As summer festivals release their lineups, some stacked to the brim, others leaving its following in slight disappointment and reminiscence of previous years, trends surface. Music festivals are a different dimension when compared to concerts or clubs, and lineups definitely reflect the contrast. This year, seasoned artists that are used to playing festivals appear en masse, overcrowding and pushing novices away. Festival curators, working hard with established artists, overlook the exploding underground scene, perhaps on purpose as many new artists would not bring as big a crowd, and in the end (or beginning), festivals are a business. Another reason for seeing the same people each year is the contending representations of each culture, festivals said to limit the freedom of artists to popular selections. These conflicting views are broken at an individual level, and there aren't many talented artists that stay true to their craft even when looked upon by tens and hundred fold of the audience present at venue/club shows.
Some of these devoted artists we would like to see more are:
Datsik – Ninja Nation Tour covering most of the US, ends about mid-April, and we are still left in the dark on Datsik’s plans for the summer. The only festival to announce Datsik and his clone, Excision is EDC Mexico, and while I have no doubt in my mind that Shambhala will pick up Excision this year as well, I’m not too sure about Datsik. On his Ninja Nation Tour, he brings heavyweight names such as Trolley Snatcha, Barely Alive, ETC!ETC! and many others with him around US on an unofficial dubstep caravan with Down 4 My Ninjas EP blasting through the speakers. Hopefully the tour ends with such an immense bang that will create a domino effect of dub and will put in motion awesome music, be it released on interwebs, in physical format at festivals, or on a new tour.
Falcons – Jersey is growing at a pretty constant rate right now, and seeing Trippy Turtle breaking through and getting booked by Ultra and Wakarusa, it makes me wonder why aren't there more jersey club artists on this year’s lineups. I saw Falcons once at a medium-small venue and he made the place so sexy and active, overflowing with energy and chopped samples. In a festival setting, he would bring the crowd to a dangerously fast breathing, activating every muscle in his fan’s bodies, so I’m going to assume that’s the reason he doesn't appear on fest posters, and suggest that booking agents take a risk.
3. G Jones
G Jones – Greg is growing up so fast, in a professional sense of course, that I’m quite certain his name will printed in large letters as a headliner for Ultra or other huge show quite soon. Coming from a tour with Minnesota and some headlining shows around United States last year, G Jones just dropped a mixtape full of unreleased tracks in prediction of an even larger year. An upgrade from last year was already announced not too long ago, Jones being invited by Bassnectar to the first of his 3-day run at Red Rocks. Not officially considered a festival, it’s certainly something people travel the US for, much different than New Years Eve 360, where G Jones opened for Tipper and Bassnectar.
2. Mr. Carmack
Mr. Carmack – It’s no exaggeration when claiming that the cult of Mr. Carmack lives strong and continues to grow. He created a whole new way of looking at the slowly degenerating art of trap and bass in general. His minimalist yet massive style got him to a few festivals last year, such as Hard Summer, EDC Las Vegas and Dour Festival in Belgium. This year only Buku Music and Arts Festival tapped into the experimental and booked him along with a plethora of other styles and talent. While Mr. Carmack’s mixing skills pale in comparison to his production skills, true fans, myself included, would travel far and pay big to even listen to him put an ipod filled with unreleased content on shuffle.
1. Pretty Lights
Pretty Lights – After a huge 2014 from the Colorado native, with a Grammy nomination for A Color Map of the Sun, fastest Red Rocks sellout shows, and headlining every other festival, not much is heard from Derek nowadays (aside from his CU/CO inspired clothing line). If Pretty Lights locked himself in the studio and is preparing fresh sounds for 2015, that’s okay with me, but his brand and technique will definitely be missed, as only Euphoria can brag with having the PL logo on their posters. It is early to tell, but staple festivals that already have announced their lineups in one round, will definitely feel the gap left by PL from previous years.
Written by Florin C