[Flashback Friday] Favorite Festival Sets

As the Winter frost finally loosens her grip and ebbs into the succulent scents of Spring – there’s typically only one thing on my, or any of my friend’s minds: what’s the next music festival you’re trying to get to?

My whole life, music has been my backbone – whether it’s dancing, playing flute, in choir or as the sound engineer at the local television station for kicks. As far back as I can remember, from the time I left college in 2008 and moved to Los Angeles – dance music has been a sort of genesis for me, almost chrysalis . It’s introduced me to people that have changed my life, it brought me to the man I’m married to today, it changed my career path, it turned me into a Senior Editor for a world class DJ blog, it gave me an outlet to explore the truth of who I am – and I’m such a better person for it because it gave me back myself.

THAT said, it hurts my heart that with the current Coronavirus crisis – festival season for 2020 is effectively cancelled, and rightfully so. It began with Ultra Abu Dhabi being cancelled back in March, and then it started spiraling. Ultra Miami and Miami Music Week both ‘rescheduled’ for next year, which is a fancy way of saying cancelled. Within days – Tomorrowland Winter, Lightning in a Bottle and SXSW were cancelled this year, while Coachella and EDC were both postponed until the Fall. With a world class array of musical talent for the weekend and many additional music lovers travel from around the globe for their chance to dance late into the morning light; international flights and crowded sweaty nights – it’s not exactly where you want to be if you’re trying to explore social distancing; unfortunately, it even sounds like the type of place you’d really want to avoid.

As a tangent, you have to understand how each cog in the wheel in entertainment operates; if you’re in event production, each current event is using funds allocated from previous events…so without the funding from current projects, future events are in danger as well – not to mention there are boutique festivals who have their entire futures up in the air right now. There are artists and technicians, musicians and dancers, vendors and publicists whose livelihood depends on being able to be booked for these events. Needless to say, we’re all itching to get our grooves back.

But, the good news is that plenty of your favorite artists have their live sets online so you can kick back with a tasty beverage, turn your speakers up, open the windows and have yourself a little quarantine rave all of your own! I’ve compiled a list of my favorite live sets from throughout the years (yes, I mean years!), with a bounce around from genre to genre, festival to festival and artists to artist – I think I’ve got a pretty solid Friday night set. We’ve got Pumpkin and Hot Since 82, Above & Beyond and Ferry Corsten, Chase & Status, Netsky, Kaskade, Skrillex and so much more. I hope you enjoy as much as I loved putting this together. Now excuse me, while I go have a little Flashback Friday dance part all of my own!

Remember: we’re all in this together, so the least we can do is try and find moments of enjoyment, connection, and dance! If you have FaceTime, Twitch or any other type of video conferencing – turn it into a social, invite your friends and get down with the squad digitally. Enjoy, friends – and try and put something funky into your Friday.


Music Monday: Mixin’ It Up

One of the unfortunately side effects of a stellar weekend – or in my case, past week – is something I like to call “Hot Mess Mondays”: your  brain might be functioning, you might’ve had enough sleep; but chances are that it’s not, you didn’t and you’re currently paying for it handsomely. Though the weather wasn’t as stellar as we would like, we realize that living in LA beggars certainly can’t be choosers; and spoiled weather brats can’t expect it to be sunny all the time!  There’s a great quote that says that you can’t get a rainbow without a little rain and I more than ascribe to that train of thought.  This past weekend turned into a typical, friend fueled, debauchery filled weekend for me and just for y’all, I’ll let the kitten out of the bag – I’m definitely having one of those days!

Photo

On Tuesday night I cruised down to Orange County to hang with my good friends and Beatnet co-founders and hit up some Dusky action at Focus.

For a Tuesday night in the OC that little place can get pretty rockin’!

Apparently Dusky is two guys? The more you know! Lol.

