The festive holiday season is upon us. While for some, this may be a simple time of reflection, relaxation, and plenty of food with family, for others (cough, us) it’s a time of celebration; a time to start this year as we intend to spend it: full of really good music, dance parties, and good times. And while the summer tends to be the designated festival season, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any happening as we approach year-end.
New Year’s Eve is always a party. Every single venue in every single city puts on a big event to celebrate the end of one year and welcome the next. These parties tend to be overpriced and underwhelming. Long lines in cold weather are followed by overcrowded clubs and a pricey cab ride back home. We deserve better and thankfully the universe has answered our prayers.
We want our New Year’s Eve celebration to last. We waited all year for this! So, to start off your year on the right foot, we’ve compiled a list of electronic music festivals that start in 2019 and keep on going into 2020 so you can ring in the New Year in the best way possible.
Epizode – Phú Quốc, Vietnam
The much-anticipated Epizode festival in Phú Quốc, Vietnam kickstarts its 4th edition on December 27th and runs through the New Year to January 7th. This 11-day festival is guaranteed to be a good time. What could be better than ringing in the new year on the beach, dancing to your favourite artists? The lineup boasts talent from near and far with DJs playing 24 hours a day. Sounds of techno, house, and disco will fill the island and keep you dancing. Art installations, cultural activities, and plenty of breathtaking sunsets will keep you stimulated when those feet need a break. We don’t think an NYE celebration could get much better than this. Get the inside scoop through our interview with CEO, Natasha Rogal.
In Arizona and Colorado, we have two different festivals of the same name happening simultaneously. So regardless of where you are in the US of A, you can enjoy an epic New Year’s bash. In Arizona, Decadence will be thrown by Relentless Beats and partygoers will immerse themselves in the Weird & Wonderful, complete with circus performers, characters, and colourful acts. The lineup is stacked to impress with AC Slater, Dillon Francis, Skrillex, and Zeds Dead. To the north, the Colorado Decadence will be a definite treat for the senses. Over the top visuals, sound, and décor ensure the festival holds true to its name. Arty, Bassnectar, Rezz, and Steve Aoki are a few of the artists that’ll close out 2019 and bring you into 2020.
Snowglobe – Lake Tahoe, California
Don’t let frosty temperatures get in the way of you having a good time this NYE. MTV’s Snowglobe festival in Lake Tahoe, California will be 3 days of face/snow melting beats. Music, mountains, and multiple stages featuring your favourite musicians sounds like a pretty great way to spend the holidays if you have to bear the cold. Keep warm dancing to the sounds of Louis the Child, Griz, Skrillex, and Fisher.
Rhythm & Vines – Gisborne, New Zealand
One of the first places to ring in the new year, New Zealand is known for epic celebrations and for 17 years, Rhythm & Vines has been that celebration. Although not exclusively an electronic festival, headliners include Disclosure, Alison Wonderland, and RL Grimes. For three days over the new year in Gisborne, NZ, over 21,000 festival-goers will be merry in the sunshine, dance through the rolling hills, and camp amongst the vineyards.
The Cityfox Odyssey – Brooklyn, USA
New Yorkers who have watched the ball drop enough will be at Cityfox Odyssey at Avant Gardner in Brooklyn to ring in the new year. The 27-hour festival will cross two city blocks, have 4 rooms of music, and lounges and activations to keep you occupied. Sasha and John Digweed are set to take the stage, Âme will go B2B with Dixon, and Marsh will lead you into the countdown. Dress warm and get ready for an allnighter, because this New Year’s Eve, NYC will certainly live up to its name as the city that never sleeps.
Origin Fields – Perth, Australia
The lineup alone at Origin Fields should be enough the drag you down under this New Year’s. At Wellington Square in Perth, Rüfüs Du Sol, TOKiMONSTA, Flux Pavillion, and RL Grime are slotted to take the stage. In between sets, make sure to hit up the arcade, speakeasy, and carnival games. Dozens of acts will come from near and far to bring the most epic New Year’s celebration to Oz.
Get to know the first festival on our list, Epizode, a little better. Check out our interview with the festival CEO Natasha Rogal.
Burning Man is an enigma. For 7 days,
you’ll take to the desert where you will be forced to endure the elements.
