Moonrise Festival Review
This past weekend marked yet another extremely successful electronic event at the beautiful Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. Electronic music lovers from all different states and of all different ages all assembled to come together for one euphoric weekend filled of positive energy, serenity, and bliss. The first ever Moonrise Festival put on by Steez Promo was absolutely incredible to say the very least, and overall the organizers of this event did an awesome job of making up for the cancellation of this event just a year ago. The lineup the team threw together was simply phenomenal, combining the entire spectrum of electronic music into one smooth combination of jam bands, house, trap, dubstep, and trance for all to thoroughly enjoy. Due to some trouble at the airport on Saturday morning, I was unfortunately unable to attend any of the event’s performances that took place over the course of the first day of the festival. With that being said, from those who I talked to who were able to attend, day one was nothing short of spectacular, with huge performances from immensely talented producers such as Infected Mushroom, Kaskade, Sound Tribe Sector 9, Sound Remedy, Papadosio, Adventure Club, and many other rising producers who are making sure to make their impact on the ever changing world of EDM. As mentioned above, the venue was incredibly aesthetically appealing, and the giant Ferris wheel located right in the middle of the race course made for one of the best experiences a fan could ask for. Following such an amazing first day, it was hard to believe that we had all been blessed with a Sunday lineup that was as good as, if not better than Saturday’s.
Sunday, August 10th could not have had any better weather, and along with all the positive vibes being brought in from festival goers once again, it was virtually impossible to not have a good time as soon as one passed through security and made their way into the grass filled festival grounds. Pimlico Race Course held 4 unique stages, each containing a different plethora of electronic sub genres that flowed together smoothly throughout the duration of the day. The Celestial Garden Stage was home to many upcoming trap, house, and disco DJ’s including very special performances from producers such as the highly acclaimed Lotus keyboardist Luke Miller, displaying his immense DJ skills under his side project, Luke the Knife. Flowing into performances from talented, intellectual individuals such CRNKN, Anna Lunoe, Djemba Djemba, Mr. Carmack, Moon Boots, Shiba San, and Tchami, this stage was home to loving and compassionate fans of all different attire and interests all coming together to get down to some euphoric beats that we have all come to love and enjoy. Over in the Solar Dance Tent, a much more intimate electronic feel was provided, with more bass heavy artists such as Keys N’ Krates, Figure, Brillz, Rusko, Zeds Dead, and Excision all putting on passionate set filled with the utmost energy that they could all possibly provide. It was extremely interesting getting to observe the disparity between the attendees at each of the different stages, and overall I think that the organizers of the event did a great job deciding who would play which stage, along with when each individual artist would play, accounting for all the different possible overlaps and conflicts of interests. On the more mainstream side of EDM, the Stellar Stage contained more than enough festival beats for the EDC or Ultra-esk side of the scene to enjoy. I personally did not make my way over to the Stellar Stage at all during Sunday’s events, but with performances from artists such as Dzeko & Torres, Waka Flocka Flame, Sander Van Doorn, Morgan Page, and Carnage, I am sure that this stage lived up to be everything it was expected to be and then a whole lot more.
With all of that being said, my hat goes off to the Lunar Stage, which in my personal opinion contained the best performances out of all anyone else at the entire festival. Kicking it off with an incredibly intimate set from Zoogma, the band went on to perform a number of huge electronic covers including Ellie Goulding’s “Starry Eyed”, What So Not’s “Jaguar”, Netsky’s remix of Rusko’s “Everyday” and the groups original rework of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”, all of which contained an unbelievable amount of energy and emphasis. Following Zoogma’s unbelievably enthusiastic performance, Robert Delong was next to take the stage, hitting the audience with an immense amount of bass and live energy and he mixed together some of the most intimate dubstep songs with a drum and bass feel that made it virtually impossible for anyone in attendance to remain stationary. The insane drum duo EOTO was next to throw down the madness, as the two String Cheese Incident drummers did a phenomenal job at combining a whole variety of sound into one smooth flowing, incredibly energetic and captivating hour long set. Following the rowdiness that the drum duo provided, Paper Diamond was next to take a spin at things, using his iPad mixing pad to make for one flawless electronic set from start to finish. Paper Diamond has made his way all around the electronic music spectrum, and now thrives at mixing together the beats the he knows the audience below him will surely enjoy. Finishing out his set with his epic collaboration with LOUDPVCK “Wylin”, Paper Diamond exited in boss fashion, flashing some peace signs to the audience as a huge grin could be seen on his face during his stage dismount. After a short intermission to prepare for the next performance, it was finally time for the immensely talented and largely popular Lotus to illuminate the audience with their musical serenity. Starting it off with “Kodiak”, the band moved into intimate songs such as “Tip of the Tounge”, “Lead Pipes”, and an epic cover of Deadmau5’s “Ghosts N’ Stuff”, which when combined with a deep Lotus feel was extremely well accepted by the audience below. The band was unfortunately only allotted an hour to perform, but made sure to make up for the short set time by adding an extra amount of emphasis to each individual song they decided to play. Another short intermission followed the band’s conclusion, and it was about time for the moment we had all been waiting for, Bassnectar. Lorin took the stage right at 930 PM, and it was absolute madess from the second the set started, until the very moment that it commenced. Throwing together a bunch of bangers including “the 808 Track”, “Breatheless”, “Expanded”, “Noise”, “You & Me”, “Take You Down”, and an insanely crazy version of “Pink Elephants”, the entire audience was left in complete shock from start to finish. There was not a second of stillness, and Lorin Ashton clearly displayed why he is one, if not the, best producers and or DJ’s in the entire game.
Overall, this festival was such a large success in so many different aspects it is absolutely ridiculous. Mad props go out to the organizers and promoters of this event, who did a beyond phenomenal job at making all of this awesomeness a reality. Safe to say that everyone in attendance felt the same way as well, and combined with all the different musical selections that were available to fans throughout the course of the entire weekend, it’s safe to say that this event will surely be returning once again next year seeing how successful the weekend turned out be. I would just like to take a moment to thank everyone who I got the opportunity to meet and chill with at some point during the course of the day, and I hope to cross paths with you again at some point in the not so distant future. Moonrise Festival 2014 was as real as it was expected to be, and if you were unfortunate enough to have missed this event, make sure to make the correct decision next year and grab a pass the second they are available for purchase. I can assure you that you are most definitely guaranteed to have an excellent time regardless of what type of electronic music you enjoy the most, as there truly is something for everyone at this kind of event.
Written By: Cooper Turley