Lunchbox: the bag looking to transform the festival experience

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Lunchbox: the bag looking to transform the festival experienceLunchbo Ultra

To the undiscerning eye, Lunchbox looks like any other festival bag on the market. However, the behind-the-scenes process of creating Lunchbox —the bag that aims to transform the festival experience— is hardly ordinary. The brainchild of entrepreneur and festival lover Tom Worcester, Lunchbox initially began as a solution to Tom’s own personal experience of difficulties with theft and security during Ultra Music Festival 2018. A strenuous journey of field research and countless prototypes later, the current Lunchbox for the official launch is the ninth iteration of the original product.

Lunchbox strives to be the best festival bag by providing functionality and design that checks off these three key points: anti-theft, water refill efficiency, and security line-proof. Arguably the best feature of Lunchbox is its anti-theft qualities. Built with military-grade 1680D ballistic nylon, the exterior shell doubles as both water-resistant and cut-resistant. A secret bonus of the exterior panels is it masks as a fake pocket that easily alerts the wearer to pickpocketing while it’s happening, but simultaneously conceals and protects their belongings. Even better, Lunchbox employs inverted zippers that rest on the wearer’s back to ensure maximum protection — a smart, but rarely used idea.

Lunchbox: the bag looking to transform the festival experienceLunchbo Front

However, the feature that Tom feels the most passionately proud of is Lunchbox’s advanced water refill technology, which the team patented. Unlike the standard set-up, the Lunchbox hydration bladder sits horizontally in a dedicated water compartment so when the wearer goes to refill water, they can slide the Lunchbox off one shoulder to the front of their body and have the bladder automatically sit upright. The water bladder itself also uniquely lacks a nozzle cap and opts for a sliding clip that seals in a tight, foldable bladder opening. With these hassle-free functionalities, Lunchbox aims to reduce water refill time to just 15 seconds and transform the water refill experience from the fumbling mess it currently is to an efficient and seamless part of the festival.

Lunchbox: the bag looking to transform the festival experienceLunchbo Back

How does Lunchbox add up against pre-existing popular choices? The competitor landscape is indeed oversaturated, but not necessarily with quality festival bags. Hydration packs mainly fall into one of two categories — trendy and functional, but rarely have overlapping qualities. Leading manufacturers like Vibedration and iHeartRaves value aesthetic, sporting hundreds of flashy, stylish skins and designs whereas the popular mainstay Camelbak very much leans on water filling capabilities as its strength. However, neither completely take into account the significant issues of theft and leave that gaping hole for festival-goers to experience firsthand.

Lunchbox: the bag looking to transform the festival experienceLunchbo Forbidden Kingdom 1

Where Lunchbox truly triumphs over its competitors is that every aspect of it has been designed with the user in mind, with every possible festival scenario of inconvenience thought out and combated with a functional solution. From loop-in night-proof EL wires to help locate squads to side pockets for sunglasses, and hidden pockets for easy access to phone chargers, Lunchbox doesn’t overlook any detail that would make a festival attendees experience even just incrementally better and that fact truly epitomizes the statement of: a festival bag made by a festival-goer for festival-goers.

Lunchbox: the bag looking to transform the festival experienceKickstarterHEader

The whole foundation of Lunchbox sits on giving back to the live music community and Tom avidly makes that a point when he talks about wanting to partner with artists on exclusive Lunchbox skins. “Aspirationally what we want to do is partner with artists and then take a percentage of the sale, if not the whole thing, and donate to a charity that they [the artist] cares about”, Tom says. At the core of Lunchbox’s mission, Tom and the team want to improve the festival experience by extending not just their product, but also their operations to bigger horizons. “We want to be partnering with these festivals, take over their operations, take over the Lunchbox water line, put these bags in the hands of medical and security for visual identification. Later on, we want to figure out how to work in the international market where we’re targeting international festivals like Ultra Europe and figuring out how we can reduce the risk of traveling to these destination festivals.” With big ambitions in mind, the best of Lunchbox is yet to come.