For beginner Burners, it may be overwhelming to hear about how the Burning Man festival is divided up into camps where you will decidedly spend your week camping and celebrating. And that you should make a decision of which camp you plan to join, prior to entering Black Rock City. With hundreds of camps to choose from, where do you even start?
What is a theme camp?
Camping at a typical festival, you will find thousands of campers and their tents strewn about a field with no rhyme or reason, except that you may be planted next to your mates. This is not the case at Burning Man.
Camps are the festival. Burning Man Organization doesn’t actually provide much more than a theme (2019 was Metamorphoses). The rest is in the hands of the Burners. Thankfully, Burners are dedicated and organized. Theme camps are established months in advanced and officially registered with Burning Man. While yes, camps are where you will go to rest your head in your tent or RV at night, they are also so much more. Theme camps provide community, shelter, inspiration, and entertainment. Theme camps can vary from four to 400 people. Villages, too, exist and are when two or more camps that have joined forces.
While you are not required to join a camp (you can camp in the open camping areas), camps play a huge part in the overall experience. It’s always best to find a camp with interests that align with yours.
With over 1,500 registered camps, it can be a little daunting. Here are a few that spark our fancy.
A collective of Mexican and Californian artists, musicians, designers, craftsmen, and technologists, Mayan Warrior is one of the most iconic Burning Man camps. Their ethos is to bring people together, regardless of borders, backgrounds, or culture, and celebrate as one through music and dance. Known for their legendary art car, wild light shows, and fiercely curated electronic music performances, Mayan Warriors is a camp to which we say “you likely can’t beat them, so you may as well join them!”. Catch electronic artists Unders, Jan Blomqvist, Damian Lazarus, and Bedouin playing sets from sunrise to sunset and beyond.
Brought to you by the one and only Carl Cox, it can only be expected that Playground is a camp of epic proportions. Cox co-founded Playground as a way to give back to the community of Black Rock City and Burning Man, something he holds near and dear. Describing itself as a mirage of good vibes and amazing techno beats, the party on Playground begins as the sun goes down. This year, Playground will have two stages. The Arrival stage starts after dark and goes until sunrise. Catch Carl’s sets on Wednesday and Saturday. The Dune stage begins at dawn and brings the noise until dusk. Don’t miss the Purple Disco Party on the Wednesday.
A large-scale Sound Camp with Arabian desert vibes, the Kazbah turns up the volume as the sun starts to set bringing epic melodic beats to the Playa. Centered around a 48’ Pyramid in which the DJ booth is placed, the desert becomes the dance floor. The structure is designed to be a modern hybrid of the pyramid and obelisk harnessing energy from the cosmos and radiating it to those surrounding. Resident DJs Elz, Halloran, Hef2Def, and Papa Lu will bring the tunes through the Eye of Horus.
Black Rock City spans 7 square miles
(11km2). The Burning Man city is arranged as a series of concentric avenues and
camps, with a diameter of 1.5 miles (2.4km). The Burning Man effigy stands at
the center. In order to navigate the city, most Burners bring along their
bicycles, decorated to the nines. This makes getting around much easier. However,
some of the more crafty types may opt to create an art car, known as mutant
vehicles on the Playa.
A mutant vehicle is a motorized work of art. The vehicle itself must bear very little resemblance to its original form. They are meant to wow and inspire. Think of a pirate ship sailing through the desert or an enormous praying mantis on wheels.
Mutant vehicles have also been known to host some epic dance parties as they make their way through the Playa to different camps. Decked out with mixers and epic sound systems, they are a party on wheels.
Brought to you by the Airpusher Collective, the Airship has been cruising the Playa since 2013. A group of diehard Burners, DJs, and builders, these guys like to turn up the heat with bumping sets and quirky costumes.
How to find camps and cars
As we know, the Playa is vast and there is a hell of a lot going on. It’s best to go with a plan of which camp you are going to seek out. Perhaps it’s even better to contact the organizers of the camp beforehand. On the Burning Man official website, you’ll find a complete directory, alphabetized, with all 1500+ registered camps. Some camps have just provided their names while others have included a description and contact information. To find out the placement of the camps, grab a BRC map once you get to the grounds.
Unless you are a seasoned Burner or have been following the lead up to Burning Man through certain camps’ socials, finding where the Mutant Vehicles will be stationed requires a little more digging. However, thanks to Kate Houston, a.k.a. The Rock Star Librarian, and her Music Guide, you can find out what camps will have tunes, the dates, times, and locations of the sets, whether they are wheelchair accessible, and if they have mutant vehicles. Oh ya, this guide is thorough.
