Hangout 2019: Beach Music Fest Returns to Gulf Shores

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With 2018 in the books, FestivalPulse dives deeper into the spring festival lineup. Up first, Hangout Music Festival taking place May 17th – 19th in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

The Lineup – Three Must See Headliners

Travis Scott – He is concluding his Astroworld Tour Circuit with a few stops at prominent festivals. His highly acclaimed album Astroworld continues his unique blend of pleasing pop-rap. “Sicko Mode” is an unforgettable track. It’s chaotic combination with Drake features multiple time changes and is widely lauded as one of the albums biggest hits. Stargazing” feature Scott’s memorable lyrics alongside trap beats, recalling his 2016 album Birds on the Track Sing McKnight.

The crowd is bound to be rocking as Scott is sure to hype up the crowd to follow his lyric “and it ain’t a mosh pit if ain’t no injuries.”

Khalid – Khalid has continued his rise to the top with the release of his newest album Suncity. “Saturday” and “Better” feature Khalid’s powerful vocals alongside melodic synths. Although Khalid is no longer a teen, his lyrics resonate with the young generation, which are sure to be out in full force at Hangout. Other fan favorites like “Young Dumb and Broke” and “American Teen” are groves that will sway the festival goers as they soak up the sun.

Kygo – The Norwegian Deep House producer has plenty of smooth dance hits to quench the dance needs of the Hangout festival goers. His most recent single “Happy Now” has quickly taken to the Top 40 charts and boasts lively keyboard beats that have become a staple of his work. Fans can expect a deep lineup of hits as he has 9 songs with over 90,000,000 plays according to spotify.

The Lineup – Three Undercards to Watch

Superorganism – This indie-electronic group has risen to prominence over the last two years. The band is a seemingly eclectic collection of members: eight different countries are represented each with different musical backgrounds. This results in a splendidly idiosyncratic blend of eccentric pop grooves. “Something for your M.I.N.D” and “Everybody Wants to be Famous” are their biggest hits that feature seemingly unrelated audio samples that blend into a cacophony of electronic chaos that leaves you with an unyielding desire to hear it again. Given their recent surge into the spotlight, they will be an act you do not want to miss.

Mura Musa – This is another Indie-Electronic performer that features a wide array of electro-pop tracks. His most popular track “Love$ick” featuring A$AP Rocky has amassed nearly 200,000,000 plays on spotify. Other fan favorites are “Firefly” and “Complicated” that include upbeat synth riffs paired with thumping bass beats.

Bazzi – A Michigan native who has been making his name in the pop industry. Getting his start on youtube singing covers, he has thrived in newfound spotlight with his hit single “Mind.” His soulful voice effortlessly blends R&B, pop, and rap. He will surely be a must watch as he enters the prime of the festival season.

The Festival – Three Must Try Events

Roller Disco – Unleash your inner 80s and do a few laps on the old roller skating rink. Nothing exemplifies relaxation more than roller skating with the ocean breeze through your hair.

Beach Volleyball – Find some new friends on the volleyball court. This classic beach sport is a great way to spend the time between sets, and maybe you can climb the ladder to be the king of the court!

Wedding Chapel – During the weekend check out the wedding tent and you might be able to see newlyweds taking their vows! Real weddings will be performed and you can witness it all from the beach!

Interested in attending?  3 Day passes start from $279 and can be purchased here.

 

Lost Paradise, Sydney’s Real New Years Experience

Thousands of voices echoed through Glenworth valley as festival goers celebrated the new year, which ultimately marked the end of another successful festival. If you missed the unforgettable experience, Festival Pulse has you covered! Also, we recommend that you keep an eye out for next year’s early bird tickets.