The Lunchbox team will be at Bonnaroo, Firefly, EDC Las Vegas, Governors Ball, and more. Check out Lunchbox here.

Diplo plans to reinvent Mad Decent Block Party into mega festival, Mad City

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Diplo plans to reinvent Mad Decent Block Party into mega festival, Mad CityDiplo Ball Mdbp

Mad Decent Block Party may be making a return and Diplo wants the party to be bigger than ever. The California producer has reportedly been building an ambitious proposal aimed at throwing what’s being called a “Super Mega Ultra Giant Mad Decent Block Party Festival” with SGE Entertainment—the company that produced festivals like Lost Lands and Moonrise. Luckily, the mouthful is being shortened simply to “Mad City.” Diplo’s infamous block parties grew from his a small Philly outdoor affair and skyrocketed in popularity to a circuit of block parties and eventually an ill-fated cruise. Despite 2018 only seeing one Mad Decent Block Party, it seems the event brand could be gearing up for its biggest iteration yet in 2019.

If approved, the “Mad City” festival will take place at the Brockton Fairgrounds in Massachusetts on July 20-21 with a proposed capacity of 37,000 people—the largest festival the city would host. Major Lazer and Billie Eilish will reportedly headline with Diplo acting as a main curator. Performances are expected to last from noon until 11pm on both days.

Diplo’s lofty sights have already seen pushback; the team’s initial application has been rejected by the Brockton License Commission on the basis of being too big to handle in regards to safety. Initially, Diplo planned on announcing a complete artist roster on March 25, but the opposition from city officials against the festival will most likely set their team back a bit.

H/T: Enterprise News

DA Exclusive: ANDHIM spin an hour of cinematic soundscapes before heading to Barbados for Vujaday

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DA Exclusive: ANDHIM spin an hour of cinematic soundscapes before heading to Barbados for VujadayAndhim Vujaday 2019 1

Germans are nothing if not ardent about their electronic music; and Cologne’s ANDHIM are no exception to the rule. Their vastly fluid emotional palette has led the duo to dub their ever-oscillating sound “super-house.” Just a few years ago, the two artists cemented their multi-national success by establishing their own record label, the aptly named Superfriends, through which they released their own, impeccably received Tosch EP as the imprint’s first offering.

Before taking their talents this spring to the lush island of Barbados for Vujaday Festival at the top of next month, ANDHIM have woven listeners a mix adorned with an hour of getaway-friendly selects; though they’re hardly your run-of-the-mill, tropical tracks. ANDHIM assume their rightful role as tour guide through playful techno terrain, brooding experimental brush, and even sinister sonic corridors for a rich, evocative hour of anticipatory Vujaday listening. There’s certainly nothing to dread about this pre-fest homework assignment.

Vujaday will land in Barbados for five days, April 3-7, of multi-site performances and island-immersive activities. Tickets and additional festival information can be found here.

DeWalta talks literature, fatherhood, ‘Lyra’, and tropical getaways [Q+A]

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DeWalta talks literature, fatherhood, ‘Lyra’, and tropical getaways [Q+A]DeWalta Press Shot

In a highly saturated music market, DeWalta manages to stand out. The saxophonist, french horn player, and producer has been deeply involved in music since the age of six, and was already performing in local jazz clubs by the age of 13. However, classical and jazz weren’t in this budding musicians cards; electronica was. By the time he graduated from Berlin’s prolific Musikhachschule Hanns Eisler conservatory, he’d already fallen in love with the art of music production and promptly began churning out house and techno records whose quality rivaled that of artists who’d been around far longer than he. It wouldn’t take long before he became a fixture in the Berlin, and eventually the global scene, hitting clubs like Watergate, Fabric London, and The Apartment in Barcelona, to name a few. His expertise stretches far beyond fine-tuned sound design, however; in 2007, he launched his reputable imprint Meander, where as an A&R and mentor he’s helped grow the careers of Amorf, Cristi Con, and more.

