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Tomorrowworld 2013 Recap

cruisintotwWhere do I begin? In the past 6 months I’ve traveled from Downtown Miami to Upstate New York, and everywhere in between … and the most beautiful music festival I have ever been a part of was just 20 minutes from my studio in Atlanta. My crew would return to Bouckaert Farm, exactly one year after one of the most legendary festivals of 2012, Counterpoint.

We spent most of Thursday morning running around town picking up groceries for the next FIVE DAYS of camping, and we were on the road to Tomorrowworld by 4pm. Parking was super easy. Moving all of our gear to Dreamville was not. The parking lot was absolutely massive, which was expected. The distance from our campsite in Dreamville to the car was at least two miles. Our first trip into Dreamville took two hours. One hour of standing in line and going through security, thirty minutes to our spot in Dreamville, and thirty minutes to set up camp. Zach and I decided to do the smart thing – drink a handle of vodka once we got back to the car and use our newly found super strength to drag a tarp with all of our remaining gear into Dreamville before the sunset. We just wanted to set up camp and party. Let me say that dragging that tarp was the hardest workout that I’ve had since football two-a-days, my senior year in high school. Literally dying. After seeing stars before the sunset, it was time for the festivities to begin. We entered ‘The Gathering’ hosted by Counterpoint within Dreamville to catch massively energetic sets from Mayhem vs. Antiserum, Minnesota, Heroes X Villians, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, and GRiZ. Such a great start to the weekend.

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Day 1: The sun shines on Dreamville. Our camp perfect, right in the middle of Dreamville, near the General Store. We were less than 10 feet from the wooden street, repping a Bassmonster.com flag, Dream Team flag, and a ‘My Dad thinks I’m camping’ sign. We had neighbors from Austin, TX, Orlando, FL, and Atlanta. We had a Dreamcatcher totem with a GoPro on it, and I was with some of my best friends. CONFIRMED: This was going to be one hell of a weekend.

We spent Friday morning setting up the finishing touches on camp, linking up with old friends, and taking one more trip to the car to grab our cases of water. Around 4 in the afternoon, rage mode initiated. We found ourselves at Main Stage with DJ Chuckie. Before I go any futher, let me just say that Main Stage was f*cking insane. You could literally stay there from 12pm to 2am (the entire day) and never be disappointed. The amount of raw energy, flawless DJ sets, and stage production, was literally incomparable to any other music festival I have attended. We were in a trance for hours, catching the best sets I have ever heard from Fedde Le Grand, Porter Robinson, Sebastian Ingrosso, and Tiesto. While all of the house music was ‘next-level’ we migrated to the Dim Mak Stage, to catch Dirtyphonics and Borgore. Dirtyphonics LIVE was very impressive and do I even have to introduce Borgore? Let’s just say our Dreamcatcher totem was bouncing so hard that it literally destroyed itself and evolved into a rage stick. Day 1, done.

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Day 2: Zach woke me up sometime around 10am for something that had us salivating for weeks. Our boys and lovers, the Chainsmokers, were the first set of the day at 12:30. Were we front row with a Bassmonster flag and an American flag? Yes. :) Was their set one of the best of the weekend? Yes. :) These boys deserve all the success in the world.

We literally needed a few hours to recover from the most epic wake and bass I have ever experienced, but after a good meal and drink, we wanted more bass. Oh, there’s a stage called ‘All Your Bass Are Belong To Us’? Perfect. Bass Church was hot and grimy, with sets from Figure, Delta Heavy, and Zomboy. Back to mainstage for some Calvin Harris, then to the Fools Gold Clubhouse for RL Grime. I would like to note that I experienced the craziest kind of bliss and euphoria during this set. Around 10:30, with 15 minutes left in his set (which topped his legendary Camp Bisco set), fireworks began going off behind the stage, and lit up the sky as they reflected on the lake behind him as well. This stage was set like an amphitheater, on a slight slant so everyone in the crowd has a great view. He proceeded to drop Flosstradamus’ production ‘Underground Anthem’ and I went absolutely bonkers. In the middle of an amazing crowd, time seemed to stop and the visuals and audio quality made it one of my favorite concert experiences, ever. My mind was literally blown, so of course I swung by main stage to catch a glimpse of Afroki (Afrojack + Steve Aoki) before crashing for the night. The rest of the crew continued raging for AraabMuzik, Rusko, and Excision. Bless their souls. Day 2, success.