Best of the sets

Lost Paradise headliners like The Kooks and MIA attracted large crowds; however, smaller artists stole the show. Furnace and the Fundamentals performed a set beyond anything we’ve ever seen before. Starting with an empty audience, the band lured thousands of bystanders to their stage by belting out the intro to the Lion King. They redefined the meaning of a cover band by playing hit after hit. They kept the audience captivated with impressive mashups and synchronized dancing. Other bands like Ball Park Music and Young Franco pulled equally large crowds.

Attention on Oz

America’s music industry needs to keep an eye on the land down under because there are many artists poised to take over in 2019. Peking Duk, Australia’s version of the Chainsmokers, performed an unbelievable New Years set. Their drops, pyrotechnics, and energy attracted the largest crowd out of the entire festival. Their unique set opened with a music video and included an interesting acoustic-electronic version of Let You Down.

Tash Sultana is adored in the United States, but not in the way that Australia loves her. Tash’s live performance differs from her recorded songs. Each song is drawn out into long entrancing loops as she layers her guitar and beats on top of each other. Her charismatic confidence and energy is felt throughout the crowd as she dances across the stage. At the beginning of her performance, Tash shared a heartfelt message with the crowd in respect to a festival goer who passed away earlier in the weekend.

Another name to look out for is Vera Blue who is redefining Australia’s music scene. Her angelical folk-pop cut through the night as she performed Settle. During her concert, fans waved feminist signs that mirror the women’s empowerment theme of Vera Blue’s most recent album, All The Pretty Girls.

Workshops

While the music attracted a large crowd, there was a sub population that came to Lost Paradise for the workshops. At all hours of the day, the yoga tents were filled with people learning new practices. Each course varied in difficulty – from novice meditation to strength based acro-yoga.

Lost Paradise also supported cultural sustainability by offering workshops with aboriginals. Festival goers could attend conversations and presentations throughout the entire festival. For our American readers, Australia’s aboriginal population has experienced a similar story to the Native Americans in the United States. It’s a constant battle for Australia to incorporate their culture in modern life, making this a significant statement.

Sustainability Driven

Many festivals promote eco-friendly practices; however, we rarely see festival goers execute on these goals. With that said, Lost Paradise is an exception. Through an innovative recycle incentive program, the festival successfully encouraged attendees to return their beer cans to designated tents. The program is designed so that you are credited $1 (AUD) when you return an empty can. This encouraged people to return their cans and even scavenge for littered cans. Some festival goers were seen returning 50+ cans, which was more than enough to pay for food and a few drinks.

Expectations Exceeded

From a superb lineup to stellar workshops, Lost Paradise was an exceptional experience. The organizers maintained top tier bathroom/shower facilities, their scheduling app was intuitive, and their medical staff was on point. If you’re looking for a great New Year’s experience, then look no further — Glenworth Valley and Lost Paradise will steal your heart. Festival Pulse is looking forward to next year!

Ring in the New Year with Sydney’s Lost Paradise Festival

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Lost Paradise returns to Sydney for another unimaginable New Year’s celebration! Find your vibe from December 28th– January 1st with impressive headliners like The Kooks, M.I.A, Joey Bada$$, and Oz native, Tash Sultana. The fifth edition of Lost Paradise promises “a mind-blowing four day and night celebration of life, love, and fun” where you can “feed your soul with music, art, revelry, connection, and discovery.”

Tickets

3 day pass – $369 including camping

4 day pass – Sold Out

Breakdown

The festival boasts three fantastic venues. With so many great bands, it’s tough to decide which concert to attend, but don’t worry – we have you covered!

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Arcadia Stage

The biggest venue of the three, Arcadia stage, gets the most popular artists like British indie-pop legends, the Kooks.  You also have woke American rapper, Joey Bada$$, who’s politically charged lyrics will convince you to fly back to America to fight injustice. A little piece of advice for our American readers, don’t overlook Aussie stars like Ball Park Music and Tash Sultana. You may not know of them (yet), but they will surprise you with a similar sound to Boy & Bear and Tame Impala, respectively.

