- With artists like Disclosure, Logic, Rebelution, Illenium, Rüfüs Du Sol, Louis The Child, and Manic Focus, this has potential to be the lineup of the year! And this is ONLY THE SECOND WAVE OF ARTIST ANNOUNCEMENTS OH MY LORD!
- Now I’m not trying to spread rumors or create a sense of false hope, but let’s take a closer look at Griz’s newly announced tour dates. He will be in the Southeast right around the end of October. The dates for Hulaween weekend are blurred out. “Well, he could be making a guest appearance at Voodoo?” True. But with Big Gigantic AND Gramatik on the Hulaween lineup… Big Grizmatik!?!? MAYBE.
- EOTO and FRIENDS are playing the official pre-party! WHO ARE THEY FRIENDS WITH!? I called in expertise from music guru, Michael Beckman, and this was what he had to say…
- Hulaween is held at the famous Spirit of Suwannee Music Park, a campground known for being one of the most beautiful venues in all of America… and possibly the universe. With 800 acres of spanish moss covering the trees and a fog lingering over the lake, the Halloween vibe is naturally present.
- Freedom. It is what festivals are all about. Why camp in a grid-like formation in a boring field when you and your friends can take over any section of a 800 acre campground, build camp fires and set up hammocks in the trees? Our campsite alone had a hammock village and a couch last year. A god damn couch.
- If your like every other person in the universe, you know that dressing up for halloween is probably the best part of your entire existence, so it’s always hard choosing just ONE costume to define the greatest holiday of the year. Well, fear not, my friend, because at Hulaween, you can dress up EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. If I had to take a serious guess, I’m going to say that I went through 7 costumes last year (angel, unicorn, fairy, Louise from Bob’s Burgers, bunny, giraffe, mouse, showerless wook oops). Squad costumes? Lets go!
- Event producers have announced that there will be a BRAND NEW stage this year! For returning Hulaweeners, picture a stage about the size of the Amphitheater stage but located in the horse stable camping area, which kind of makes me think that there is a stage outside of the actual venue? Never seen that before… Dope.
- During Hulaween, visual artist Andrew Carroll helps the lake transform into Spirit Lake complete with art installations, performance art, lights, LEDs, and enough trippy trance to satisfy even the headiest of spunions. I’m going to post this photo, but please understand that no picture can do this place justice.
- If the lineup isn’t enough to excite you, there will also be plenty of workshops to learn more about yoga and flow arts. I’ve been to an obscene amount of festivals, but Hulaween has to have the most amazing flow artists I’ve ever seen! PRO TIP: If you see the guy in this photo (green shirt, on the right) ask him for a light show. His name is Jeremy. You. Wont. Be. Sorry.
- You’re probably already buying your ticket, so here’s the OFFICIAL recap video from last year! See you there!
There is certainly something magical about attending a first year festival.
Being the original festival family to dance in that forest and camp in that field, knowing that you’re a part of history.. Knowing you’re a part of something much bigger than anything you can imagine. Okeechobee Music Festival was no exception.
Centered around lake Okeechobee, a small lagoon in the center of Florida, the festival was bound to be a memorable one. With spanish moss covering the trees and white sand coating the land around the lake, the beauty was indescribable. The first thing we learned about Okeechobee was that we were clearly not going to see every single thing that had been laid out for us. There was plenty of art, activities and KILLER music to keep over 30,000 of us on our toes. An over-sized ferris wheel, a fire-breathing snowman, and an unimaginable amount of art and merchandise were just a few of the many attractions. The weather was perfect, the crowds were gathered, and the party was ready to start.
One of the most popular spots was Aquachobee, which was a stage set right next to the lake, complete with a beach, a bar, and a breathtaking sunset backdrop every single night. At this stage, I caught performances by Big Wild, Manic Focus, and Hermitude, who all seemed to take notice of the beauty that surrounded them. Big Wild played a flawless mix of his classic tracks and his newer hits, all while keeping that glorious mane of his flowing in the mid-March breeze… *swoons*.