Dusky’s Essential Mix:

The best thing about the Dusky show was that I took Wednesday off so I could enjoy the show in it’s entirety – and a week later found out that one of my closest and dearest friends and her home crew from Portland were flying into San Diego that same week and had a few days free; serendipity, indeed! Every time I kick it with these kids I have the absolute time of my life, and Wednesday was no different.  We drank, frolicked, caught up and got weird: success!

My bitch =)

Breakfast of champions 😉

A-Team.

And that was just the mid-week festivities: over the weekend, there was definitely some bottomless brunching and boozing going down during the day, Blond:ish that night and Culrpit’s Season Opener at the Standard yesterday with Miguel Campbell.  So yeah, I’m wiped out!

#SweatbandSaturday
We don’t fuck around.

The lovely Blond:ish

Blond:ish from Playa Del Carmen:

And yesterday, we braved some rain at the Standard to kick off the Culprit Pool Parties – the weather was beyond lame but we tried to make the best of it!  Popped some bottles, caught up with some friendly and familiar faces and made some new cabana friends!

A little mix from the main man of the day, Miguel Campbell:

Making it rain > rain.

Even though my taste in music is pretty diverse, over the past month I’ve had more than my share of Deep, Tech and Minimal house shows – which are great for enjoying the atmosphere and breathing in the music, but going out to Exchange to see Ferry Corsten and Dim Mak studios for some Drum & Bass Hospital Records style I realized how much I miss the thumping bass, sick drops and the electric energy coming from the dance floor.

What do you get when you put three of the top Trance DJs and Producers in the world in one room?  You get Markus Schulz and Ferry Corsten, New World Punx at Armin van Buuren’s ASOT 600 in Madison Square Garden.   Their name, which is a play on Schulz’s “New World” and Corsten’s “Punk’d” is like a 3 on the scale of 1 to awesome DJ names but that’s besides the point; I watched a bit of the live stream and was hooked immediately.

SubFocus rocking the stage at Ultra:

This new track from Boys Noise is hauntingly gorgeous:

Swedish House Mafia might be done for* but that doesn’t mean they’re done individually; Steve Angello graced the BBC Radio 1 decks this past week with an epic essential mix:

Duke Dumont is one of my favorite new Deep House producers (yeah, I tried being over the genre but some stuff it just stays with you…) and his last two hits “The Giver” and “Need U 100%” are phenomenally produced and expertly mastered.  This remix is no different:

Above & Beyond’s Group Therapy Radio is a surefire way to get me through my Fridays, and this past week they had the House legend Sasha as their guest:

The Audiofiles: The Post-Miami/WMC/UMF Rx

After being in the Electronic Dance scene for the better part of the last decade, I have one small confession to make: though we get epic onslaughts of DJs, Festivals and all night dance-a-thons in Los Angeles, there’s just something about going to Miami for Winter Music Conference and Ultra that I just have to do.  I’ve had friends go for the past three years and tell me that it was the time of their life – problem is, living in LA, the mecca of most things EDM in America it’s incredibly hard to justify spending all that money for a weekend in Miami.  But, One of my best friends went with her boyfriend and I had the pleasure of living vicariously through them and their friends all weekend; and I have to say, I’m insanely jealous!  Now that I’ve gone through the live streams, the sets, the Instagram feeds and through Facebook I feel the need to take part in this epic debauchery; thank goodness there’s always next year!

There are a few great blogs that capture the moment and the music of festivals in an A+ fashion – specifically, Dancing Astronaut – and they definitely didn’t disappoint when it came to Miami Music Week – here are some of my favorite sets from this past weekend; they’re doing a proper job of getting me through my day so hopefully they’ll do the same for y’all.

Enjoy! ♥

P.S. Looks like dates are already set for Ultra next year – March 28-30; you can bet your bottom bassline I’ll be thre!

Hot Since ’82 Pool Party:

SubFocus:

Umek:

Krewella:

Knife Party:

Bingo Players:

Adventure Club:

Porter Robinson:

Kaskade:

Deadmau5:

Ferry Corsten:

Armin van Buuren: