Okay, so let me catch you up. This was my second year attending this particular festival, but my first year covering for The Hypist (thank you so much for the opportunity). This festival seems to be unlike any other. Euphoria Music Festival is located at Carson Creek Ranch in Austin, TX. A transformational festival that allows you to truly let go of your ego, material possessions, pride, hurt, etc. It is small, comfortable and loving, and this year they expanded and added some dope new amenities. Some of the new additions included an Art Outside Village and a Sonic Portal of gongs (eeeek, can’t wait to tell you about this) in the same area. Euphoria had plenty of freebies to offer as well, including free food, wine, t shirts, sunglasses, etc. There was a small amount of craziness in the beginning, which I will defend later. This year was bigger and better. Last year was dope, I thought it could not be topped other than that treacherous hill we were hiking up to reach our campgrounds, all camping supplies in hand (cart if you were lucky and got the memo). They sent out a notification that the hill had been taken care of, I was questioning what it was that they did to just make it disappear. I was thrilled and puzzled all in one glance at an Instagram post. This year was bigger and better. A spiritual awakening truly.

They actually completely reorganized the festival grounds, creating basically one large circle (a full circle if you were VIP) of fun. GA camping was located in the front, the festival gates themselves and the box office in very close proximity. This year Euphoria also added a sweet new choice of ticket tier that includes early entry. Not many people knew about this or maybe they did and preferred GA, but The Pasture was not very large, but it was not completely filled up at any time, much more room for activities and choice of placement. There were showers and porta potties conveniently located not far away from the entrance to The Pasture, so everyone that camped there FOR ONLY 30 EXTRA DOLLARS had the absolute hook up! They did not fill in the hole, they swapped GA with VIP camping and created an entirely different entrance to the campgrounds.
The box office was packed, I could see people around me growing more and more anxious/frustrated. I stood in line for a while and had to speak with the kind people behind the small laptops, they did what they could in arguably a very timely fashion considering most of what they were doing was involving a google sheet. Let me explain myself. Euphoria Music Festival, like many other festivals, gives many people the opportunity to go to their festival for free, upgrade their tickets to VIP, acquire free merch credits, etc. through promotion for their festival. All of the information concerning the promotion that you did is online and is more than likely on an Excel or Google Sheet file. They allow a lot of humans to attend this festival using this method, therefore that is a lot of states/names/colleges to filter through before passing your wristband over the table. This is such a wonderful thing that they do for us and we should not be anything but grateful! So in Euphoria’s defense, they were just being nice. I’m sure they will be even better next year. Don’t let that sway your opinion.

VIP was kind of a let down this year, other than the amazing viewing areas. The happy hour was not as good and there were no food trucks inside of the VIP lounge. I considered this a disappointment considering one of the reasons you buy VIP tickets is to be more likely to wait in line a little less overall. The campgrounds for VIP were on the hill, although there was a different entrance, if you were at Euphoria or have been before… I know you have seen that hill. Do not get me wrong, GA or VIP I am in either way, BUT when you pay extra you should get a little extra. They expanded the festival this year for us, so I can understand how that might change some of these things. If you were not particular about your placement in the crowd, VIP was almost the same as GA. There was no free food to be found in the lounge this go around, BUT there was a Chaco taco truck parked in the middle of the festival grounds, exchanging an email address for a taco. They were not picky about you coming back the next day with a new email address either, trust me I tried it. You could try on Chacos for a taco bracelet as well. The festival grounds were filled with places that were giving out gifts and samples. This is incredibly awesome to me and provokes so much appreciation within me. My love continues to grow for Euphoria. Other than the Chaco truck you could also find free samples of wine at the Barefoot tent. The representatives were very sweet… Almost as sweet as the wine. You could buy your bags of wine at this stand, or just a cup if you aren’t feeling the entire bag. Did you really drink wine at a festival though if you didn’t slap the bag first? That’s what I thought. Camel installed a lounge on the festival grounds, creating a safe space for smokers to hang out and chief. They also passed out free coupons!! Although, f you can make it through the entire festival and keep the coupons they gift you… I’ll buy you a pack of cigarettes (although I do not condone smoking, it’s bad m’kay). Tito’s Vodka had a luxurious, air conditioned trailer free for the chillin’. They also gave out free bandanas and sunglasses. Tito’s get’s it! BackWoods had everyone that was 21+ a shirt and a hat. There were so many insane deals and gifts to be gotten, you just had to look!! If you are thinking about attending next year, stay on the lookout.

