Voodoo Music and Arts Experience Recap

Voodoo Music and Arts Experience Recap

Halloween weekend October 27th-October 29th 2017, one of the biggest weekends in New Orleans; One EDM set out on a 10-hour journey for Voodoo Music and Arts Experience. This all age festival has been going on since 1999 in NOLA. It has become a Halloween tradition here. 2016 hosted over 150,000 attendees. The unique aspect of this festival is the eclectic genres merged into one festival. You have your EDM, your 90s rock bands, the biggest emo band from the early 2000’s, and the Foo Fighters. The décor, the rides, art installations, the costumes, and most of all the top five DJ sets of the weekend.

History of Voodoo Music and Arts Experience

Voodoo Music Festival began Halloween weekend 1999 as a one-day festival. It was held at the Tad Gormley Stadium in City Park (New Orleans). Moby was amongst their first headliners that year. Throughout the 18 festival years, Voodoo Music has had such a wide range of musical talent grace New Orleans. Because of Katrina in 2005, it was relocated that year to Memphis, TN. So, for one of the two festival days that year it was in TN, the other day it was held back in New Orleans. Now, what was special about this was; it was invitation only for emergency personnel; firefighters, police, EMTs, military and countless others who aided in the natural disaster.

In 2013, Voodoo Music found it’s home at City Park Festival grounds. EDM at Voodoo always had its own space but it first started off in a small tent. Post Katrina, Le Plur was done away with to make room for more local artists. In 2013, Le Plur was brought back to Voodoo Festival and this is when the scene really began to ignite with heavy hitters. It wasn’t until 2014 that they finally moved Le Plur to the North-West corner; to give the fans more room and to confine the bass drops that normally mixed in with the other stages. This was also the year Gary Richards (Hard) became the new presenting sponsor. 

Friday, Oct. 27th, 2017 

The weather was perfect, the sun was shining and there was a warm breeze. We got in through security quickly to the media lounge. Voodoo really outdid themselves to make us feel at home. The festival grounds were perfectly set up on the outskirts of downtown New Orleans at City Park. Many people were in the Halloween spirit throughout the weekend but the costume that caught our attention during the early part of our day was Beetle Juice and Lydia. We spoke with them for a brief moment about Voodoo and here is what they had to say:  “This is not our first time at Voodoo, it’s a great festival held in our city each year.”

Between sets, we wandered around to explore all the art: As dusk came, the air cooled down and the freaks came out to party. People of all ages were enjoying the art, food, and the five different stages. As you walked around the park; ghouls and goblins were around every corner. You could really see the diversity of people at Voodoo, it was amazing.  

Le Plur Stage 

Our personal favorite stage was Le Plur. We ventured to all of the other stages but this one stood out the most. The sound was spot on and no matter where you stood you could hear every beat and bass drop. This was the strictly EDM stage.  As well as it was secluded from all the other stages that were all close to each other. Our top five favorite sets of the weekend were NGHTMRE, Louis the Child, Dillon Francis, and Illenium. Some honorable mentions: TOKiMONSTA, Boombox Cartel, and RL Grime. This stage was filled each day with totems, LED toys, and good vibes. Many DJ’s graced this stage: JOYRYDE, CID, DJ Snake, Yellow Claw, Galantis, Mija, G Jones and SNBRN to name a few. 

Toyota Music Den 

This was a small stage sponsored by Toyota that could fit maybe 100 people, offset from everything else. Our favorite thing about this mini-stage was the intimacy and their mission.  

” Toyota has officially completed the 2017 #ToyotaGiving festival run. For the past seven months Toyota has been a part of music festivals from coast to coast spreading the love of music and the joy of giving back. 

Along with VH1 Save The Music Foundation, Toyota has been to seven different music festivals including Stagecoach, Country 500, Firefly, Ruidofest, Lollapalooza, Life is Beautiful and Voodoo to raise awareness about the importance of music education and asking festivalgoers and artists to share what music means to them. A different Instagram mosaic was featured at each festival and was filled in with photos taken by attendees and shared on social media with the #ToyotaGiving. Artists such as Lil Yachty, Tegan and Sara, Dillon Francis, The Zombies and more also shared what music means to them!” 

It was full of contests, a glitter station, and some other cool things. We even got to witness Boombox Cartel do an intimate 30-minute set on Saturday.  Amongst these two stages, you had the Wisner, Altar, and South Course with alternative rock stars and hip-hop artists alike. Brand New, Foo Fighters, The Killers, Live, Kendrick Lamar, Miguel, Post Malone, LCD Soundsystem, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, K.Flay, Cold War Kids and more. 

 Saturday, Oct. 28th, 2017 

 We started out earlier this day, it was cold and dreary. The first act we caught this day was Boombox Cartel in a small, intimate tent:  

We got to catch K.Flay who is featured on Louis the Child’s hit song “It’s Strange”. We were hoping they would do something together but that was a no go. After that, we ran back over to Le Plur stage for Illenium. Each time seeing him is a new adventure. Between the crowd, the vibes, the stage set up, and his live performance; it definitely sets a high bar with his unique set. After Voodoo was over; we ventured out to the official after party with none other than Illenium headlining. 

Sunday, Oct. 29th, 2017

Today wasn’t as cold as Saturday but there was still a crisp breeze.  The ghouls, the witches, and superheroes were out in full force today. We were able to explore some more in between sets today. We even got to visit “The Morgue” which was a haunted house walkthrough, that was actually pretty frightening. Outside of the haunted house, there was a cemetery being secured by dead people. Tombstones filled this area and scary props were on display. After “The Morgue” we got to enjoy some of the rides, which is a great touch in between your favorite artists’ sets.

The first set of the day we caught was SNBRN which brought the tropical vibes, deep house beats, and feelings of warm weather for a 45-minute set. Next was the Queen of No Genre’s Mija rocking the decks for an hour. After, was none other than Louis the Child. Their style is definitely something else, unique and upbeat. You cannot listen to them without smiling and feel an overwhelming rush of happiness. In addition to their music, their stage set up is always very colorful. The duo hailing from Chicago is really making a name for themselves in a short amount of time, at a very young age.

To close out Le Plur for 2017

We had the pleasure of seeing Dillon Francis. Dillion is known for his funny snapchats, his alter ego ‘Dr. Hansel’, and his piñata Gerald. What a perfect way to end the festival. Not one person was standing still during his set, even the security guards were enjoying.

One EDM would like to thank the Voodoo Music + Arts Experience Team for this memorable weekend, C3 Presents and Fresh Clean Media. We cannot wait for 2018.

All photos are property of Jason Smith(One EDM) and Voodoo Music + Arts Experience

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Kristina Calamusa

Nurse by day, Director of Operations, East of Oneedm 24/7/365.

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