We did it.
DOPEBOY: Shoutout to New Earth Music Hall! Not only was the entire staff very helpful and friendly, but the place looked awesome. We couldn’t have asked for better weather. At New Earth, the outside area featured a popup stage that just blasted bass into the sky of Athens. This new outdoor area features a few wooden seating areas separated by some greenery, hanging light fixtures zig-zagging across the patio, and an outdoor bar! The inside area featured one large main stage space and a backroom area with the main bar. This venue really was the perfect size for the crowd that showed up – I’m guessing around 1,000 people. At the end of the night, it was crowded, but you could always find a spot to dance or get some fresh air, if you needed it.
MR. RAGER: With two different stages, Wired Music Festival 2013 took over the New Earth Music Hall in true eager style with an outdoor festival feel with an indoor original main stage. You might be looking for the tell-tale festival attributes (go-go dancers towering over the pit, or sparklers and lasers shooting smoke into the clear, night sky), but this was anything but normal. Large artistic installations lined the walls, giving a down-to-earth, urban vibe, and there was a lone armchair in the corner that RATCHET swears that sitting in that chair during Smookie Illson was one of the top five craziest experiences with acoustics, as the bass bounced off the walls and shook his world in waves of sonic earthquakes.
DOPEBOY: As the sun went down, you could grab a beer, have a conversation at the bar, get blasted by some sound and lights, or catch a live ultraviolet painting in the back corner. I’m not sure when this guy left, but cheers to him for setting up shop at New Earth as the only live painter. It always nice to see the addition of unique visual artists at festivals and shows. Back on the main stage, we caught very impressive sets from Organik, Hyperion, and Natasha Fox. These DJs are all very underrated, and within no time the crowd began to grow larger and larger. Shoutout to the lighting crew – they were killin’ it by 7pm.
PROF. RATCHET: The lights outside and inside were breathtaking. Whether it was the ultraviolet paint exhibit (shown above) or the high-intensity lasers on the outdoor stage, the production of each installation was exquisite. There was better lighting outside under the overhanging light fixtures, but the dirty things happened inside by the main stage. Each set leading up to the headliners (MUST DIE! and Smookie Illson) were unique in both style and crunkness, but as the primary focus for all artists seemed to be “bass and rage,” we couldn’t help but constantly move. The age-old adage is so true – when the lights go down, the ratchet comes out to play. Athens had some wonderful people in attendance, which led to one of my favorite live event experiences in Georgia to-date.
[MK Ultra on Main Stage, Saturday Night]
DOPEBOY: Suddenly, as if the heavens opened up above us, MK Ultra was lowered to the stage in beam of light and bass. She was goin’ in, and looked f***ing beautiful as usual. I love catching sets from MK Ultra because she is so genuine and talented, you can feel the energy in the space. There’s something very special about not only her track selection, but her presence. It’s only a matter of time before she explodes. On top of everything, she came down into the crowd after her set, so fans and friends got a chance to talk to the rising star.
RAGER: I was speechless after MK Ultra did dirty things to my mind. You can just feel the love she bears for her fans as she went from “on-stage performer” to “in-crowd supporter” without any difficulty. After I gave her a side hug and a sticker, I fought the urge to be starstruck (couldn’t help it) and appreciated how her set turned this festival up on its head. When Angry Digweed came on the stage, it was game over. Shirts started flying, sweat started dripping, and innocence was left at the door. Game on.
[Angry Digweed on Main Stage, Saturday Night]
DOPEBOY: Flexin’ and finessin.’ It was 10pm, and Angry Digweed took the main stage. He played a dirty combo of rave trap and hype. College girls were dancing on speakers and the crowd couldn’t help but turn up. I have to be completely honest that I thought Angry Digweed was Smookie Illson for a minute (he was that good), until I looked at my clock. The beats were hard the party was in full effect.
RATCHET: Yeah, we were confused about this one, but when you tear a crowd up like this, being confused for a “major player” is to be expected. S/O to Flash. If you weren’t ready for big things, this was the point where we knew we weren’t coming back to Earth for a few more hours. Asses were shakin’, and sex eyes were EVERYWHERE = Athens was turnt.
