“Out with the old and in with the new” goes the New Year’s adage, and it’s the latter half of the expression that best applies to newcomer of Philadelphia’s live event circuit, HiJinx Festival. From December 27 – 28, crowds of dance music enthusiasts set out for the Philadelphia Convention Center to witness HiJinx’s second annual iteration. Dancing Astronaut was among them, and after attending the Live Nation-organized event for the first time in HiJinx’s nascent history, can confidently assert the following: it’s no wonder that HiJinx’s sequel was sold-out.
The festival’s 2019 bass-riddled lineup was proof of Live Nation’s evergreen ability to land top acts, and further solidified HiJinx as one of the premier bass-centric events in the country. Topped by Skrillex, Porter Robinson, Bassnectar, Zeds Dead, GRiZ, and Excision and Slander, who collaboratively closed HiJinx with a back-to-back set, HiJinx’s 2019 lineup was a formidable followup to the festival’s 2018 billing, which packed its own one-two punch.
In 2018, HiJinx laid the foundation for its aesthetic identity with low-end heavyweights such as Bassnectar, RL Grime, and WHIPPED CREAM. As they did with the 2019 lineup, HiJinx organizers issued a nod to hip-hop and integrated the genre in the bass-leaning roster with the inclusion of artists such as Denzel Curry. Between 2018 and 2019, Bassnectar was the sole artist to receive an invitation to return to HiJinx.
For attendees, the festival experience is often not without token set delays and even last minute lineup changes. Not so, however, with the emerging Philly event, which went off without any hitches in a spacious venue that coalesced crowd members with various food and craft vendors.
HiJinx, as festival goers based in the Tri-state area can attest, bridges a once existent gap in this area’s live event circuit. Although New York is a Mecca for the stateside dance scene, particularly during the week between Christmas and New Year’s day, the events offered are mostly singular, standalone shows rather than multi-day festivals. Those seeking to attend an electronic festival during this timeframe must consequently look beyond the northeast’s offerings, and might consider mainstays such as Snowglobe Festival in California or Arizona’s fledging Decadence.
Live Nation’s sophomore installation of HiJinx Festival effectively broadens the stock of seasonal electronic music festivals available to dance aficionados, but is of specific benefit to those in the Tri-state area, for whom multi-day options have been traditionally limited. With each year to follow, HiJinx Festival will continue to progressively transcend its current emerging status, adding value to the festival circuit at large, and giving bassheads another extended opportunity to ride the rails.