Following her prime time performance at HARD Summer 2017, Anna Lunoe added another huge credential to her list of accomplishments in becoming a mother for the first time. Baby Willa came just weeks after Lunoe’s final DJ set (though, at the time of HARD it seemed like she could go into labor during her b2b with AC Slater), bringing the perennially-moving Aussie’s itinerary to a much-needed halt. As 2018 began, Lunoe kicked off her comeback, announcing a Las Vegas residency, dropping off new music, and returning to the festival circuit — most notably with CRSSD Fest in San Diego.
Unfortunately, her performance wasn’t recorded in real time, however by popular demand, the “Godzilla” producer re-recorded the celebrated festival outing and it is now available in full for fans’ repeated listening pleasure. Holing up in a hotel suite with Diplo sometime after the festival, Lunoe went back through her CRSSD crate to deliver a redone version of her hour-long not-so-live set from the weekend. Packed with her signature club flavor, Lunoe stitches together an energetic blend of Chris Lorenzo, GTA, Riton, Disclosure and more, officially marking her return to her craft (again).
BangOn!NYC‘s beloved Elements Music & Art Festival brand is returning to its Bronx home at Hunts Point this year for the event’s fifth installment, and this time, they’re gearing up for their biggest outing to date with newly reimagined programming for the summer shakedown. Returning with four elemental-themed stages and New York’s iconic skyline views as the festival backdrop, Elements has tapped Bassnectar with the day’s headlining duties, along with performances locked in from Emancipator, Snakehips, and a Dirtybird Players showcase of Claude VonStroke‘s west coast house heroes.
Taking place this year on August 11, the festival is incorporating a heavier emphasis on emerging technologies and interactive performances, and visual arts. The single day event is bringing over 20 performers to Hunts Point this summer, with some surprises still yet to be revealed. Now, with half a decade of Elements in the books, expect BangOn to pull out all the stops on the the 2018 edition.
Last year, Live Nation successfully launched its Festival Passport program, granting 1,000 lucky fans across the world access to over 90 of the company’s festivals at just one flat fee. The ticketing and events behemoth has announced the return of its one-of-a-kind access pass for the upcoming season, now with a major expansion in territory and new VIP option.
2,500 GA passes will be sold at $999 with just 100 VIP passes priced at $5,000. Though the GA price includes a $200 increase from last year, purchasers will now have over 100 of Live Nation’s unique festivals to choose from.
This year, in an effort to avoid scalpers and ensure that Live Nation is only accommodating fans’ needs, purchasers will have to pre-register through Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan platform with their full legal names and photo ID. Registration is open now through April 12 at 11:00 PM ET/10:00 PM CT, with sign up here. Tickets are on-sale beginning April 17 at 8:00 am EDT, but be aware, Festival Passports sold out in under 24 hours last year, so purchasers must act quickly when the time comes.
Bass house is experiencing quite a moment right now. Festival goers are devouring the high octane bass-driven dance fare that the likes of Joyryde, Ephwurd, and Habstrakt are popularizing more voraciously than ever before. Among those ranks is Sikdope, who’s already caught the ears of industry heavyweights like Skrillex and Jauz, but if the young Polish producer isn’t quite on your radar yet, that’s about to change with the release of his latest. Linking with fellow Polish production outfit Loud About Us, Sikdope has delivered “Back Again,” just as the festival circuit begins to heat up for the year.
“Back Again” is designed to turn dance floors and festival stages into saunas, providing a heavy dose of uptempo shuffle-ready house. Leaning towards the harder end of the house spectrum, Sikdope is currently riding his breakout wave, and he’s positioned to continue his upward trajectory with the release of his newest original piece. For those in need of an unihibited party-starter, look no further than “Back Again.”
Marry together booming, pungent kicks, heavy reverb, and atmospheric synth accents, and the result is an Alan Fitzpatrick anthem. The British talent is no stranger to the art of forging raunchy techno, and this trend continues into his newest A-side on his We Are The Brave imprint.
“Colour Of A Dream” was built for the peak hours. It wastes no time in packing a punch, with high tempos and beating percussion immediately ushering the mind into a trance. Though the explosive number is heavy in its presentation, Fitzpatrick makes sure to add a hint of offsetting euphoria in the form of vintage vocal samples and a jubilant three-note progression.
Having been cutting up dancefloors for a good while before its release, “Colour Of A Dream” is finally ready for its official debut on March 23 — we suspect it will be a festival dominator as the season wears on.