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Day 3: Sunday, the grand finale. I had more schedule conflicts than ever, and my whole body was sore.

Did I care? No. :) Did I go straight to the OWSLA Stage? Yes. :)

Kill Paris, KOAN Sound, and Seven Lions set up a pretty good afternoon in my book. As the sun began to set, Main Stage was calling us. Could Nicky Romero and Hardwell top their performances from Ultra earlier this year? It’s debatable, but those are some dirty boys. Bootleg after bootleg and remix after remix, the Tomorrowworld crowd was bouncing the entire time from front row to the back of the hill. There was a definite possibility that my heartrate would be stuck at 128 bpm after their sets, and I was content with my house music fix. I love my crew because we were all on the same page about where we wanted to be for the rest of the night. As tough at it was, not Main Stage, not OWSLA, not Dirty Dutch, and not Q-dance. We’re about that Mad Decent life. All hail Paper Diamond, Dillon Francis, and Diplo. I was very impressed with Paper Diamond, it’s inspiring to see how his style has developed and meshed with his new trap style to create something unique from everyone else in the game. Who did we see next? What’s his name? DJ Hanzel? And where’s his dad? The man, the legend, the animal, and the beast, Dillon Francis is literally at the top of his game, and THE game. I’ll argue that his set at Tomorrowworld might be the best of his career. On top of that, a typical Dillon Francis crowd is just as weird as him, and the stage was in the exact same spot as the Fool’s Gold Clubhouse the night before.

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Dillon is currently working on a new album, and he was literally dropping track after track that I had never heard before and the crowd was loving it. From deep ravey house cuts to trap and moombahton, it was one of the most well rounded sets I have ever heard from any multi-genre DJ. Best part of his set? How about the 10:30 fireworks again during his ‘Bird Machine’ edit. It was absolutely filthy.

At the end of his set, I walked to the back hill to see if I could spot our entire crew since we were scattered throughout the crowd. By some sort of miracle, I did, and we gathered, and we raged, one last time, for the finale of Tomorrowworld, with one of the hardest-working, most-respected DJ’s in the world, Diplo. This man has so many bangers in his back pocket, I can’t even begin to critique his set. Who am I to judge Diplo? The man is in the Guinness Book of World Records for the World’s Largest Twerk Wall. All I know is that I was smiling during the entire set, and just had one of the best weekends of my entire life. Take me back.

Top 3 Best Memories at TW:

1. Front row for The Chainsmokers set, wasted at 12:30 in the afternoon, and them closing out their set with ‘Disclosure – You & Me (Flume Remix) (Chainsmokers Edit)

2. Dillon Francis dropping ‘DJ Snake – Bird Machine’ and ‘Terio -Ooo Kill Em (CAKED UP Remix)’ with fireworks in the background

3. RL Grime dropping ‘Flosstradamus – Underground Anthem’ with fireworks in the background

Favorite Sets:

Camp Bisco 2013 Recap

CAMP BISCO. New York. Mariaville. Pattersonville. Backroads. The LINE TO GET IN. Security. Bikers. Dirt. Mud.

My crew: Nava [Hemp Heads Krew] (GA), Brittany (TN), and Mike (PA).

The epic roadtrip began Wednesday morning around 7:00 AM from Downtown Atlanta. I had a 20 hour road trip ahead of me, and little did I know this would turn out to be my most memorable music festival I ever experienced. I also had no idea that the friends I would pick up along the way would become a permanent part of my fam.