Lost City

Arguably our favorite stage, Lost City, hosts the electric and house sounds that we crave. Our recommendation is that you listen to Biceps, Young Franco, and Yotto. Don’t forget to see Foals, the legendary math rock band that made the genre accessible to the public

Paradise Club

This venue is for the soul searcher who love underground music. It features UK Artist, Flava D who is coming off a stellar UK tour. Other notable artists include Elijah Something & Nate S.U, Side Boob, and SOHM.

The Bigger Picture

 Lost Paradise is more than a music festival. Hosted in a scenic forest with a beckoning stream, the venue is designed to remind us of our roots. With a strong emphasis on sustainability, art, and spirituality, Lost Paradise attracts a conscious crowd. This isn’t just a publicity stunt, the festival has gone ‘the extra kilometer’ to ensure their actions are in parallel with their marketing. Whether it’s their “remove your tent” competition or filtering recycling from trash bins by hand, you can rest assured that Lost Paradise has the well-being of the world in mind.

Lost Festival is a fantastic event to support. For our American readers, it’s time to take that trip you have been dreaming about. Life is short, live it up while you can!

 

 

Star-Studded Folk Lineup at Charleston’s High Water Music Fest

In its third year, Charleston’s High Water Fest comes back bigger and better than ever with an all-star lineup of indie folk favorites. The two day fest takes place in North Charleston’s scenic Riverfront Park on the weekend of April 13th and 14th.

The festival includes crowd pleasing favorites in the headliner spot, including the curators of the festival, Charleston-based folk duo Shovels & Rope.  Hot R&B artist Leon Bridges fills one of the headlining spots, coming off his recent record Good Thing.  Folk heavyweights The Head & The Heart fill out the last headlining spot with their indie-folk  sounds, sure to please die hard fans and casual listeners alike.

In addition to a solid lineup of headliners, well-known folk icons line the undercard lineup. Famed midwesterner folk group Lord Huron, 60’s infused indie band Dr. Dog, rising indie-rocker Mitski (hot off her recent sold-out North America tour) and Mathew Houck’s Phosphorescent are notable highlights from a high quality undercard lineup.

The festival also includes a number of quintessentially southern experiences to augment the stellar music lineup.  Recharge with some old fashioned southern libations and regionally-themed eats at the The Refuge retreat.  Learn all things shellfish at oyster education classes.  Enjoy a low-country boil, southern deserts and a bucolic environment at the low tide social on Friday April 12th.

Weekend passes start at $159.50 + fees.  Experience passes can be purchased for $55 + fees.  Both can be found at the High Water ticketing page here.

 

With Politics, Emotion & Empowerment, D.C.’s All Things Go Fest Rocked Union Market

As the weekend comes to a close, D.C.’s All Things Go wraps up another excellent festival featuring some of the music industry’s current breakout artists. This year’s rendition, curated by Maggie Rogers and Lizzy Plapinger (LPX), focused on the empowerment of women and spread awareness for inequalities in the music industry. Near the end of Maggie Rogers’ performance on Saturday night, the two spoke of their desire to create the perfect music festival that enabled promising young artists to share their thoughts regarding the importance of a positive body image and foster an attitude of empowerment among both the artists and their fans. Billie Eilish, Maggie Rogers, Betty Who, and Carly Rae Jepsen openly expressed their desire for women to not limit their goals because of their gender.

Maggie Rogers expressed frustration that women are often referred to as “Women Songwriters” or “Women Musicians.” She insisted that women should be thought of as “Artists” and “Musicians” instead to foster an attitude of equality among artists. Additionally, Billie Eilish commented on the great potential of young girls and reinforced the idea that nothing should restrain them from setting ambitious goals. Eilish has herself defied many boundaries by making a name for herself in the Indie Pop industry at the young age of 16. During her set she reinforced to her fans the idea that each individual should have complete autonomy over their actions, regardless of their age, race, or gender.

