We couldn’t have waited any longer for the 5th Anniversary of BADASS Raves' Big Dub Festival. This year's lineup was a true testament to bass music taste, featuring an extensive selection of skill ranging from big names to local heroes. But even with all that talent, Big Dub has and always will be known for more than just good music; it’s homegrown roots dig deep, reeling in characters from up and down the eastern seaboard, assuring us that were not alone in our love for this event. The family atmosphere and intimate vibes of Big Dub rivaled those of legendary mega-festival Electric Forest, but without the massive trip, huge expense, and overcrowding.
In 2014, the ill-fated Camp Bisco was replaced by the short lived Hudson Project. After an even larger fail with that festival, Camp Bisco found itself with a unique oppurtunity for redemption. This year, Camp was back with another stacked eclectic lineup, but this time to a new location; ski resort Montage Mountain. Many of us were excited to have this mid-July spot once again booked on our festival tour schedules, and the loyal Bisco fam quickly snatched up the extremely reasonably priced tickets as soon as they were available.
Selling out mere hours after releasing the lineup this year, Electric Forest has built a nearly religious following in it's only 5 years of existence. One of the few festivals in the world that brings together live and electronic music harmoniously under one big umbrella of good vibes, it stays true to its jamband roots while cleverly integrating an assortment of top-billed EDM that is well parsed throughout the days and nights. We’ve seen lineups improving recently across the board, but have always found the forest ahead of the curve. This year, however, was our favorite one yet...
Last year the Inaugural Mysteryland showed a lot of promise, but didn't hit it's mark the way many of us had hoped. This year however, the magic makers at ID&T turned the tides by tailoring their tastes to fit the groove of the New York City dance music scene. With stages curated by Webster Hall, Verboten, Drumcode, and Beatport, we can honestly tell you we've never seen such a brilliantly booked festival. But the lineup was only the beginning....
The newest member of the BADASS festival family has arrived! The springtime twin sister of the Halloween-themed Nightmare Festival, Dreamscape made the leap from warehouse party to multi-day festival this year. While utilizing the same venue in Darlington, MD, the warmer weather meant that many more parts of the property were available for festival use, including the dining hall and pool. After 2 successful years of Nightmare, cabins sold out in 45 minutes, and theme camps sprouted up everywhere, leading to a pleasantly dense festival overflowing with fabulous vibes.
Over the past 4 years Holy Ship! has earned its fabled status as the mother of all dance parties on earth, but in the middle of the ocean. Shippers come from far and wide to get weird with top tier producer/DJ’s from major record labels all around the world. If you’ve ever tried to imagine your perfect party paradise, you would still fall short of Holy Ship. 40+ hours of music across 4 stacked stages kept a good crowd going everywhere at all times with plenty of room to move. During the day bumping pool parties, bottomless brunch, and general debauchery roamed the halls, but by night, elaborate outfits fashioned from all things fuzzy and glowing paved the pool deck with a parade of unparalleled eccentricity.
As part of the celebrations for its 20th anniversary this year, the international dance music festival Time Warp selected New York City for its first foray onto American soil. Rooted deep in the rich club culture of Germany, Time Warp is the olympics of EDM - booking the titans of techno and hallmarks of house. Originally slated to be held in the Bronx's Kingsbridge Armory, the event was moved to Brooklyn's 39th Street Pier about a month prior due to permit problems. Although the change of venue was crippling to international and long distance travelers, the new location lived up to the standards of the most discerning warehouse partiers.
It took us 3 years to be selected for cabin booking aboard Holy Ship; one of the very first cruise ship festivals, which now holds the reputation of being a party paradise for hardcore dance music fans. Fortunately, we did not have to endure the same test of patience to bear witness to the very first Mad Decent Boat Party. Most people are familiar with Diplo's label tour Mad Decent Block Party which made 22 stops this year across 15 states and 3 Canadian provinces. Each block party featured a balanced lineup of top tier favorites and hopeful prodigies, but only the boat party brought nearly the entire label together for 4 days of ratchet extravagance on the high seas.
You may remember Nightmare Festival from one of our very first posts, an exciting up and coming Halloween-themed festival in the Baltimore area. With roots as a warehouse party starting in 2010, many incarnations and locations have seen it grow into a 2-night camping music festival. After being featured by edm.com, and then being named to their Top 10 Halloween EDM Festivals this year, we were thrilled to be invited back to experience the new, upgraded Nightmare.