His music caught my attention last October, and I’ve been listening to Aftergold on repeat ever since. He remixes artists like Griz and Hundred Waters and always seems to take an upbeat, eclectic and happy approach to his tracks. If you’re having a bad day (or even a good day, for that matter) simply press play on the big orange button placed below…
What I love most about Manic Focus is the fact that he isn’t afraid to drop his filthiest of electronic tracks. Literally, half of his set was the crowd going “OOOHHHHH!!!!!” because of how sick his drops are. He has remixed artists like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Disclosure, Griz, and even Tracy Chapman, all while keeping his music infused with hip hop, soul and a funkiness that cannot be challenged.
**Sidenote: During his set, my friend Ash and I also acquired a large blue blowup donkey, which, after taping it to a stick and applying a couple dozen glow sticks, became our group’s totem for the rest of the weekend. We will always love you, Cigarette <3.**
A friend of mine (who had also turned me on to Big Wild) told me that I should not and could not miss Hermitude, and he was 100% right. The whole world took notice of these guys when Flume remixed their popular track “Hyper Paradise“(original HERE), and they’ve been on a roll ever since. Watching them mix hip hop-influenced electronic music with a sunset in the background had to have been one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.. Ever. Don’t miss these guys! They’re going to have quite the year.
A piece of advice that I give to every festival-goer is to spend some time wandering aimlessly. You never know which artists will draw your attention, whether you get caught up watching a flow-art that you’ve never seen or dancing to a band that you’ve never heard of, you’re bound to experience something new. This is exactly how I stumbled upon The Oh Hellos.
A brother and sister duo backed by a large folk band of banjos, violins and harmonicas, the Oh Hellos had the most embracing energy out of any performance at Okeechobee. Aside from being the cutest brother/sister duo of all time, Maggie and Tyler’s voices captured the audience in goose-bump inducing harmonies that rang powerfully throughout the crowd. The amount of joy and energy they poured into that set remained with me throughout the rest of the festival. I’ve never seen so much passion gifted into one performance. It was surreal. Their music is beautifully timeless and filled with so much emotion. I’ve never felt so good about the world around me.
Big Gigantic was one of the sets I was looking forward to most. Their upbeat mix of electronic beats with a live saxophone is impossible not to dance to… Or so I thought. Their set was a perfect mix of old and new, dropping some classics like Good Times Roll and Can I Get A…, while even dropping a surprising Snails remix. It was everything a funk-addict like myself could have asked for… So what the HELL was with that crowd!?
Let me start off by saying that my friends and I proudly classify ourselves as head bangers. We go hard at every set, and are always the ones hyping up everyone around us. My friends and I started in the back right and began to move our way towards the front because of how dull everyone around us was. We got to the dead center, about 10 yards from the front and realized that almost nobody in the crowd was getting down . If you’re not going ham 10 yards away from one of the funkiest performances of ALL TIME, I’m really not sure what is wrong with you. My friend put me on his shoulders with instruction to look for, and I quote, the “craziest mother fuckers in this crowd” so we could head in that direction and rage with them… After a couple minutes of searching, he brought me down. “It’s us… We’re the craziest mother fuckers…”
We continued to go hard, and had an amazing time, but The Mystery of the Danceless Festiheads is a case that will remain, for now, unclosed.
(Seriously. Listen to this. If you’re not at LEAST tapping your foot, have your hearing checked…)
You know those festival moments where you look around at all of your friends and completely fall in love with all of them all at once? The months of preparation and hours of traveling all become worth it when that one song comes on. It’s like stars align. This is what happened during Gramatik’s set.
My friends and I had accidentally separated from each other a few hours previous, so my friend and I resorted to looking for that inflatable blue donkey totem (S/O to Cigarette). Just as we found our friends, Gramatik dropped DLIMF, beginning with, of course, the notorious voice-over “GRIZMATIK“.