Creamfields announced their 2018 lineup and it’s looking to be behemoth year for the Cheshire-based extravaganza. Rich in both depth and considerable breadth, the festival will bring together 300 artists across 30 stages from August 23–26.
Techno don Carl Cox will be making his return to the festival for the first time in over a decade, where numerous other artists will be making an appearance, showcasing the festival’s keen ability to tap into the full spectrum of dance music. From artists like Skream, Kölsch, and The Black Madonna, to The Chainsmokers, Tiësto, and Above & Beyond, Creamfields 21 promises to be an unmissable installment for all dance aficionados.
Novi Sad, Serbia’s award-winning Exit Festival has just announced its dance arena’s “heroes of techno” line-up.
Exit Festival will host Richie Hawtin, Adam Beyer b2b Ida Engberg, Ben Klock, Amelie Lens, Danish DJ Anastasia Kristensen, Croatia’s DJ Jock, and Dusan Nikolic b2b Runy at its 2018 dance arena installment. In 2018, Exit will be holding five festivals in five different countries as part of Exit Freedom and promises “even more innovations” than in years past.
Exit Festival runs from July 12–15. More information and tickets are available here.
Costa Rica’s rising tropical festival, Envision, is just weeks away. In its eighth year, the festival continues its mission to awaken human potential with art, spirituality, yoga, music, dance, performance, education, sustainability and fundamental connection with nature.
From Feb. 21-25, thousands will flock to Uvita to experience a stellar lineup of music, which has been announced in full. In addition to headliners Xavier Rudd, Bob Moses, DJ Tennis and more who were announced in August, Envision has revealed the addition of acts like TroyBoi and The Russ Liquid Test to the lineup.
“We really wanted to bring in best in breed artists from every corner of the globe,” says festival co-founder and music director Josh Wendel. “But we also wanted to create a platform for some of the best emerging talent in Costa Rica and its neighbors. In addition to being our most intentional lineup yet, the artists we’ve got coming for Envision 2018 are both world famous and driven to achieve the same impact we want to make in the world. Through language and culture we’re united by the dream we share, and that just makes the experience of coming together on the same dancefloor so much more special.”
Though Envision 2018 is already 70 percent sold out, four-day general admission tickets can still be purchased here.
How Day For Night festival achieved curatorial excellence
Houston, Texas’ Day For Night festival has established itself as an unconventional, hyper-sensory utopia. Bolstering an exemplary menu of avant-garde talent, the festival satiates thousands all while blurring the boundaries of performance and offering the utmost in aural phenomena in its industrial warehouse setting.
Day For Night prided itself on its snapshot booking in its third year, by and for the experimentally-inclined. Enlisting artists like Nina Kraviz, Kaytranada, Justice, Jlin, Jamie xx, Mount Kimbie, Solange, REZZ, Nine Inch Nails, Tyler, the Creator, and Thom Yorke, among others, the gathering has situated itself as an unorthodox standout from an at times mundane, and largely counterfeit American festival circuit.
In its immersively emblematic nature, Day For Night’s third edition was a polyamorous union of music, culture, and digital art. It was a multifarious destination, and offered its attendees a mode of escapism while simultaneously defying how they explored their own, as well as others’ relationships with art and reality.
Those who attended were immersed in an epicenter of capitalism’s desolation, i.e the former Barbara Jordan Post Office, only to enter a sprawling industrial wonderland; complete with capacious lasers, fog machines, and immersive visual art open to infinite interpretations. Despite its growing pains, Day For Night was an unparalleled destination in the American festival circuit, protruding the landscape with its singularity in 2017, as it likely will in years to come, too.
Photo Credit: Katrina Barber
Embracement of Reflection: Houston & Beyond
It would be naive to ignore how Houston’s rampantly evolving cultural and developmental environment shaped Day For Night. A look at almost any sect of the city points to hyper-gentrification and a lack of zoning restrictions that are rendering a city of cultural depth increasingly unrecognizable. Festivals have the potential to be the 21st-century’s greatest linking apparatus, and Day For Night embraced multiple methods of coupling reflection in an immensely immersive fashion. Summits delved into socio-political discourse by way of Laurie Anderson, Chelsea Manning, Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova, and more. The gathering challenged its attendees toward an attainment of outward-awareness.