Her list is only inclusive of camps that have requested to be featured, so it is possible there are some camps and cars missing, but it is chalked full of great information.
Groove to disco on BAAAHS the big-ass amazingly homosexual sheep. Jump aboard the Deep Playa Diver mutant submarine bus and move to sounds of Motown. Get into some shenanigans on the Mystic Flyer art bus as it cruises across the Playa. Embrace your inner animal on the Dusty Rhino as breathes fire and beats through BRC.
Light up the night on the galactic cruiser Lucky Star, created by the Gluckstern family of Magic Hour camp. Rock out on Root Society‘s Rolling Root art car or hit up the camp, Root Cathedral, for some of the biggest dance parties on the Playa. Join the eclectic crew aboard The Janky Barge for funky techno beats.
Love animals and dancing? Get animal-friendly on the Dirty Goat Roadhouse. Unicorns are real on the Playa and you can live out your wildest dreams by riding Sparky across the sand. Haven’t gotten your fix of mystical creatures? The Xuza Art Car is otherworldly, from the structure to its music.
Burning Man is a fun and freaky ride. If you’re headed out to the Playa this week, don’t forget to tag us (@electricsoulapp) in your pictures and Stories.
The little festival with a big, bassy, electronic heart, Shi Fu Miz kicks off October 26th. Five seasons deep, the biannual, two-day festival is ready to wow the socks off festival-goers. With a never-been-done-before party hosted by Boiler Room on the 27th, Shi Fu Miz is gearing up to become one of the most acclaimed festivals in Hong Kong.
We caught up with its creators (creative agency FuFu and DJ collective La Mamie’s) and asked them to spill the beans on how Shi Fu Miz began and what we can expect in this season.
We’re also exclusively offering the Electric Soul community a sneaky 10% off the ticket price when you enter SFMELECTRICSOUL the checkout. Go forth and take full advantage!
Tickets are on sale now! Here is a discount code for our readers: Enter SFMELECTRICSOUL to receive 10% off. Get yours now!
Electric Soul: First, tell us about how the Shi Fu Miz collaboration came to be.
Shi Fu Miz: It all started with an Instagram conversation. A few weeks later, French DJ collective La Mamie’s came to Hong Kong for a gig. From there, Florian (from FuFu) and Victor (from La Mamie’s) decided to collaborate, putting their strengths, knowledge, and experiences together to build a music and art festival in Hong Kong.
ES: Why did you choose to host in HK over France?
SFM: Florian is based in Hong Kong and was already wanting to develop something for the region as it is pretty lacking in underground music events and festivals. Also, La Mamie’s already has their own festival in Paris: Macki Music Festival, which launched three years before Shi Fu Miz. We felt we could harness the spirit of Macki, combine it will the vibes of Hong Kong, and stack it full of local and regional talent—and thus, Shi Fu Miz was born.
ES: What was your festival experience like this past summer? Do you prefer the festival circuit to shows?
SFM: Most of our team spent the summer in Europe, checking out the music scene there and bringing some inspiration back to Hong Kong. We went to some great festivals with really unique venues, curated settings, and forward-thinking sounds. We experimented with different kinds of festivals this summer too, including Dekmantel, Horst, and of course the Macki Music Festival. The festival circuit is always a good thing: summertime, open-air, and good vibes.
ES:Is SFM a reflection of festivals you’ve attended or step in a totally different direction?
SFM: We definitely get some great ideas from all the different festivals that we have been to as festivalgoers and artists, but Shi Fu Miz is a totally different and novel experience, very much tailored to Hong Kong. You won’t get this experience elsewhere and you won’t know what makes it standout amongst the rest unless you immerse yourself in it. When you do, you’ll quickly see why we’ve grown so quick. It’s also really refreshing to get out of the concrete jungle and the small clubs that makeup Hong Kong.
ES:Tell us more about your artist curation process? Where and how do you source artists?
SFM: The team has a very similar taste in music so it’s pretty easy. We always look to book a healthy mix of famous international electronic artists alongside regional and local acts. For international performers, we don’t want the most famous but want artists with great skills and a serious knowledge of music. Don’t miss Peach, Lean Willikens, and Marcellus Pittman.
