Wet Electric returned this year to celebrate its 10th anniversary at Tempe’s Big Surf Waterpark in Arizona. This annual event, thrown by Relentless Beats and Activated Events, featured prominent artists such as RL Grime, Benny Benassi, What so Not and more. I was especially excited to catch Taiki Nulight, Sonny Fodera and Bonnie x Clyde.
The sun was already high in the sky at noon that day. People were already beginning to mill around, impatiently buzzing. It was hot, but clearly the heat was not going to be an obstacle. The line moved fairly quickly, much to everyone’s relief.
I had been to Wet Electric before, so therefore knew more or less basically what to expect. However, I was honestly quite surprised that there was already such a good crowd for it being so early in the day. I thought the blazing sun would have deterred folks, but apparently not. People probably wanted to play and splash around in the cool water to beat the heat.
The mainstage was set up in the water. Previously, in years past, the stage had been set up far back in the wave pool, but this year it was closer to the shore. I reckoned this was due to the fact that as it got colder in the day, people wouldn’t want to be in the water. A huge sign in lilac and white curlicue letters above the stage read ‘Wet Electric.’ Guests could go in the water and dance close to the stage or opt to dance on the shore or by the grassy areas nearby.
My favorite stage, the house stage, had a large teal tarp that covered it. To the side of the DJ spinning on decks, was a sign in red that said ‘I love House Music.’ The house stage was surrounded by grass, along with covered picnic tables where people could eat their food and relax. People brought large beach towels and blankets to sit on as well.
The VIP section was an inviting, grassy area in a little roped-off section. Attendees in VIP had lots of shade and their own bar section, as well as a great view of the mainstage. There were also several VIP cabanas, which were all covered by white canopies. Guests in cabanas had little ottomans to lounge on for comfort as well. Along with that, bottle service was also provided. VIP guests could also opt for a daybed option, which was basically the same setup as the cabanas, just without the canopy.
Brown tiki umbrellas were dotted here and there and gave the whole event an island vibe. There were lots of multi-colored canopies: teal, yellow, blue and tan. The bright colors seemed perfectly fitting with the sunshine. Some canopies had large wooden picnic tables beneath them. Attendees could then sit and eat their food comfortably while listening to music.
There were several food and beverage vendors, as well as alcohol vendors. An artist merch booth also had a variety of shirts and caps for sale. There weren’t many food vendor options. I wished they had more to choose from. Other things offered at vendor booths were fitness-focused energy drinks and local brewery tastings.
There were lockers attendees could rent to keep their belongings safe while playing in the water. There was also a mobile-charging station. A water station was also provided.
Bronzed babes flaunted their figures in neon bikinis and sexy, high-cut one-pieces. I saw a lot of cutout bikinis as well. Strappy, plain and patterned one-pieces made quite the statement. Dreamy, flowy kimonos were also a popular choice for coverups. Bikini bottoms were teeny-tiny and cheekier than ever. I saw a lot of girls with face glitter and diamonds, while some opted for to go au naturel. One girl in particular dressed up as Ariel from The Little Mermaid, with a red wig, lavender fishnets, emerald-green bottoms and a white bikini top. Guys wore cotton tees, Hawaiian shirts and board shorts, with sandals. This one group of guys amused me greatly with their matching multi-colored neon caps.
The house stage was my favorite spot in the whole venue. After all, I am a house-head at heart. My favorite artists of the day were Bruno Furlan, Taiki Nulight and Sonny Fodera. What So Not and Bonnie x Clyde also had good sets. I found the mainstage music to be extremely loud, and thus, was extremely thankful for my earplugs. People danced happily in the water as beach balls and fun summer floaties were tossed around.
Bruno Furlan’s set had everyone groovin’ and dancin’ to the beat. You simply couldn’t help but shake your booty to his house vibes. Taiki Nulight played plenty of UK Garage bass house, with grimy, dirty beats you couldn’t help but get down to. He definitely did not disappoint. His music had little metallic sound effects that was fascinating to listen to. Sonny Fodera, who I’d seen at CRSSD in March this year, also played a set perfect for daytime vibes. A lot of his set was very sexy and groovy. There was a grassy spot nearby where I saw people going ham to the music. It made my heart so happy.
I heard a lot of drum and bass this year, mostly from the mainstage artists. I was very happy to hear it in What So Not’s and Bonnie x Clyde’s set. Bonnie x Clyde surprised me with their set. I expected dreamy, feel-good vibes but instead, their set was very trappy and heavy. They played a perfect, hyped-up-and-bass-heavy closing set. They also played a lot of dubstep tracks that thrilled all the headbangers in the water. Dirtybird DJ Will Clarke at the house stage played an amazing closing set as well. His techno and tech-house set had everyone dancing right till the very end.
Wet Electric was a splashin’ good time. This was the first year it didn’t rain at all. The weather was perfect—bright and sunny all day. As it got later in the night, the mainstage had cool lights and lasers to look at. I really enjoyed people-watching and dancing. I had no complaints, other than the bathroom line being a hassle. The day was definitely a successful celebration of Wet Electric’s 10th anniversary.