Austin, Texas — After experiencing some of the top electronic festivals in the Midwest year after year like Electric Forest, Summer Set, Spring Awakening, North Coast, etc — I decided it was time to expand my horizons and try some new festivals this year.
When I discovered Euphoria Music Festival I was immediately sold after seeing the lineup. It featured so many of my personal favorites that I knew this was the one I had to experience. I had heard many good things about the festival prior to attending like "it's the perfect size and not too cramped"...."the stages are surreal and in close proximity to each other"..."the vibes are amazing and everyone is super friendly" etc and they all held true. Euphoria surpassed my expectations by far.
We arrived late Thursday at Carson Creek Ranch, a truly beautiful venue situated along the Colorado River just outside of Austin, Texas. Euphoria Music Festival celebrated its 5th year with over 20,000 diverse music lovers between the three days. The stacked lineup featured an eclectic blend of electronic, jam band, funk, hip-hop and more with headliners like Bassnectar, STS9, Tycho, GRiZ, Waka Flock Flame and several other big and up-and-coming names in music.
After we got our campsite situated and had a few drinks we decided to hit the silent disco stage to catch the end of Polish Ambassador and the silent disco that followed. This stage alone blew me away right off the bat, and immediately became the BEST silent disco I'd ever been to. From the gigantic disco ball reflecting hundreds of light beams, to the little lush forest—I knew right away I was going to spend quite a bit of time at this spot.
For the official Day One, we kicked it off jamming to some Broccoli Samurai main stage, where they delivered a truly memorable performance. I hadn't heard of them prior, and became an instant fan. When their set ended, we walked over to the infamous Dragonfly Stage, which featured a sloped amphitheater-like grid along the river to catch the highly-anticipated bass God, Space Jesus. He had the crowd going absolutely bonkers from start to finish, dropping his heavenly space-bass creations and even an unreleased GanjaWhiteNight track—which sent my excitement through the roof.
From there, we wandered over to the Elements stage to catch the end of Wave Racer and my personal favorite G Jones. He delivered one of the best sets I've ever seen, consisting nearly all original heavy-bass tracks. It goes without saying he had all the headbangers going wild, especially when he dropped his collab with Bassnectar "Don't Hate The 808".
We finished our night off with a taste of Jai Wolf, Dillon Francis and a personal favorite, Tycho. Tycho started as a solo DJ set that crystallized into a full 4-piece band over time. I've seen them a few other times, and they've exceeded my expectations each and every time, taking the crowd on a journey through the group's self-designed graphics and stunning visuals. This compliments their beautiful, ambient tones and hypnotizing drum patterns. They emanate one of the most powerful, captivating live performances you'll ever see.
Day Two brought on an array of opportunities to unwind with some yoga, workshops, and hammock napping after a long night of dancing. We took a look at some of the art installations and met some incredible people as we made out way to the giving tree. This was refreshing and gave me an uplifting boost of energy, love and gratitude for everything I was able to experience there.
Day two's lineup comprised of heavy-hitters Branchez, GRiZ, Eric Prydz and the legendary Bassnectar. None of them disappointed and the energy was high from set to set. One set really stood out among the rest, and that was none other than the future funk star, GRiZ. I don't think I've seen more smiling faces during an entire set in my life. This is due to is contagiously positive energy and funky sax solos. Bringing back the classic sounds of the past and the future sounds of funk-infused electronic music. GRiZ has skyrocketed to the top of festivals across the nation, and his live set's and unique sound a big reason why.
Day three proved to be one of the most diverse days yet. Featuring artists like Mashd N Kutcher, Waka Flocka Flame, Nahko & Medicine For The People, Lil Dicky, Big Wild and closing out with Above & Beyond.
We got our high energy fix early on from the duo Mashd N Kutcher where literally felt the ground shaking from time to time from the crowd jumping. It was an exciting show to watch and unique to say the least. Big Wild also impressed with his extremely unique sound and catchy jingles, including one song where he actually whistles out one of his hooks in the mic for Sylvan Esso - Hey Mami (Big Wild Remix). He transitions between his drum pad and electric keyboard, showcasing his true musical talent. It's always a pleasure when electronic producers incorporate a live dynamic to their set.
It was also interesting to catch the polar opposite acts like Nahko MFP postive reggae vibes and then the wild hip-hop sensation, Waka Flocka Flame — who is a truly gifted crowd pleaser with his wild boy image and well-known anthems.
I closed out the festival with the iconic duo, Above & Beyond, where I watched people sing, cry, dance and embrace the last set that nobody wanted to end. They closed with Sun & Moon, and it was absolutely moving. Seeing the ocean of people all singing along, purely connected to the music and overcome with emotion on all levels. I realized we were the epitome of Euphoria.
Overall, I was mesmerized by the entire festival experience Euphoria offered. From the late night Silent Disco sets where unexpected artists thew down, to the yoga/workshops, scenic river views and breathtaking sunsets each night — I couldn't ask for a much better place to experience music.
Written by Ryan Quella