In the middle of March, we loaded up our cars and headed to New Orleans, Louisiana for BUKU! With New Orleans being one of the biggest party cities and known for their crazy shenanigans during Mardi Gras, we were excited for this new adventure. The festival was help March 13th-14th – the same weekend as St. Patty’s celebration.
As we entered the festival, I noticed a really cool hangout area made of rope on an incline where people were relaxing and talking. There was an awesome walkway covered in graffiti art that led to some stairs where you could go up and overlook the main stage. The main stage was the first stage in sight as we entered the festival. There was plenty of space for everyone as it was outside and open. The weather was perfect which made the viewing experience even more enjoyable. There were plenty of food and drink stands surrounding main stage, which made it easy for people to grab a drink or food while still enjoying the music.
Another thing that immediately stood out to me was the vibe of the festival. There were very few people sporting fuzzy boots and arm candy. It seems as if everyone there was dressed pretty casual and the energy people gave off was very chill. This was a nice change of pace and was appealing to a 23-year-old raver who has been in the scene and attending festivals for several years now.
The festival was 18 and up, yet there was a wide range of ages attending the festival. To the left of the main stage, there was a VIP boat. This boat had its own stage on the bottom floor. The middle floor had a bar and seating area on one side. On the other side there was a blue e-cig spin wheel where people could spin the wheel to win cool prizes. There was also a Blue cig stand where festie-goers could get a free Blu e-cig. Blu did a great job at sponsoring this event. For those who weren’t VIP, there was a Blu stand located outside of the boat for attendees to grab an e-cig. In the boat there was also a photo booth where photos were printed and given out to guests as soon as they were taken. The third floor of the boat was open for guests to overlook the main stage. There was also another bar located up on the top deck. Another great thing about VIP- unlimited alcohol! If you had a VIP wristband, you were able to have as many drinks as you wanted on the boat, a great perk included in the VIP package. The stage on the bottom deck of the boat had artists including Slow Magic, Big Frieda, Mija, Boyfriend on the first day and Goldlink, Hermitude, Bixel Boys and Gravity A on the second day.
On the first day the main stage, referred to as The Power Plant, had artists including Big Frieda, STS9, A$AP Rocky and ended the night with Empire of the Sun. Empire of the Sun’s performance was magical as always. If you have never seen them perform live, this is definitely a group to experience. With their elaborate costumes, stage presence and feel good, happy music, this group is a one of a kind and always a pleasure to enjoy live. With the amount of times I have enjoyed jamming to Empire of the Sun in my car, listening to them in the car still doesn’t do them justice compared to what it is like to experience them live.
There were three other stages at the festival, the Float Den, the Ballroom and the Back Alley. The Back Alley stage was my personal favorite. The stage was open and overlooked the river. We were able to enjoy the view of the river and the stage was lit up in colorful cubes, dancing to the music. The first night Thomas Jack, Musa, Chriscross, Bob Moses and Jamie Jones played on this stage. The second night had artists including the Range, Benoit & Sergio, Justin Martin, B2B and Eats Everything. The other two stages, the Float Den and the Ballroom were covered stages.
In the Float Den Mr. Carmack, Claude VonStroke, Zomboy, RL Grime, Flosstradamus and Die Antwoord performed the first night. Die Antwoord blew me away with their performance. It is definitely a unique show to experience. The second night Slander, Odesza, Borgore, IloveMakonnen and Porter Robinson performed on this stage. Odesza put on an incredible performance with their happy, feel good melodic tunes. Odesza was definitely on of my favorites of the festival and a group that you must check out! Porter Robinson closed the stage with love in the air. He even played at an after party later that night. You can never get enough of Porter!
For transportation to and from the festival, we took cabs from our hotel. With the cab drivers knowing about the big weekend at Buku, they made themselves pretty accessable. The cabs were lined up outside of the festival when the festival was over.
The overall experience at BUKU was awesome! It was easy to get to and from the festival, the lineup was amazing and the overall vibe was great. People were friendly including the staff and we never had issues getting to where we needed to be. We also never had to deal with standing in line, as there were plenty of lines to enter the festival. You were also able to register your BUKU bracelet and take photos of kiosks located in various places throughout the festival. The photos would immediately be uploaded to your facebook. With fun activities including this and Blu e-cigs there were definitely some nice perks of the festival. I would recommend VIP for 21 and up because that open bar and private boat is definitely worth it. Until next year- BUKU!
Written by FestPop Staff Writer
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