2018 was projected to be a big year for What So Not with the anticipated arrival of his long-awaited full-length album debut. Now, as the ball gets rolling for the Aussie standout this year, What So Not is officially starting to deliver with the announcement of his upcoming Beautiful Things World Tour, slated to hit a handful of major international festivals as well as more than 30 stops around the globe.
The “Be Okay Again” producer is expected to hit Ultra, Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza‘s South American circuit, covering ground from Mumbai to Miami, Brooklyn to Berlin. The tour will include What So Not’s newly launched custom touring rig, featuring a massive chrome horse and chariot setup. The news of the Beautiful Things World Tour comes on the cusp of leaked, unconfirmed details about What So Not’s highly anticipated upcoming LP — rumored to be called Not All The Beautiful Things and said to include contributions from Skrillex, Rome Fortune, Toto, and more. Hopefully by the time What So Not hits the road later this month, we’ll know for sure.
How Superfly’s inaugural Lost Lake Festival put Phoenix on the map as the next big festival spot in the U.S.
This fall, Superfly Presents, the masterminds behind North American festival giants Outside Lands and Bonnaroo set their scopes on a new, emerging entertainment market that they were banking on being the next big festival-hosting city in the United States: Phoenix, Arizona. While most picture Phoenix with a skewed vision of the “wild west,” Superfly was planting its flag in a burgeoning hub of vibrant art, food, local music, and tourism marketability as the home for their newest concept, Lost Lake Festival. The result was not only another overwhelmingly successful event for the organizers, but in turn, positioned Phoenix to strongly attract additional large scale events in coming years to coincide with the city’s exciting, growing social scene. If Phoenix wasn’t on the festival map before, Lost Lake unquestionably changed that notion. The inaugural Lost Lake didn’t just bring in an enticing lineup and top-tier liquor sponsors, the event was a masterfully curated three-day experience, from logistics to programming, that used the host city’s aesthetic as an intrinsic factor in the festival’s appeal.
Image: Jorgensen Photography
Stellar inaugural lineup
Led by top-notch headliners that included Chance The Rapper, The Killers, and Major Lazer, Lost Lake delivered a well-rounded blend of talent that paired top electronic acts like Odesza and Big Gigantic with satisfying, multi-generational tastes of hip-hop from Lil Yachty to Ludacris. Folk rockettes HAIM performed one of the highlight sets of the weekend, along with a raucous showcase from Run The Jewels and a lesson in R&B excellence from The Roots. The lineup curation was designed to span the spectrum, from Huey Lewis and the News to A Tribe Called Red with so many genre-hopping performances in between. What’s more, local Phoenicians and Phoenix-bred acts like Playboy Manbaby, Kongos, and Bogan Via shared the stage with nationally touring acts including Tritonal, Danny Brown, and Crystal Castles, celebrating the city’s animated music and arts scenes, hopefully encouraging other large-scale festivals across the country to adopt similar programming practices.
Image: Quinsey Sablan
Big on local programming
Beyond a phenomenal three-day lineup, Lost Lake applied heavy emphasis to balancing the inherent corporate sponsorships that come with a large-scale music event with locally sourced arts, attractions, and businesses tucked into their FOUND Marketplace. Lost Lake also incorporated interactive art installations across the festival grounds at Steele Indian School Park located in central downtown Phoenix. From pyrotechnic lilypads floating across the venue’s serene lake to paintings created by some of Phoenix’s top muralists sprinkled throughout the grounds, Lost Lake was a sight to behold. When fans weren’t busy enjoying life-sized LED playground equipment and backyard games, attendees could peruse local bar and restaurant options that lined the event’s concession areas, pushing Phoenix’s developing culinary culture to the masses. Lost Lake honed in on the city’s local charm with complementary programming that immediately established Phoenix’s character as a major element to the new festival brand’s identity.
Image: Jeff Kravitz
Perfect location, aced logisitics
Most large-scale festival events struggle with logistics planning, even beyond their infancy. None are immune to all production issues, however Lost Lake’s inaugural run proved to be incredibly calculated and organized, even as it ran directly anchored in the heart of Phoenix’s downtown district. No training wheels necessary. Public transit access ran without a hitch, and on-the-ground festival operations were aced. Attendees were well-informed and considerately directed by festival staff, and local infrastructure was more than adequately prepared to accommodate Superfly’s Arizona debut. On-site logistics were matched by a pristine venue, and Arizona’s mid-80’s autumn season proved to be a perfectly pleasant festival backdrop. Other events that have tried to stake their claim in Phoenix have suffered from incredibly poor planning, unsavory venue selections, and even worse weather, though Lost Lake managed to navigate Phoenix’s stereotypical “drawbacks” with near perfection. Trash and recycling receptacles dotted every free space at the festival, again encouraging similarly scaled events to take similar measures not only for the attendance experience, but also out of respect for the city and the venue alike. The result made a profound difference.