Whether he’s mixing instrumental electrosoul or going for more of a hip hop infused future funk feel, Gramatik is constantly taking his listeners on a journey of jazz, glitch and soul. He has worked with artists like Cherub, ILLUMNTR, Gibbz, and has an incredibly popular side project with the other king of funk, Griz. Could this guy be ANY cooler? Oh wait, he can… because all of his music is FREE! As a part of the Pretty Lights Music label, artists allow their listeners to download their music for free. Alongside artists like Paper Diamond, Break Science, and Michael Menert Gramatik believes that we should be “freeing music by making music free”.
I decided to skip Bassnectar (GASP!?) and decided to see one of my all-time favorite rock bands, Portugal. The Man. Picture Pink Floyd but punky and soul-infused. These guys caught my attention a few years back with their album In the Mountain in the Cloud, and they’ve done nothing but impress me since. The first time I saw them was at the kiddie stage at Lollapalooza (picture me, front row, fangirling alongside toddlers..) and I’ve loved them ever since. And yes, it was worth missing ~Lorin~.
(Sidenote: I dug through the archives and found evidence of 2014 me raging face at their kidzapalooza set. You’re welcome.)
If you already low-key hate yourself for missing this festival, try showing the lineup to anyone you know above the age of 40. Even my dad had maaaad FOMO after seeing that the lineup was stacked with artists like Robert Plant, the Avett Brothers, Hall & Oates, Preservation Hall Jazz Band (who has performed with the Grateful Dead and Carlos Santana), and even special guest Tom Morello (who actually used to be friends with my dad back in the day… My dad>your dad). There was definitely something for everyone, which was obvious just by looking at the crowds. You had everything from kandi kids to elderly dead heads to frat guys to happy hippies. As important as it is for first-year festivals to draw in as wide range of a group as possible, I really hope that they keep up this diversity for years to come!
If anything, I would say that this festival would benefit from more signs directing the attendees to their campsites. I got lost multiple times throughout the weekend trying to find my campsite, and a lot of the staff shared my concerns. Other than that, the organizers did a fantastic job putting together enough art and activities to suit their diverse crowd. The lineup was insanely admirable for a first year festival and the location was stunning. If you missed out this year, be sure to consider attending OMF2017! See you there!
(SPECIAL THANKS to my friends who gave me photos to use for this article! Katie Arnett, Thomas Loughran, Ashford Waldon, Victor Cauffield, Hunter Tinsley, Mariah Salem, Noah Gardner, Alex Peskoe, and Teagan Rowe! Had a really weird time with all of you<3)
If you’re like me you’ll do just about ANYTHING to attend every festival you can without letting your bank account break a sweat. This involves cutting expenses wherever and whenever you can to make sure you can afford Okeechobee, Buku, AND Euphoria and not walk out of them completely and totally homeless. We spend months preparing for what is SURE to be the “best festival of the year” (get real, we say that about all of them), and end up spending way more than we planned to on food, tickets, gas, hotels, merchandise, and recreations because if we aren’t there to pretend to know the words to Flicker and toss glow sticks into the air during every drop, then who is!??Over the years, I have pretty much MASTERED festival budgeting. Here is what I have learned:
- Volunteering: This is newer concept that a TON of festivals have begun to adopt. The deal is that you spend part of the festival working in exchange for your ticket. A lot of people don’t want to do this in fear of missing a lot of the music, but most venues will take into consideration the sets that you HAVE to see and try to be flexible with their scheduling. At Okeechobee this year, my friends and I will be volunteering for the “after show” shift option. This means that at the end of the entire 3-day festival, we will spend a couple extra days doing cleanup, so we won’t have to miss any of the music at all! Advantage: This is a great way to make new festival friends, save money, and even get a rare inside-look at how festivals operate. Disadvantage: Most festivals will make you put down the deposit for a ticket beforehand to make sure that you hold up your end of the bargain. Even though you get the money back as soon as the festival is over, you do have to have the money to begin with.