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We arrived at Camp Bisco at approximately (everything in the post is approximately :) ) 6:00 AM to a line of cars that stretched over 3 miles long. The sun began to rise, and the Bisco fam was nothing but smiles. “Bisco Kids” are a combination of die-hard ‘Biscuitheads’ (Disco Biscuit fans), super ‘heady kids’, and ‘ragers.’ Soon enough, we realized the line was barely moving. I hopped on the Bisco FB page to see a list of complaints about long waits and poorly organized entrance security. After almost 6 hours, we were in.

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We found our camping spot to the left of the BIG Tent, next to the “facilities.” Seriously, the porta-potties were right next to us; so, it was convenient to explain to new friends, where our campsite was located, and having a bathroom nearby was convenient, but DAMN, those doors were slamming shut 24/7, which led us to realize – Camp Bisco was moving full steam ahead.

I had OWSLA, hotdogs, and beer on my mind. Beer was basically the one necessity that I forgot to bring. Luckily, there was a general store on the other side of camp (felt like two miles away) that you could purchase a 30-rack of hoppy nectar for a premium price. I assumed the $30 would guarantee a stronger box, but I only had two beer causalities as I marched across camp with the blue boys.

Thursday was kind of a blur for me. However, forty-something hours without sleep, spreading joy around camp, and getting blasted by Team OWSLA is something I will never forget. One of my favorite sets from the weekend was in the Label Tent with RL Grime. No joke, it was literally the sweatiest, grimiest trap set I have ever witnessed (AND I LIVE IN ATLANTA). My night was one for the record books after catching an always-bangin’ set from Flux Pavilion and then witnessing the biggest set I’ve ever seen from Dillon Francis, which converted the tent into an insane rave, while he was joined by Flosstradamus = ‘DILLSTRADAMUS.’

Day 1, success.

image(2)On Friday morning, nearly everyone had that look on their face of either, ‘What happened last night?’ or ‘I think I took too much.’ I’m not sure if there’s a better way to spend Friday afternoon than catching your first set from Toro Y Moi at the front rail of the Mainstage.

For obvious reasons, I was having a great weekend so far. You could find me bouncing all around wearing bright orange Camp Bisco Camp Counselor t-shirt. I had stickers in one pocket, buttons in another, and a bunch of water bottles in my backpack. If you looked sad or tired, I really tried to find you. If you got treated, I hope I made your weekend just a little bit better.

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As the day progressed, it really was magical to see the collection of people that made the epic pilgrimage to upstate New York. It was so special to see old festie friends reunited and expand the love even further. I caught some awesome sets from Popeska, Clockwork, and Wolfgang Gartner before heading back to the campsite to mentally prepare myself for the upcoming religious experience on tonight’s radar: Thievery Corporation (Animal Collective’s replacement) opening up for BASSNECTAR. I could literally feel the anxiety in the air; it was so thick that I could drink it in a cup. Lorin’s set at Bisco wasn’t just another ‘Nectar set.’ He’s a Camp Bisco legend and has probably been to Camp more times than me and you combined. Literally, I was heading back to my campsite before Thievery even started, and it seemed like literally everyone at Bisco was marching to Mainstage to secure a spot for his set.

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Every Nectar show is different. The BNF (Bassnectar Family) showed up in full attendance, and no one could have predicted the tunes he planned to drop. There was a few classics here and there, but he mainly debuted new samples and bangers that FELT like a combination of his old Beatbox stuff and new Nectar womp. At one point during his set I found myself in the middle of VIP with Chris Weld (from MCP Presents) to my right, Greg Mike and ABV Crew in front of me, a kid sitting on a blanket headbanging with his eyes closed to my left, and some old-school Bisco Staff with glowsticks in their dreadlocks, jumping up and down on a golf cart behind me. I still have that vivid image burned into my mind.

This was the peak of my night, but that peak went even higher as Baauer was next in the BIG Tent. This was my fourth time seeing the man [the legend], and by far, my favorite set. I’m still not sure how big the BIG Tent really was, but it felt like 10,000 people. I’ll just admit it now…I’m a Baauer fanboy, and I was listening to the Harlem Shake before when you were in diapers :). This producer is known for his unique sounds, samples, and energy, and holy shit, did he come prepared with all guns blazin’. Even I only recognized half of the bombs in his set.

