Get the feeling that most US music festivals are starting to look the same? Similar lineups, similar crowds and competing production will do that. Thankfully, a European invasion is coming to a historic festival ground near you (if you live in the greater NYC area), and aims to fix that next summer.
Mysteryland is the pinnacle of music, culture and art wrapped up into a historic festival running for 20 years strong outside of Amsterdam. The famed ID&T festival (aka production moguls responsible for Sensation and Tomorrowland) "really lays its emphasis on the cultural and creative side behind electronic music," says ID&T creative team leader Jeroen Jansen. "Its about the music of course. The music is a very important element, but 60 to 70 percent is focused on the movement, the artistic movements behind electronic music, nightlife and festival culture."
Musically, the festival features an incredibly diverse lineup spanning over 10 stages on a physical footprint larger than the massive Tomorrowland. Fans of the harder styles as well as the more laid-back, lounge-y sounds are all "doing their thing and have a real good time. [Different styles/crowds] never clashes with each other, so there is a very organic flow, just the way it should be," says Lotte Anna Lebens, Marketing manager of ID&T North American (and responsible for the last 4 years of Mysteryland, including the more recent Chilean edition).
Typically, festivals focus on the big-names, the crowd pleasers and the massive production. Mysteryland satisfies this criteria, but it's truly a festival of the unexpected little things. Everywhere you go you'll find something new and unexpected, whether it's a hidden club behind a massive stage, a karaoke bar open to any and all, or even a massage parlor. Head of festival production, Ed Overvest, explains how "it's not just a tent or a stage with dance music; it's the total vibe you see around. You can go to little spots and places all around the venue and make your own party, and it's not about big names, it's about the experience."
In order to embrace this phenomena, we at VIBE wandered the festival and compiled the following list of lessons learned in order to properly experience Mysteryland.
Memorial Day 2014, Mysteryland hits the US becoming the first full festival (we're talking three days and camping) to hit the famed Woodstock '69 festival grounds since Woodstock itself. Make sure to be there for a game-changer of an event. ->
Photo credit: AJR Photography