- Early Bird: It’s true what they say; Early Bird gets the discounted festival ticket.. Or worm or whatever. Advantage: quite possibly the cheapest option for buying tickets, whether you’re planning on getting VIP or GA. Disadvantage: A lot of festivals sell out on early bird ticket sales before their full lineups are even announced. If you are someone who picks and chooses between lineups every year, or if your friends are super unorganized (same) then it’s probably not a great idea to buy your ticket so far in advance. BUT if there’s a festival that you and your friends plan on attending every year (shoutout to my Electric Forest Fam) then early bird is probably your best bet.
- Help me I’m Poor: If you’re one of those people who decides a few days before a festival, “hmm.. you know? I think I WILL be attending Lightning in a Bottle this year after all!” you’re not completely out of your mind! I have found that some of the cheapest tickets on the market are often sold in the days leading up to the festival. I once attended all three days of Lollapalooza for $200, which, at the time, was about $70 cheaper than face value! There are specific Facebook groups for buying and selling festival tickets, and most of the time you won’t get ripped off since the seller’s credibility goes out the window if they ever try to pull anything shady. I personally try to avoid Craigslist and sites where it is anonymous. Not to sound like your mother, but REMEMBER to be very cautious when meeting up with someone that you meet on the internet. Go to a public place, bring some friends, and try to get a feel for whether or not the seller is a genuine person. Most of the time, it’s just a sad soul who can no longer attend the festival and is simply trying to sell their ticket.. but still. Be careful! Also, be sure to register the wristband while they’re still there just to make sure it’s legitimate.
- If being forced to choose between festivals, opt for camping. For one thing, camping is a lot safer since you’re not stuck figuring out how to get back to your hotel at 2 a.m. and you don’t have to worry about packing 9 of your closest homies into a hotel room with 2 queen-sized beds (we’ve ALL been there).
The environment at camping festivals is what makes them so fun. Everyone is a part of the same experience, and (mostly) everyone is down to share resources, whether it means getting your face painted by the girls at the site next to you or sharing your quesadillas with those random guys who helped you set up your tent.
- ***My ALL-TIME FAVORITE thing about camping festivals is the ground scores. At the end of the festival, you can walk around and find anything from LED gloves, bowls and lawn chairs to sweatshirts, stickers, and even beer (do I sound trashy?). I promise that if you spend at least an hour searching the venue after a festival, you will ground score some SOLID stuff.***
- Look ahead of time to see if parking costs extra, and if so, look into public transportation
- Buy merchandise on the last day of the festival. This is when vendors are trying to make all of their final sales, and prices tend to go down (especially stuff with the festival’s dates on it). This also forces you to see absolutely everything before deciding what to spend your money on.
***I always encourage people to buy from that heady guy walking around selling the Big Gigantic hat pins and Grateful Dead stickers he designed. I don’t know why… but I’ve always loved that guy. And sometimes he’ll even trade or bargain.***
- Ask the food vendors about promotions or deals. Some places will give you a free water bottle if you fill an empty one up with cigarette butts, and some places lower food prices towards the end of the day. I once survived a 4-day camping festival by doing a promotion for one of the vendors. The deal was that if you downloaded their app, you could have unlimited free slurpees for the entire festival. My tongue was blue and I was awake for an alarming number of days because of all the sugar, but I didn’t end up having to pay for any other food the entire weekend.
- Become accustomed to a hippie shower. I have gone days without taking a real shower. I’ll bring a gallon of water and use it to rinse my hair, wash my face, and brush my teeth, but I will under no circumstances pay extra money for a shower.
Now you, too, can afford to attend as many festivals as I do! I’ll see you guys at Okeechobee, Buku, Euphoria, SXSW, Electric Forest, Tipper and Friends, EDC (Las Vegas AND Orlando), and wherever else I happen to wander into. I’ll be the girl who picks up that Bud Light you just set down.
While New Years Eve is one of the most highly anticipated holidays of the year for everyone around the world, nobody looks forward to this holiday like festival-goers do! With Decadence in Denver, CO, Countdown NYE in San Bernardino, CA, and hundreds of top tier artists ringing in the New Year all over the country, choosing the best festival can definitely be overwhelming. This year, I decided to spend my New Years Eve experience at SnowGlobe Music Festival in South Lake Tahoe, CA!
