INTRO – Headliners, etc.
Last Memorial Day Weekend, Mysteryland – the world’s longest running electronic music festival – made a fantastic United States debut in upstate New York’s Bethel Woods, home of the original 1969 Woodstock festival. The first multi-day festival to take place on the grounds in over 45 years, Mysteryland 2014 was a magical weekend for everyone lucky enough to make the trip to the “Holy Grounds,” myself included, and 2015 is shaping up to be even more amazing.
Headlined by Diplo, Dillon Francis, Empire of the Sun, and Kygo, attendees will also be graced by the presence of Porter Robinson, Netsky, Classix, Bob Moses, special-guest Madeon, Damian Lazarus, Beats Antique, Griz, Gramatik, Bro Safari, Klingande, Mija, Anna Lunoe, Goldroom, Moon Boots and many more. Get pumped – the warm weather and rolling hills of upstate NY are primed for one of the best (and somehow still under-the-radar) festivals of the summer.
Organized by ID&T – the team behind internationally renowned Tomorrowland, TomorrowWorld, and Sensation – chose to make Mysteryland the same weekend as another popular NY area festival: Electric Daisy Carnival, or more colloquially, EDC. Last year that fact was a bit of a concern for me: I was afraid the Mysteryland wouldn’t have the power to pull quality acts, or might miss drawing a sizable crowd. Boy, was I wrong. In addition to scoring top acts, the crowd in attendance last year was perfect. The coinciding timing alongside EDC, coupled with Mysterland’s 21+ rule, left the majority of the young, frustratingly rage-y, and, often inexperienced festival attendees sucking on their pacifiers in a NJ parking lot while Mysteryland peeps had an unforgettable Memorial Day weekend.
If there was ever a perfect place for a music festival, Bethel Woods, NY is it. There’s a magical air all around the hallowed history of Woodstock ’69 on the grounds. The lush, green, rolling hills give each path, booth and stage a unique identity and space. It’s unlike any festival I’ve attended before.
Organizers didn’t spare any cost in staging the grounds. Featuring elaborately crafted stages like the House of Cards main stage, above, and a personal favorite, The Boat, Mysteryland earns a 10/10 in construction and layout. Stage curators include Brooklyn’s top house and techno nightclub, Verboten, NYC’s legendary Webster Hall, performance art mainstay BangOn!NYC and many many more. More on the stages and curators here.
In terms of Food & Drink, the festival features an expanded vendor area with everything from BBQ to vegan grub, with breweries serving up reasonably priced suds. Making a reappearance, and hopefully without another minor glitch, is mobile payments via your concert wristband. Add money to your band after entrance, and tap-to-pay at any vendor booths around the festival. Pro tip: don’t throw too much money on your wristband: you can always refill, and getting a refund post-festival is a longer process.
Attendees can take a bus from one of four pickup locations: NYC Grand Central Station, JFK and LGA airports, New Jersey-Newark airport, downtown Philadelphia. For tickets and more info, check out their transportation provider’s website: BusBank Mysteryland.
Unlike massive festivals, eg: Bonnaroo, where “on site” camping comes with a 45 minute walk back to your tent, everything at Mysteryland is within an 20-25 minute away. At the time of writing, on-site camping at the Holy Grounds was 90% sold out. Here’s the details for on-site camping:
- Tent-only camping. This means no cars, parking is available near the festival grounds and parking passes are available for sale. Pack intelligently to save time: last year saw some attendees making 2-3 trips to their car to unpack/pack.
- Campgrounds include “The Plaza Central” featuring a variety of food, beverage and craft vendors.
- There are lockers, bathroom facilities, showers, camping entertainment and camping pre-parties on Friday for early arrivers.
- BYOT: on-site camping passes enable anyone to bring their own tent, and as you can see in the photo below, you’ll be setup alongside other campers, so no 20’x30’ tarp covered camps.
- One-stop shop, “Easy Tents” available: Mysteryland branded pre-set up tents with: a 2 person airbed and 2 sleeping bags in the Easy Tent section of the Holy Ground camping site. Yours to keep and take home, too! Bundled ticket packages are including either 2 Nomad Weekend tickets or 2 Bohemium Premium with an Easy Tent.
- Premium, “Bohemium Premium Lodges” available: fully furnished luxury tents with fully equipped (real!) beds at the Lodge Village. All bohemium lodge purchases come with an on-site concierge, free lockers, restrooms, and exclusive showers. If you are traveling by car, the package includes 1 VIP parking pass (front row parking)!
Bethel Woods and the surrounding areas play host to some of the best camping in the upstate New York area. A short 15 minute ride down the road is Landers River, where I stayed last year. Shuttles run back and forth to the venue every 20 minutes in a relatively painless manner.
Showers are available and camping plots are a healthy 50’x50’ space that can accommodate up to 10 people. When booked, camping space is guaranteed. Exact site locations within the campground are given out on a first come first serve basis upon arrival. You can find more info here and book your plot online here. Note: since it’s a holiday weekend, there are more than just festival goers at the campsite. Last year that didn’t present any major issues as Mysteryland attendees cornered off about 65% of the campsites and kept it cordial.
If you’re looking for an authentic and memorable festival experience this summer, Mysteryland 2015 should be the top of your list (especially if you’re in the NYC area)! The amazing lineup, incredible space, and top-notch organization makes it a top pick for the whole summer festival season. Tickets are still available, here.
Written by FestPop Staff Writer
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