Fyre Fest, an Absolute and Utter Disaster.

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When you hear about an  independent festival going up that was started by heavy hitting rap star Ja Rule you start to figure that it would probably be a pretty sweet time. A festival without large corporations breathing down your neck the whole time sounds like an awesome time, and When you pair that up with a pretty decent lineup, a "private" island location in the Exuma district of the Bahamas, and the promise of models partying with you, it peaks some interests, that is if you have the money for it. Top VIP Packages were being sold for over $12,000, including flight, accommodations, passes, and the whole nine yards,  if that gives you any idea of what type of people will be in attendance at Fyre Fest. The price tag is not something that we can blame on the organizer though, it's just that price tag comes with a lot of promises, that they just could not keep.

Before Fyre Fest could even get started, rumors were coming out that the festival was way behind on money to pay artists and models that they had signed contracts with. The rumors were basically saying that the organizer had run out of of money before the event even took off. It was a labelled a disaster before people attendees even got on the plane! Blink-182 cancelled their appearance because of the rumor train exploding on the internet because allegedly they thought it would be too much of a risk, and boy were they right. 

The festival was supposed to start today, April 28th, 2017. It tried...we guess. It wasn't like the attendees showed up and there was no sign of a festival or anything, but it was pretty barren. It looked like the festival was still getting setup. Festival goers were being held in the airport by security because of national security threats, and going over the islands capacity. Concierges area were unmanned, The VIP looked as if they were badly put together disaster relief tents, luggage from the plane was being held by customs, the promised gourmet food was not too much more than two slices of American cheese on wheat bread with a side salad, and artist cancellations were starting to become public knowledge to the attendees. All those elements put together probably start to paint a picture of the outrage on the island. 

In the midst of this, Exuma international airport was telling people arriving for the festival that they could not allow more people into the country, while they were in the airplane waiting to get off. At points they were told they were getting off the plane, then they were put back on, and that cycle kept repeating. One man being held in the hot, over crowded airport passed out. This was right about the time when the festival organizers changed their website with an announcement that the physical infrastructure would not in place in time for the festival and that it would have to be postponed. Their official message read as follows:

Fyre Festival set out to provide a once-in-a-lifetime musical experience on the Islands of the Exumas.
Due to circumstances out of our control, the physical infrastructure was not in place on time and we are unable to fulfill on that vision safely and enjoyably for our guests. At this time, we are working tirelessly to get flights scheduled and get everyone off of Great Exuma and home safely as quickly as we can. We ask that guests currently on-island do not make their own arrangements to get to the airport as we are coordinating those plans. We are working to place everyone on complimentary charters back to Miami today; this process has commenced and the safety and comfort of our guests is our top priority.
"The festival is being postponed until we can further assess if and when we are able to create the high- quality experience we envisioned.
We ask for everyone's patience and cooperation during this difficult time as we work as quickly and safely as we can to remedy this unforeseeable situation. We will continue to provide regular updates via email to our guests and via our official social media channels as they become available."
-The Fyre Festival Team

And Ja Rule, in defense, and remorse for the festival said this:

Fyre Fest lived a VERY short life. People are getting off the island, and will (hopefully) be getting a quick refund. It's sad to see things go like this but it happens and the festival industry should try their best to extrapolate what they can to learn from FF's mistakes. 

Now please enjoy a round up of @WNFIV's tweets from getting off the plane to leaving the mess that was Fyre Fest. 

Arise Music Festival Announces 5th Year Celebration

Arise Music Festival Announces 5th Year Celebration with Atmosphere and Tipper Topping Lineup
 

Loveland, CO: Mark your calendars for ARISE Music Festival's 5th Year Celebration this August 4-6 at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, Colorado. The 2017 ARISE Festival lineup includes Atmosphere, Tipper, Ani DiFranco, Rising Appalachia, Brother Ali, The Expendables, Dirtwire, Desert Dwellers and Late Night Radio; as well as featured appearances from bluegrass favorites The Travelin’ McCourys, Jeff Austin Band and The Brothers Comatose. With eight stages of musical performances, plus more bands to be announced through May, including three additional headlining acts, the 5th Year Celebration of Colorado’s fastest growing music festival is sure to be the best yet.

ARISE Music Festival
August 4-6, 2017
Sunrise Ranch, Loveland CO

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO AND TO PURCHASE PASSES

Atmosphere

Atmosphere

Tipper

Tipper

An independent, family-run, leave-no-trace event, the ARISE Festival takes place over three days at Sunrise Ranch, a 350-acre organic farm and retreat center, located in a stunning Colorado mountain valley just west of the town of Loveland. Recognized as more than a music festival, ARISE offers a range of activities such as workshops, enriching yoga classes, provocative documentary films and panel discussions, art installations, live painters and art gallery, performance artists and theme camps.  ARISE also offers “interactive villages” including a Children’s Village, Food Truck Village, Vending Village, Healers Village, Hemp Village, Wisdom Village and a Solution’s Village, showcasing ecological and social justice solutions with practical on-site demonstrations designed to make our world a better place.

The consummate summer camping festival for conscientious music fans --- ARISE is renowned for bold and progressive “global cooling” initiatives, such as a long-held commitment to planting one tree with every ticket sold, staging a pre-festival permaculture training, local sourcing, an organic farmer’s market in the campground, and a leave-no-trace ethos.  

Tucked away in a private, majestic valley surrounded by a sweeping red rock landscape and consistently near perfect pastel summer skies, the ARISE Festival site at Sunrise Ranch is also conveniently located within 65 miles from Denver and Denver International Airport, close to Boulder, neighboring Fort Collins and surrounding communities.  

Widely regarded as "Colorado's Best Festival,” ARISE has received accolades from national media outlets such as Rolling Stone Magazine. Rated among the nation’s top destination summer music festivals by BuzzFeed News and Orbitz,  ARISE consistently receives rave reviews for the quality of the overall festival experience.

The ARISE Music Festival upholds a fundamental commitment to musical diversity highlighting acts that range from hip-hop to electronic, bluegrass to reggae, funk to soul, folk to rock 'n' roll. Previous years have featured performances including Jurassic 5, Ziggy Marley, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Galactic and The Polish Ambassador as well as groundbreaking performances from up-and-coming artists, both national and regional.

For more information about ARISE Music Festival and Early Bird ticket opportunities check out www.arisefestival.com

"Festivalization" - The short and long term effects a festival can have on the area where it takes place.

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          German urbanist Hartmut Häussermann called the increasing presence of these events in cities Festivalization [Häußermann, p.1]. Häussermann created the term in the 90’s to define what is happening to areas that festivals call home. Festivalization is how festivals change the politics, economics, and the overall area of where they are taking place. When festivals go up they create a mini-city, or, a sub-city to the city that it is already hosting the festival. Almost every year Glastonbury Festival takes place in Pilton, Somerset, a small English city in the West Country that has a population of nine hundred and ninety eight people [Pilton Parish ,p.1]. When Glastonbury is taking place the area turns in the seventh largest city in the country. 200,000 people take over the rolling hills and green valleys for the festival [Pilton Parish, p.1]. You can probably guess that Pilton has had to go through huge amounts of change to allow for the festival, while trying to find a balance with the historical factors and culture of the Pilton itself. Festivalization has also taken another English city by storm, Edinburgh. The city plays host to a huge amount of different festivals every year. In 2006, The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, one of at least 40 festivals that happen annually, put on 1867 different shows which were staged in 261 venues across the city [BBC]. The economy has changed substantially because of the amount of festivals and now without them, the city would not be what it is today [BBC]. 
           A certain amount of change is unavoidable when festivals come into a city. Greg Richards, a professional in Cultural Tourism states in his chapter of Cultural Tourism: Global and local perspectives, states that cities are responding to how western cultures are moving away from united styles of consumption and production and the maintenance of social bonds, towards the individualization of experience and self-development [Richards, p.229]. This change is causing the replacement of collective forms of cultural provision. Festivalization is creating many opportunities that cities are excited about such as increasing image-building, employment creation, and economic explosions. The phenomenon has proved successful in cites like Portland, Manchester, and Austin in the United States and Rotterdam, Barcelona, and Pilton in Europe. It has caused other cities across the globe to try and use festivals to reposition themselves in the global economy. These events are pulling people from across the globe and other cities want that to boost their image too. They want people talking about who they are are, what their culture is, and how they had experienced the area. Bottom line, they want people spending money in their cities, and cultural events like festivals are proving to be extremely successful for some cities.
           It is important to figure out where festivals work, because festivals definitely do not work everywhere. If you try to drop an Electronic music festival in the conservative south of the United States, it probably wouldn’t exist for very long. Not only because of the content of the festival, but also because it would be hard to market to the locals, and its geo-economic status. For festivals to survive into the future organizers must be very careful about where they are putting festivals. This is important because they need people to show up. Producers need to be weary of the city they are in to know what type of festival will be successful there. Producers have to focus on many different demographics that will be segmenting their audience. The easiest to track and be clear on are the people from the area the festival is taking place in. The locals are very important to the festival, and its organizers. The locals make up what “type” of person exists in these areas and help the producers sculpt what the content of the festival should be. They also are the easiest to get feedback from, because they literally live through it and see what the festival does to the area. The producers must also be prepared for who will show up from somewhere else. 
           Festivals have learned from the mistakes other festivals have made. Some festivals are attempted and just don’t seem to work. It could be location, economic reasons, the audience’s response, the weather during the events or several other reasons. One of the biggest examples of a festival just not working in almost every respect of the word is Woodstock ’99. Woodstock is a name that is synonymous with word music festival. Woodstock was a huge music and arts festival that was started out of the counter culture movement in 1969. The festival was a huge success, putting on artists like Grateful Dead, Simon and Garfunkel, Credence Clear Water Revival and many other pop, rock and folk artists. The festival was so successful that it had five namesake events that took place in 1979, 1989, 1994, 1999, and 2009. It was the 1999 edition that took the name of “Woodstock” and drowned it in the literal mud and human waste that engulfed the festival. The Woodstock name was burned in the multiple fires that occurred at the festival until it reemerged in 2009 with mild success. Now, enjoy a case study on the 1999 edition of Woodstock to look at what exactly made them break.

Where Did Music Festivals Come From?

    Music Festivals are happening all over the world and they have been for centuries. During their existence, festivals have been through substantial evolutions and shifts to shape what we know today as a “music festival”. We owe a lot to the middle ages when festivals were used to celebrate the harvest. When new crops were sprouting, and the seasons changing from Winter to Spring. Although, people didn’t want to just celebrate that the crops were growing and the days were getting longer [Overbury, p.2]. They wanted to celebrate emerging from their homes victorious after surviving the winter [Overbury, p.2]. Back then that was a feat in itself, so you can see how a large, and loud celebrations rejoicing the bare necessities would be only natural. 