Billie Eilish Performing “Ocean Eyes”

Not only did the theme of women’s empowerment remain strong throughout the weekend, but the current political situation also inspired some showcases of discontent regarding the recent decision made in the appointing of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Maggie Rogers mentioned that she had a “difficult day” because of the decision to confirm Kavanaugh as a justice. During her final song, Rogers displayed a picture of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford to signal her stance of standing with those who have been impacted by sexual misconduct. The crowd immediately reacted to the image with cheers as it impassioned the audience for Rogers’ final song. Billie Eilish commented on the situation by declaring that the senate were a “bunch of b******” and that the senators displayed “some of the smallest d*** energy I have ever seen.” Near the beginning of her set, Eilish led the audience in a chant of “F*** Brett Cavanaugh” while giving the finger. Most of the audience joined into the rallying call, which served to inspire additional passion among the crowd.

Other artists responded to this situation with disdain and attempted to not focus on the difficult decisions that were made in the past, but rather focus on the potential positive possibilities for the future. Emotions were certainly running high throughout the festival, but the artists were able to lead the festival goers to use their emotions to create an electric atmosphere as the artists rocked Union Market.

Best of the Sets

Saturday featured a stunning set by Billie Eilish, with fans packed to the gills to see the 16 year old phenom come to the District. In the middle of the set, she played a surprisingly charming cover of Drake’s smash hit “Hotline Bling” that gradually morphed into her charming ballad “party favor.” Additionally, she performed her hit new single “you should see me in a crown,” to an enraptured audience. The set ended with a bang with the unique pop undertones of “COPYCAT.”

The great music kept on coming with a powerful set by Maggie Rogers. As the curator, she exuded an umistakable joy not only in performing, but also in the realization the festival came together this year. She also spoke about her unique background, where a viral video two years ago propelled her on the spotlight she now enjoys today. In the spirit of the moment, Maggie Rogers played the entirety of her unreleased album to a crowd of swaying onlookers feeling the spirit of the music absorb into their willing veins.

Maggie Rogers

Betty Who played a stunning set on Sunday, electrifying a packed audience at the venue. Seamless transitions combined with a seemingly unceasing energy led to an electric show that caused many onlookers, including the FestivalPulse staff, to forget the time.

Betty Who

The beauty of the All Things Go festival was the diversity and class of the lineup. As Maggie Rogers insightfully noted at her set, there lacked a competitive aspect to the weekend, and instead she noted the environment was more of a celebration. Each artist also maintained their unique style. Eilish’s unconventional indie pop resonated with the crowd, as did the genre-melding, joy-infusing Maggie Rogers. Betty Who put on a performance alongside her backup dancers. MisterWives played a set to remember with their strong stage presence and distinctive vocals. Last but certainly not least, Carly Rae Jepsen owned the stage as a seasoned performer belting global hits such as “Call Me Maybe” to more intimate yet undeniably catchy tracks like “Emotion.”

In addition to scintillating sets, All Things Go featured a diverse array of tents to appease both the taste buds and the prefrontal cortex. An excellent array of food vendors, including Deep Eddy Vodka, Shake Shack, Vice Cream, Buredo, Rocklands BBQ, Timber Pizza Co. & Sweetgreen provided some excellent food options (and they lacked the upcharge common at other internal venues (cough cough National Park)). There was also interactive art exhibits. Festival-goers could write & draw on an inflatable ball or watch artists paint.

 

 

Despite some lineup tumult, All Things Go continued to please music-lovers in the greater D.C. area. We can only hope it’s back and better than ever next year!

Misterwives Replaces Børns at All Things Go Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations

In light of recent allegations of sexual misconduct, the D.C. based All Things Go Festival recently announced that BØRNS will no longer be performing at the 2018 edition of the fest.

In addition to announcing BØRNS’s removal, they released a statement noting that: “We hope, in all years and especially this one, that the Fall Classic continues to be part of making the music world a better, more equal place.”