ES:Can you touch on your collaboration with Boiler Room, how it came to be, and what significance it holds?
SFM:Boiler Room is the biggest streaming platform in the world for electronic music and it is pushing the music scene by broadcasting big names and lesser-known DJs with huge potential. It helps to grow an emerging market like Hong Kong. Since we’ve been getting a lot more attention from the international community, we wanted to give the amazing artists from around Asia a chance to be in the spotlight. So, for the Boiler Room showcase, we chose artists like Ocean Lam, K-Melo, and Utopia instead of heavyweight headliners.
ES:Having only started a few years ago, SFM looks to have a bright future. How do you envision its evolution?
While maintaining stability in Hong Kong is paramount, we’re looking to expand to different countries in Asia. But for now, those details are on the down-low.
Want to know Shi Fu Miz on a deeper level? Check out our latest article about their collab with Boiler Room.
Today marks the second day of the week-long (August 7th to 13th) Sziget Festival in Budapest, Hungary onHajógyári Island. With over 1,000 performances from the world’s biggest names across 60 stages, what was once a small gathering has become one of the most iconic music and arts festivals worldwide.
Our Electric Soul team is hitting the grounds this week, giving our community a backstage pass to the ins and outs of the festival (follow us!). To get you geared up, we thought we’d take a look at the festival, its history, the lineup, what to expect, and what makes it so damn special. Disclaimer: if you aren’t attending the festival, the following may instill major FOMO.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, there
was a revolutionary spirit in the air. Think the hippie movement of the 60s in
America, but a 90s European version. The once lively and government-funded
music scene in Budapest was struggling. Music lovers craved music and the
community that came with it.
Péter Müller and manager Károly Gerendai recognized the void and decided to do
something about it. With a group of friends, an extremely small budget, and big
ideas, they created Diáksziget, or Student Island Festival. Thirsty for
music, 43,000 festivalgoers attended Diáksziget in its first year.
The attendance numbers doubled the following year. The 1994 Diáksziget coincided with the 25th anniversary of Woodstock, gaining itself the nickname EuroWoodstock. Although the festivals were a hit, they weren’t turning a profit. On 1996, Pepsi signed on as a major sponsor relieving them of financial hardships and giving the festival the opportunity to book bigger names. In 1996, the festival was renamed Pepsi Sziget. But in 2002, the Pepsi was dropped and the festival name was officially changed to Sziget Festival.
In the past 27 years, Sziget has become one the world’s most glorified festivals, winning the title Best Major European Festival twice (2011 and 2014) at the European Festival Awards. Attendance numbers have reached as high as 565,000 with people traveling from over 95 countries. With performances from the likes of David Bowie, Prince, Iggy Pop, The Prodigy and more recently Avicii, Knife Party, Ellie Goulding, and The Chainsmokers, this festival has always been about bringing people of all walks of life and music tastes together to celebrate freedom and love.
Sziget Festival 2019: Love Revolution
This year’s theme is Love Revolution. Sziget has always been powered by this idea of freedom and community. Their mission is to recognize the vast diversity of the festival and celebrate all those who come together for a weeklong celebration of music and art. Referring to their festivalgoers as Szitizens, their idea is the make the festival and the island it takes place on, a ‘dream nation’ where all animosity is checked at the door. Szitizens will unofficially take the pledge of a ‘love revolution’, promising to guide all their movements by love, and embrace diversity and human dignity.
Electronic fans, you might want to take note.
While big names like Martin Garrix and Mura Masa will take the Main Stage, if you are looking for killer sets and non-stop dance parties, you’ll want to hit up the Samsung Colosseum. The 360-degree amphitheater has a lineup of underground and progressive DJs and producers dedicated to creating the most epic rager you’ve been to. From noon until sunrise every day, the dance party doesn’t stop. Blawan, Objekt, Margaret Dygas, B.Traits, wAFF, and Avalon Emerson are just some of the names that will bless you with their beats.
If EDM, trance, minimal, techno, and house are your scene, the Bacardi Arena starts late and ends early. Blasterjaxx, Jax Jones, Coone, Vini Vici, Kayzo, and Justin Mylo will be bringing those late-night vibes.
Although more dedicated to pop and rock artists, the Mastercard Stage will feature some electronic artists including Fakear, Sonny Fodera, Apashe, and DJ sets by Metrik and Danny Byrd later in the evenings. Just look for the giant red and white tent.
