Welcome to Moonrise Festival 2016, a powerhouse of the northeast music festivals. Patrons came from far and wide to enjoy the unbelievably eclectic lineup that was brought to Pimlico Race Course this year. From Dubstep, to Jam, and everything in between, there was something for everyone to love at Moonrise this year. We can certainly say that Moonrise Fest 2016 was one crazy ride.
Upon arrival to Moonrise on Saturday, August 6th, we could immediately see some significant improvements to the festival from the years prior, most notably being wristband collection and festival entrances. This year, patrons were quickly able to receive their pass and enter the grounds to catch even the earliest sets. If you did not arrive for the opening set of the main stage, you may have missed a name that needs to be talked about. Contest winner and local artist ‘Tripnotic’ began the weekend with a set to remember, from well-known tracks to completely unknown originals. Tripnotic pulled out all the stops in order to get the crowd moving and excited on their way in.
The next noticeable aspect to Saturday was the heat, becoming nearly unbearable at times. The only thing more relentless than the sweltering temperatures and oppressive humidity was the amazing Star Team, employed by Moonrise to ensure that its patrons were well hydrated and staying safe. At any point during the festival you could find these team members walking around handing out cold water, spraying guests with mist, and handing out individual bags of ice. We truly cannot thank these dedicated individuals enough, because without them Saturday would have been a very different day.
As we made our way to the tent for the afternoon we could tell we were going to be in for some top-notch music. As soon as we entered we were immediately surrounded with energetic people and excellent music, starting with ‘Apashe’, who undoubtedly flabbergasted the audience when he opened with his own ‘Star Wars’ theme remix and did not let off the gas from there. After leaving the tent for some fresh air, we returned for Manic Focus who showed us again why he is going to be a name in the music industry for quite some time. He played jam after jam, and the crowd never stopped moving. The remainder of our afternoon was filled with Dubstep and Funk as we traveled to see ‘Bear Grillz’ and ‘Griz’. Both artists knew how to throw down and had the crowd going wild during their entire sets. To close off our evening we decided to make our way to “Flosstradamus’, then ‘Marshmello’, followed by ‘Bassnectar’, and we have to say that in terms of fan base these two artists were strongest. The Mellogang and Bassheads were in full swing as their favorite producers absolutely demolished their respective stages. After a long and hot day we went back to hydrate and prepare for what was to come on Sunday.
As we made our way into the festival Sunday we could see that all of the patrons had learned their lesson from the heat and everyone was very well hydrated on their way into the festival. A new life was breathed into the crowd, and their energy was incredible. As ‘Herobust’ took the stage in the early afternoon there was already a sea of people in the Solar Tent ready to do some dancing. Herobust delivered with an incredible set ranging over a variety of genres to show the crowd how far he has come in such a short period of time.
Of course, we need to take a moment and discuss the food options available at Moonrise. Options ranged from Pad Thai to giant barbecued turkey legs, with a different delicious option at every corner. The food vendors truly outdid themselves this year, providing options to feed any craving. With gyro’s in hand, we decided to make our way over for some of the lighter side of music, starting with ‘Hermitude’ and making our way over to ‘Crywolf’, and we could not seem to stop dancing.
The highlight of our evening was when two pioneers of Dubstep took the stage together again. ‘Caspa’ B2B ‘Rusko’ was out of this world, playing old wobble, new Dubstep, and everything in between. It was truly an experience, especially when Rusko dropped his 2010 favorite, ‘Woo Boost’, sending a surge of cheers through the crowd. Finishing our weekend with Excision, we knew that we would not be disappointed. Fire shot from the stage as he played songs well known such as his popular ‘Robo Kitty’, and he even played a remix of Woo Boost, the same song that drove the crowd wild earlier in the day at the Caspa B2B Rusko set. Excision has been on a tear since the end of his mighty Paradox tour and seems as if he isn’t slowing down anytime soon.
While the festival didn’t come without its problems (we heard complaints that they had sold too many tickets, that security was overstepping their authority, etc), overall Moonrise Festival 2016 was a phenomenal success due mainly to well-positioned entrances, very accessible water, and a Star Team who was dedicated to making Moonrise what it is. The heat could not put a damper on the artists and fans who traveled to beautiful Baltimore, and you can be sure that you will be seeing us at Moonrise 2017.
[Photos by: Josh Campbell Photography]
[Article by Emily Holmquist]
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