Garret Borns (Børns) has been accused of “grooming behavior” and manipulation of underage fans for sexual means. Two women have come forward on twitter to share their stories. @alyssaadaniele notes that he used manipulative techniques to gain her trust in a repeated series of interactions starting when she was 16. Furthermore, @kaliforxnia provided detailed documentation of her interactions with the singer as noted in this google doc.

This could not have been more topical as this year’s festival is showing a special focus on women, with the new initiative “Classic Conversations” set to showcase Women’s role in music and entrepreneurship with appearances from local entrepreneurs and artists with the likes of Maggie Rogers among others.

It was recently announced that NYC based indie pop band Misterwives will replace Børns in the sub headlining spot.  Despite the late addition, Misterwives is set to continue the indie pop theme of the festival with their unique combination of synth pop and folk. Their most prominent hits include “Reflections,” “Our Own House,” and their most recent album “Connect the Dots” has been well received with its smooth indie groves.

The new set times are as follows:

The D.C. All Things Go Festival is set to take place this weekend, Saturday October 6th and Sunday October 7th. Grab your tickets here.

DC’s All Things Go Fall Classic Returns to Union Market

Washington DC’s signature fall music festival returns once again to Union Market for two days of indie music (Saturday, October 6th and Sunday, October 7th).

Lineup

Saturday consists of an all-female lineup. This is part of the festival’s aim to highlight
innovative women in music and business. Maggie Rogers, the folk/R&B phenom belting emotion-twinged songs, co-headlines Saturday. She’s coming off her recently released single Give A Little (July 27th). Rogers is sharing the limelight with global pop phenom, Billie Eilish, who’s finishing up a full run of the festival circuit this summer. Her melancholy pop hits, including “idontwannabeyouanymore” and collaborations with hot artists such as Khalid have contributed to her meteoric ascendence into the zenith of pop consciousness, garnering an astounding 16.67 million monthly listeners on Spotify. Eilish’s young age (16) belies a strong stage presence and quirky, distinctive personality. Jessie Reyez, Rayvn Lenae, LPX, Alma, Oshun and Kaye fill the remainder of the lineup.

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BØRNS and Carly Rae Jepsen co-headline Sunday’s festivities. BØRNS, the Michigan-born indie pop artist is coming off the release of his 2018 album Blue Madonna. The sophomore album includes hits featured in Fifa, such as Faded Heart, and collaborations with Lana Del Ray for God Save Our Young Blood. Following a brief stint on television and on stage, Canadian pop star Carly Rae Jepsen returns back to concert performances with a US and Canadian tour, culminating in the All Things Go performance. Australian born indie pop artist Betty Who returns to the Union Market stage as a sub-headliner, along with Two Feet, The Aces, Cautious Clay, SNNY and Footsxcoles.

Classic Conversations

Classic Conversations
New this year, the All Things Go team hosts Classic Conversations at the Eaton Hotel from 5-8pm on Friday, October 5th. Self described as a “a multi-session event featuring conversations with innovative women in music & business,” the event is divided into a Women x Music and Women x Entrepreneurship session. In the first session, come hear from headliner Maggie Rogers, Lizzy Plapinger, curator of Saturday’s lineup, music executives and VICE News reporter Gaby Wilson. In the second session, hear from the Women’s March President, The Lemon Collective Founder, and many more female entrepreneurs making waves in the industry. It is a free event and RSVP’s are required.

Interested in attending All Things Go? Ticketing info can be found here.

GA 2 Day Advance $89

GA 1 Day Advance $59

VIP 2 day $229

VIP 1 day $129

Considering a single show at the Anthem will run you over $60, these prices are a steal so snag them while you can.

 

 

You might also like..