Apollo Defeating Python

Apollo Defeating Python

But, lets go back even further to where music festival really all started, 582 BC, Ancient Greece. That was the year that marked the creation of The Pythian Games. The games were started to celebrate the Patron God of Delphi, Apollo [Hatzitsinidou]. The mythology of the games is that Apollo swore vengeance against Python after he attempted to kill Leto before she could give birth to Artemis. Python was sent on this hit mission by the Jealous Goddess Hera on the grounds of limiting her godly competition. Python caught wind that Apollo was after him and fled to Delphi. Apollo caught up with him and they had a ferocious battle in the city which ended up with Python being buried in the city center. This made Hera very angry. Zeus stepped in and told Apollo that he had to make up for his crime. Apollo decided to create the Pythian Games to make up for his crime [Hatzitsinidou, p.1]. The Pythian Games were created to celebrate the destruction of Python and the emergence of the Oracle of Delphi, which was done by several music, game-like competitions in Apollo’s name [Hatzitsinidou, p.1]. The games usually lasted six to eight days [Hatzitsinidou, p.1]. The musical events included a Hymn addressed to Apollo, the god of Arts and Music, as well as several performances on Aulos (reed pipe) and Kithara (an ancient Greek string instrument) [Hatzitsinidou, p.1]. The games also had dancing and acting performances usually praising the gods or reenacting famous battles. The games became so in depth that preparations for the games began 6 months prior. The games had their own team of producers or organizers, known as the Theoroi [Hatzitsinidou, p.1]. These 9 citizens from Delphi would send announcements to the other Greek cities to let musicians, athletes, scholars, and philosophers know so they could begin their travels to Delphi [Hatzitsinidou, p.1]. A sacred truce was put into effect to protect the performers during their travels to the great Greek city. The truce also allowed for Delphian structures to be restored and prepared for the performances [Hatzitsinidou, p.1]. 
    As time went along the games transformed and grew larger. The games would start to include a lot sporting events like boxing, wrestling, several track events, gymnastics, and chariot races [Gregory, p.602]. These sporting events being added to the games really helped slate what we know of today as the Olympic Games [Gregory, p.602]. That’s right, you can thank music festivals for the creation of the Olympic Games that we all gather around our TV’s every two years to watch. Despite the rise of Christianity during the fourth century BC, Delphi remained an active pagan site and the games continued to be celebrated at least until AD 424 [Gregory, p.602]. 
By now we have thrown around the phrase “modern music festival” a lot. So let’s go a little deeper and figure out what exactly that means. How did we get from the Pythian games to where we are now? When did the “modern music festival” begin and how?

From Ancient to Modern

    Now that we know what the ancient ancestor of music festivals is, we can start to narrow in on what brought us to where we are now. Humanity has come a long way from the ancient Greek’s festivals but, that doesn’t mean we don’t still have pop music festivals that are setup to give praises to gods. That would exclude all of the Christian and Muslim music and arts festivals, like the Creation series of festivals that happen all over the US and MuslimFest in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada that are pairing music and art with rejoicing to their almighty [Leichman, p.1] [MuslimFest, p.1]. Maybe the festivals that we are experiencing today aren’t actually too far from where we started. In some respects, that is. 
    Fairs and festivals predate recorded time. Historians will tell you you they have their roots in religious gatherings such as India’s Maha Kumbh Mela. A pilgrimage that hundreds of Hindus make every three years, which ends in a very large festival [Wynn, p.3]. Festivals serve as outlets for emotional expression, reflection and give people a way to break away from their monotonous lives, but, festivals have also been used as tools to give out mass entertainment, and distraction. Early European festivals, secular and religious, drew the entire community into the streets [Wynn, p.3]. Travelers from great distances away would join the locals in making their city a “theater without walls.” This tradition continued, and as it did, it evolved. 
    During the 17th-19th centuries in Europe the obvious focus was on classical music, highlighting composers such as Bach, Mozart, and Handel [Wynn. p.19]. The festivals became very exclusive. Many festivals began to move indoors and royal families were generally sitting in a high and mighty position of the audience [Wynn. p.19]. These “festivals” changed the game. When they started, festivals were for the people and created by the people to rejoice in celebration. During the 17th-19th centuries royalty generally had control over culture [Wynn. p.19]. The educated would be the ones benefitting from these events. This was because music was becoming inaccessible to common people. The wealth divide was a lot larger, new tools were rapidly speeding up the creation of new Instruments, and musicians were either high class, educated and working for royalty or poor, uneducated, roaming folk artists [Wynn. p.19].
  

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    Louis and Elaine Lorillard with George Wein [3]

Louis and Elaine Lorillard with George Wein [3]

 This trend of festival continued into the early 20th century. Right around World War I things began to change [Wynn. p.20]. European countries had to focus on the creation of weapons and worry about the safety of their country and people. Music and festivals were no longer getting the attention from the upper class that they once had [Wynn. p.20]. Lower class people who didn’t want to fight, or had their opinions on the global mess were the ones who were finally able to pick up instruments and they did it in a big way. Wartime folk music and jazz were created from this era [Wynn. p.20]. Small groups of like-minded musicians banded together, mostly performing in small night clubs for similarly minded people, away from the upper class. This trend continued and by the time the war was over Jazz music was becoming established in popular culture [Wynn. p.20]. In the United States popular music festivals can be tracked back to two people: Louis and Elaine Lorillard [Wynn. p.21]. The couple met while in Italy during World War II. They fell in love and bonded over their love of jazz music [Wynn. p.21]. When they came back to the United States they were determined to use jazz to add to the cultural fabric of Newport, Rhode Island [Wynn. p.21].  They offered $20,000 to fund a jazz event, rather than a festival in the European classical tradition [Wynn. p.21]. They built a team and cofounded the Newport Folk Festival with George Wein, the owner of Boston Jazz Club of Storyville [Wynn. p.21]. Newport Folk Festival fused jazz, blues, country and pop music together to create what music critic Leonard Feather called “the festival era of large-scale, annual, outdoor events in the United States.” [Wynn. p.22] Wein went on to manage the festival for decades and came to be considered the patriarch of the American music festival [Wynn. p.22]. From here festivals started springing up all over the country in the style of Newport Folk Festival. The Philadelphia Folk Festival in 1962, the Monterey International Pop Music Festival in 1967, the Miami Pop Festival in 1968, and Woodstock Music and Arts Fair in 1969 are all perfect examples of the festival boom [Wynn. p.22]. These festivals all served as gatherings for, and the generators of, the American counterculture, and legitimized the scene [Wynn. p.22]. In the 1980’s and 90’s a lot of those listed festivals either dropped off or saw a downward spiral of attendance. American popular music festivals hit a dry spell, but, that didn’t stop them [Wynn. p.22]. It only meant that music festivals were changing again.
    In Austin, Texas in 1987, South by South West was created, as well as Chicago’s Lollapalooza [Wynn. p.22]. Once the 2000’s rolled around festivals were starting to rematerialize, including two of United States largest festivals: Bonnaroo and Coachella [Wynn. p.23]. Bands were also starting their own festivals so they could play, such as Camp Bisco started by jam-band The Disco Biscuits in 1998. While America was seeing the growth of festivals again, they were also seeing the growth of attendees. In 2012, 80,000-85,000 people attended each day of Coachella and 160,000 people attended Miami’s Ultra Music Festival [Wynn. p.23]. Presently, festivals have different reasons for being created. It may not seem like the 1990’s were too long ago, but since then music festivals have changed. Sure, they are setup to broadcast creativity, art, and fun, but, they are also used to bolster tourism in cities, entice business relocations, and enhance territorial trademarking [Wynn, p.4]. The music industry needs music festivals to help stave off the rapid decline of of profits in this digital age that we live in [Wynn. p.4]. This combination of commerce and music has created what we know of today as a music festival in the United States. The first evolution Jonathan Wynn, author of Music/City, says has occurred because of music festivals is the evolution of cities from being the centers of production to centers of consumption. The second being the parallel change in economics of the music industry from the sale of durable products to the marketing of live music [Wynn. p.23]. Although, to add on to Wynn’s affirmation, he doesn’t seem to mention that technology played a huge role in the transformation of the music industry, music itself, festivals, and the creation of the contemporary American city. This large influx of festivals, and popularity surrounding them created what is called Festivalization. 

Festi.World at Lockn' 2016

If you are looking for another Coachella or South By South West then you have come to the wrong festival. Lockn' is fun, exciting, and a breath of fresh air to so many overly commercialized music festivals that exist these days, but, most importantly Lockn' keeps music at it's core. Music, even though it's the first word in the subtitle for these type of events, seems to be slipping away from many music festival's attention. Lockn' hasn't faltered on that end. Since 2013 when Lockn' (At the time called Interlocken Music Festival) started, the festival put the musical content of the event first.

Lockn' started in 2013 with a swath of fantastic bands ranging from jam-bands such as The String Cheese Incident and Tedeshi Trucks Band to legacy rockers such as Further and Phil Lesh. The lineup was strong for a virgin festival, and it paid off for them. 25,000 people showed up, and had a rocking time. The festival has remained a powerful name for American Jam/Rock festivals. This year the festival saw record numbers of 30,000+ attendees. Year-to-year Lockn's lineups remain similar hosting several repeat acts like Phil Lesh and the String Cheese Incident, but Lockn' doesn't let that aspect go stale. The organizers promote the acts to play together, creating super-groups and hybrid-bands. The combined groups make the festival that much more appealing for the attendees who travel hundreds of miles for this festival. Several times we were approached asking if we had heard any rumors of who may or may not be coming out on stage with so-and-so. It was kind of silly, but that is such a good thing for lockn' to be able to hold over the heads of their attendees. Lockn' can use surprise as such a powerful, non-malicious tool with their festival. That is what keeps the crowds coming. They want to see X playing with Y because one or both of those acts could be their absolute favorite. Other festivals try to change up the content of their lineups so much, but Lockn' goes for a different approach. Work with who they are comfortable with and put creative spins on how it can be produced and showcased. 

Lockn' 2016 in Arrington, Virginia

Festi.World rolled into the farm the afternoon of the first day. Thursday, August 25th. The roads were organized, staff was everywhere helping direct people and answering questions, and the familiar scent of greasy food filled the air. One of the first thing we noticed was the heat and humidity. It was hot, but the throughout the weekend the beauty of the people, sights, and sunset quickly made up for that fact. We were in awe of how beautiful Oak Ridge Farm was. The alluring sunset on Thursday set the tone for the entire weekend. 

The Sunset on Thursday Evening

The Sunset on Thursday Evening

Hundreds of bikes lined the fence to a small pond right outside of the main festival grounds.

Hundreds of bikes lined the fence to a small pond right outside of the main festival grounds.

We setup our area and got a move on to see everything we could. Coming down Lockn' Lane, the main road throughout the camp grounds, we passed several bicycle riders. Not an unfamiliar sight at Lockn'. Hundreds of people brought their 2-wheelers to make the trek from their camp sight to the main festival grounds. It's great that the festival and the farm allows people to use their bikes to get from one place to another. Biking is much lower impact than walking, and if you have a long trip back to your camp sight after a long and hot day of festival-ing, biking is a great solution. Sadly, we did not come equipped with our bikes. After walking the whole weekend, it'll be a no-brainer to bring ours as well. 

Biking was not the only way to get from one place to another. A golf cart taxi service was also roaming the dirt roads giving people rides for $5 a seat. Believe us, that price tag became a lot more appealing throughout the weekend. Surprisingly we never succumbed to the easy way out and walked the whole time. 

The Stages

The festival had three stages. The Blue Ridge Bowl, The Woods Stage, and the Main Stage. The Blue Ridge Bowl hosted acts such as Joe Russo's Almost Dead, Donna The Buffolo, and Lettuce. The Blue Ridge Bowl was placed almost within the camp grounds, along Lockn' Lane. It was great for a wake-up set or if you are looking for a low-impact show that still pumps out the jams. We found ourselves here a few times, there was no way we'd miss Lettuce, and every time we were there the crowd was smaller, and less rambunctious than what you'd find at the main stage. The distance from the main grounds and the overall separation of stages was a little hard to manage sometimes. The shows would overlap with Main Stage shows and it wasn't a fast walk to get over there. Hopefully next year we can spend a little bit more time with this stage and a little less running between the two. Although, the nature of the beast wuth any music festival is that you will not be able to see everything.  

EOTO unleashing some awesome music at The Woods Stage.

EOTO unleashing some awesome music at The Woods Stage.

At the edge of the car camping area was a large line of trees that leads into a forrest. There, the appropriately named Woods Stage lived. Luckily enough for us our camping spot was only a few yards to the entrance. At night the trees would light up blue, yellow, red, and green, welcoming festival goers to enter the area for some late-night fun. We entered and took note of a few things. There was no security checking bags, there was no wristband scanners to fumble through, and there was no shops or food vendors under the peaceful canopy of the woods. It was another breath of fresh air being able to enter a show without all of the bureaucracy and commercialization that comes with entering festival grounds. There were no lines, there was only music and it's fans. The woods allowed for people to spread out, have enough room for dancing, sitting, or relaxing in your hammock between two trees. We hope that the Woods Stage is permanent, and we hope that other festivals take notice of this style of stage. 

