Last weekend’s fourth Float Fest near San Marcos combined one of the best festival lineups, tubing, camping and carnivals, creating a unique festival that has found its niche. Festival goers flew and drove in from around the country for the experience. There was even an Ariana Grande sighting at rapper Mac Miller’s set (they’re dating). …
Written by ManVsParty
The music festival scene has become quite crowded in recent years. Festivals are popping up all over the country and Texas alone has several large ones of note with new ones set to spring up in Ft. Worth and outside of Houston in 2017. Many across the country boast to be the best but with so many sharing the same lineups throughout festival season it’s hard for a new festival to stand out.
Only in year 2, Day for Night is certainly not like the others. With a variety of interactive art displays and an eclectic mix of music, catering to some of the most avant garde tastes, this Houston based festival stands out among the monotony of the Coachella and Lollapaloozas. This year it was housed right in downtown Houston, in what was once the main post office in town and is currently awaiting its transformation into renovated downtown living. The organizers did well with the giant building, setting up 4 stages throughout the large building and its parking lot.
Although art abounded through the building, the second floor was dedicated to it and left many to get lost in it. The gigantic TUNDRA, which felt like a grid out of Tron had people captivated for hours. The ability to walk through the pitch black rooms full of light displays made you feel like a part of the experience. Of course, the stand out of the art displays was the Bjork Digital VR experience that had some people waiting in line up to 5 hours if they were not lucky enough to reserve a time slot.
The 80 minutes the experience took in of itself was daunting enough for those of us lucky enough to get in. Through each of the separate, 25 person rooms, you are placed directly in front of Bjork. First as she serenades you on the beautiful Icelandic coast, she takes you into a cave, then melts in front of you and into space, and finally culminating in a silhouette like form while a vagina expels light beams that you can manipulate with your controller. Definitely interesting, but I wonder if those who spent 5 hours+ thought it was worth missing out on so many of the artists.
The festival kicked off with Welcome to Houston, which is comprised of legendary Houston rappers all welcoming you to the festival and the city they call home. Paul Wall banged out some hits, Lil Flip played a dubstep heavy version of his hit “The Way We Ball” and Bun B closed out with his verse from “Int’l Players Anthem.” Tycho and Tobacco had huge crowds going for their eclectic sounds. The Jesus and Mary Chain belted out the classics to huge crowds but by far the biggest crowd of the weekend went to Richard D. James, better known as Aphex Twin. Many had traveled from across the country to see his 2-hour set. The dedicated crowd stuck around even as the sky opened up for a surprise storm and temperatures dropped 30 degrees, managing to stay warm by just dancing. After, many even stuck around till 2 to dance to DJ collective Soulection.
The weather was not as kind on Sunday, where the temperature barely moved above 45 but many were still ready to party. Austin’s S U R V I V E easily had one of the largest crowds I saw on the indoor blue stage, they played the theme to Stranger Things to the delight of many in the crowd. The haunting melodies a perfect sound for the dreary day. Lightning Bolt had many outside grooving to their chaotic sounds. Liars had an upbeat performance that got everyone dancing. RZA from the legendary Wu-Tang Clan had the crowd with their hands in the air and everyone went nuts when he covered “Shimmy Shimmy Ya” by his deceased cousin, Ol’ Dirty Bastard. My favorite of the evening was another DJ from the UK, Squarepusher. By the time local rapper Travis Scott performed, the crowd had thinned, due to the weather but many diehards crammed as close to the stage as possible to close out the evening.
Day for Night has certainly left an impression in only 2 short years, definitely curious to see how they manage to top themselves in year 3.
After a decade of bringing quality entertainment to Austin, Fun Fun Fun Fest is still going strong and only getting better with age. The mid-fall event held at Auditorium Shores, backdropped by the ever changing Austin skyline, one again stood out among so many of the music events in Austin each year.
The beauty of Fun Fun Fun Fest comes from making the event truly unique, not only by the wide diversity of the music, but by incorporating fun at every level. Where else do you get twerking lessons from Big Freedia followed by a motivational speech by Andrew W.K.? You get the insanity of a Peaches set, which this year included a proposal, followed by her shooting t-shirt wrapped tacos out of the famous taco cannon. Taking a break away from the music you can still check out awesome local art or watch pro skaters and BMX riders amaze on the Volcom Super Collider. And after spending up to 11 hours at the festival you can still go out and see some of your favorite acts at venues around town for no additional charge because of Fun Fest Nites.
The wide range of music caters specifically to the music fan that loves everything and not just one particular genre. You’re welcome to hang out at the Black Stage all night if you wish, but why would you miss the opportunity to at least check out Wu-Tang Clan for at least one song? You can’t miss that the event is run, right down to security and stage handlers, by people who truly love music, comedy and art in Austin. Every detail is handled by fans of the bands they’re bringing out and at times have to leave their spot behind the bar to go play or tell some jokes, that’s the kind of stuff you really don’t see anywhere else. This festival feels like it is for people that go to see live music day in and day out, not just for those who spend 3 nights out of the year at a music festival.
Fun Fun Fun Fest remains, at least in my opinion, the premier Austin event, here’s to 10 more years!
Quick slideshow of the pro BMX riders, Music Felon (James ATX) caught.