Last Year’s Coverage of the All Things Go Fest https://festivalpulse.com/2017/10/10/jam-packed-weekend-at-d-c-s-all-things-go-festival/

 

The Dream Summer Festival Has Arrived in New York: Here’s Your Complete Guide To Governor’s Ball

Crowds dance in the sunshine at 2014's GovernorsPhoto Credit: GovBall NYC

This article is like bottled water. While it doesn’t contain anything you can’t find elsewhere, putting it in all in one place makes it much more convenient (and cleaner) than the slurping it from the faucet. Now, prepare your palettes for an all-inclusive download of GovBall.

Here’s some questions we’ve all been asking:

When? June 1st – 3rd, 2018.

What? A killer festival with arguably one of the best lineups of the year.

How much coin? GA 1-day passes are $115, 3-day are $305. Check here for GovBall tickets. Also check stubhub as tickets are routinely below $240 before fees.

What is Kanye doing? No one knows, he’s the physical embodiment of an enigma.

Coachella has officially kicked off the summer music festival season and we are in store for an amazing season of live music. Though this festival is in the big apple and distinctly lacks an iconic ferris wheel, it has a stacked cross-genre lineup. 60+ artists are lined up to play across four stages across in New York’s Randall’s Island.

If last year’s progression holds, it looks like wristbands should be mailed this week. Be warned though that once you put that band on, it won’t come off as many poor festival-goers have realized the hard way after wristbands were mailed last May.

Now that you have your ticket on the way, let’s dive into the nitty gritty to give you the complete update on all things GovBall before you head to this soon-to-be-legendary fest in the city that never sleeps.

Getting There

It’s placement in Randall’s Island sets up a pretty idyllic location for experiencing live music. The river nearby and relative isolation from the hustle and bustle of the city makes this venue an excellent venue. It also adds an additional layer of complexity.

Subway

Take the Subway to 125th street stop. From there you can take the x80 bus to the festival entrance.

Ferries

Ferries leave from East 35th St and run every 15 minutes the day of the festival and end once everyone is off of the island. 3 day tickets are $45 and one day is $18. As a repeated festival-goer, this is highly recommended for easy access to and from the festival. Ferry tickets can be found here.

Ridesharing/Taxi

Because parking isn’t allowed near the festival, this is also a good option for those far from the ferry.

Walk/Bike

For those who can’t get enough time on your feet during the festival, walking and biking is also an option. The Robert F. Kennedy bridge is accessible via a dedicated bike path.

The Festival’s Grounds

The festival is broken into four primary stages (GovBall NYC, Bacardi, American Eagle and Honda). GovBall NYC and Honda host the large headliners.

Funky art installations permeate the grounds and if you’re lucky, you can lounge on the grassy knoll near the famed GovBall letters. Among the many extra-musical activities offered is an available 36 hole mini golf course, lawn activities, lockers and water stations.

Like many of its peers, GovBall has gone cashless. Festival-goers can link their wristband with a credit card (only one though) and pay the day away at the myriad of beer gardens and food stands popping up around the festival.

Performance Schedule

Day 1

Headliner Highlights

Jack White begins his tour on the festival circuit with the Friday headlining gig. Coming off his 2018 album Boarding House Reach, he offers a rock-centric header that will please White Stripes and Jack White fans alike. Also notable in Friday’s lineup is the garage-rock sounds of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, James Blake and a recently announced “special performance” by teen heartthrob Shawn Mendes.

Undercard Highlight

Alvvays

A growing indie favorite, Alvvays’s lead singer Molly Rankin is coming off an excellent showing at The National Homecoming Fest in Cincinnati, Ohio. Prepare for delectable indie-pop hits with “Archie, Marry Me” and “In Undertow” among their slew of jams.

Day 2

Headliner Highlights

Travis Scott takes the lead spot on Saturday. Well known for his iconic trap anthems that emanate from fraternity houses around the country, he’s sure to play a varied mix from his successful 2016 record Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight to the recent release, Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho among his other rap-centric discography. Fan-favorite Halsey and Swedish electronic duo Galantis fill out the lineup as solid sub-headliners.