The Main Stage and festival grounds early Friday Afternoon

The Main Stage and festival grounds early Friday Afternoon

This leaves the Main Stage for us to discuss. Now, if you know Lockn' then you know that part of their draw is having sets tie together and run into each other, creating a opening/closing set jams that are always awesomely fun. Previous years of Lockn' saw two main stages where as one band was finishing up their set, another band on the neighboring stage would come out jamming along into starting their set. It was an awesome idea to have at a jam festival because fans of those bands get to not only hear the musicians they came to Lockn' to hear, but also jam along with the other musicians on the lineup. The idea of locking sets together was efficiently scaled back this year, without loosing any of the fun and brilliance of the idea. This year there was only one main stage, but with a twist. The stage literally twisted on a turntable. While a band was playing their outro jam, the stage would begin to twist, leading in the next band on the schedule, playing along to the previous acts music. We were in complete awe as we watched Vulfpeck's Saturday afternoon set play into White Denim's set. 

The sets on the Main Stage were astonishing. Absolutely everything that you could want or need from a festival's main stage and headlining acts. The lights, the artists, and the atmosphere was just out of this world. One of the few downsides of the Main Stage area, and the main festival grounds was the serious lack of shade. The weekend temperatures were getting up the high nineties. The only few sources of shade were under the two, large food vendor pavilions and a beer pavilion that were often very crowded. By point it's not much better then being out in the sun. But, when the evening rolled around and the sun was set, the weather was no longer a problem. 

The Lineup and Their Music

Lockn's 2016 lineup

Lockn's 2016 lineup

The category of festival Lockn' belongs to makes it simpler to impress their crowds with the artists that are apart of the the lineup. Lockn' plays off their fans and noticed that they don't need a gigantic lineup. Instead the festival invites back performing friends such as Phil Lesh, Tedeshi Trucks Band, and Umphrey's McGee.  This was the first year of the festival that didn't include the String Cheese Incident, a jam band that has always been on the lineup. Huge names rocked it out on the the stages of Lockn'. Ween, Twiddle, Vulfpeck, and Phish all played two sets for the festival. Festival first timers included Charles Bradley and his Extraordinaries, White Denim, Gary Clark Jr., and a just a few more. Everyone that we saw played a fun, and energetic set.

Vulfpeck showed up this year in full form. We were already excited to see them play, and during both of their sets they absolutely brought it. It probably goes without saying that Phish, Phil Lesh & Friends, Umphrey's McGee, and the other tenured acts played some of the best and crowd pleasing sets of the weekend. Ween was apart of this years lineup. Their goofily-lovable rock sets were out of this world, and everyone was moving their feet with Gene and Dean. On the first night of the festival EOTO played the day-closing set on The Woods Stage. We were mesmerized by their music and ability to play off the atmosphere of the forrest we were listening to them in. Charles Bradley and his Extraordinaries was a highlight of the festival for us. They brought the entire crowd to church, and we were all praising the mighty, raspy, bass-tones of Charles and his band. 

Lockn' blew us away! We had a blast at every show we attended, and every new corner we explored. Not only was it amazing to watch two bands having sets that intertwine with one another, but was made so much greater sharing that experience with a crowd that is expecting a surprise and getting exactly what they wanted from the next band that came around on that stage turntable. We are very excited to see what Lockn' has in store for next year. So keep your heads up and ears ready for announcements. We're sure they'll be right around the corner. 

For more information on Lockn' please head over to the official website here!

Technology, Millennials, and Festivals

“Technology has grown to play one of the most important roles in the festival experience.”
- Hardwell

Technology

Tupac's Hologram from the 2012 Edition of Coachella

Tupac's Hologram from the 2012 Edition of Coachella

Technology, from light shows to live streams, has added an entirely new dimension to live performances. It’s taking the festival scene by storm. Arguably the most notable use of new-age tech in recent years was in 2012 when Coachella had a hologram of the deceased hip-hop artist Tu Pac perform on stage next to Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre [Ngak, p.1]. This performance stirred up so many emotions in the live music scene. People were asking questions like “Is this right?” Some were offended and outraged that his likeness was simulated, and others were incredibly impressed, even if the performance was mediocre and slightly awkward. People were put off by the simulation because by now people have adjusted to the rapper being deceased. The use of the hologram proved to be not the best way for money to be spent on festival technology. The hologram cost somewhere near $400,000 to create [Ngak, p.1]. For obvious reasons It has not been attempted at another festival since. This is an example of how forward thinking along the lines of festival technology did not work out, maybe because it was awkward, or maybe because the attendees had no connection to what was going on. Money does need to go into technology for festivals, but maybe in a different way. TomorrowWorld, an EDM festival that takes place in Georgia, USA seems to have figured out how.

Tomorrowworld Pass Bracelets are high quality, durable, and fashionable 

Tomorrowworld Pass Bracelets are high quality, durable, and fashionable 

TomorrowWorld is a completely cashless festival [Wilson, p.1]. How does a festival accomplish this task? Though bracelets that attendees must wear though the duration of the weekend long festival. The bracelets serve as their festival pass, and the way the attendees make their payments [Wilson, p.1]. Anytime someone wants to buy something they have their wristband scanned. It’s just further proof that we are moving towards a post-physical-money world. TomorrowWorld is probably the leading example of show how “experiential technology” will be the next hoop modern pop festivals will have to jump through. 

YouVisit in action

YouVisit in action

YouVisit is a leading example of experiential-technology that many festivals, like TomorrowWorld use [Wilson, p.1]. The service they offer to festival organizers is a way for people at home to have a virtual 360-degree, real time, live stream of the festival as it happens [Wilson, p.1]. From the camp grounds to the music performances, people at home have a way to feel as if they were there. P.J. Morreale from YouVisit says “It’s not just recreating the experience; it’s taking them places where no one gets to go.” And you may think “Wouldn’t this way of experiencing the festival from the comfort of my couch bring down sales?” No. It actually did the complete opposite. TomorrowWorld reported that it helped build excitement for the release of 2015 tickets, of which 360,000 were sold in under an hour of them being relased [Wilson, p.1]! 

Another way festivals are starting to make the next step into the future is though Virtual Reality. With headsets created by Google, Apple, Samsung and Oculus people can finally be in two places at once. TomorrowWorld, the festival of the future, have decided to bring their festival into the future with this technology. Anyone with a VR headset or a VR ready phone can jump into the crowd right from their living room. When you move your head to look to the right, you’ll see people who are actually in the crowd at the festival. Now, in 2016 there is even a festival that is all about virtual reality, that you only experience through virtual reality. Yup, things are getting that meta.

What can be called the big brother to virtual reality is the live stream. To quote Hardwell again “Live streams have provided a new way for people to have the second best thing…” Live streams allow you to watch the festival as it happens in real time, usually from angles that would normally be inaccessible to people at the festival in the crowd. It’s also a good way for the festival to show off what it offers. People watching the stream think to themselves “I want to be there!” “I want to be having the fun all of those people in the crowd are having” and “I want to go next year!” While other people are thinking “You mean I can stay in the comfort of my house all while still experiencing what is happening hundreds of miles away from me?” The live streams boost brand awareness for the festivals and generate larger amounts of word of mouth too. VR and live streams are also fantastic advertising for the artists on the lineups. It opens so many doors, such as being able to give people at home a way to experience the festival that people at the festival wouldn’t even get. Imagine being able to hang out with the artists before they go out on stage to do their sets. You can ask them questions, have a discussion, all while getting a glimpse behind the curtain. Obviously you can never compare the live stream, or virtual reality experience to actually being there, but, through these technologies you get the next best thing, and you are left wanting more. Festival organizers like leaving people at home with that feeling, because this will generate more people actually showing up in person to get the first hand experience that they desired so much after watching from home.

The disco and rave culture started a trend from the 60’s to the 90’s of people wanting to stay up, party, and dance all night. Festivals want to give people that option, but the obvious hurdle that many festivals face is that there are sound ordinances they have to apply themselves to, which usually give the festivals a clear time of when the loud music has to be turned off by as to not disturb the public living nearby. Well, not with the creation of what is called the “silent disco.” A silent disco is almost no different from any other show you would see at a festival other than the fact that you have to wear a pair of wireless headphones to hear the music that is being played. Without the headphones, the experience is just you standing in the middle of a crowd of people yelling senselessly, dancing, and flailing around aimlessly. The silent disco is a fantastic way to keep the party moving without sacrificing the music. They are a futuristic solution that many top billed DJ’s are getting into. While the performer usually has a slot during the regularly scheduled festival slots, the festival can use the gimmick to give the performer more time to perform. 
The smart phone is the last, and probably the most important piece of technology that we will venture to discuss. Humanity has moved on to put their phones onto a pedestal. We have become androids, part human, part smart device. A smartphone is a small device that we pour every ounce of our lives into. It keeps track of where we are going, why we are going there, when we need to be there, and how bad the weather will be when we finally get to our destination. Smartphones help us create and catalogue our memories. Through virtual reality smart phones can even have us perceiving the world differently. Funnily enough, the duality of smart devices is that we put them in danger all the time. 

We bring our smart devices with us everywhere so we can know what we can do when we get there, even if there is the danger of dropping it or breaking it and loosing that capability. In the great outdoors there are no outlets to charge the phone’s battery either. Many smart devices lack the battery power to last 2-4 days without a charge. Festivals are treacherous territory for smart devices. The outdoor elements can very easily destroy a phone and everything that is on it. People often lose or get their phones stolen. But this still doesn’t stop people from bringing them. Humanity, and more so Millennials are nothing without their cellphones. This is why festival organizers and third party developers have started to create festival apps. 

Many festivals create their own app that people can download and use while at the festival. The app generally tells you where, and when artists are playing, the lineup, a map to navigate the festival grounds, and even a social tab to see what other people at the festival are up to. It’s great because it answers attendee’s questions before they can even formulate them. The other type of festival apps are created by third party developers, people who are not attached to any specific festival, that create an app that allows for communication between festival goers. A new that app that has recently hit app stores and taken the festival world by storm is Radiate. The app catalogs all festivals that are currently taking place and creates a page where people can post anything about the festival they want, text posts, pictures, questions, and so on. From there, other users can respond to those posts. You can probably already guess that the app isn’t exactly being used as the developers imagined. It’s like many pieces of fine art, the audience, or, users in this case, create the meaning. On most festival pages in Radiate you will find posts from people looking for, or selling illicit substances, company, fun, and so on. Although, there are a great deal of people using the app to discuss events that are happening at the festival. They are talking about what makes them happy, sad, angry and or any other emotion. People can link up with other like minded people. Attendees can try and find others who are looking for a group to camp or travel with. It’s really great what this app is doing for the festival community. Finally, people have a place they can go to to vent frustrations, find help, and discuss their experiences. What Radiate does differently than other social media platforms is that it gives festival goers one neat, and tidy place they can to go to where they can have a real time conversation about their experience with other people at the festival. All the while they can check out what’s going on at other festivals happening concurrently. People have been using Facebook and twitter to get this type of information in the past, but now with Radiate you don’t have to bogged down by all the discussions happening that have nothing to do with festivals. That’s not to say festivals do not have their place on social media, quite the opposite. Social media is far and away one of the most important tools for festival organizers, workers, and goers. 