Photo Credit: Charles Reagan Hackleman
Woven into the very seams of artistic discourse at Day For Night was a thread on how the world’s 24-hour loops and radical advances in technology and communication are seamlessly moving faster than behavioral evolution, rendering many helpless in the interim. In a hyper-connected sect of the world, it’s ironically never been easier for one to feel helpless. Day For Night ruminated on how these very advancements can work to foster connections and discoveries in the world which will propel us further as a collective entity.
Photo Credit: Chad Wadsworth
Post HTX Served As A Model Venue
“The way one sees things, and the expectations one brings to a performance, or any art form, really, is completely determined by the venue,” articulated David Byrne of the seminal group, The Talking Heads.
This phenomenon of a concert space shaping context, and in turn, enjoyment, is explored in Byrne’s book How Music Works. Surely, the way in which performances are perceived en masse is in relation to the space they’re experienced in. At times this is an obvious element. Take the Black Rock Desert in Nevada, for example. Burning Man’s sustenance relies on the desert space it resides in, and while this may be an extreme example, space is becoming a deeply entwined element in the worldwide festival circuit. The relationship between attendees and venues is why scenes blossom, and it’s why destination festivals are becoming increasingly popular.
Photo Credit: Sara Marjorie Strick
Day For Night’s decision to place a hyper-sensorial paradise across four stages in a dimly lit, abandoned post office was a masterful one. Ironically, the nucleus of the performance venue were the veins of the warehouse, many of which contained captivating art installations. Unlit hallways that separated the “blue” stage from the intimately circular “yellow” stage, for example, beckoned an art form in themselves. For in these empty spaces, attendees prepared to ascend into visual or aural titillation. Whether it be disco balls adorned from a ceiling in netting, illuminating an entire room, moving mechanical cranes paired to ominous music, or synced screens around a ground level stage, the once-vacant warehouse was flooded with an innate intertwinement of senses.
Photo Credit: Theo Civitello
Exemplary Curatorial Intent
A festival’s success begins in its curatorial intent. Founded in 2015 by the Free Press Houston and the New York-based creative agency Work-Order, Day for Night established itself as a visually immersive music and art festival from the very beginning. By embedding an exploration of the elements of light, space, and sound in its mission, Day For Night has transformed the festival landscape by combining new media art with envelope-pushing musicians. It may still be a young festival, but its surely created a unique experience. Day For Night’s careful selection of artistry and curatorial intent spoke to several sects of music, tech, and art lovers. Planning such a feat does not come without intent or without a deeply embedded audience understanding, though.
Photo Credit: Katrina Barber
Appealing to the experimentally-inclined, for example, Day For Night brought forth Nina Kraviz, who’s on the heels of a momentous 2017, and largely regarded as a queen of techno. The festival also booked her трип (or Trip) labelmate Bjarki. Jlin, who’s set ironically rivaled her longtime purveyor Aphex Twin‘s 2016 DFN appearance, was also a standout experimental act. Her album, Black Origami, was an exemplary experimental record of the past year. Additionally, artists like Forest Swords, Jenny Hval, Shlomo, and Roni Size, all capitalized on the use of live sets as a medium for either outward, emotive release or social commentary.
Photo Credit: Julian Bajsel
Day For Night also booked standout artists like the esteemed Nine Inch Nails, who’ve been touring their immensely accessible EP Add Violence. Solange stunned in her Houston homecoming, merging art and popular culture with an affirming image of black pride and femininity. Cardi B gave the 12-minute performance of the year, encapsulating a tumultuous 2017 with her ominous hit “Bodak Yellow.” Tyler, The Creator gave a fervent performance which was brimming with tracks off his introspective new work Flower Boy. Pussy Riot, Pretty Lights, Justice, and REZZ — with her exceptional Mass Manipulation tour visuals — all expectedly stunned.
Day For Night displayed a keen understanding of the experimentally inclined, but also served as an apt pop culture gathering.In bringing together artists who continue to challenge the status quo, the festival’s curational intent was two-fold — displayed initially by the festival, and then, by each and every artist that performed.
Photo Credit: Ismael Quintanilla
Embedding a Festival Framework for the Future
As more and more festivals continue to emerge on the American festival circuit, immersive affairs such as Day For Night will continue to be a saving grace. It’s one thing to have an exemplary understanding of an audience, but as festival-goers grow into an increasingly digitized world, a means of facilitating connection through art and performance will be needed more than ever. Day For Night blurred the lines between its attendees and artists, it’s an environment where everyone was on an even playing field, as an observer, student of performance, and the outside world itself.