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The tent was muddy, packed, and happy. I was mainly bouncing around the back of the BIG Tent, and I remember catching smiles from the incoming BNF Family, as if they looked pleasantly surprised by the amount of fire being dropped by Baauer. The strobes were bright, and the silhouette of Baauer with his hat backwards, jersey on, just killin’ it, as he laid down an edit of one of my new favorite tracks (that I’ve had on repeat since Friday): Miguel- Do You Like Drugs (Cashmere Cat Remix), was life-affirming. He grabbed the mic, “CAMP BISCO, DO Y’ALL LIKE DRUGS? … … … ME TOO.” The place erupted.

Trying to piece my mind together, I caught some of Lotus and Destroid before calling it a night. Both were impressive, and I have to say, I thought Destroid was pretty silly… until they dropped a cover/remix of Mayhem & Antiserum’s ‘Bricksquad Anthem.’  I get it.

Day 2, success.

SATURDAY. The last day. If the whole weekend wasn’t going hard enough already, everyone knew they had to throw down on the last day. There was even an invasion of maybe 2,000 – 3,000 more attendees, who only purchased Saturday tickets. While security and the bikers had been struggling with communication and good cop/bad cop all weekend, I remember a biker ‘fist bumping’ me before I entered the venue that afternoon without even checking my backpack. Either they recognized me by now, or just didn’t care, so it was fine by me.

I finally caught a set from HeRobust, and he blew my expectations out of the water. In my mind, I imagined him playing a unique-sounding trap set with heavy ATL influences. Instead, he opened up with like 20-30 minutes of brutal and heavy Excision-like dubstep. It was so very tasty.

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Call me Daft Punk, as I proceeded to ‘Get Lucky,’ and get a picture of Danny Brown and meet him at the ABV Art Pyramid, cheesin’ in front of his signature portrait, re-created by Madsteez.

I caught 30 minutes of Zed’s Dead’s sunrise set, and of course, no complaints. I headed to the restroom before heading to the BIG Tent for Crizzly’s set and who did I run into? Crizzly. So sick. My crew continued up to Camp HQ to get some waterbottles to hand out in the back of the BIG Tent during Crizzly’s set. Let me just say, Crizzly is the King of Crunkstep. It’s his genre, and he runs it. Everyone else, take notes, and yeah, he loves ‘Ass & Titties.’

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Into the night, the Biscuits were next on the radar. When I say “on the radar,” I’m not even kidding. I bet the NSA was watching their laser light show from outerspace – I had never seen anything like it before. I found myself in the middle of the crowd with Mike to my left, and a new Hawaiian friend that I met, who was sitting on the ground playing bongos to the beat.

After the Biscuits, the Bisco Fam began to disperse in all directions, some chilled at the mainstage, some went back to camp, some went to Tommy Trash and Madeon. I was one of those ‘chillin,’ but my night was about to blastoff with Boombox in the Label Tent. If I couldn’t speak highly enough of them after IMPULSE, Boombox left my jaw on the floor, and my feet in the mud… again. Their trance-like funk groove is exactly the medicine that everyone needed after a long weekend. There was literally steam pummeling out from inside of the tent, and you could find all of the late-night crew here. I remember spending half of their set dancing and the other half just contemplating how awesome Bisco has been and how it can be even better next year. Then, we got another suprise – a secret closing set from Zoogma. They weren’t able to play earlier in the day because one of the Mainstages actually collapsed sometime during the night after Nectar’s set (I know, right?).

Day 3, success.

My only complaints were the long entrance wait and the sketchy security checkpoints. However, I think everyone had a safe and enjoyable time. RAGE ON, BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE. I can’t wait for next year. Thank you to EVERYONE that made this festival possible or even just attended. <3

BISCO FAM, WHERE YOU AT?

-Ross

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