On May Day 2015 the new concept music, technology and vision festival known as Further Future was born and we were fortunate enough to be in the desert outside Las Vegas to witness its birth. A child of the well-known Burning Man camp, Robot Heart, the one-of-a-kind festival was conceived by the founders to combine the connective power of music and art to bring people together in a place where they can shed their anxieties and fears, and touch a natural state of happiness. The fledgling festival featured a well curated collection of artists, visionary speakers, culinary creators, wellness, spas, yoga, and other sensory experiences.
When we arrived at Further Future on Friday evening we were a bit surprised to find that setup was very much still under way. The festival faced some unfortunate challenges over the weeks leading up to the event including a last minute change of venue from a location near Lake Mead to the Moapa Indian Reservation. Just 45 minutes from the Vegas Strip, the landscape conjured up an image of some kind of Martian landscape, very appropriate for a voyage into the future! While we settled into the camping area, there were workers all around setting up what I refer to as “chill out pods”, making structural changes to the main stage and completing the build on an alternate stage that would later serve as the location for the vision speakers on Saturday. There were already quite a few cars in the designated parking area, as well as tents pitched and RVs parked, but there was a decidedly empty feeling that first night. We learned later that the invite-only, 21+ event offered a Saturday arrival pass for nearly 50% off. There were definitely some advantages to arriving early before the crowds as all the musical sets felt very intimate with a large setting and less people. We even got the chance to meet Astro Teller, Captain of Moonshots at Google[x], and chatted about SXSW, his talk planned for the next day, self-driving cars and Burning Man (and of course FestPop too!).
We took the time to explore the grounds and check out all the amenities including furnished luxury tents, workshops, yoga, full spa services, hair styling in a pop-up luxury village, and gourmet food. Both RV passes and standard camping were available in addition to the luxury air-conditioned tents available for reservation (they went fast so book early!). Food offerings included vendors like Chef Chris Palmeri’s Naked City Pizza, Poutine Your Mouth, Desnudo’s Tacos, Naked City Hotdog Cart and GrassRoots Juice Bar & Kiosk. Adult beverages were available from Beer Station by Motley Brews, Chill Out Bar, and Mezcal Bar by Mezcal Amores.
Also featured was a pop-up luxury dinner with wine pairing from Celebrity Chef Sam Marvin. The event featured three large constructed stages (Mothership, Booba Cosmica and The Void) and a fourth, a Burning Man Favorite, the Robot Heart Art Car. Portapotties were plentiful and well spread out as were free water stations, which would prove to be much needed in the heat of the following days. Free showers had been promised on the website and event guide, but we never saw any (likely a casualty of the venue change). There was even a designated helipad for those arriving by helicopter! Another great feature of Further Future was the fact the event was completely cashless. Each attendee received a RFID wristband which could be loaded up with funds via the Further Future site online or at the on-site charge up station. A reusable water bottle was also provided to make sure every attendee was able to stay hydrated. We took advantage of the spacious venues and danced into the dawn to the sounds of Actress, FaltyDL, Warpaint and ZHU.
The sun rose early Saturday and Further Future really got into full swing. More festival-goers arrived as the sun heated up the desert and the music from artists like Com Truise, Clarian, Loscil and Eric Cloutier rolled on. It was hot, really hot. One thing the future could have used was a bit more shade, but water was plentiful. Around noon there was a period of a few hours of quiet time before the Vision Speakers and more music began at 2:00pm. We were treated to thoughts on the future from Astro Teller, the aforementioned Captain of Moonshots at Google[x]; Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh; Soundcloud Co-founders Alex Ljung and Eric Wahlforss and others (we needed a break from the sun and weren’t able to see all the rest). As the sun began to set, Further Future really hit its stride. The obligatory costume change happened once night had fallen and like the skies overhead, Further Future became a little bit darker vision of the future. The audio system at the main stage was insane. Standing in the center of the crowd the bass rattled your entire body and the visual displays were incredible. We once again danced through the night with sets from Hundred Waters, Damian Lazarus, Lone, Yppah, Rhyne, Bedouin and The Orb, capping it all off with a sunrise set from Thug fucker. Our minds were blown. We came, we saw, we burned.
Unfortunately we had to end our trip to the future a little early and had to pack up Sunday, but for those who were able to stay through the night till Monday morning there was plenty more music to enjoy. The drive back to civilization gave us time to reflect on all we had experienced and we cannot wait to return next year for version 2.0 of the unique and forward thinking festival!
Update: The initial list of musical artists for Further Future 002 has just been announced and you can see them here.
FestPop Co-Founder Robert Swisher
FestPop Staff Writer Brianna Huntoon
Email comments to: Press@FestPop.com