Published: September 24, 2013
Story by: Becca Bradshaw
Photos by: Zakary Littrell
In the heart of the midwest, just outside downtown Kansas City, MO, rowdy festi-goers swarmed the 17-acre Richard L. Berkley Riverside Park to pitch in one last hoo-rah for the season at the second annual Dancefestopia Music Festival 2013.
Pulling off the highway on Friday, Sept. 13, not far from the towering buildings of Kansas City’s beautiful skyline, I could see a large yellow sign posted hill-side which read “DANCEFESTOPIA!”
Finally we had made it! Excitement and butterflies engulfed my stomach as we drove the windy Riverfront Road to a small covered stand at the opening of moderately large gravel parking lot lined with cars. We waited patiently for our turn to purchase a $10 all-day parking pass and be moved along with the directed traffic. Once parked, geared up, and ready to embark on the two-day adventure, we follow the crowds to a pint-sized red rectangular building. WILL CALL, CREDIT, CASH, read posted signs along the windows. WILL CALL! That’s us! Springing into our line we cross our fingers and hope there are no printing errors (every event goer’s will call nightmare). Successful, wristbands secured, we glide through security check, enter the front gates, look straight towards the main stage and began exploring what was to be our wonderland for the next two-days.
Vendors lined the left side of the park, which led directly to the area where Main Stage stood sinister in a colossal field adjacent from the riverside. To the right of the Main Stage sat the meet and greet tent leading you to the towering 30ft giant airbag jump as well as additional row of vendors facing Main Stage constructing a mini-wall, squaring off the main area. Following a cement walkway to the far right-end of the park, guided you to the camping area and the second stage. The second stage, housing mostly locals and contest winners was unfortunately, immensely smaller in size and production than the main stage. However, we had conquered the land, time to get crazy and groove into the night!
Coming in a little late (due to wandering) we ran across the grassy knolls of the main area to catch RJD2’s high-energy performance at main stage, RJ does not miss a beat even with the sun still up!
I must say, the next act made it to one of my hi-lights of the weekend. Double duos reigning from LA, gLAdiator (Dan & Ian) and LOUDPVCK (Kenny & Ryan) went b2b putting on a two hour-long twerk-inducing trap-fest! It was in plain view they were having just as much fun as the crowd, which grew and grew with every track they dropped. Feeling pumped I ran to meet LOUDPVCK and gLAdiator as they finished their set. Chatting with the guys made me adore them even more! They were all here because they were passionately driven by the music, just like all of us. Never a dull moment around the foursome, all quick-witted comedians, genuine and down to earth. They treasured their fans and every second of each moment presented!
Moving back into the crowd (vaster in number as the sun was setting) I caught the backend of young dj 3LAU’s set as he shook up the place with his infamous mashups and remixes. Thereafter the stage was handed over to the sexy sax king himself, GRiZ! I find it necessary to state, being my 6th or 7th Griz show, not once have I witnessed a performance that wasn’t equally, if not more so, funkadelic, sensual, or vigorously spirited than the last! When Mad Liberation was dropped it was as if Griz was the snake charmer and the audience serpents being entranced and hypnotized, then full throttle let loose, unleashing the ragebeast inside! Afterward, feeling the need to cool off a tad, we purchased some brewskis, and journeyed to check out the 30ft blob-like airbag jump, which was more than I could handle. The tower consisted of two levels of metal stairs. Jumping off the first tier stood a challenge enough for me as I watched thrill seekers and daredevils doing aerial twist and front flips off the 30ft platform!
Midnight struck as we made our way back through the sea of bodies. We migrated towards the stage as close as we could to see the young gun, electro entity Porter Robinson! Porter put on a performance every bit as magical as I’d fantasized. His set included a plethora of hits like “Spitfire,” “Unison,” “Say my Name,” “100% in the Bitch,” and “Language,” amongst a top-notch level of production, lasers, and visualizers. Truly constructing a world of wonder, leaving the audience mesmerized and awestruck.
We stuck around for part of DJ BL3ND then trailed round the park a tad longer before heading back to the hotel to snag some zz’s before day 2 of DMF!
We kicked off Saturday afternoon with hard-hitters HeRobust and Break Science. The Main Stage already engulfed with people upon our arrival. Every soul present, even the security and event staff were getting funkified! We loaded up on refreshments and hurried through the Marlboro tent to stockpile on smokes then moseyed up to main stage to catch Minnesota. Christian Bauhofer’s set was an absolute blast! His liveliness on stage and expertise at cascading diverse tracks together certainly sealed the deal on behalf of my first Minnesota show! Christian never stopped smiling during, and had an alluring charm about him, generating a familiar aura you felt you knew. Gazing to the left of the stage, it was obvious Hayden Kramer (Herobust) was feeling Christian’s set as well as he was seen jammin’, supporting his pal on the sideline.
Gramatik (Denis and Eric) up next erupted the stage with an explosion of molten sounds of hip-hop, soul and funky beats even your grandma couldn’t resist.
Following was Doctor P, whom I have been anxiously awaiting to cross off my “must-see” list; Doctor P took me to an 8-bit bass ridden bliss with tracks “Tetris,” “Big Boss,” and “The Champagne Bop.” The Doctor’s set was, was a womp-worthy dose of abrasive bass, intense synth hooks, and relentless drum loops!
Mac Miller followed by Wiz Khalifa overtook the stage for the next almost four hours. The change in pace was enjoyably chill and sanctioned us to revitalize. However, Wiz Khalifa did not manage to make his appearance onstage until nearly a full hour past schedule. Unfortunately this triggered Canadian duo, Adventure Club’s set to be shaved down to a mere 45minutes. Anyhow members of Adventure Club, Christian and Leighton, have a knack for feeling out their audience, which producing an astronomical show bursting with emotion and powerful finale; a mashup of “Crave You” and Lana Del Rey’s “Summertime Sadness”!
We ended the evening with the psychedelic, electro charms of Infected Mushroom (who’s set was also cut short) and electronic jamband Lotus. Looking back now I regret not spending a little more time at the second stage supporting and discovering fresh talent, however I had an amazing time, which will never be forgotten.
Line-up (Main Stage)
Meet & Greet with artist
Production Level (Main Stage)
Attractions (Airbag & Dunk Tank)
Free snack bins around the park
Plenty of clean Porto-potties
Friendly/Helpful Event Staff & Security
Second Stage (Production Level)
No Fill Stations
VIP Area (Too similar to General Admission, which was easily and often snuck into anyway)
Artist set’s getting cut
Every music festival finds kinks they must work out, no matter how seasoned. Dancefestopia Music Festival is making progress; I would say they far surpassed their year one festival. I am excited to see what heights they will reach at DMF 2014!
DubstepHip HopElectroHouseLivetronicaGlitchDrum and Bass