DeWalta’s creativity certainly isn’t a static force. He’s constantly evolving, with his newest album Lyra serving as a sonic marker of where he’s at musically. His most expansive project yet, Lyra arrived as a double LP. Its first part showcases his club sound across six sultry, mesmerically deep tracks that are highly expressive despite their stripped-down nature. Lyra π explores textured, ambient soundscapes for a truly immersive listen that pays homage to his musical roots. Both discs are celestial in tone, much like the constellation they’re named after.

The stalwart is also playing SXM festival, which is just kicking off its 2019 iteration. Based in the picturesque Saint Martin, the festival has become a top destination for global underground aficionados. We nabbed him right before he hopped on a flight westward to ask him more about Lyra, his favorite pieces of literature at the moment (he’s quite the reader), how he’s changed since becoming a father in January, and of course, playing the Caribbean.

You’ve mentioned that writing ‘Lyra’ signalled a new beginning for you. How have you evolved/improved musically in penning it?
I do have the feeling of currently going through a particularly transformative time, yes – maybe more so than during previous times I have released albums. I like to believe that anyone’s state in life heavily affects their output and art and therefore `Lyra` does play its role in the bigger picture of my current life. However, I am not sure if the album, the work itself has signalled a new beginning in my life or if the changes in my life have shaped the album – if that makes any sense.

Regardless which way around; The creative process is not a static and fixed thing. Creativity hopefully changes and constantly morphs and evolves over time. So, my approach to composing, writing and producing music has indeed changed quite a bit over the past 10 years (into ways of more playful, less DAW based, more hands on creative experimental, modular patching, outboard, jamming but multi-tracking). I feel like every release and especially every album along the way can be seen as a mark, snapshot and somewhat special moment in a career of an artist. `Lyra` came together quite differently than my previous albums partly because my approach in the studio, as well as how I write in general, has changed quite a bit. I have realized that environment and location have a huge impact on the created content in my case. Living in Berlin since my teenage high school years, I am now also seeking different places (like Portugal) to compose and find new sources of inspiration while of course maintaining my Berlin studio for most of the work as well as mixing, engineering and post production. Of course, also my private life, the act of taking more responsibility for people close to me; prticularly having a child has transformed how I look at the world and eventually also how I write music. Taking real care and responsibility for someone besides yourself can indeed be the most liberating thing.

It seems you’re an avid reader. What are some of books you’ve read over time that have shaped your outlook on life and music the most?
I would not consider myself a real avid reader, since I have some friends who are real bookworms, compared to me… I spend too much time in the studio (and reading manuals for synths) to be a proper worm, but I do like to go down the rabbit hole if something catches my attention.

I’m not gonna lie: in recent times my outlook on life has been shaped by:

1. either reading mostly upsetting news on various topics such as Climate change, over population, poverty, inequality, bigotry and idiocy, nationalism, trump-ism, brexit-ism etc – turning a blind eye or the refusal to learn from the past – respectively reading about the negative impact of humans on earth, or
2. on the contrary, reading educational content, books or papers on concepts and ideas how to work on humanity’s current challenges not leave a devastated world behind for our children. To learn how to make things better or to understand why things are the way they currently are.

One author in particular has impressed me: Yuval Noah Rarari and his trilogy of “Sapiens”, “Homo Deus” and “21 lessons for the 21st century” shines a light on what humans have done on earth over a very, very large time-span to survive and what the impact of homo sapiens has been on earth, other species and ourselves in the big, very big picture. It’s basically a modern, Anthropocene approach on how to look at issues caused by ourselves… and how to learn from the past.

I don’t think that music itself necessarily needs to be political or should always carry some kind of political message, however I do believe that artists can and maybe should use their output and art to work on current challenges, maybe raise awareness or simply create a space of dialogue or sensitivity for larger issues than just the next party.