Undercard Highlight

GovBall showcases their mixed-genre lineup with the likes of Cut Copy and 2Chainz in the 5:00 time slot. Both stellar up & coming acts, they are sure to delight fans of their respective genres. Cut Copy’s aromatic, rock-synth sound is fully present on their 2017 record Haiku From Zero. 2Chainz ventures into the trap field with his recent album accurately entitled Pretty Girls Like Trap Music.

Day 3

Headliner Highlights

Eminem headlines the final day at GovBall as part of his tour of the summer festival circuit that includes the likes of Boston Calling, Bonnaroo, and Firefly. Sunday also features a solid series of sub-headliners with the inclusion of Lil Uzi Vert, Sylvan Esso, N.E.R.D., Chvrches and Khalid.

Undercard Highlight

Growing indie pop act Billie Eilish holds the early afternoon time slot on Sunday. Her diaphanous indie sound packs a strong punch and is set to please Eilish groupies and indie pop fans alike. Amine and Quinn XCII round out what is a packed day of strong acts on Sunday.

Late Night Lineup

Keep the tunes rolling with a packed lineup of evening performances from GovBall acts at clubs and bars around NYC in their After Dark Lineup. Acts include Cut Copy, Galantis, Vic Mensa and Amine among others. Tickets are a great deal – from $40 upwards. Get yours quick as many have already sold out.

Food

Looking for that trendy cookie dough spot? Perhaps a ramen burger or uniquely flavored doughnut? GovBall is a foodie’s delight with over 56 vendors located throughout the park serving a myriad of food options. They include quirky food essentials like Ramen Burgers and jap-mex tacos to trendy favorites like dō and John’s Juice. There also is an on-site beer garden and available craft cocktails for those over 21 to take a break and imbibe some delectable libations.

 

Countdown

The clock to GovBall is ticking down. Hope this guide has helped you prepare accordingly for one of the most highly sought after festivals this summer. If not, just like a bottle of water, you can take it and throw it in the nearest trash bin.

Until, June 1st, GovBall!

Interested in more FestivalPulse pieces? See our coverage of Cincinatti’s The National Homecoming Festival and breakdown of the spring festival season in our Spring Festival Roundup.

The National Prove That Homecomings Can Be Spectacular

The National’s Homecoming festival was designed with grownups in mind. Not a “see and be seen” festival like Coachella, Homecoming focused firmly on music. Organizers did things that are unheard of at other festivals which cater to a younger demographic, like serving beer and energy drinks in cans. There was no fear that cans would be hurled at the musicians at Homecoming!

Saturday started strong, with Brooklyn’s Lanz Projects. They treated attendees to an interesting mix of electronic and indie tunes.

Over on the West stage, Lord Huron brought the rock, and began their set with their new single “Ancient Names (Part One).” They gathered an increasingly large audience as they played their captivating indie tunes.

Multi-instrumentalist Sam Amidon’s set of haunting and beautiful songs was perfectly timed for the largely sunny weather.

The Breeders looked to be having a great time, and it was a family affair. Not only were the two Deal twin sisters on stage and beaming, but their brother was in the audience. Their set included songs from their new album, which was recorded in nearby Dayton, Kentucky. The sisters pointed toward the studio where they recorded, and said they could see it from the stage.

Unlike his 2015 Lollapalooza appearance, Father John Misty lead singer Josh Tillman was mostly quip-free during his performance. At that Lollapalooza Tillman said, “you guys ready for a …. ballad? That’s what gets you the 2:30 PM slot.” He played many of those same ballads, but at his Homecoming 7:00 p.m. slot. Happily, the band also played two just-released new songs, including the hilarious “Mr. Tillman.”

 

It was dark by the time The National hit the stage for their headlining set. And, like the Breeders, it was a family affair for the National too, with Matt Berninger’s mother at the show. Matt must be getting prepared for Mother’s Day, since he played what he said was his mother’s favorite song. In one notable moment, Matt jumped into the audience and ran to the bar and poured himself a drink. Our photographer managed to grab an image of Matt as he sprinted by.

