Moonrise Festival [Event Review]
I want to start off by saying that Moonrise Festival was a godsend compared to the inaugural Hudson Project, which I attended just under a month ago. On its own, Moonrise was a great festival. Every festival has its flaws here and there, but I was too impressed by everything that the Steez and Glow teams had done right to really even care about any small issues that I encountered throughout the weekend. As I begin to write this review, I find myself wishing that I were back in Baltimore for another weekend filled with such superb music. If you’re interested, you can read my full review and view some of my photos after the jump.
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Full Festival Review + Photos–>
Let’s start with the festival grounds. Before I begin, girl in ^^^ white tank top, please find me if you’re reading this, plz. The event was held on the grounds of Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, MD, and the entire setup was staged in the center of the race track. After emerging from the long tunnel that runs under the track, you were immediately met by the sight of the ferris wheel, which was the centerpiece of the grounds. To the right were three stages: the Stellar Stage, the Solar Dance Tent, and the Celestial Garden Stage. To the left was the fourth and final stage, the Lunar Stage. Each stage had its own setup and vibe, and exhibited its own unique roster of killer acts.
Moonrise sported one of the best lineups that I’ve ever seen on a festival flyer. It honestly wasn’t even the headliners that did it for me, though they were great as well, it was the seemingly never-ending list of “midsized” artists that had me hooked. As the photographer, I wanted to cover as many sets as I possibly could throughout the weekend. It was somewhat of a daunting task because there was such amazing music throughout the entire weekend. To put it in perspective for you, the schedule that I created for myself included 20+ sets to cover each day. It was extremely exhausting, but in the end, just plain awesome. So, what were the highlights from each stage for the weekend?
Though it was the smallest stage at the festival, the Celestial Garden Stage hosted some of my favorite acts from the weekend. I had been dying to see Tchami for the longest time, who spun a spectacular set, just as I had expected he would. Mr. Carmack, who I personally was not familiar with before the weekend, laid down one of my favorite live sets of all time, and instantly jumped up into my favorite artists list. Dotcom, Djemba Dejemba, and Anna Lunoe also gave us some great music to get down to.
I spent a good amount of my weekend in the Solar Dance Tent. Of the four stages, I’d say it was my favorite overall. My only wish is that the stage had been a bit wider with a slightly different lighting and production setup, but all in all, it was a great weekend in there. My favorite set from the tent has to have been Brillz, who along with his Twonk team, had the whole venue going absolutely nuts his entire set. Every set that I covered in there was awesome, but just to name some of my favorites, there was Audien, Tritonal, GTA, Clockwork, Keys N Krates, and Zeds Deads.
Bassnectar. Highlight of the Lunar Stage, hands down. The anticipation towards seeing him perform had been building ever since his set had been canceled a month ago at #Mudson2014, so I was more than pleased to have the chance to see him here. The crowd was deep for his set, easily the most people at any one set for the weekend, and boy did he not disappoint. The stage also hosted a fair amount of the festival’s live acts, such as Infected Mushroom (FITA interview coming soon), STS9, and Lotus.
The Stellar Stage was the festival’s mainstage. It was hard to be disappointed with the talent that was brought to this stage. Slander slayed their early, Saturday afternoon set, as did Crizzly and Heroes x Villains. The stage also hosted acts such as Dzeko & Torres (FITA interview coming soon), Morgan Page, Sander van Doorn, Bro Safari, Kaskade, and was closed out by Adventure Club on Saturday night, and by Carnage on Sunday night.
As Sunday came to a close and I began my drive back home, I started to reflect on the weekend. I thought about the people that were at Moonrise, the artists that performed for us, and how the festival was run. Sure, it was in a sketchy part of Baltimore, but once you entered the festival grounds it didn’t cross your mind once. Since Moonrise had unfortunately been canceled just weeks before its inaugural weekend last year, the planners really did an excellent job of preparing for this year and blew me away with how well the festival was run for a first-timer. I’ll see you next year, Moonrise.
View the full photo album here: Moonrise Festival 2014