Millennials and Social Media

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     Data: Eventbrite - Harris Survey of 2,000+ U.S. consumers. July 2014

Data: Eventbrite - Harris Survey of 2,000+ U.S. consumers. July 2014

Millennials are the leading generation attending festivals by a large margin and if there is anything they care about; it’s how technology can hold the hand of their experiences [Eventbrite, p.2]. “Millennials are an experience generation; they want you to take them somewhere totally unique.” says Joe Silberzweig of SFX Entertainment, the organizers for TomorrowWorld. Millennials crave more experiences. Eventbrite, a platform that allows event organizers to plan, promote, and sell tickets to live events published a survey in the end of 2014 called “Millennials: Fueling the Experience Economy” which said More than 82% of Millennials attended or participated in a verity of live experiences in the past year, ranging from parties, concerts, and festivals, and more so than older generations, by 70% [Eventbrite, p.3]. From that 72% of Millennials say that they would like to be spending more time and money on these types of events [Eventbrite, p.3]. 

This has led to technology taking a leading role in shaping the new age of festivals. Technology lives in many realms of festivals. Probably the most obvious is seen on stage at the festival itself. The equipment on stage, the speakers, the light shows and everything else that lends itself to the production are all very apparent, but those types of technologies are non-tractable for the audience. The attendees are passively engaging with those technologies while they enjoy the show. Less so is the technology that lends itself to the audience’s active engagement. How the attendees use their cellphones, make payments, and chronicle their memories of these events.
Millennials’ festival experiences usually start months before they even step foot on the festival grounds. The ticket buying experience is the first hurdle, which is why every modern pop festival has a website. Is the website easy to navigate? Is it simple? Is the pertinent information easy to find? These are the types of questions festival organizers have to think about when making their website. Millennials want all of their questions answered before they even ask them. If festival websites do not own the qualities the organizers risk loosing ticket sales on Millennials. Social media has also made its way into this end of the experience. Millennials need a way to interact with the festival.

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat have opened that door for them. Facebook and Twitter serve as an easy way for people to follow and hear what the festival is announcing. Facebook and Twitter stay relevant throughout the year, not just during the time of the festival. Facebook and Twitter work well for the festival organizers as well because they have a way to hear from the attendees and what they think about the announcements being made. Instagram gives the festival organizers another way to divulge information to their audience, but more importantly, attendees have a way to chronical their memories in the form of pictures and video clips they had taken at the festival. Snapchat is a new platform a few festivals are using to interact with their audience. People can post quick 1-10 second pictures and videos to the platform, which if posted can be reposted by the festival on their account. All of these social media platforms have proved to be extremely important to the young generation. Nearly 8 in 10, or 77% say some of their best memories are from an event or live experience that they attended. 69% believe live events make them more connected to other people, the community, and the world [Eventbrite, p.4]. 
With all of these platforms right in the pocket of festival goers it’s easier to talk and gab on about what the festival was like. People love to give their opinions about what they just experienced, and they want the festivals to know what they thought too. The leading discussions that generally takes place on Facebook, Twitter or Radiate actually has to do with one large term. Policy

1. EventBrite. "Millennials Fueling the Experience Economy" Eventbrite. Harris Interactive Methodology, 1 July 2014. Web. 30 May 2016.

2. Ngak, Chenda. "Tupac Coachella Hologram: Behind the Technology." CBSNews. CBS Interactive, n.d. Web. 3 June 2016.

3. Wilson, Jeremy. "The Future of Music Festivals: How Technology Is Shaping a New Era of Experiences." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 3 June 2015. Web. 5 June 2016.

 

Woodstock '99 - The Day the 90's Died

Woodstock '99's lineup poster, some of the performers such as Foo Fighters never showed up (they wanted to finish mastering their new album at the time, not because they could see the upcoming doom that was Woodstock '99

Woodstock '99's lineup poster, some of the performers such as Foo Fighters never showed up (they wanted to finish mastering their new album at the time, not because they could see the upcoming doom that was Woodstock '99

Can music festival producers tell the future? Of course not. Can organizers make educated guesses and estimations on how their event will work out? Of course. but, in the case of Woodstock ’99 it doesn’t even seem like anyone took caution with anything they did. From the lineup to the location, everything was flawed and once things started to spiral out of control no one knew how to get things organized again. Woodstock ’99 fell into a hellish landscape laden with crime and destruction. Let’s start at the beginning. 

The festival took place in late July, and the summer weather was coming down hard on the 200,000+ people (some reported that close to half of million people were in attendance, but that figure is unreliable because sales of passes were capped at 200,000. What isn’t uncertain is that there were far more than 250,000 people in the crowd from people sneaking in and using fake passes to gain entrance) that were attending, and working at the festival [Kreps, p.1]. During it’s run, Woodstock ’99 was actually the 3rd most populated city in the state [Kreps, p.1]. 

It’s probably common sense, but what do you think that many people would need during the three extremely hot days? Water. Here is another question - what do you think the festival organizers forgot to tell the large amount of people that were buying tickets? To bring water [Kreps, p.1]. Although, what the organizers thought was a good idea was to tell pass buyers not to bring food and drink to avoid “spoiling” [Schuftan, p.354]. Some believe that the festival developers did that on purpose so that they could squeeze every cent out of their attendees, but, when people saw that bottles of water were a staggering $4, and that there were only a few free water fountains that had lines longer than some Disney World rides people began to, to put it lightly, get frustrated [Kreps, p.1]. Ironically, the water fountains were destroyed by the very people who needed it out of sheer frustration and anger towards the festival organizers [Kreps, p.1]. Between the water situation and the fact that people had to walk across a mile and half of boiling hot tarmac, over 700 people throughout the weekend were treated for heat exhaustion [Schuftan, p.355]. The festival was also extremely filthy. Port-o-potties and showers were all located in one place, rather than strategically dispersed. Not only that, but they were located on the edge of a hill above the main camping area. When floods amassed from the over abundance of human waste and dirty water it all flowed down, right towards the campers. Human waste was literally getting into people’s tents [Schuftan, p.356]. 

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  The overcrowded audience of Woodstock ’99

The overcrowded audience of Woodstock ’99

Woodstock ’99 is a perfect example of overcrowding as well. It’s one of the leading examples of why music festivals make their attendees wear their passes in the form of bracelets now so that it is harder gain access with a fake pass [Kreps, p.1]. A pass to Woodstock ’99 was $157 dollars, a very high price for festivals of the time [Kreps, p.1]. The organizers thought they could get away with it because of the content being so “top-notch”, as well as having MTV covering the entire event [Kreps, p.1]. They were wrong. According to the Syracuse Post-Standard, "Security guards said they were confiscating fake passes at the rate of 50 an hour at just one gate." [Kreps, p.1]. The overcrowding also served as a problem when festival workers were attempting to get through the crowds, and when attendees were trying to get in and out of the crowds. Many people said they would get lost in the “sea of people” [Kreps, p.1]. Someone in a truck accidentally drove through the crowd attending Fat Boy Slim [Kreps, p.1]. Fat Boy Slim had to stop his set to let the crowd know that a truck was coming though [Kreps, p.1]. When he started the set again he humorously played the Carl Douglas’ 1975 Disco hit “Kung-Fu Fighting” to comment on how it was a literal fight to get through the crowd [Kreps, p.1]. Horde mentality kicked in several times during the festival. Racism, xenophobia, frustration, and anger ran rampant and became contagious. Everyday fights were breaking out in the crowd and several people were hospitalized over the course of the weekend [Kreps, p.1]. 

It wasn’t just the attendees that made the festival difficult, it was also the artists that fed the fire of destruction. The hip-hop group Insane Clown Posse made their mark when they stirred up some mayhem by throwing $100 bills into the crowd [Kreps, p.1]. People were literally fighting to pick up the money, and, while still in the crowd, people who were catching the bills were being threatened, and getting robbed [Kreps, p.1]. To stage a protest against the hydration problem, Pseudo Country-Rock Musician Kid Rock had his audience throw their water bottles towards the stage, but, people ended up throwing rocks and any other objects that they could get their hands on [Kreps, p.1]. The eponymous singer from Dave Matthews Band made a comment during his set about the amount of nudity he was seeing in his audience, only making more people want to take their clothes off [Kreps, p.1]. When it was Wyclef Jean’s turn to take the stage he wanted to show off his newly learned skills on the guitar, but, maybe his skills were just a little too new. He wanted to pay homage to Jimi Hendrix, but ended up butchering Jimi’s rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, causing the crowd to be angered by his lack of aptitude [Kreps, p.1]. He attempted the cover at the end of his 34-minute set, cut short because of the overwhelming amounts of booing he was receiving [Kreps, p.1]. He even set his guitar on fire on stage to recreate the famous moment when Hendrix did the same action at the first Woodstock. That only fanned the flames of rage in the crowd.

Now we can move onto the really bad matters that occurred at Woodstock ’99. Yes, it sounds impossible, but, all that before doesn’t even shine a light to what you are about to read. Law enforcement was vastly outnumbered by the crowds of Woodstock ’99 [Kreps, p.1]. Yes, that is generally the case at music festivals. There is no way a Police Department can send out anywhere near the number of the audience, but generally a police presence keeps the crime down. Not in this case. The local and state police were receiving support from volunteer security and fire departments from New York City, and unceremoniously, a great deal of the volunteer law enforcement walked away from their positions and abandoned their responsibilities, leaving the police without any support for the vast amount of crimes that were occurring over the course of the weekend [Kreps, p.1]. 

"At one point I saw this girl, a very petite girl, maybe 100 pounds, who was body-surfing above the crowd and either fell in or was pulled into a circle in the mosh pit," volunteer David Schneider told MTV. "These gentlemen,” using the term loosely, “probably in the 25–32 age range, looked as though they were holding her down. They were holding her arms; you could see she was struggling." [Jacobs, p.1] This is Mr. Schneider recalling his witnessing of a 24-year-old woman being gang raped in the middle of the crowd during Limp Bizkit’s set. The sadder side of this story is that she was not the only one to come forward to report sexual assault [Jacobs, p.1]. Limp Bizkit, while being an incredibly talented band had the knack for exciting their crowds, especially during their performance of their popular single “Break Stuff”. What Fred Durst, lead singer of Limp Bizkit, claims he was unaware of was why the crowd was so amped. People were crowd surfing on pieces of plywood ripped from the stage. Durst wanted to join the crowd in the part and joined the wood paneling surfers on their steeds. Durst claims he had no idea his actions were inciting a riot, that is until the police escorted them from the stage after their set was completed. Violence was next to normal at a lot of their shows, but rape was not. The police report for her rape read: "Due to the congestion of the crowd, she felt that if she yelled for help or fought, she feared she was going to be beaten." [Jacobs, p.1] While anger, and insanity ran rampant over the crowds, fear similarly existed. Many came forward to report sexual assault, but of the forty-four people arrested at Woodstock ’99, only one was charged with sexual assault [Jacobs, p.1]. 

This leads to the last, and most destructive day of the festival. The day Woodstock ’99 literally became hell on earth, and this is not a comment on the constant heat that plagued the festival. A fire storm broke out during the Red Hot Chili Peppers festival closing set [Jacobs, p.1]. The fires spawned from candles that were handed out into the crowd during RHCP’s song “Under the Bridge”. People were ready to cause some havoc, and when the band started playing Jimi Hendrix’s cover of “Fire” it turned into a catalyst for audience members to start literally setting fires [Jacobs, p.1]. It’s really too bad that Jimi Hendrix’s legacy was causing so much destruction over the weekend. But, after the amount of sheer unhappiness, “Fire” was the flint that ignited the crowd” as Rolling Stone puts it [Kreps, p.1]. Bonfires were started in the crowd, built from anything the starters could find. Clothes, woods, grass, anything. Cars were flipped over and set on fire [Jacobs, p.1]. Vendors booths, camp sites, and merchandise tents were destroyed and used as fuel for the flames [Jacobs, p.1]. Riots broke out. People were everywhere. People starting looting anything they could get their hands on. A lot of people, for very good reasons were scared and began to run and scream out of pure terror, only fanning the flames further. Hours later the police were finally able to to diffuse the problems, but at the end of the whole debacle it seemed as though a war had broken out [Jacobs, p.1]. 