What does your live setup currently look like while on tour? Have you encountered any challenges in road testing it?
Besides DJing with Vinyl and CDJs I am going to start playing LIVE solo again this year and I’m currently working on the setup for that. It´ll most likely be a few Elektron devices along with a eurorack modular system. I prefer to really work with machines LIVE on stage rather than playing prepared clips, so it’s quite a lot more work to get comfortable with synthesizers and machines on stage compared to a prepared Ableton-clip-set. I simply wouldn’t be comfortable playing clips in a slightly different order each show and calling it LIVE. The electronic music scene needs more bold moves, more risk and real creativity with electronic music instruments (including turntables or CDJ´s being used creatively) and less show-men (and women) throwing their hands in the air while some track or clip is playing… DJs are becoming superstars within a few months now with help of large social-media campaigns on Instagram, while the music itself, creativity and sound-quality take the back-seat. It’s not something I am interested in and I want to support. Nothing against the industry or social-media at large, but music is and always has been the focus for me – period.

You’ve just become a new father, in addition to launching your brand-new Horizon Pi label. Have you adopted a new routine or made any changed to your workflow to help you find balance?
I have always wanted to release electronic, synthesizer-music to be listened to and enjoyed at home while relaxing, in the car or in more calm and easy situations. Meander is the perfect platform to also release such music besides our DJ dance music. It was just a matter of time until we’d start the “ambient series” and ‘Lyra Pi’ seemed like a good moment for that.

I often start writing music with an idea or outline of a modular-synth-patch in mind. It’s an audible process searching and experimenting and sometimes these experiments turn into songs. I´m sure that the changes in my private life and becoming a father are directly affecting my creative output and the way I make music. My inspiration often comes from things outside of music
As a new father I am forced to find a new work-life balance as I want to take my responsibility as a father seriously while still doing what I love – making and playing music. These challenges however keep being a musician interesting and I won’t give up either of these two things!

It could be a coincidence that my first “listening only” or “non-dance music” record is coming out at the same time as becoming a father, but a holistic approach would probably think it’s all connected. I tend to think the latter 😉

You’re about to play your second SXM Festival. What excites you most about playing this festival, and the Caribbean in general?
Because last year’s SXM couldn’t happen due to the terrible destruction of hurricane Irma I am quite excited and thankful to be invited back this time again. The beautiful location and the easy, loose and relaxed atmosphere as a result plus the fact that so many friends and colleagues of the music scene are on this island makes this festival a really fun one!

Aside from yourself, who else from the line up would you recommend checking out?
I’d definitely recommend checking out Zip, Ricardo Villalobos, Fumiya Tanaka and our beach party right after their event. We’ll be playing together on the XLR8R stage with my friends John Wander and Luke Cheadle, Cristi Cons, Vlad Caia as SIT, Digby and myself. Maybe I’d check out the FUSE stage with the usual suspects as well as my friends Apollonia, who are always fun to hang out with.

What’s coming up next for DeWalta?
I Took a baby break for 2 months so I’m just going back on the road now and will be touring quite a bit this year playing lots of DJ- and some Live- shows. There are also going to be some remixes coming out as well as singles. An EP is in the works for later this year as well. Plenty of exciting work with new music.


Order a copy of ‘Lyra’ here

Ja Rule wants to stage another Fyre Festival

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Ja Rule wants to stage another Fyre FestivalCulture FyreFestival3

Ja Rule, the onetime New York rapper turned festival promoter and app developer, wants to take another shot at putting on the “most iconic festival that never was.”

The flames that Fyre Festival famously went down in back in 2017 still continue to burn, already churning out two well-received documentaries and a Lonely Island spoof film underway. Sold as the pinnacle of luxury festival experiences—where attendees could rub shoulders with Instagram models on Pablo Escobar’s remote island and eat foie gras on jet skis—Fyre Festival instead turned out to be a monumental disaster. The event nearly spiraled into a crisis situation with thousands of revelers essentially stranded on a concrete rock in the ocean with hoards of unpaid Bahamian locals demanding their rightful wages. Good god, one man even went as far as preparing to fellate a law enforcement official for clean water. Ultimately, the scam resulted in Fyre Festival’s chief architect, Billy McFarland, serving a six year federal prison sentence on multiple fraud charges.