[Smookie Illson on Main Stage, Saturday Night]
DOPEBOY: Grab your Pokeballs. A wild Smookie Illson just appeared! This rare and nearly debut sighting of Smookie Illson literally tore the club up. Flawless back-to-back mixing from the team of two could have had a crowd larger than the population of Athens bouncing. The nasty and unqiue set laid down by the duo was much more than ‘trap music.’ The amount of creative productions left me in awe with a feeling that these guys have been putting in work at the studio and really perfecting their craft. It was energizing to witness their twerk-like build-ups, chopped vocal drops, and future sound. I remember anxiously awaiting the their track ‘Club Action,’ and the second I heard the familiar sound, I turned to the crowd and smiled like a f***ing little schoolboy. No one could anticipate the level of crunk that was about to happen. I can’t wait to see/catch these boys live again soon.
RATCHET: Whenever I hear a track by Smookie Illson, I imagine what the track would be like in a live setting. Will it be as impressive? Will it steal the show? Will it live up? Let me save you some time. They do. Literally. It got so dirty that I had to excuse myself to go wash my hands. For a first time live performance, Smookie Illson were dropping panties on the dance floor, like an original Don (the true OG). We expect their live career to blossom like wildflowers.
[DJ Sorted in the Backroom, Saturday Night]
DOPEBOY: After a noise complaint on the outside stage, the entire festival moved inside the venue. Ployd took the stage in the backroom and in typical-Ployd-fashion, no one was safe. He always delivers, and you never know what he’s going to do next. The place was packed like sardines, but nobody was complaining. After Ployd, we caught a set from the legendary DJ Sorted. This guy has opened up for Knife Party and Borgore and just being able to catch him in a small room with a large supply of Sweetwater Beer was almost too good to be true. I ran into him on Friday Night at a local show and remember asking him what to expect from Athens. Without hesitation said he always loves playing for the Athens crowd. No questions asked, on Saturday night, he shut it down. I’m still laughing at the facial expression of the guy’s face standing in front of Sorted just staring at him.
[MUST DIE! on Main Stage, Saturday Night]
DOPEBOY: Oh MUST DIE. You dirty boy. The most anticipated set of the night. It was hard for me to take photos of MUST DIE. Why? Because I couldn’t stand still. MUST DIE blasted the New Earth Music Hall with banger after banger. As soon as he dropped one bomb, he was building another in the background. The highlight for me was looking around at the end of his set to see nearly everyone sweaty and just trying to catch their breath. The bros at the front of the pit were shirtless and just dying to give MUST DIE a high five. It was one hell of a roller coaster ride and this was the grand finale.
RAGER: Expect to see MUST DIE! headlining your festivals in the near future. Honestly, I’m always shocked by how little this guy tours, especially for how massive his productions are. When you hear back-to-back tracks of slaying baselines and killer synth leads, you just know exactly why you became a fan of his in the first place. You compare other artists (especially the ones that were on the stage before him), but you know this guy is one-of-a-kind in both demeanor and presence. He destroys you, but you are sitting there begging him to do it. It’s a unique situation, but as satisfying as it is, we expect the demand for his live events to skyrocket (if they haven’t already). I <3 MUST DIE!
[MUST DIE! on Main Stage, Saturday Night]
DOPEBOY: I mean, the guy is a machine (or alien, but I really don’t think he’s human) and produces so many incredible tracks – it really is mind-blowing to hear one after the other in succession. Of course the place went absolutely bonkers when he dropped ‘The Final Cut,’ ‘The Drop,’ and one of his new tracks from the upcoming Fever Dream EP, coming out July 8th. He’s literally one of my top 3 favorite DJs AND producers. Success.
RAGER: A festival you should all experience. Just goes to show you that it’s not about the size.
Thank you so much to all the extremely helpful and friendly staff at New Earth Music Hall, as well as the WIRED staff who helped set up and make sure everything was running very smoothly. Moreover, it was very exciting to meet and greet with some of the DJs and I can’t wait to work with you guys in the future. WIRED was most definitely an impressive showcase of local and regional talent in the electronic music scene. See you next year! -Ross