The Silent Disco kicked ass this year! The disco ball still shined bright, illuminating everything in it’s path, mesmerizing all who stared too long. I expected nothing less, but they exceeded all expectations. Euphoria’s Silent Disco has been known to be one of the greatest Silent Discos and is ran by San Francisco’s HUSHcast, America’s #1 Silent Disco producers. The line up was great this year and included three channels once again. I will forever be amazed at their ability to run a Silent Disco so well. Thank you so much for that Euphoria. The Art Outside Village was on your way to the Silent Disco, a beautiful geometric display ushering you into this mystical area that seemed to come alive in the night time. There were saleable paintings from artists all over America, these artists also live painting during the day and night. These pieces were breathtaking. I am so excited to see how this Art Outside project flourishes. The Art Outside Village had plenty to do this year, all different types of workshops and classes to take/watch during the day, including partner hooping, acrobatic yoga and much more. They even had opportunities for you to learn to DJ yourself, teaching workshops concerning Appleton and scratching. The eno flower you could still find on the hill overlooking the impeccable light show displayed at the Silent Disco’s sick ass venue.

The Sonic Portal of gongs stole the show for me, leaving a mark on my heart and in my mind. I had a long conversation with the architect of this space ride, Admiral Hitzz. I had caught him while he was off of shift the last night of Euphoria. He explained to me the idea behind the space themed soundscape that these lovely humans travel from festival to festival with while I waited for my turn in the space exploration dome. Nickel-silver planetary gongs facing inward on their audience line the dome, play off of one another’s frequencies when played together, creating a serene, anxiety demolishing experience. There were bleeding rope lights lining the cage, creating a beautiful accent. I would later find out what those were for. He was so moved at the sight of this space portal taking others to somewhere safe and lovely. When it was my turn he patted me on the back and wished me luck. You wiggle your way between two large gongs and take your place in front of a gong, sitting criss-cross, shoulder to shoulder with strangers or the people you came with and know dearly. Someone is gifted the middle seat, the center of the sound, and squished into a large cuddle puddle. Little do you know, everyone and everything will melt away from you the moment they send you to another world. My first time Admiral Hitzz and his assistant Moose helped us with take-off and landing. As you get comfortable they greet you with a small background story and insist that they only accept “hugs and nugs”. Right before take-off they encourage you to close your eyes and allow yourself a deep breath in and out. As you begin to breathe and the sound begins, you understand. It is as if everything is right and beautiful and comfortable. It is the most peaceful experience I have ever had and seems to be a highly effective method of meditation. The lights seem to trace space around me behind my eyelids (holy shittttt), the interlock of frequencies resembling the launch of a spaceship truly, the ride thereafter excruciatingly tranquil. Our landing is met with the smallest chime and a smile from our Admiral and Moose. I did not want to leave, but I definitely wanted that hug.

The music, as you could have guessed from the lineup, was incredible. I got the chance to see so many people that I have been dying to see for so very long. The first night was HEAVY! Spag Heddy and Minnesota destroyed my brain one after the other, leaving me speechless. Wasn’t long after that, my fest group travelled from Pretty Lights to Knife Party enjoying both sides of the spectrum, continuing to watch our brains melt onto the grass. Pretty Lights put on an incredible show, I have waited so long for that experience and I am very grateful for it. The second night Ganja White Night tore that shit up. We had a nice spot on the side with a clear view, I spent more time in awe of the crowd getting down to the filth they managed to throw out. This was also the night I got to see Papadosio. I do not think I have ever seen such a peaceful, vibing crowd. The display was beautiful and inviting, the music even more so. My friend Bennett introduced me to Papadosio and if I was not already in love with them, I am now. I cannot believe they made me choose between Young Thug and The Floozies, so I chose BOTH! With Young Thug I didn’t really know what to expect, it was curiosity more than anything. I was very impressed with his stage presence and ability to move a crowd. Yes, will see again. Walking over to The Floozies I knew what to expect, that is why I did not walk, I ran. I can always groove with The Floozies no matter the time of day. They just continue to impress me. Let the funk live on!

We caught The Widdler first on the last day, he spoke of “music with a message”. His beats can now be found on my playlists. I was moved, spoken to during that set. If you have not listened to The Widdler stop what you are doing right now and give him a listen and a like. My friends caught WhereIsAlex and made me regret not going to check him out! He is so very talented. I now catch them listening in the car frequently. Sunday was a huge day for me. Chromeo was my high school crush. I have always thought he was so talented and cute. I managed to get an elevated spot on the rail at the Euphoria stage, being face to face with him for even a moment as he pelvic thrusted that guitar was enough for me. My life is changed. I was so impressed with his performance and never expected the insane amount of happiness I felt after leaving the stage. After seeing Chromeo I got to bounce back and forth between Wiz Khalifa and Zeds Dead. Wiz had a friendly, community vibe while Zeds Dead was throwing down filthy, monstrous bass. The vibes, although different, were so magical for very different reasons. You could find two completely different crowds of people between the two. Keep in mind, Grum is playing at this time so there is something for everyone on all walks of their festival journey.

On the last night, even after the festival closed it’s gates officially, Moby and the Funk Hunters still managed to bestow upon us early morning sets until 5 am! THANK YOU FOR THAT! The music, again, was everything you could ever want. They managed to please everyone with activities, music styles, art, etc. Euphoria Music Festival, thank you again for the transformative experience, soreness in my muscles, friendships made, lessons learned and new experiences stored away by wonderful memories made. I will see you next year.