Now, before we get into ripping festival co-founder Ja Rule too hard, remember,

While Billy is away however, Ja is apparently hard at work with his own new venture, ICONN. Similar to the Fyre app, ICONN aims to connect people with high profile talent like Cardi B and Snoop Dogg for private event bookings. When recently questioned in an airport, the rapper recently told TMZ,

“In the midst of chaos is opportunity. I’m working on a lot of new things.”  [Fyre] is most iconic festival that never was. I have plans to create the iconic music festival, but you didn’t hear it from me.”

“Iconic” is an interesting choice of words here. Sounds like some second rate marketing campaign for Ja’s ICONN platform is already in the works.

Skrillex pulling double duty at BUKU Music + Arts Project, set to join From First To Last for special performance

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Skrillex pulling double duty at BUKU Music + Arts Project, set to join From First To Last for special performanceSkrille Fftl Emo Nite Credit Gil Riego

After taking a relative breather in 2018, Skrillex is back in full force this year. In fact, by the end of the summer events circuit, Skrillex will have performed a number of solo shows, a handful of festival-headlining Dog Blood reunions, and now, he’s slated for a special appearance with his former band, From First To Last, at this year’s BUKU Music + Arts Project. From First To Last last performed together two years ago at Emo Nite LA, a performance that at the time ended a decade-long hiatus for the band.

In the time since Skrillex last rejoined his screamo outfit, the band has released two singles with him on vocals— “Make War” and “Surrender.” Now Travis Richter, Matt Good, and Derek Bloom will be joined by their former lead vocalist Sonny Moore once again for a special after party performance at Republic New Orleans. The OWSLA boss will be pulling double duty, also headlining the festival with Boys Noize as Dog Blood. BUKU’s lineup dropped back in December, topped by A$AP Rocky, Excision, RL Grime, and Lana Del Rey.

Skrillex pulling double duty at BUKU Music + Arts Project, set to join From First To Last for special performanceImage2

Featured image: Gil Riego

Groove Cruise Miami announces dates, plots new destination for 2020 sailing

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Groove Cruise Miami announces dates, plots new destination for 2020 sailing05d3f642 1607 44e3 A261 7261a914fa42

Groove Cruise Miami, hot off the heels of a successful 15th anniversary sailing, already has some big announcements underway for their 2020 sailing. The floating festival has revealed the dates, and set its sights on a new destination, for next year’s voyage. Groove Cruise Miami will head to Costa Maya, Mexico for four days of high seas hedonism aboard Celebrity Cruises, and best of all—tickets are already on sale for the January 9 – 13, 2020 sailing (pro tip: use promo code DANCINGASTRO for $50 off per person).

Festival goers will arrive in Costa Maya in style— aboard a state-of-the-art vessel equipped with casinos, basketball courts, spas, and a pool on the main deck. The ship is even powered by smokeless turbine engines. With the promise of a premium getaway both on and off the ship, Groove Cruise continues to enhance the festival experience as its 16th anniversary approaches.

Groove Cruise has a lengthy track record of programming dance music’s most elite DJs and producers for lavish beach-side adventures, and next year’s event is primed to be Groove Cruise’s finest outing yet. Along with a well curated crop of talent, the cruise’s intimate setting offers themed parties, artist-led activities, and performances unlike most other festival sets out there. What’s more, off the ship, attendees will have the opportunity to blend experiences, exploring Costa Maya’s ancient Mayan ruins and local attractions before returning to the party.

Tickets are now available for Groove Cruise Miami 2020 — purchase tickets here and be sure to use promo code DANCINGASTRO for $50 off per person.

