The Mudson River Project [Festival Review]
By now, you’ve more than likely heard about some of what went down at The Hudson Project‘s inaugural festival gathering two weekends ago. Just a little background info before we get into things: The Hudson Project took place July 11th through the 13th at Winston Farm in Saugerties, NY, which is the grounds of the historic ’94 Woodstock Music Festival. This review is being co-written by blast and Nicky Styles. Well, let’s get into it…
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Full Festival Review + Pictures–>
With any music festival – especially one in its first year – it’s safe to expect there to be some kinks that need to be worked out for future gatherings, and this was definitely the case with Hudson. Yes, by the end of the 3rd day the official #HudsonProject festival hashtag was quickly overrun by the tag, #MudsonProject. And yes, the Red Cross set up shelter for the thousands of “festival refugees” whose cars had been stranded in the mud pits (or parking lots) for hours upon hours, and many were then, rumor has it, forced to bribe those with tractors and tow trucks to pull their car out of the mud. But, let’s not focus on that mess right now and look at the positives that came out of the weekend, because there were one or two..
The best part about Hudson in my eyes, was the lineup. Truly an eclectic list of names, with everybody from Kendrick Lamar to GRiZ to Matt & Kim. This is my type of festival, where I don’t have to listen to EDM for a straight 10 hours or rock out to bands all day; it’s all about the variety for me, and Hudson certainly had that. Let’s check out Nicky Styles’ favorite performances from the weekend…
Nicky Styles’ Top Performers from The Hudson Project
1) Big Gigantic
Big Gigantic definitely took the top spot. The rain during their set sealed the deal for me. It was symbolic of the weekend as a whole really; up until that point, the festival grounds had been sweltering hot, the tents were suffocating with humidity– there was nowhere to run from it. As the sun began to set on Saturday night while Big Gigantic began their performance, the skies opened up and it began to pour. The rain was welcomed by all and the set continued, it truly added to the experience. In my opinion, Big G threw down one of their best sets to date; performing tracks from recent times all the way back to their early days. Little did we know, this rainfall was merely foreshadowing the impending transformation of The Hudson Project into what we’ve all come to know as The Mudson Project.
GRiZ and Savoy were other don’t miss sets. Both were held in the Circus Tent, which pumped bass into the festival’s danceheads all weekend long. If you’re a visual person, you would have loved Savoy’s set. Hudson was a stop on their Mo Lasers Mo Problems tour, and the production is second to none; the symmetry of the laser show is something they strive for and it’s truly beautiful to watch in action. The laser show was perfectly aligned with their set, which really raised the energy level of the crowd to another level.
Between throwing in the live sax, throwback hip hop remixes, and a crowd that spilled out of the tent plenty rows deep, GRiZ’ set was one for the ages. I was also lucky enough to go VIP Saturday night and catch a private after-hours GRiZ + Exmag set. It was a funky, late night dance party that you spend your days and nights dreaming about.
Fans of any artist whose set was cancelled on the infamous Day 3 have plenty of reasons to rant, rave, and be bitter about this festival. It was a day where we saw torrential rains and tornado warnings, I truly feel bad for these people. The diehard Bassnectar fan base was one of the groups that got shafted at Hudson, however knowing Lorin, he will probably make up for it soon.
The Hudson project was such an interesting festival with some highs, and many, many lows; we saw people unite as one, and we saw people abandoned by the company that brought all of us to what was meant to be a magical weekend. It was a day where we saw torrential rains and even tornado warnings in the area. At the end of the day though, your own personal experience comes down to what you make of it. If you’ve been to an extensive amount of festivals, you’re probably laughing at the amateur organization and planning that went into this event. If you’re someone who will have fun no matter what’s thrown at you, then you probably had a blast running through the flood rivers, making mud angels, and sliding down the countless number of mudslides in the campground areas.
There was no shortage of things to complain about, but the moment the music started for each and every set, all of that quickly vanished. Music was the reason people came to the festival and music is the biggest positive that you can take away from the weekend. A diverse lineup, fun crowd, and great visuals to add to the sounds. The organization and logistic aspects of the festival leave room for much improvement for future gatherings and leaves us skeptical about attending next year’s gathering.
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