The last weekend of April FestPop headed back to the Nevada Desert for our second helping of one of our favorite festivals, Further Future. The radically different music, technology and wellness festival was amazing, taking it up a notch from their initial voyage last year.
Before we get started, let’s get one thing out of the way. There’s been a lot of recent press about Further Future already, some of it great and some not so great, and I want to address a few things. Let me be clear, Further Future is not Burning Man. We do understand the comparison though. For example, Robot Heart, one of the well known Burning Man camps started the event. At FestPop, we love and respect the Burning Man movement and while there are similarities and connections between the two events, they really shouldn’t be compared. Not everyone is prepared for the nine days of intense self-reliance in the desert that Burning Man requires. Some people want an awesome experience that is similar in many ways, but also affords them some ease and luxury as well (plus a lot of other amazing things!). Some people want to be able to arrive to a cool Horizon tent including A/C, ready and waiting for them. They might want to enjoy delicious Poutine, get a massage, enjoy a gourmet pop-up dinner or plug in their RV. Some might even want a huge luxury tent that comes equipped with a personal concierge. We can appreciate and enjoy both kinds of experiences and want you to choose according to your tastes. End Rant.
Further Future was super easy to get to. The festival is about about 50 miles north of Las Vegas, so a quick 40 minute drive. If you’re flying into town, there are regularly scheduled shuttles from McCarran International Airport to the festival grounds. We drove from San Diego, which is about a five hour drive, but towing an RV it took us about six. It should be mentioned that if you drive to Further Future, vehicle and/or RV passes must be purchased and are in limited supply. Gates opened at 1:00pm on Friday and we arrived about 3:00pm. The entry process was super organized and it took about 15 minutes to get into the event. That includes picking up our press wristbands from will call and having our trailer inspected by security. If you purchased wristbands in advance (or didn’t have an RV) you’d be through in less than 5 min. We were quickly directed to our camping area and were parked in minutes. The process of getting in was much better smoother than the previous year, which was great.
After getting set up, we headed into the festival and immediately noticed things seemed a little less spread out than the previous year. We also noticed right away the event was more structured than before. There were fences and security, generally just a lot more organized than last year. There was a central vendor’s area decorated with strands of string lights that almost looked like a circus tent, and a small central stage nearby. We explored for a bit and enjoyed sounds courtesy of Idjut Boys, Anchor Song and Daedelus (who played a super high energy set), then checked out a talk from iHeartRadio Founder Bob Pittman on the future of media. Sunset yoga was happening as well.
Around the time we were enjoying a set from DJ Tennis, ominous clouds that had been gathering all evening gave way to some light rain and a lot of lightening. As we were grabbing some delicious eats from Poutine Your Mouth, security started moving everyone towards the gates moving people away from the structures for safety reasons. The exit was handled well, except for one security employee who was way too stressed about the situation. She was shouting, “Don’t scan out, JUST GO!” as if we were all about to be killed. LOL. The rest of the night was a bit on again, off again as we were treated to amazing light shows both by Further Future and Mother Nature, plus a lot of rain. The schedule got a little screwy and to be honest, I couldn’t tell who was on which stage and when, but we danced away to amazing sounds throughout the night and into the sunrise. Some of the amazing artists we did (or didn’t) hear were Four Tet, Terry Francis, WhoMadeWho, Rampue, Caribou and and amazing sunrise set at the Robot Heart stage from Dixon. At one point, the lasers being shot across the festival were modulating at the same frequency as the rain that was falling and it looked like a neon ocean was frozen above our heads… INSANE!
Saturday morning came and we were starving. Luckily, there were a wide variety of delicious food options at Further Future. Vendors included SLO-Boy, District One, Makers & Finders Coffee, QFS Tacos, Grassroots (amazing cold pressed juice) Dragon Grille and our personal favorite, Poutine Your Mouth. There were also amazing gourmet chefs offering fancy pop up dinners throughout the weekend. The featured chefs included Frank Gorriceta of Nobu, Jason Neroni of The Rose, Arthur Tsui of Three Dice Kitchen, Michael Bryant of The Rig and Sam Marvin of Echo & Rig, reprising his cuisine from FF001. Some of the dishes served were Moroccan spiced lamb shoulder, charred octopus, and king crab ponzu. We recommend bringing some snacks of your own, especially for the middle of the night or if you’re trying to save cash. Speaking of cash, Further Future is a completely cashless event. All transactions are done by connecting a credit card to your RFID-enabled wristband through the festival website. It’s a genius way to do things. The festival is 21+, which means you don’t need to show ID after entry, and you don’t have to carry cash or a wallet that you might lose.
Saturday morning was beautiful. The rain from the night before had killed off all the dust that typically plagues these desert events and the ground was soft on your feet. The weather during the day was off and on rain with one really heavy period of wind, rain and some hail that had us feeling extremely happy we were staying in an RV and not a tent. I expect the tents available for purchase from the festival would have kept you dry, but the conditions looked a bit rough for those that were staying in their own tents. As far as accommodations are concerned, the options were plentiful at Further Future ranging from camping to luxury Habitas tent suites. I won’t list them all, but you can check them out for yourself here. We spent the day bouncing all around the festival and enjoyed music from Kid Koala, Spacebyrdz, Inland Knights, Derrick Carter, Hauschka, Raeo and many more.
In the later part of the afternoon, the Vision Speaker Series took place at the Booba Cosmica stage. We caught talks on the future of luxury, cannabis, brain health, AI, messaging, and life from speakers including Simon Westcott, Jane West, Adam Gazzaley, Stan Chudnovsky and Riccardo Sabatini. We were also treated to a Q&A session with Executive Chairman of Alphabet, Eric Schmidt, covering topics like AI, drones, and the web. I’ll link to the full speaker series list here.
As the sun set on Further Future, the clouds finally began to clear. By 9pm or so we had a clear sky full of stars. We kicked off the evening with The Pharcyde, who felt a bit out of place at this festival, but played an awesome set that the crowd loved. Pattern Drama, Nicolas Jaar, Satori and others took us to midnight when the Robot Heart stage became the place to be. YokoO, Kimball Collins and Lee Burridge took us to sunrise and our minds were blown. The crowd was amazing and the music was unbelievable.
After day broke on Sunday Further Futurists were treated to the sounds of Frank & Tony, Tropic of Cancer, Time Love Lee, Talal, Jane Fitz and many more. The day was clear, gorgeous and hot, without a trace of rain for the first day of the festival. The Techne Talk series took place in the Creator’s Lounge during the day and yoga and meditation sessions were happening as well. The Easy All-Stars took us to sunset and HVOB got the evening going with the Robot Heart Sunrise Afterparty kicking off shortly after 10pm. Sadly, these voyagers had the head back to civilization Sunday and didn’t get to stay through to Monday Morning, but from what we’ve heard, the rest of Sunday was fantastic. Our second trip to Further Future was somehow even better than the first and this festival is quickly becoming one of our perennial favorites. We can’t wait to get back next year and highly recommend you all join us!
FestPop Co-Founder Robert Swisher
FestPop Staff Writer Brianna Huntoon
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