With artists like Jack Ü, Dillon Francis, Cashmere Cat, What So Not, Alison Wonderland, NGHTMRE, Slumberjack, Hotel Garuda, and Duke Dumont playing at three different snow covered stages, there was no doubt in my mind that this would be the perfect festival to end what had been such an incredible year. Being that it was my first year attending this festival, I really had no idea what to expect. I’ve attended festivals like Electric Forest, Lollapalooza, Mad Decent Block Party, Spring Awakening, Hulaween and many more, but no other festival experience could prepare me (or my usual arsenal of festival clothing) for how cold this event was. The temperature hovered around 10ºF for most of the sets and the ground was covered in icy snow. While I had flown in from Florida and had dressed in only jeans and a thick sweatshirt for the first night of music, everyone else seemed to be oblivious to how bitter cold it was. People stood dancing and smiling in arm-to-arm crowds covered in hats, gloves, snow pants, and scarves while still sporting spirit hoods and carrying hilarious homemade totems.
A few of my friends who had attended Snowglobe before made comments about how crowded it seemed compared to previous years, but I didn’t see too many problems regarding the amount of people there. The main stage wasn’t under a tent, so there was plenty of space for everyone to enjoy the top tier artists like Jack Ü, Dillon Francis, Ghostland Observatory, and What So Not. The smaller stages, although, were covered by tents, meaning that while those sets were a little bit warmer than the main stage, they had a seemingly limited amount of space for everyone to be dancing as close to the front as they’d like to be. During Vanic‘s set in the Sierra tent, it was so packed that a random group of guys physically picked me up (against my will) and tossed me into the crowd. The crowd was shoulder to shoulder dancing and shoving in one fluid motion, so I accidentally crowd surfed all the way to the very front. I felt bad for kicking literally 36 people directly in the face, but the guilt faded as soon as I was raging against the front gate when Vanic dropped Borderline. His set was surprisingly similar to the Snow Tape that he had made to promote himself for this festival (which is fine because of how lit that mix is) but I was definitely a little bit disappointed that he didn’t drop The Cops.
Because I had such an awesome spot front row, I decided to kick it there for NGHTMRE‘s set as well. This is the perfect example of an artist who completely blew up this past year. I was beyond stoked to see him perform and apparently so was everyone else because I seriously have never seen such a cold place end up so lit. Even though it was the first day and somewhat early in the evening, that had to have been one of the most hyped sets of the entire festival. NGHTMRE threw down hard, and we LOVED it. I’m definitely expecting big things from him in 2016.
After NGHTMRE’s set, my friends and I wandered into The Igloo with the sole purpose of getting warm. We ended up loving Justin Martin‘s set because it wasn’t too packed and there was plenty of room close to the stage to get down to his upbeat techno house. Because we had gotten there early, we still had our spot for when it got insanely crowded for Dirty Bird’s fearless leader and SnowGlobe day 1’s closing act Claude VonStroke. Both Justin and Claude played an awesome mix of house, funk, and dirty-bass, and the vibes in The Igloo were nothing short of positively groovy!
After spending the majority of my night defrosting, I made sure to dress a lot warmer for day 2. My friends and I made it to the festival just in time to catch the end of Jai Wolf‘s set… Also, just in time to literally catch Manila Killa (half of the Hotel Garuda duo) as he stage dived into the crowd during one of Jai Wolf’s most popular songs, “Indian Summer“. Jai Wolf’s electronica music is super uplifting and I was really bummed that I only got to see the last couple of songs, but I’m definitely making it a goal to see him perform again in 2016.
After catching her set at Electric Forest this past year, Alison Wonderland quickly became one of my favorite artists to see live because of the way she interacts with the crowd. She loves partying with her audience and will actually take shots out of a handle while mixing live. She literally stopped before one of her tracks to tell the entire crowd that she wrote it about hooking up with her ex, which was a totally hilarious and badass move on her part. Her set completely turned up the Sierra Tent, and it seemed as though everyone at the festival had come to see her. If you haven’t already (or even if you have), I would highly recommend putting her on your must-see list for 2016.