People Dancing Around a Bonfire at the Red Hot Chili Peppers Festival Closing Set

People Dancing Around a Bonfire at the Red Hot Chili Peppers Festival Closing Set

A week after the festival SonicNet Music News took a reader poll about the event. When asked “Despite its ending in a fiery riot, do you think Woodstock '99 was a success?” 24% said Yes, and 76% said No. Although, from the percentages from the question “Do you wish you were attending Woodstock ’99?” 46% said Yes, and 54% said no [SonicNet Music News, p.1]. It’s surprising to say that the 1999 edition didn’t eternally tarnish the good name of Woodstock. Although, Woodstock has since never done another festival. In 2009 it took the shape of an American Tour calling itself the “Heroes of Woodstock Tour” [Heroes of Woodstock, p.1]. The tour presented several artists from previous editions of the festival such as Melanie, Edgar Wright, and the Levon Helms Band. Not surprisingly though, the tour included no one from the 1999 festival [Heroes of Woodstock, p.1]. Woodstock ’99 was crippled by crime, fires, riots, rape, and greed. The tale of Sodom and Gomorrah was repainted in Rome, New York that weekend in July. Woodstock ’99 left its mark with those terrible qualities, but, there is a lot of lessons that were learned from the disastrous festival. 

Examples of festival wristbands

Examples of festival wristbands

Safety quickly became top priority at festivals post Woodstock ’99. Tracking the audience and making sure there was enough security presence became important to festival organizers. Strategically dispersing restrooms and showers around a festival is no longer ignored. Water accessibility became very important to festivals, starting a trend of free water stations being available to festival attendees across the nation, as well as bottled water to be sold at a lower price. Festival passes have become harder to fake, taking shape most popularly as wrist bands that people wear. In many cases the wrist bands have RFID technology in them so attendees can scan in and out of the festival grounds. Maybe Woodstock ’99 needed to happen so there could truly be a be-all-end-all example of just what not to do when creating a festival. This is what happens when greed and disorganization rule the flow festival instead of safety and organization. One of the main reasons a disastrous festival like Woodstock ’99 will never happen again is how new technological progresses have shaped the evolution of festivals, mostly, for the better.

1.    Kreps, Daniel. "19 Worst Things About Woodstock '99." Rollingstone.com. Rolling Stone, 31       July 2014. Web. 28 May 2016.
2.    Schuftan, Craig. Entertain Us. Sydney: ABC, 2012. Print.
3.    Jacobs, Matthew. "Let’s Revisit The Chaos Of Woodstock ‘99, ‘The Day The Music Died’."          Huffington Post. Huffington Post, 23 July 2014. Web. 28 May 2016.
4.    SonicNet Music News. "QOTD RESULTS: WAS WOODSTOCK '99 A SUCCESS?" MTV.com.          SonicNet Music News, 27 July 1999. Web. 28 May 2016.
5.    The Heroes of Woodstock http://www.theheroesofwoodstock.com/

Festival Policy. The Good, The Bad & The Useless.

Policies having to do with festivals are a tricky subject. Festival attendees treat a festival as a community. We go as packs, linking up and spreading out to meet new and interesting people. Festival goers are generally going to have a smooth and pleasant time with one or two hiccups along the way. Let's take a look at the amount of money people drop to go. When most people spend a $200 - $500 on anything they want to be happy with what they get out of it. This type of demand calls for a structure to be put into place. A Structure that tries to keep 10,000+ people happy and healthy, but most of all safe. Structure calls for governance to be in place which comes in the form of policies. Policies are setup to keep some sort of control over the masses and most are written to ensure that the festival can continue while trying to maintain the best possible time for the festivals attendees. Some policies are common sense and almost don't have to be written down or mentioned because most people naturally follow them, but others are written and added along the way in reaction to new elements the festival otherwise did not see coming. 

Let's break festival policies down into a few headings - Tickets and Price Gouging, The Environment and Trash, Health and Safety, and The Illegal. These may not be all the realms of festival policies but they certainly seem to be the ones that get discussed the most. How do we know this. The writer of this article, as well as many of his colleagues have been to several festivals and love to discuss what went down. Festi.World also took to reddit, /r/festivals to ask the opinions from other regular festival goers. He heard about the policies they like, hate, worry about, and think are completely outrageous and unnecessary. So let's get into it!  

Tickets and Price Gouging

Buying tickets is where it all begins. These days all it takes to purchase festival passes is opening your favorite internet browser, loading up the festival's website and going to the purchase page. It's fast, convenient, and reliable way for people to nail down their passes. Although, the physical act of purchasing passes may be easy, the mental side of it all can be a little harder for some. The pass price just starts to get larger and larger from what the sticker price originally told the purchaser. That little asterisk next to the price tag starts to stand out a little bit more when you realize that it's there to tell you that you are about to get slammed by the unholy behemoth that is...fees. 

The internet makes the act of purchasing passes very convenient for every party involved, the festivals can reach as many people as possible and the attendee can purchase them from the laze of their couch. But, that convenience does not come without a price tied to that $200-$500 pass price tag. Ticket fees are not a new thing, but the price hikes that we are seeing year over year are making it a harder pill to swallow, especially for people who like to travel to their favorite festivals, or maybe do several festivals in a year. Sometimes those fees can get pretty large too, and often festival goers are left wondering why you need to pay them. It's a tactic that ticket sellers use to introduce extra costs while you are purchasing the passes, At the point of realizing the fees you are cornered and you either go through with the purchase because you made it that far and really want to go, or, you don't and you don’t go. More often than not, people who make it to see the fees getting introduced to the total price end up spending the money because they made it that far plus their fear of missing out on the show. From there people commonly think to themselves "Is it a printing cost?” “Is it a manufacturing cost?” “Am I paying for the convenience of buying online?" mostly because the sites are very vague about what exactly the fee is for. Take a look at the below snapshot of Governors Ball's ticket page. 

Governors Ball 2016 Ticket Prices [10]

Governors Ball 2016 Ticket Prices [10]

Gov Ball does not even begin to try to explain to you what that $40 fee is for why you have to pay it. This what makes a large group of festival lovers uncomfortable with this experience. Now, anyone who has been to more than one festival knows that they are going to have to pay more than the sticker price. At least Gov Ball has the decency to tell you about the fee before you start the process. Some festivals don't show you the fees until you are at the checkout page! Fees are a unique cost as well because it is the only thing you have to pay for that gets you nothing in return from. It's the degree of separation that is commonly found on purchase pages. You see the ticket price, then under that you see the fees and realize that it is just a related toll to gain access to the wonderland of the festival, and that's it. 

Wanting to go to a festival has a lot of associated costs with that magical wristband. This is where price gouging on the festivals part comes into play. If you're driving, of course you need to pay for parking. If you are camping you need to pay for a camping spot, and of course you're going to want to eat and buy keepsakes. All the festival related costs really start to amount to a lot. The festival organizers need to make money, sure, but too many modern festival goers they feel like they are being taken advantage of. Some people get a feeling that festivals price gouge because their attendees absolutely need these things to access or enjoy the festival. 

What could help alleviate some of the stress of purchasing your way into the festival is a neat and easy to understand price chart where you can see the total price, with or without camping and parking and other related costs. As well as an explanation of what the fee is. Transparency is something that is becoming a lot more popular in modern business practices and fees are often a policy that isn't lightly hushed. People are paying and not knowing what exactly they just threw their money at. It's an issue that a lot of people want cleared up. The fees are usually going towards an amount that the festival organizers have to pay to the ticket sellers - Livenation, Ticket Master, Eventbrite, so on and so forth. Sometimes they are printing fees, or manufacturing fees that come from getting the tickets printed or those lovely pass bracelets made. A good amount of the time though, part of that fee is going straight into the festival, right into the amount the festival makes from your ticket. Why? Because usually a ticket price looks more appealing rounded off. So it will be rounded up or down to the nearest zero and what left over gets factored into the fees.

The Environment and Trash

It should go without saying, but the unwritten rule of all festivals is to respect the area. Be it a farm, city, forest, or even the desert. A lot of time and planning went into building the festival you are enjoying so much. Months before you even step foot on the festival grounds the organizers are out there planning where everything will be placed, from stages to waste baskets. It's very tactical and strategic. The strategic placement of everything throughout the grounds helps with crowd control, waste management, emergency planning, and so many subtle things that an attendee probably wouldn't even notice unless they were looking. Policy starts getting written up in those planning stages in regards to the environment, and it's usually to give the organizers a bit of a safety net. 

Some festival grounds are permanent, meaning the organizers own the land where the festival takes place at. Although, the majority of festivals take place on grounds that during the rest of the year are functioning cities, farms, camps, and so on. A lot of organizers rent the land, and have to buy insurance for the incredible amount of liability they (another change Woodstock ’99 helped charter is unsurprisingly, higher insurance rates). The organizers have to  promise the land owner that their land will not be devastated by the festival. It's an agreement that works both ways. The land owners are usually making a hefty chunk of change from the festival renting the land, and the festival would like to hope that they can renew their agreement year-to-year. This means that more and more protocol has to be created to make sure the land isn't ruined. 

Trash cans need to be widely available to everybody at a festival. Everyone who has been to festival had probably not been surprised by seeing trashcans overflowing with trash. That is a problem. If people don't have a space to put trash, then people will default to just tossing it on the ground. Trash on the ground is very dangerous for many reasons, such as sharp objects that are thrown away, thus creating the defining reason for a no glass policy at festivals. If that sharp glass or plastic makes its way onto the ground more people have a chance to step on it and severely hurt themselves. The festival shouldn't have to answer someone else's irresponsibility like that. That is not fair. Trash also can get people very sick if they are around it long enough, and anyone can guess what being sick at a music festival is like. 

A few festivals do a very smart thing; having staff or volunteers go around to campsites and hand trash bags to attendees. This not only helps them keep their camp ground clean, it also promotes the idea of getting trash to it's proper place, even when away from the campsite. Some festivals are adopting a something called a “leave-no-trace” policy. A policy that has been created in response to people just leaving their trash, or anything really, on the ground. The policy tries to make people leave the grounds exactly as they found them. The festival wants the attendees to pick up trash and help them out a little bit. Again, it’s one of those policies that work in multiple directions. The attendees can enjoy a clean festival, the festival has an easier time with clean up, and the land owner will allow the festival to keep its place. It’s really too bad that we as people have gotten to the point where we need to be asked to pick up our trash and clean up for ourselves. No one should feel above that principal. Some festival attendees have been doing this for a long time, even without the policy, but, let’s be frank for a second - try not leave trash on the ground. It’s dirty, unhealthy, and makes others have less of a good time. You do not have to be a tree-hugger to respect the land. It's the wrong rational if you leave trash on ground and say "It's someone else's job to pick up this trash. They hire people to do that." You made that trash, you take care of it. The 2015 edition of TomorrowLand, an offshoot of TomorrowWorld, was an immense example that kept coming up in the Reddit thread. Here is what Reddit user, and TomorrowLand attendee, charg0n had to say: 

Health, Safety, and the Illegal

Here is a fact that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone: Festivals are not the safest places on earth. The vast amount of people that come to festivals have the potential to bring loads of trash, harmful substances, less-than-desirable characters, weapons, glass, and other unwanted things. With all of that also comes the unknown circumstances the weather controls, as well as people getting sick, hurt, lost or in some cases, dying. It’s not often that someone parishes at a festival, but every year it unfortunately does happen to a few people. Because of all of these potentialities medical policies have to be written so these events can be dealt with. 