Non-music activities were successful as well. Some food lines were long around dinner time, but most moved quickly. The ability to pay with a credit card was a plus. The only hiccup were the long lines to get into the festival Saturday afternoon.

The sun made frequent appearances. It was refreshing to occasionally be chilly rather than overheated at an ostensibly summer music festival.

Sunday afternoon performers included Lisa Hannigan, who sang beautiful songs, some acapella, and others with a strummed guitar. The bright sunlight and warmer weather on Sunday were a perfect fit for Lisa’s songs.

Big Thief played a captivating set of indie rock, sometimes sounding like a traditional rock band and other times sounding like a noise-rock band. Lead singer Adrianne Lenker’s voice held the songs together and brought a plaintive beauty to many of the tunes.

Future Islands lead singer Samuel T. Herring was on fire. After not playing a show for 4 months, they lept back into performing, turning in a blistering set with Herring’s signature (and meme-friendly) dance moves. At first glance, Herring looks like an average suburban father, but when the music starts, he transforms into something akin to a physically thicker Iggy Pop. His passion and energy were in no way diminished by the extra pounds he said that he put on during their hiatus from live performance.

Given her bright orange outfit, Feist could be seen across the expanse of the stage. She mixed older and newer songs into a captivating set that drew a large crowd.

Alvvays, the fresh-faced band from Canada, capped Sunday’s music on the East stage. They played to a rapt audience who clearly came to hear the songs from their recent album, as well as some old favorites from their debut. Many in the crowd sang along. Lead singer Molly Rankin greeted a fan who brought a home-made sign, to his obvious delight.

The members of the National were clearly not stressed about performing “The Boxer” in its entirety during night two. Unscripted and uninhibited, Matt Berringer’s anecdote about his father’s lone dance move was both funny and charming. I wasn’t sure if the hometown heroes could carry headlining two nights in a row. It was shown unequivocally to all in attendance that not only could they pull it off, but they also ruled the stage with fantastic songs and a sense of humor. The National’s Homecoming was a festival to remember!

National Homecoming Fest Releases Schedule & Set Times

Those of us that are festival veterans know what is in store when the list of bands for a festival is announced. You end up getting very excited to see all the bands, but then realize there is the inevitable horrible conflict when the festival organizers schedule your favorite bands to play at exactly the same time three quarters of a mile away from each other.

Happily, this is not the case with the Homecoming festival hosted by the National in Cincinnati the last weekend in April.  See the Information and Schedule.

In fact, Homecoming has done the opposite, making sure that bands don’t overlap. For example, if you want to see Feist and Alvvays on Sunday, no problem! Feist plays at 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. on the West Stage. Alvvays plays from 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. on the East Stage. (Homecoming hasn’t released the map of the park yet, but the stages shouldn’t be too far away.)

Avoiding bands playing at the same time is a huge bonus. Even if you have to sprint from one stage to another, you won’t miss much of a band’s set. It is much better than, say, Lollapalooza where for years my favorite bands would be playing at exactly the same time in what seemed like an entire state away. Getting across the vast expanse of the festival grounds entailed running a gauntlet of port-o-pot lines, napping-on-the-grass attendees and over-priced food vendors.

Homecoming should be cheered for not only scheduling a great line-up, but also for ensuring that all bands in the line-up have the opportunity to be seen by attendees!

Don’t forget about the great non-music activities at Homecoming also. Other events include an installation by ‘A Lot of Sorrow’ collaborator and Icelandic multimedia artist Ragnar Kjartansson at the Cincinnati Art Museum; a premiere of the Cincinnati Ballet with Eighth Blackbird, New York star Justin Peck, and Bryce Dessner; and a special photography exhibition featuring The National, to name a few.

We are really looking forward to this festival, and will provide a full recap of what looks to be a fantastic event!