Mysteryland Festival: The USA Debut Memorial Day Weekend
Festival Season 2014 has arrived, and with heavy hitters such as Ultra and Counterpoint in our rear-view; all roads now lead to Mysteryland.
Nestled between the hills in Bethel, NY we find an amphitheater, 2000 acres of lush land, and a museum, all known as Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. However, most of the world knows these sacred grounds as the site of the original festival of all festivals: Woodstock (held in 1969).
This Memorial Day Weekend (May 23-26) the legendary site will play host to Mysteryland, the world’s oldest dance music festival. Since 1993 the production has had its roots in the Netherlands, with recent years including additional dates in Chile. This will be the first US edition of the event and more impressively, the first multi-day camping festival to be permitted on the Woodstock ’69 site in 45 years. Mysteryland is a 21+ event.
Unlike the rock star lineup of Woodstock, Mysteryland boasts a wide variety of dance music that spans all genres. The bill features Sunday School, (famous for its underground techno and house music) a three stage mini fest with names such as: Dubfire, Fehrplay, Justin Martin, and Sir Pete Tong. Though the highlight of the Sunday School fest is sure to be the Vinyl Only Stage featuring Soul Clap, Jesse Rose, and Victor Calderone. No trip to Mysteryland would be complete without venturing down the underground rabbit hole that is Sunday School, but when you are ready to come back up, the Mainstage will not disappoint.
Throughout the long weekend the Main stage will boom with the sounds of newcomer Oliver Heldens, festival veteran Steve Aoki, Dillon Francis (will DJ Hanzel be in attendance?), the beautiful Nervo sisters, The Chainsmokers, and of course the illustrious Kaskade. If you prefer a ‘harder’ style of music however, there is a stage that will captivate your senses.
Welcome to the Sound Of Q-Dance Stage, a land where any notions of the term ‘top 40’ or anything below 140 BPM do not exist. If you wish to get lost in a deep kick drum or an intense bass line, hardstyle at the Q-Dance Stage will be the place for you to call home. While more artists are still to be added, you can expect to hear Wildstylez, Noisecontrollers, and Brennan Heart.
The beauty of Mysteryland often lies in the attention to detail within the festival and camping grounds, as well as the stages. Coming all the way from the Netherlands, attendees can experience ‘The Boat’, a stage in the shape of its name, presenting a stunning fusion of dubstep, trap, drum & bass, electro and more. This stage is a haven for b2b’s and anticipated shouts of “it’s a trap!”, along with some powerful head banging. Wherever you are Sunday make sure you make your way to The Boat to catch Dillstradamus for this rare back to back.
Did we mention that there is a PRIVATE party? Yes, Friday night in the Holy Ground campground there is an exclusive opening party from 6pm-2am solely for those camping on the festival grounds. Hosted by Nicky Romero’s record label Protocol Recordings the acts include Tritonal, John Dahlbäck, Don Diablo, Vicetone and Michael Calfan. We caught the private opening party in Dreamville at Tomorrowland 2012 and it was one of the highlights of the festival.
The beauty of the weekend is attributed to ID&T (Dutch dance event organizer) and their commitments and innovations for sustainable festivities. Introducing an update to their RFID chip bracelets, Mysteryland will now be entirely cashless (with Intellitix). Prior to arrival attendees will load money onto their bracelets via Internet and will scan their bracelets as payment throughout the grounds during their stay. “What if I don’t spend all the money on my bracelet?!” some have asked, don’t worry any unused funds will be returned to you!
The age of technology is beautiful, no more losing paper tickets on your way to the shower and even better no unnecessary printing of tickets to begin with! There are also convenient stations on the grounds to add funds to your bracelet at any time. In return, the company solely asks that all be considerate of the land and environment that we are living on for one glorious weekend and that we all do our part to care of the Holy Ground.
To add to the eco friendly atmosphere of the weekend, the festival offers a Healing Garden that all are encouraged to visit during their stay. If you’re wondering what that means, it is exactly as it sounds. It is a welcoming space to get in touch with your spiritual side and explore love and inner beauty we sometimes forget about.
As many have begun to receive their wristbands in the mail, the excitement is starting to set in. With the festival only two weeks away social media is buzzing with ideas of what to expect the Main stage to look like, what type of performers and art installations to expect, how outrageous the lights/lasers/fireworks shows will be, and most importantly, will this be the year Daft Punk appears for a surprise performance?
Tickets are selling faster every day so if you haven’t secured a ticket yet you can still attend by purchasing day tickets HERE! Everything Mysteryland has to offer will be sure to blow us away and I don’t think we’re alone in admitting we are counting down the days. For those who would like to attend but don’t want to drive, bus trips are being offered from Philly, NJ, and NY.
[Preview by Sabrina Spellman]