Image: Jorgensen Photography
Keep your eyes on Phoenix
Superfly Presents has already established itself as one of the top names in the business, putting on some of the most sought-after events of the year in North America. Expanding their vision to include a largely untapped market in Phoenix proved to be a significantly successful move, and likely put Phoenix on the map in a major way. And while other dance-centric festival events have sprung up in Phoenix in recent years, like Goldrush Festival, Mad Decent Block Parties, and Decadence offshoots, Lost Lake brought an entirely different vibe to Phoenix that included a heavy appreciation for the city’s narrative and identity, and likely lit the beacon for other major cross-genre multi-day events to begin flocking to the Southwest too.
There’s a reason Rezz was our breakout artist of the year in 2016, and this year, she’s continuing to roll, playing some of the biggest festivals in North America tackling Ultra Music Festival in March, and now Bonnaroo. Rezz, real name Isabelle Rezazadeh, delivered a set that conceptualized all the elements that her fans undoubtedly resonate with, mainly heavy-handed bass music, tempered by a generous dose of experimental techno, riddim, and a variety of other bass genres.
The “Paranoid” producer has been steadily building a fervent fanbase since her emergence, though her catalyzing breakthrough officially came with her mau5trap co-signed EP, 2016’s Something Wrong Here. Now Rezz is well on her way to dance music superstardom, and her Bonnaroo set will stand as an early highlight in Rezazadeh’s still unfolding career.
With a lineup that includes several fresh top-tier names like The Weeknd, Lorde, and Chance The Rapper, it seems fair to say that, once again, Bonnaroo was on point in 2017. Now that it’s concluded, the Manchester, TN-based festival had plenty of sets which are worth a second listen. Dive into Bonnaroo 2017 sets from Flume, REZZ, NGHTMRE, and more below:
Bonnaroo became the subject of national attention on Friday, June 9, when a man claiming to be carrying out “God’s work” was apprehended by authorities for selling fake drugs to people. Two days later, a major arrest related to suspects with intent to sell legitimate illicit substances has taken place after campers tipped off police about two men who seemed intent on making a weekend profit.
Authorities obtained a search warrant and proceeded to conduct a thorough search of the suspects’ car, uncovering over a pound of magic mushrooms packed into 138 different bags as well as several bags of marijuana. These bulk items, combined with 11 molly caps and 11 ecstasy pills, totaled to around $30,000 street value. An assortment of drug paraphernalia was also found among the two men’s effects.
Both suspects have been charged with two counts of manufacturing, possession, delivery, and selling for all the substances found in their domain. Overall, the weekend has seen a relatively low arrest rate of just over a dozen total people apprehended.
With the Bonnaroo Music Festival activities officially underway in Manchester, TN, as of yesterday, June 8, the number of likely arrests over the course of the weekend is sure to climb. Already, one particularly absurd story has arisen, involving David E. Brady, 45, of Albany, New York. Brady was arrested yesterday and charged with two counts of “counterfeit controlled substances.” When apprehended, Brady reportedly told deputies that he felt he was “doing God’s work” in selling the fake drugs.
For clarity, the charges entail that he brought in fake substances that he claimed to be drugs. The report further details that the suspect was in possession of “pills made to look like ecstasy, 22 bags of fake mushrooms, about 1,000 hits of fake acid and counterfeits made to look like cocaine and an incense stick of black tar heroin.”
How, exactly, the man believed he was acting on behalf of a deity is unclear. However, given Brady’s wanted status for an separate felony bench warrant in Arkansas, he may want to pray for an astute legal counsel.
“Due to enhanced security procedures, no bags or backpacks will be permitted into the venue except for small personal bags or purses (12″x12″x6″ max) or clear 1 gallon bags. All bags will be subject to a search. We encourage you to not bring in any bag whatsoever and make use of the express ‘no bag’ lanes.”
The statement was originally posted on Sasquatch Music Festival’s Facebook wall, but it has since been hidden. The extent of the new guidelines and how they will affect individual festivals has yet to be seen.
For the sixteenth consecutive year, fans from across the world will descend upon the city of Manchester, Tennessee for Bonnaroo Music Festival. In keeping with the times and its station as one of North America’s premiere music festivals, Bonnaroo has unveiled a diverse and jam packed lineup for 2017.
Bonnaroo isn’t expected to drop their lineup until a month from now, but the main headliner for 2017 may have just been revealed. U2, the Irish rock supergroup fronted by Bono, will reportedly headline the Tennessee festival in June of next year.
According to Billboard, the band will perform a string of stadium dates in the spring, followed by a summer appearance at Bonnaroo. If this is the case, the show would mark U2’s first-ever North American festival appearance.
Prior to the announcement, U2 shared a video on Christmas, hinting at “big plans” for 2016, including the release of their new album Songs of Experience (the follow-up to 2014’s Songs of Innocence) and an anniversary tour for their seminal album, The Joshua Tree.
Check out U2’s announcement below, and be on the lookout for Bonnaroo’s official lineup which is expected to drop next month.