Festivals having medic tents, ambulances on-site, and places for people to go if they are having a “bad-trip” have become the industry standard at this point in 2016. Sadly, though, year-after-year, people are still getting hurt and dying. These medical emergencies are defining factors to if festivals are able to go on sometimes. In 2013, during the height of the United State’s MDMA era, a pair of deaths from the substance shut down Electric Daisy Carnival’s events. In recent years 6 more deaths have been tied to the festival [Domanick, p.1]. Estimates show that about forty to fifty people die every year at festivals [Gregoire, p.1]. You may think it’s for obvious reasons too. It’s hot, people are doing a ton of drugs, and they are not staying properly hydrated. While all that certainly is true, it’s usually only the top layer. Other, more in-depths reasons include the people may be doing these drugs alone, making it hard for anyone to tell how to help that person. Some people feel as though they would get the person in trouble, or sent to jail if they contact law enforcement for someone suffering from an overdose. Hydration is key at any festival and anyone not drinking enough has a much higher chance of passing out, so the amount of accessible water needs to be replenished often. If not, even people not on hard substances are in critical danger. Lastly, people are going to want to buy drugs at festivals, and a factor in that is buying from someone that tells you it’s one drug and ends up being another. In response to these drug caused deaths groups of people have been banding together to raise awareness. One of the most notable are a group of people known as the “Bunk Police”. Their primary mission is for people to have fun, and to be safe. Members of the group go out in to the masses of people selling cheap and reliable drug test kits so people can have a way to check the drugs for purity and check the dealers on their honesty. Drugs at music festivals will never stop, as much as people fight, they are going nowhere. So the bunk police are creating a much needed solution since law enforcement will not advocate for the use of drugs. 

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   Left: Bunk Police Chief Auctor with members of law enforcement at Electric Forest      Top: an example of the Bunk Police's test kit they sell

Left: Bunk Police Chief Auctor with members of law enforcement at Electric Forest

Top: an example of the Bunk Police's test kit they sell

Something that is a little bit newer than the bunk police that is helping combat the health dangers of going to a music festival are the groups of people that make it their duty to help people independently from the festival. They are generally carrying garbage bags with them that they will hand out to campers, but, along with those bags they give you a message and a phone number. The message is that these people will anonymously get help if you, or someone you know is in immediate danger. They are also spreading the word and raising awareness for festival goers so they know that if person is hurt or suffering from drugs, they will not be in any trouble if law enforcement needs to get involved. This is helping the notion of people thinking they will be in any type of trouble when law enforcement needs to get involved. Sadly, it is hard to track the amount of good these groups of people are doing because they are just that, groups of people. But, it is clear that they are helping people in some shape and form.

Policies on what people can and cannot bring into festival grounds is another health and safety protocol that people are often discussing. Some say that the policies surrounding this topic have gone to far, while others say that having these types of orders in place are a necessity. The unwritten festival policy is “better safe, than sorry” and it shows when organizers tell you what you are not allowed to bring into their festival. The obvious items such as firearm and other weapons should be a given, and no one should be bringing in items that are meant to cause physical harm to someone else. But some people believe that the policies have gone too far when the festivals start taking away glass, cigarettes, cigars, medicines, fold-up chairs and other items people wouldn’t normally think they have to worry about bringin. Festivals with a no glass policy limit people bringing their preferential items that maybe packaged in glass jars or bottles. Sometimes items like jam or peanut butter spread comes in glass rather than plastic. The policy limits people’s ethical standards when they would rather use glass to help with recycling and the environment. A no glass policy makes a lot of sense so the festival can cut down on the amount of littered glass that can harm people, but taking away things like cigarettes and fold-up chairs sounds a little…obtuse. It’s hard to see the immediate dangers those items put people in. 

Alcohol policies have started to become pretty standard. The mentioned glass policy stops most hard liquors from getting into the festival, which is good for health and safety protocols and, lessening the amount of drunk people getting hurt. But, these alcohol policies aren’t just looking out for the festival goers, they are also instated because legally festivals don’t have the proper licenses for these people to bring and drink their own hard liquors on their camp grounds. Festivals often have alcohol sponsors funding the events and they have restrictive contracts the festival organizers must sign that state attendees of the festival should be limited to buying their alcohol. The other alcohol policy that is not standard across the board is where people can go with the alcohol. Some festivals allow people to transfer their alcohol between the grounds and other do not. This policy is also built from the alcohol providers having a dominating presence over how people buy their alcohol. 

Some policies are built out of uncertainty on the festivals part and one that has been seen doing more harm than good are policies surrounding how, and if people can bring water into festivals. By now festival goers have figured out they need to bring their own water, and a whole lot of it. But, when people bring their own water they want to be able to drink their water whenever, not just while they are at their campsite. Festival goers have begun to bring backpack water sacks, such as Camelbacks, so they can fill up at their camp ground and bring hydration with them where ever they go. But, some festival, such as Bonnaroo, in the very hot Manchester, Tennessee do not let people bring in filled Camelbacks. This is because they say they do not know what could be in them. They make people pour out their liquids, causing people to loose money on the water they bought, which obviously greatly frustrates people. The worst part is they tell those people they can fill them back up inside the festival grounds, but, often the water stations inside the festival grounds are very busy, unorganized, broken, malfunctioning, or empty. This leads to people leaving the unorganized mess of the water station to go to shows without any water. Many people suffer from dehydration at festivals every year at festivals, and this policy is certainly a cause of that. Another factor that isn't helping battle dehydration is the rising cost of water at festivals. Festivals like Electric Daisy Carnival and Firefly are selling 16oz water bottles for $4-5! That is just incredible, and greedy. People literally need water to live and they are going to sell it to you for an arm and a leg, after you already gave your limbs to the exorbitant ticket cost.  

While all of these policies maybe a little annoying to deal with and to apply ourselves to, its good to know that after reviewing all of this that festivals are looking out for the audience’s health and wellbeing. If they didn’t there would be no one to come to the festivals, or worse, no one being able to put on a festival. While the policies are there for a reason, some do go too far with the amount of restrictions that are instated. Ticket policies should be more transparent and no one in the past has died at a festival from a rouge fold-up chair. The best thing to do to approach overly restrictive policies is to let the festivals know how you feel. That is where the miracle of social media comes back into play. In this new, budding era of festivals, organizers have to want to know what you think of the events, and if you tell them what you really think they have a chance to look back on if there is anything they can do about it for the next year’s edition. Granted, some polices will be a much harder boulder to move, but at least festivals can try to reevaluate and come up with something that will alleviate the stressor.

 

The GIANT Moogfest 2016 Rundown.

Moogfest 2016 in Durham, North Carolina

If you are looking for a festival that makes you think, learn and feel through the combined powers of technology and music then look no further. Moogfest is the festival for you. Moogfest has an interesting past. The whole thing started in New York City in 2004 as a one night gala to celebrate the anniversary of Moog, A popular America synthesizer brand started by Robert Moog. After 4 years in New York the festival had evolved in a way to include the musical performances that use the tools the festival praises. Because the size and scope of the festival was growing the festival moved to Asheville, NC, and now Durham. 

Festi.World arrived in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the town just east of Durham, on the Wednesday before the festival thinking about how they were going to use the quaint downtown area of the city for the festival. On Thursday morning we rolled into Durham, a very progressive a city, surrounded by universities and stuck between gender inequality issues and regeneration, and aside from all of the problems Durham is dealing with we were pleasantly surprised. Durham has everything a big city would have, tall building, shops, hotels, and businesses all while still transmitting that small-town feel. After a few hours in the city it was no problem navigating between the 20+ venues across the beautiful downtown area. Motorco Park / Music Hall were the furthest venues from any other, but the walk was only 9 minutes from anywhere else in the city. 

The Carolina Theater, one of the major hubs of the festival. The theater utilized the cinemas for multiple films during the weekend, while the theater presented several panels and performances from artists like Gary Numan, GZA, and Explosions In The Sky.

The Carolina Theater, one of the major hubs of the festival. The theater utilized the cinemas for multiple films during the weekend, while the theater presented several panels and performances from artists like Gary Numan, GZA, and Explosions In The Sky.

Dawn performin at Carolina Theater on Thursday May 19th.  Photo Courtesy of Moogfest/Magnum PR         

Dawn performin at Carolina Theater on Thursday May 19th. Photo Courtesy of Moogfest/Magnum PR   

Moogfest used the city in a very intelligent ways. First of all, Moogfest choosing Durham feels like a no-brainer after seeing all that exists there. Being situated in the Research Belt of America numerous tech startups also call Durham home. Small business and family run ventures are thriving. Over the last 8-9 years Durham has been through a massive regeneration which has turned old warehouses and tobacco factories into hubs for startups and new ventures. It's amazing how the city has opened up it's arms to allow for the future to roll in, and Moogfest has a really good knack at showing how the future is all around you. Multiple installations Moogfest mounted were just things people, without a pass or knowledge of Moogfest could walk up to an experience. Moogfest also put on outside shows that required no passes. Reggie Watts and DJ Lance Rock from Yo Gabba Gabba are two examples of the 9 free performances last weekend. Reggie's performance was on Saturday afternoon at one of the more fascinating venues apart of Moogfest. He performed at a park in the middle of an area called the American Tobacco Campus. The American Tobacco Campus is an old decommissioned Lucky Strike Cigarette manufacturing plant reconditioned to house businesses, start-ups, restaurants, apartments, and much more. 

The American Tobacco Campus & Modular Market Place

The American Tobacco Campus was one of two of the major hubs at Moogfest. The Other being the Carolina Theater. The ATC was home to several installments and other Moogfest events. The first thing we saw walking up to the ATC was that IDEO, a design and innovation firm had an installment that involved large beach balls suspended from the ceiling of a caged-in basketball court. The balls were being hit by festival attendees to make sounds depending on how hard and what direction the ball was hit. 

Exploring ATC throughout the weekend led to several discoveries such as an installation by Burt's Bees, oversized chess boards, and several performances. There were even hammocks if you wanted to take a load off but still be close to the events. The whole time surrounded by brick buildings with large windows, beautiful gardens, a crossable water way running the length of the factory, and groups of people with smiles on their faces with a very tall Lucky Strike smoke Stack anchoring it all nicely showing the preservation of history mixing with modern culture.

The lucky Strike factory, smoke stack and water tower. 

The lucky Strike factory, smoke stack and water tower. 

One of many of the synths that attendees were free to mess around with in the Modular Marketplace.

One of many of the synths that attendees were free to mess around with in the Modular Marketplace.

The ATC was also where Moogfest setup the Modular Marketplace. A weekend long pop-up synthesizer market where attendees could fiddle around with instruments made by Moog, Roland, Korg and many smaller, independent company made synths and instruments. Most of what festival goers could mess around with was on sale as well. So if you liked something that you were playing you could buy it right then and there at a reduced Moogfest price which was generally $100-$300 less than MSRP. Check out the album below for pictures of the Modular Marketplace.

 

Installations

All around the city, it doesn't matter where you are downtown, you will find yourself nearby to a Moogfest installation. The Canadian born, musical performer Grimes had an interactive installation called "Realiti" that had people entering a tent setup outside the Carolina Theater. People would "take a step inside" Grimes' music by offering a unique way to remix her music by pressing on mesh nets that trigger an overhead sensor, thus changing the sound of the music. 

Most of the installations were interactive to a certain degree. You could rock up to a dome tent outside of the Durham Performing Arts Center and play with synthesizers, creating music with a group of strangers, feel a little awkward, but then walk away understanding the point a little bit more. "Body Scrub, Gender" was a smaller interactive installation that had people walking up to a television. The Kinect camera at the top of the tv would sense when a person would get close, map them and replace their image with floating male and female symbols. 

A good amount of the installations left some people with their heads being scratched. But, that's a good thing. Those people will be walking around the city, with a whole weekend of excitement and enlightenment. Maybe along their Moogfest Journey they will start to understand what exactly that weird thing they came across exactly was, or maybe not and it will be a mystery forever. What the installations did do was get you thinking and get you talking. That is the true success. 

 

Talks / Panels / Workshops / CLASSES

Durham, a smart city was only made smarter by the amount of scientists, urban planners, school teachers, engineers, philosophers, and cyborgs Moogfest brought as a part of their "Future Thought" side of events. The events apart of the Future Thought side could be anything from a discussion on the future of video game music to a panel on Afrofuturism focusing on Jamiacan dub music and sound systems.