The Volt Stage, dedicated to up and comers from around the world, will take a step away from rock and pop towards dance and electronic as the night progresses with most evenings ending in a set by DJ Elf.
The driving force of any big festival is its lineup and Sziget has never been one to disappoint. 60 stages will host over 1000 performances, a majority of those being music with dance, theatre, performance, art, and talks weaved throughout.
The official headliners of Sziget include Ed Sheeran, Foo Fighters, Florence and the Machine, Twenty-One Pilots, and Martin Garrix. Whether you are a pop, rock, or electronic fan, there are more than plenty of artists to fill your heart and ears with music.
Things to do
There is no shortage of fun to be had on the Island of Freedom. As you walk throughout the grounds, you’ll be able to experience art and architecture installations crafted by Szitizens from all over the world. Most created from recycled materials, you’ll be able to visit, snap pictures, and hang out in some larger than life pieces of art.
If you need a break from all the music and dancing, there are hundreds of performances you can enjoy. From magic shows to marionettes, to circus acts and fire dances, it will be virtually impossible to be bored at Sziget.
Feel like getting off the island? Join the boat party! Jump on the sightseeing boat for a tour of Budapest. With sunbeds for lounging, DJs for dancing, and snacks for snacking, you can party along the river. Drum and bass on the Danube? Yes, please.
With all the dancing, you’re bound to get hungry. The food lineup at Sziget is just as impressive as the music. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, carnivore, gluten-free, lactose-free, or just have the munchies, there are endless options. Burgers, bubble waffles, BBQ, Italian, and Thai are just a few. While in Hungary, it would only make sense to try some local dishes as well. Gobble down some Lángos and ironed pie, but make sure you save some room for a tradition kürtőskalács (chimney cakes) for dessert.
Festival with a conscious
While, yes, Sziget is all about fun and games, it also operates with a purpose. Superar is an initiative, powered by Sziget that empowers youth through music. Superar knows that music breaks down walls and that through it, children can learn to be self-sufficient, respectful, and inclusive. Through choir rehearsals, instrument lessons, local and international summer camps, and attending professional performances, Superar helps over 2000 children experience the power of music and discover their own potential.
A leading principle of the Sziget’s Love Revolution is to keep the festival as green as possible while doing their part to instill the message of sustainability and environmental consciousness upon its Szitizens. The movement of green festivals has (thankfully) taken the world by storm and Sziget is pioneering the movement with a number of initiatives.
Drinks are served in reusable cups. After purchasing your first one, you can exchange it each time you grab a new drink. Cups can be traded in for tokens at the end of your day. Single-use plastic straws will not be available and reusable straw will only be provided to those who ask.
In an attempt to limit the number of plastic bottles on-site, Sziget encourages Szitizens to bring their own refillable bottle, which they can top up at one of the many free water refill stations across the grounds.
To keep the greens butt-free, portable pocket ashtrays will be distributed throughout the festival. Smokers are asked to collect their cigarettes and dispose of them when they come to the proper waste bin.
Recycling is top of mind for the festival. Their goal is to achieve a 50% recycle rate. Plenty of bins, labeled for your recycling ease, will be stationed throughout the festival. 50 volunteers will also circle the grounds collecting waste. A visual composting lab, that you can watch in action, will be turning the festival’s organic waste into humus that will aid in the recultivation of the island, post-festival. At the end of the week, camping Szitizens will be able to drop off their unwanted tents and camping gear at the donation center where Sziget volunteers will ensure they make their way to a charity organization.
Sziget campers can also opt to stay at the EcoCamping area. Powered by E.ON, this campsite, with availability for 200 Szitizens, has ECO toilets that use 85% less water, upcycled furniture, community breakfast provided by the Slow Food Bar, and eco-friendly cleaning products. Solar power energy will power the reception and bathroom facilities.
If you want to learn more about how you can live a more eco-conscious life, the Green Sziget Centre will be hosting workshops and performances. Dr. Jane Goodall, the UN Messenger of Peace and The Climate Reality Project will take the Main Stage to deliver their message and ideas on the environment and sustainability.
Sziget will also reward those who bike to the Island with free bike storage and a tune-up!
Sziget has come so far since 1993 but has been able to stay true to its message. We can’t wait to experience the epic festival and revel in all the amazing music and performances.