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Favorite ThisWhat The Festival Review / White River Canyon, OR / 7.27.12 (Day 1)

Published: August 9, 2012
Article By: Gracie Roberts ; Photos By: Mason Trinca (

What The Festival came to life from July 27 to 29 in White River Canyon, Oregon, an expanse of natural beauty that lies about 100 miles east of Portland. After months of diligent promotion, attendees were itching to experience the grandeur of What The Festival that had yet to be seen. The suspense was high as festival goers made the drive into White River Canyon, but even the highest of expectations were transcended the moment they laid eyes on the picturesque spot that they would call home for the next few days.
WTF emerged as a dark horse in the festival world, as it was bravely hosted on a private piece of land and was put on by a relatively small team of producers and volunteers. These elements, however, turned out to be the things that made What The Festival into the mind-blowing event that exceeded the predictions of everyone involved.

After getting settled into the campgrounds onsite, attendees began to wander into the festival, where music started at 3 p.m. In addition to the WTF and Effin Stages that presented the main artist line-up for the weekend, What The Festival offered the LOL Stage -- a third platform for local entertainment and workshops that took place throughout all hours of the day and night.
Star Slinger was the first big name on the WTF Stage’s Friday bill. Born Darren Williams in Nottingham, Star Slinger has made a name for himself through producing big-sound beats with influences from R&B and hip-hop genres. Star Slinger has only been active as an artist for approximately two years, but in this short time, this Brit has gained attention from leading media outlets, including Pitchfork Media, SPIN Magazine, and BBC Radio. Williams offered a diverse set to his WTF crowd, sampling everything from M.I.A.’s “Bucky Done Gun” and Daft Punk’s “One More Time” to the crowd favorite, “Crossroads” by Bones Thugs-N-Harmony. Lastly, Star Slinger made sure to include Nicky Minaj’s “Beez In The Trap” at the beginning and end of his set, pleasing all of his dedicated fans.
After a swift stage transition, the night’s mood shifted as Tigran Mimosa appeared as the first artist after sundown on the WTF Stage. As another upcoming name in West Coast music culture, Mimosa has proved his ability to navigate between dubstep and glitch hop genres in an efficient yet effortless manner. As he has made appearances at Burning Man and Symbiosis Gathering (both of which were huge influencers on the vibe and environment of WTF), What The Festival was the ideal destination for this young artist. In the middle of his 75-minute set packed with bass and shook the ground beneath the crowd’s feet, Mimosa dropped a new track, “Swerve,” for the crowd to get their groove on. He also featured his own remixes of Darude’s “Sandstorm” and Above & Beyond’s “Sun & Moon” for good measure.
Without a word, David Satori, Tommy Cappel, and Zoe Jakes of Beats Antique came into view on the WTF stage in a cloud of mystifying fog. This trio commands a fusion of organic, world, and electronic music that results in a hybrid sound that is known and loved by all Beats Antique fans. These unique musicians have been doing their thing since 2007, and six full-length albums later, Beats Antique flourishes as an exotic, sensual experience for the eyes and ears of all onlookers. Zoe Jakes mesmerized the crowd with her customary belly dancing, even striking the Lion yoga pose to further hype up the crowd. Jakes, along with a few additional dancers, backed up the group’s evocative music with their breathtaking choreography. Tracks including “Egyptic,” “Cat Skillz,” and the unmistakable “Nesatovo” made for a performance that never failed to engage the audience.
Over at the Effin Stage, What The Festival attendees moved in time underneath what appeared to be an oversized sun shade. The Effin Stage housed many of the heavier beats of the weekend, featuring artists including Minnesota, NastyNasty, and MartyParty during the first night of the festival. At 2 a.m., Christian Srigley of the funky club duo Adventure Club took his place onstage. Adventure Club hails from Montreal and has risen to fame by producing ear-catching remixes and dubstep beats. During his solid hour in the spotlight, Srigley bombed the audience with some of the Club’s most adored tracks, including original remixes of Foxes’ “Youth,” Lips’ “Everything To Me,” “Summit” by Skrillex featuring Ellie Goulding, and Alvin Risk’s spin on Kaskade’s “Eyes.” Srigley showed off his ability to remix top EDM tracks with ease as he turned up the heat in the venue and always kept the audience on their feet.

Check out reviews from the other days of the festival:

What The Festival Review - Day 2 (7.28.12)

What The Festival Review - Day 3 (7.29.12)

Tags: BreaksDrum and BassDubstepGlitchHip HopDowntempoLivetronica