect for his 11:45PM-1:00AM set on Saturday at the Float Den.