Independent Philly

Scene, Not Herd

Elements Lakewood Festival 2017

This article is going to start off quite oddly. We ask you to shut your eyes for a second, take a breath, and imagine yourself in a world full of art, freedom, and love — a place where around every turn, new surprises appear. This place is not like any other you’ve ever traveled to, and it’s accompanied by a soundtrack curated by many extremely progressive musical minds. Now open your eyes. You are probably still sitting in your room, a bit confused, but quite content with the place you just imagined. It seems unreal, unless you happen to be lucky enough to have found yourself deep in the woods of Pennsylvania this past Memorial Day Weekend. Captured in our hearts, is now what seems to be a distant memory of BangOn!NYC’s ‘Elements Lakewood’ festival.

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Real life seems so far from this event, it’s hard for us to look back without a sense that it may have all been a dream. This dream was truly one of the best festival experiences we have ever found at Independent Philly, and that is not an easy fish to fry on our end. Our job is to be critical, but first it is to be real. It is our job to tell you exactly why you should or should not attend an event. We are extremely grateful for that privilege, and are overjoyed to report back that the reality is, you absolutely positively need to attend this festival as soon as humanly possible.

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When it comes to covering festivals, it is so hard to pick specifics to focus on. By tending to every detail, a review becomes incredibly drawn out and often too thick to dive into. So we will break it down for you. First, the music. Lakewood provided a home for some of the most talented and ingenious thinkers within electronic music today. Highlights of the weekend were sets by Tipper, Wax Future, and Walker & Royce, and while all of them exemplify different and diverse styles, each one somehow happened to perfectly capture the crowd in the atmosphere that the artistic side of the festival was beaming with. That energy felt the same for all three sets, even though the acts played at radically different times throughout the event. Truly, these three acts brought their A-Game to this festival, and showed attendees the beautiful balance between intense performances talent, and incredible stage presence.

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Artistically, this festival matches some of the most expressive events we’ve ever been to. Imagine visual art, dance and routine performances, and lighting/pyrotechnic intensities along the lines of electric forest, and intimacy along the lines of Dreamscape. Boom, there lies Lakewood. Find yourself dancing on a pirate ship, soaking up the heat of fire installations, or climbing trees at a late night abandoned stage, all within a few short hours. Every night, the different areas of the festival came alive in brand new ways. There was a constant feel of wonder, and if you found an area of the festival or some activity to dive into, the next moment that same physical place offered something new and completely out of this world.

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This festival arguably has a perfect rating for us. If these words weren’t enough, feel free to talk to anyone else who attended the event. We found not a single person without a smile on the whole weekend, and the warmest of words to describe the experience at the end of it. We can’t wait to see you all at Lakewood next year.

**Thank you for voting Independent Philly as a four time Top 5 Finalist and 2014 the Winner of “Best Local Blogger” in the Philly Region!**

[Photos by C2H2 Photo]

[Article by Adam Leopold]

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You can view additional photos below (click images to enlarge):

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