Groove Cruise Miami announces dates, plots new destination for 2020 sailingGrooveCruise2020 Square

Get Lucky returns to Salt Lake City with REZZ, Malaa, Borgore, and more in tow

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Get Lucky returns to Salt Lake City with REZZ, Malaa, Borgore, and more in towWS4I VwW

Get Lucky festival is ringing in the 2019 spring season under thick blankets of bass.

Running just one weekend shy of St. Patty’s Day, the March 8-9 V2 Presents festival has secured REZZ and Borgore as headliners. Its undercard echoes an equal brand of seductive strangeness, including Liquid Stranger, Malaa, Bro Safari, and 1788-L. Indeed, Get Lucky seems to have all its bass bases covered this year.

Returning to Salt Lake City at The Great Saltair resort, Get Lucky will host multiple, attentively curated stages, including a main stage, aka Celtic Palace, and the outdoor Tent of Gold, reserved exclusively for the festival’s hardstyle acts, inlcuding Starx, Lady Faith, and more.

This year’s talent reflects the continued success Get Lucky organizers have had with the annual event since its humble beginnings in 2006. Tickets are on sale now here.

Get Lucky returns to Salt Lake City with REZZ, Malaa, Borgore, and more in tow14kw6dtk1md21
Featured Photo Credit: Ian Hiscock


A UK company is turning discarded festival tents into raincoats

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A UK company is turning discarded festival tents into raincoatsBillygoats And Raincoats E1548869515785

If you’ve ever wondered what happens to the massive amount of trash left behind at festivals, you’re not alone. Beth Cosmos, a festival-goer herself who worked on the festival scene while completing her fashion design degree at the University of South Wales, thought the same after seeing the things people leave behind after the party’s over. She learned that more than 200,000 tents are left behind in the UK each year and saw a perfect opportunity, focusing dissertation on the relationship between fashion consumption and sustainability.

From there, her line of kids raincoats, named Billygoats and Raincoats, began. “I thought, ‘These are waterproof and are going to waste,’” Cosmos told Wales Online. “So I brought a few back home with me and bits of tents were cut up all over the kitchen table. I still have it, the first few trials.”

With the start of her new company, she’s hoping to expand beyond just kid’s raincoats in the near future, but for now, will keep taking a party’s waste and transforming it into trendy, sustainable clothing.

Learn more about Billygoats & Raincoats here.

A UK company is turning discarded festival tents into raincoats0 Rbp Mai180119coats185JPG

H/T: Wales Online

Limited Martin Garrix appearance at Tomorrowland suggests Swedish House Mafia closing performance

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Limited Martin Garrix appearance at Tomorrowland suggests Swedish House Mafia closing performanceSwedish House Mafia Tomorrowland 2013

Since Swedish House Mafia‘s long-awaited comeback officially materialized, attention has turned largely to a cryptic roll out of tour dates on their website, with a number of major cities already in the trio’s cross hairs for 2019. Though, back in August of 2018, with the group’s triumphant reunion at Ultra still fresh in everyone’s minds, Steve Angello stated publicly that Swedish House Mafia would play Tomorrowland 2019 “by any means necessary” to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf. Since the Size Records boss’ declaration, there hasn’t been much evidence to confirm the Mafia will appear in Belgium this year until now.

Fans have begun noticing that this year Martin Garrix‘s annual headlining role at the festival has been slightly reduced. Garrix is heading up his label’s STMPD RCRDS stage, only playing a single set during weekend one. After closing out Tomorrowland three years running, fans are beginning to speculate that closing duties will be passed from Garrix to Swedish House Mafia this year.

The “Access” producer’s limited availability at Tomorrowland this year could simply be the result of scheduling conflicts, and Swedish House Mafia may still get a traditional announcement from the festival. However, something about Swedish House Mafia’s noticeable absence so far from Tomorrowland’s currently ongoing lineup roll out suggests there’s more to this than meets the eye.