There used to be this festival in Texas…this magical thing called Nocturnal that sort of came and went. It sprouted up and brought with it acts like Pretty Lights, Rusko, Zeds Dead, Excision, Kaskade and Bassnectar. After just two years, it was gone and left us folks here in central Texas saying “What?! Why…” because it was an amazing, life changing, one-of-a-kind festival out in the middle of nowhere where losing yourself was not only a goal, but almost involuntary. It left an impression on not only me, but a lot of other people my age who were just coming in to their EDM maturity, and ever since, we have been waiting for someone to bring back a festival that would fill the gaping void in our hearts that Nocturnal left…
I am more than overjoyed to inform the masses that the remedy has arrived: Euphoria Music Festival just completed its 3rd and biggest year yet at Carson Creek Ranch just outside of Austin, Texas and let me say that it completely exceeded my expectations. I attended Euphoria last year when it was at a smaller venue in New Braunfuls and did not include camping, and I certainly enjoyed it, but this year’s set up was worlds away from where this festival was at last year. The festival grounds included 3 stages (one of which was set on the actual creek), food trucks, multiple beverage stations, an enormous artist and VIP lounge, and art installations galore. Camp grounds were fully equipped with a late night music tent, general store, showers, and bathrooms well above the usual port-o-can standard (as a female, I cannot express the extreme value of this fact alone). Every aspect of the festival layout and camp grounds were generally headache free, which is a blessing when these things are usually the last part you want to worry about and yet somehow, the most important.
Experiencing the art was a very big part of Euphoria this year. Beside every stage, artists could be found creating masterpieces to the beat of the music. Towards the back of the festival grounds, a huge pop-up art gallery housed paintings, sculptures, crystal wraps, music and holistic workshops that every festival goer could enjoy. SpraTX, a local graffiti art organization, was in attendance and working on a beautiful piece that looked to be about 15×15 and full of colorful creativity. Various types of body-inspired art could be found at the multiple yoga session held throughout the festival by Austin-based studio Black Swan Yoga.
The amazing, diverse lineup is really where Euphoria went above and beyond. The weekend really kicked off before the festival gates even opened, at a pre-party in Downtown Austin that featured Jack Beats and AC Slater, an extreme amount of bottle service and a packed dance floor – an added aspect to the festival that you can’t get in remote locations. When the festival did get underway on Friday afternoon, the line-up at hand was more than enough to please any variation of EDM fan. Keys & Krates and Styles & Complete brought the trap, The Motet, Sunsquabi, Earphunk, and Boombox brought the funk, Beats Antique brought the absolute weird, and to top it all off, you had Singularity, KOAN Sound, Mitis, and of course, Zeds Dead to deliver the heavy bass. We were able to mix it up and catch a good variety of everything on Friday, closing out the night/bringing in the morning with the jams at the late night tent and Groove Bus in the camp grounds.
Saturday was jammed packed with solid talent as well, starting off with 14 year old (yes, FOURTEEN) Elle Morgan; this girl was not only tearing it up on the decks but also busting out a serious shuffle on stage in her pink Doc Martens. The day continued with sets from Eminence Ensemble, the incredibly hot porn-star-turned-DJ, Jessie Andrews, TYDi and Bonobo. The night really heated up as the sun began to set and The Crystal Method took the stage, followed by great sets from MAKJ, Opiuo, Gareth Emery and Lotus. The festival headliners concluded with probably the wildest set of the entire weekend from Austin’s own Bro Safari, whose ratchet tunes blared until the powers at be had to literally cut him off around 2:30am to end the night.
Euphoria Music Festival 2014 was, without a doubt, nothing short of amazing. Everyone who attended seemed to be in agreement that Euphoria has filled the Nocturnal-shaped hole in our souls and brought something new, and potentially better to the table. The combination of location, art, people and music makes this young festival not only unique, but also makes this event a major player in rising festival across the country. We are personally very excited for the future of this Texas fest and cannot wait to see what’s in store for EMF in the years to come.
See y’all next year!
By Ms. Devin Friedman
Head of Communications