Pictured: GZA (left) Mark Anthony Neil (right) at Time Traveling with Hip Hop - Discussing science's role in Hip Hop and modern education. Photo Courtesy of Moogfest/Magnum PR   

Pictured: GZA (left) Mark Anthony Neil (right) at Time Traveling with Hip Hop - Discussing science's role in Hip Hop and modern education. Photo Courtesy of Moogfest/Magnum PR   

Pictured left to right: Laurent "Tippy" Alfred, Lister Hewan-Lowe,  David Katz, Ras Kush, Mad Professor, Angus Taylor.

Pictured left to right: Laurent "Tippy" Alfred, Lister Hewan-Lowe,  David Katz, Ras Kush, Mad Professor, Angus Taylor.

One of the more popular panels was named Time Traveling with Hip Hop - Discussing Science's Role in Hip Hop. The talk was led by Author and Professor Mark Anthony Neil and his special guest GZA a.k.a. the Genius from The Wu-Tang Clan. GZA was a part of the panel to talk about his new project Dark Matter, a concept album that will have songs revolving around the ideas of the universe, stars, black holes and planets. GZA isn't keeping his love of science for himself either. He has recently been going to schools, ranging from elementary to college level, to talk to kids about how interesting science can be. His approach is that everyone can be interested in science, you just have to present it in an engaging and fun way. 

One of the more popular classes at Moogfest was the aptly named "Moga" or Moog-Yoga. An interesting yoga class, taking place every morning of Moogfest on the rooftop of The Durham Hotel, that taught to the soothing sounds of Moog Synthesizers. It's an interesting pairing, but also very popular as the class was full the whole weekend. Other Moogfest classes had attendees building synthesizers, teaching children the theremin and taking people on tours to the offices of startups in the city. Moogfest may seem like you are simply going to have a fun time when you buy the tickets, but, even if you don't notice it you will walk away from Moogfest being a touch smarter. It's pretty incredible.

Music

Music is the last major leg of Moogfest that we will be talking about. But, what's to say!? Moogfest did an amazing job curating an awesome musical lineup for the weekend while considering artists that worry about the future advancements in music. I don't think we could name one show that didn't include a synthesizer or electronic instrument of some kind on stage, and that wasn't by accident. Moogfest did an awesome job setting up and mounting the music performances. The larger performances happened at Motocro Park, an regenerated scrap yard that is now being used as a park for live music. The Park saw performances from Grimes, Blood Orange, Miike Snow, HEALTH and more. The park is right next door to Motorco Music Hall, which is a car shop turned music hall. The music hall saw performances from GZA, Demo Taped, and Yacht.

The Durham Armory was another often used venue throughout the weekend. The old armory is now a fully fledged performing arts venue. The large ballroom inside can fit just about 6,000 people which made it the perfrect venue for performances from Bicep, The Black Madonna, Earthly, and The Orb. The Armory's centralized location also helped immensely and was spitting distance from The Carolina.

The Carolina Theater was a major hub of the festival and was used for the larger profile shows. The beautiful Beaux-Arts style theater can seat just over 1,000 people. Moogfest had the place packed to capacity for performances from GZA, Gary Numan, and Explosions In The Sky. Some of the shows were so popular you could see the line serpentining all the way down the street of lined-up food trucks feeding hungry festival goers. 

Check out our pictures from the weekend's musical performances and Moogfest 2016 recap videos below!

Miike Snow

Demo Taped

Bicep

HEALTH

Reggie Watts

Dj Lance Rock / Yo Gabba Gabba

Explosions In The Sky

If you like what you just read then we highly recommend going to Moogfest next year. We guarantee and fun time for people who are looking for a little brain stimulation. Head on over to their official website for news on Moogfest 2017 and check back here for future updates on the next Mogfest!

Moogfest 2016!

Hey everyone, Festi.World just rolled up to Durham, North Carolina for Moogfest 2016! We are very excited to give you a run-down on what is going on in the 20+ venues across the city! From make-your-own-synthesizer workshops to jaw dropping, music performances, we'll be covering it all. Make sure to check here for all of our upcoming releases throughout the weekend and beyond!

If you want a little history lesson on Moogfest and the surround area of Durham keep reading!

      Somewhere between the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and the clear blue waters of Virginia Beach, lies the research triangle of North Carolina, and within it, the city of Durham. On top of a deep-rooted base of technology and innovation, the city is a fertile bed full of freshly sprouting startups blooming with advancements that are shaping the 21st century. It is only proper that this healthy specimen will be the new host to double-transplant Moogfest.
       Created in 2004 by David Olivier and Charles Carlini, the event had its small beginnings in the Big Apple. A one-off mixer for friends of the synth-maker, the night was a quasi-gala to celebrate music, friends, and the synthesizer. After the passage of company founder Robert “Bob” Moog in 2005, the event returned for its second iteration to honor his work and impact on the world. Over the next decade, new forms of EDM, the return of new wave, and the attitudes that gave way to today’s exploding music festival scene created the perfect biome for the three-pointed tree that Moogfest is today. This weekend here in Durham, 20+ venues are combining forces with the Moog team to present to you 100+ musical performances, 200+ speakers, as well as countless art installations of every shape and size to ensure your mind never loses stimulation. They’re calling it a synthesis of art, music, and technology, and we can’t wait for it all to begin. This street fair styled event will feature educational days of exploration and interaction followed by diverse acts that include GZA, Grimes, Gary Numan, and ODESZA.  
-Kevin Clancy

Check out Moogfest's full 2016 lineup of musicians, workshops, classes and speakers below!

Moogfest is this weekend - Thursday May 19th - Sunday May 22nd. For more information on all the events happening here, and to purchase passes head on over to Moogfest's Official website!

Festi.World's Top 10 Things Not To Miss At Moogfest 2016

Moogfest, the music festival that is MUCH more than just a music festival, is coming up again in May and unless you have the power to split yourself in two it will be near impossible to see everything. So, to prepare you for the exciting things to come, Festi.World has put together a Top 10 list of essential things we think you should make sure not to miss while at Moogfest 2016.

10. Reggie Watts

Reginald Lucien Frank Roger Watts or as he is better known as, Reggie Watts will be taking the stage this year at Moogfest. The eccentric ex-band leader for IFC's comedy talk show Comedy Bang Bang, now band-leader for James Corden's Late Late Show will be doing what he does best. A mixture of absurdly hilarious comedy and wild sounding, heavily effected, comedic music that is the combination of duplicating harmonies with pseudo-gibberish and real-time beats. In his early career Reggie was known for making comedy shorts for internet video sites like Super Deluxe and College Humor. These days, with two live comedy albums, and several film, television, internet and music credits under his belt, he is known for his fantastic live performances.

If you need a good example of what Reggie Watts brings to the table (other than his fantastic afro) here is a video of Reggie from his 2012 TED Talk perfectly highlighting his improvisational skills and musical talents. 

9. DJ Lance Rock & Yo Gabba Gabba!

Lance Robertson, better known as DJ Lance Rock from the hit Nick Jr. TV show Yo Gabba Gabba! will be taking the stage at Moogfest this year, and he is bringing his colorful cohort with him for a special all ages program. Lance has been always been a musician, often exploring the electronic genres in the music he creates. He has been in several bands, Most notably The Raymakers from Los Angeles. While performing with The Raymakers, Lance met Scott Schultz (The co-creator of Yo Gabba Gabba!) and was asked to don the orange hat and jumpsuit and host the show. Yo Gabba Gabba features some crazy looking characters that all love to sing and dance, and their performances get the young and old alike up on the feet and dancing, while learning things like the 

importance of washing your hands and how to talk to somebody when they are sad. No matter how old you are, you will surely enjoy this program and maybe learn a thing or two. Check out what one of their live performances is like for a taste of things to come at Moogfest!

8. Bicep

Bicep.jpg

Bicep, is a DJ and Production duo from Belfast, Northern Ireland. Composed of Andrew Ferguson and Matthew McBriar, run the famous cult-defining music repository Feel My Bicep. The two parts of Bicep have been friends since they were teenagers, bonding over the dusty records they found in crates in the back of record stores looking for dance music, from Italo-disco to Acid House. Recently, they have made London their home base, but have been touring the world showing off their fantastic version of electro-house music. Check out their recent EP "Just" below for a great example of the music they bring to the table. Festi.World is making sure not to miss their set.  

 

7. HEALTH

HEALTH is much more than an indie-rock band from Los Angeles. When HEALTH takes the stage the you hear a wonderfully confusing mixture of thrash and math rock. After the remix of their track Crime Wave by 2011 Moogfest performers Crystal Castles, HEALTH was blazing trails with their tribal drums, noise making machines, raw synths, squealing guitars, asymmetrical basslines, and a homemade guitar pedal/microphone called a Zoothorn. Their First two albums HEALTH and Get Color each have dance-remixed versions. To add to their credits, they composed and recorded the soundtrack to the award winning video game Max Payne 3. Just last year they released their newest album, Death Magic. Do be warned, their crunchy style is turned all the way up to 11. HEALTH 

makes sure to never sacrifice volume when they perform, so if you think your ears can handle it you will certainly not regret seeing HEALTH. 

6. Hacking Sound (Systems)

Hacking Sound (Systems) is one very cool sounding program happening this year that we would hate for you to miss! Moogfest says that the catalyst of program is resurgence of technological Maker Culture, and it's true. From the resurfacing of vinyl, people building tube amps to people building synths, guitar pedals and brand new instruments, it undeniable that culture of creating awesome sonic tools is here to stay. This program will venture into the world of circuit bending to open source manufacturing as well as to "reflect on how the last decade has been transformed by a host of arts-engineering software toolkits like Processing, Arduino, and openFrameworks." says Moogfest.

5. Explosions In The Sky

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Every Top 10 has one, but this is the bias choice for this list from the writer of this article. Explosions In The Sky is a band with a very clear vision. It is impossible to properly explain the way that EITS has captured human emotions, and then expresses it through their music. The experience must be made first hand in a live setting to really grasp what Explosions can do with their music. You will be moved by the voiceless stories their music tells. You will feel like you can even almost talk back to the music, while it is telling you that everything is going to be alright. Explosions in the sky has been making music since the late 90's, releasing their first album How Strange, Innocence in 2000. More recently they have created movie soundtracks for the films Prince Avalanche, Lone Survivor and Manglehorn. Not but a few days ago on March 1st they released their newest single Logic of a Dream. Check it out below.  

4. Grimes

The Canadian born electronic musician and producer will be bringing her synth-y dream-pop style and finesse to grace the stage of Moogfest 2016. Claire Boucher (a.k.a Grimes) has been making music since 2009 after she was expelled from University for putting more time into her musical career rather than school. For that choice, we thank her. Grimes has become something of a phenomenon recently, headlining multiple festivals in 2015 such as Lightning in a Bottle. Last year Grimes released her fourth studio album Art Angles and it has been her biggest success to date. The album is her attempt at using as much live instrumentation as much as possible, a side step from previous work which is very synth and electronic heavy. Listen to her newest single SCREAM. 

3. GZA

GZA, The Genius, famous rapper known for being one of the founding members of the Wu-Tang Clan is performing for a 2-day residency at Moogfest this year. With 7 albums to his name, GZA is a household name to any hip-hop head. GZA is not only known for is lyrical genius, but also as experimentalist and a scholar. GZA just recently dropped his newest, concept album Dark Matter, which is based on a journey through time and space. GZA is also currently working to improve science education in New York City through a partnership with Teachers College, Columbia University Professor, Christopher Emdin and website, Rap Genius. This initiative motivates young people to learn science through creating raps and engaging in a rap competition.

2. Technoshamanism & Transhumanism

These two Moogfest Programs tied the list for us and we are going to let Moogfest do the talking on these highly introspective and futurist conversations. 