Sadly, I had to leave her set early, but it was only because one of my favorite bands ever was playing in The Igloo. Autograf is a group of three guys (two playing instruments, one mixing live) who seriously have a style all their own. The incorporation of live mixing into traditional instrumentation is pretty unique, but the fact that I’m not even sure what genre to categorize them into is practically unheard of. I’m not sure if ‘tropical’ ‘or future house’ are really the right words, but I can say with confidence that their music is filled with such positive vibes that there couldn’t have been a frowning face in the entire tent. With recognition from artists like Kygo and Odesza, I wouldn’t be surprised if these guys maaajorly blow up this year.
There was something bittersweet about walking to day 3 of what had to have been the best New Years experience of my life, but I was super excited for the artists that were playing that last day. Louis The Child‘s set got moved back for whatever reason, so Robokid and YungWallStreet (from The Moving Castle All-Stars) got to play an extra long (and extra lit) set featuring tons of other artists from their label. After close to two hours of getting shwifffty in the Sierra Tent, I was ready to see one of my all-time favorite artists, Big Wild. One of the reasons I love him is that he incorporates instruments into his set, all while spinning some of the most eclectic and upbeat music I know. I was close to losing my shit when he announced towards the beginning of his set that he would be playing a TON of new music, but the main reason I was freaking out was because I had somehow found my way in the media section of the stage… Meaning I was literally dancing in the section in front of the stage… And in front of Big Wild.
Because I was literally the only person up there without a huge camera, people who stood in the front row must have thought that I was someone really, really important. They were taking photos with me, dancing with me, giving me their popped bottles of champagne, throwing me kandi, and some of them were trying to kiss me. I had so much fun dancing with everyone and taking their photos for them. It felt amazing to be able to spread that much positivity!
The only other person having more fun than me was the security guard who was standing in the center of the media section. I’ve never seen someone going so hard… I had to have spent half of Big Wild’s set dancing with him. At this point, I was completely and totally losing my mind to how amazing this set was, and then… Big Wild dropped ‘Aftergold‘. If there was a drop of ‘chill’ left in my existence, it went RIGHT out the window. I was smiling so hard it physically HURT. This had to have been one of the best sets I had ever seen.
My plans for 2016 include and are exclusive to following Big Wild to every single festival he plays at (and hopefully bringing along that security guard with equal, if not lesser amounts of chill than me).
Trying to regain some of my composure after Big Wild’s set, my homies and I wandered around the festival grounds checking out some of the art installations, since we hadn’t really explored much over the past couple of days. There wasn’t a ton of bells and whistles outside of the beautiful giant steel globe with a fire inside of it (which really did nothing to keep anybody warm), but the falling snow and the attendees’ crazy totems and onesies really tied the whole place together. It seriously felt like some sort of Antarctic circus.
The last set of the festival that I was really excited for was one by the artist GRYFFIN. I had heard some of his powerfully soulful electronic music over the past year, but this was the first time in his entire career that he would be doing a live set, and I was beyond stoked to see what he would want to share first. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, could prepare me for how amazing this guy is live. He mixes artists from Bipolar Sunshine to Tove Lo and does all the instrumentation live. Just a few weeks after this performance, he dropped his debut original “Heading Home“. (If you need convincing, listen to this mix.. then listen to it over and over again.. like I do!)
Overall, this festival was definitely one for the books. I made so many incredible friends that showed me how amazing Lake Tahoe can be.
Despite the minor frostbite and the serious festival withdrawals, you’ll know exactly where to find me during the end of 2016.
written by Carlie Bradley (email@example.com)
(SnowGlobe 2016 Pre-Sale Tickets have SOLD OUT… IN THE MEAN TIME check out the recap video from 2014!)
Hello fellow music-lovers, and welcome to Vibe With My Music! I travel from festivals to concerts to raves all over the country in order to stay up-to-date on all of the artists that I LOVE! Be sure to stay tuned in to all of my adventures, and as always, thanks for vibing with me!