Technoshamanism

 In regards to where he pulled his innovative ideas from, Bob Moog said, “Everything has some consciousness, and we tap into that. It’s about energy at its most basic level.” But how do we tune into that noosphere and bring next wave ideas to the fore? Who are the seers today, and how are they integrating technology into new “shamanic” practices in art and science? How do we understand rituals of trance in the context of electronic music? How can ancient traditions and cutting-edge brain research inform our pursuit of ecstasy?

Transhumanism

Humans have long sought to transform nature, using tools to modify the environment around us or enhancing our own bodies to adapt in this world. Technology today continues to open up new spaces for transformative and transcendent experiences of life itself. From AI to augmented reality displays, with cloning and human genetic engineering, through organ transplants and prosthetics, emerging technologies are expanding many of our intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities. Transhumanism is a movement to overcome fundamental human limitations. A conversation around this ambition is crucial to understanding emergent culture today and our science-fiction future.

1. Odesza

Odesza, Also known as Harrison Mills (CatacombKid) and Clayton Knight (BeachesBeaches) have quickly risen through the ranks, headlining festivals and selling out performances, using their music as the guide. These two guys have done nothing but eat, sleep, and breathe music ever since they met their senior year of college back in 2012. The duo took the online platform Soundcloud by storm with their style of indie-tronica/chill wave. Their debut EP My Friends Never Die threw them into the limelight opening for acts such as Pretty Lights on his Analog Future tour back in 2013. The team has 24 tracks that hit #1 on Hypebeast and if that isn't enough to sway you, I strongly urge you to watch the beautiful new video for their 2014 track It's Only (feat. Zyra). 

We hope that this list has peaked your interest and you can probably see what we meant when we said that Moogfest is a festival that is MUCH, much more than just a music festival. Moogfest was started to explore the future of music and technology back in 2004, and now 12 years later we are very excited to see what comes next. 

Moogfest is May 19th - 22nd in Durham, North Carolina. For more information and to purchase passes to Moogfest head on over to their official website HERE and check out their full lineup below!

The History of Camp Bisco

Camp Bisco, a jam-tronica festival started by the band The Disco Biscuits is very well known within festival circles. CB has a long, storied, and deep past that stretches back 17 years to the dark ages of 1999, and now in 2016 Camp Bisco is back for it's second year in a row in their new location of Montage Mountain in Scranton, Pennsylvania. So with it's re-emergence let's go take a look at the history of the legendary Camp Bisco.

Camp Bisco originated in 1999 "out of necessity," Brownstein, The Disco Biscuits bassist, says "When the Biscuits started as a young Philadelphia band in the '90s, we were in the festival circuit, and like any young band we started playing at noon. We knew within a year or two that we weren't the noontime band anymore, that our fan base had outgrown that, but the promoters still didn't necessarily believe it." The band played to an audience of 1,500 at the 1997 All Good Festival at noon, which quickly cleared out after the Biscuits were done playing. That was the straw that broke the camels back for the band. They wanted control, as well as a way to put the spotlight on other similar acts, and in 1999 the first camp bisco was born with the Disco Biscuits playing 4 hour sets each day. The 1999 edition of the festival included the popular jam band Sector 9, now Sound Tribe Sector 9 and 18 other emerging jam and DJ acts. With about 800 attendees and a bunch of "unknown and extremely affordable bands," Brownstein says the first Camp Bisco went off to be enough of a success to continue year after year seeing profits raise 20% every year. 

A Flyer for the first Camp Bisco that happened in Titusvile, Pennsylvania.

A Flyer for the first Camp Bisco that happened in Titusvile, Pennsylvania.

After the first iteration of Camp Bisco, the festival moved around a bit. Morris, Pennsylvania at the Saw Mill Ski Area for Camp Bisco 2 in 2000. Union Dale, Pennsylvania at Salansky Farms for Camp Bisco 3 in 2002. By the time Camp Bisco IV came around in 2005, The disco Biscuits had an offer on their hands. A Production company called Meat Camp Productions (Now MCP Presents), wanted to take over the management of Camp Bisco. The Biscuits agreed because MCP were huge fans of the Biscuits, and they thought who would be better to take over the festival than the fans themselves. The biscuits made sure to retain having heavy hand in the formation of the festival. MCP wanted to make Camp Bisco a larger event and they did that by moving to Skyetop Festival Ground in Van Etten, NY. Larger acts like Umphreys Mcgee, Younger Brother, Big in Japan and John Brown's Body played the festival that year. Festival attendance grew to 4,400 people, making this the largest Camp Bisco yet. Even though the festival was a success in some respects, MCP was seeing heavy losses. But, these losses are to be expected when a company is going though a rebrand. 

The Lineup for Camp Bisco IV from 2005

The Lineup for Camp Bisco IV from 2005

In 2006 Camp Bisco was moved again to Hunter Mountain Ski & Lodge in Hunter, NY. After Camp Bisco V, MCP thought they found the perfect long-term home for Camp Bisco. From 2007 - 2013 Camp Bisco took place at the Indian Lookout Country Club in Mariaville, New York. The move was very controversial, mostly because the country club was maintained by the bikers who run the Harley Rendezvous Classic, one of the largest annual gatherings of motorcycle enthusiasts in the country. The Biscuits were nervous because of the stories of clashes between the Hell's Angels and Hippies from the 60's. They thought that this would make long time fans not want to come for fear of harassment or danger. But, the bikers turned out to be a valuable asset to CB, acting as security for the festival, with minimal problems. In 2008 the crowd size almost doubled from 2006 to just about 8,000 people. In 2009 Camp Bisco had over 10,000 people in attendance, breaking the growth goals set in 2008 by The Disco Biscuits and MCP. 

Camp Bisco was getting bigger and bigger as the years went on. The pass price stayed low so young people with less disposable income could come, the jam band to electronic performance ratio was kept balanced, attendance was growing every year, and larger acts like Snoop Dogg, Skrillex, Bassnectar, Pretty Lights, Shpongle, Ween, and Thievery Corporation to name a few were performing. Things were looking up for MCP and Camp Bisco. 

Then after the 2013 installment of Camp Bisco, things took a turn. Fans just weren't hearing anything from the organizers about what is coming for the 2014 festival. People were getting antsy to hear about what was in store for 2014, but that news never came. It turns out that the towns like Mariaville and Pattersonville that surround the Indian Lookout Country Club were infuriated by Camp Bisco and issues relating to the festival like traffic noise and light pollution. Countless complaints were filed to the local authorities from local residents. In 2013 there were a slew of drug arrests, and hospitalizations which ignited the fire that was fueled by a death by drug overdose in 2012 at Bisco. Public outcry against the festival, a lawsuit and negligence to apply for proper licenses led to the cancellation of Camp Bisco for 2014. The Disco Biscuits were trying everything in their power to get the festival running, but enough was enough and in March, 2014 they released a statement saying:

After much deliberation and tireless efforts to make Camp happen this year, we had to make the tough decision to take a year off. We will be coming back in 2015 with an amazing event that will cater to the needs, wants and wishes of Camp Bisco’s most faithful and valued attendees!
— The Disco Biscuits

 According to a report from the Daily Gazette, MCP "failed to comply with a number of contingencies, most dealing with post-event reporting."

That's all not to say that a New York based MCP festival didn't occur in 2014. In fact MCP put on a festival just an hour away from where Camp Bisco takes place in Saugerties, New York. The infamous festival was named The Hudson Project and it showcased a lineup pretty similar to what Camp Bisco would normally present. 

The Hudson Project's Lineup

The Hudson Project's Lineup

The Hudson Project famously known for all of its problems relating to rain, mud, strict policy, underaged issues, strict security, tent break-ins, riots, destruction and cancelled performances deserves a write up of its own. Needless to say the festival was a complete failure and left people high and dry (or wet) and many without a festival experience Camp Bisco would normally deliver. 

After the cancellation of the 2013 Camp Bisco and the complete flop that was the Hudson Project people were speculating that there was not going to a be a Camp Bisco 2015, even though the organizers said there would be. By April it was getting a little late in the year to announce a summer music festival but on April 28th a cryptic crossword puzzle was placed on CB's social media. 

The answers on the 2014 Announcement crossword puzzle

The answers on the 2014 Announcement crossword puzzle

The puzzle was the first real, substantial piece of evidence that Camp Bisco was coming back that fans could cling to other than the countless rumors that were flying around the internet. The clues mentioned phrases like "Home", "Bisco", and "Pennsylvania" in the puzzle. All of sudden the 2015 installment of Camp Bisco had a new location; the home of funniest fictional paper company Dunder Mifflin, The Electric City: Scranton, Pennsylvania. Then on April 30th Camp Bisco released an official announcement confirming the new location at Montage Mountain Ski Resort (The same location of The Allman Brothers led, folk/rock The Peach Music Festival) and the 2015 lineup with Bassnectar, Pretty Lights, STS9, and Big Gigantic headlining.

The festival was a hit, but that's not to say there wasn't anything for attendees to complain about. Traffic to get in was incredibly slow at most points of the days. Parking lots were far away from camping grounds. During some of the security checks people cars, luggage, and storage were turned upside down, while some were just waved through without a glance. The distance between the parking lots and the festival grounds were supposed to be remedied by tractors taking people back and forth, but the tractors would just stop coming forcing people to lug all of their heavy equipment to the camp grounds on their own. The last point wouldn't have been so bad if it wasn't so late at night, the distance wasn't so long and the hills weren't so treacherous. The attendees also had to get used to the setup and layout of the festival. Stages were pretty far apart and going between them was often a chore when crowds were large and everyone was frantically trying to get to their next set. Some of the trails were a little hard to traverse, especially if you were mildly impaired. Thursday night Camp Bisco main stay, Pretty Lights threw down a mildly sloppy performance with audio cut-outs and strange sounding transitions, still putting on a good performance, but some were left with a bad taste in their mouth. On the second day of The Disco Biscuits became the focus with Haywyre, Sweater Beats, and Mr. Carmack all putting their best feet forward and Big Gigantic and Kill the Noise to close out the night.

A Picture from Saturday evening's Disco Biscuits set.

A Picture from Saturday evening's Disco Biscuits set.

A rain storm plagued the last day of the festival on Saturday. Announcements were made over the loud speakers throughout the ski area asking people to return to their camp sites as the dark clouds loomed torwards the mountain. Luckily the storm was gone as quick as it arrived and festival goers were able to return to grounds, leaving behind a freindly gesture of a rainbow over the mountain.

A double rainbow was gifted to the festival after the rainstorm on Saturday moved out as an good omen of things to come.

A double rainbow was gifted to the festival after the rainstorm on Saturday moved out as an good omen of things to come.

The Disco Biscuits put on a high energy performance to rebound from the stress the rain caused followed by Bassnecatar putting a legendary set that people were waiting for since his cancellation at The Hudson Project.

“Bisco, we made it back, this is the revenge right here!”
— Lorin Ashton (Bassnectar)

Necatar's set began with his trademarked bass-filled set accompanied by a fantastic light show on Saturday night. When midnight arrived on Saturday night people began to strike their campsites and wheel their coolers and tents back to the parking lots where their cars lived for the past three days looking forward to 2016 and the next Camp Bisco.

Back in January the Biscuits put out an announcement saying that the festival would continue in the new Scranton-based home.   

The Disco Biscuits announcement for the 2016 Camp Bisco

The Disco Biscuits announcement for the 2016 Camp Bisco

Just a few days ago the lineup for 2016 was also confirmed. Take a look below. 

Camp Bisco 2016 Lineup

Camp Bisco 2016 Lineup

We are just as excited to return to the mountain as you are this summer. We hope to catch you there, and if you see us please say hi! For more information and to buy passes for Camp Bisco 2016 Head on over to the official website by CLICKING HERE.

Sources: 
[1] PhantasyTour.com
[2] Billboard.com
[3] Musictimes.com
[4] Dancing Astronaut
[5] Syracuse.com
[6] YourEDM.com
[7] RaverRafting.com
[8] Thump
[9] Jam Base