Mysteryland Phase 2 Just Dropped and It's Insane
Entertainment |  Source: mysteryland.us

Mysteryland Phase 2 Just Dropped and It's Insane

I want to live on the boat stage. Forever.

Mysteryland, the longest running electronic music festival in the world, is back again this year at the historic Bethel Woods grounds, AKA home of the original Woodstock.

Phase one of the lineup was announced a few months ago and boasted a pretty ridiculous mix of great headliners-Odesza (Friday), Skrillex (Saturday), Bassnectar (Sunday)-and tons of underrated gems like future funk/vaporwave artist Skylar Spence (Hit Vibes is a GOAT caliber album, btw).

Phase two, which includes 40 different acts, is just as stellar. We've been teased all week long with hints of things to come on the MLUSA Facebook page, but here it is in all its glory.

Here are the three things that we're most looking forward to.

Bethel Woods
Besides being absolutely gorgeous, Bethel Woods is where the legendary Woodstock music festival was first hosted. You'll be sharing the sacred ground where Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Keith Moon, and countless hippies walked on. That's seriously cool.

To get the full experience though, if you're 21 and over, I recommend staying on the Holy Ground campgrounds, located on the actual festival site where Woodstock 1969 took place. You can find more info here.

If you're not 21, the Lander's River campsite is the next best thing. It's only a couple minutes away and there's a free shuttle. There's also hotel accommodations for those that can't hack it. Hey, no judgement, I like a good bed just like anyone else.

Uhh did we mention that there is a boat!?
Mysteryland is teaming up with Dancing Astronaut to host the Sunday boat stage. Here is what it's expected to look like:

It's a little known fact that anything, when done on a boat, becomes instantly better. And Sunday at Mysteryland is going to be no exception. The DJ sets are literally going to rock the boat. No, I don't feel guilty about making that joke.

Check out the boat from MLUSA 2014.

Sneaky good hip-hop acts
While Mysteryland is known for its great house and electronic music, this year's lineup surprised with some serious hip-hop chops. Phase one announced Young Thug (Slime Season 3 absolutely bangs btw) and now phase two boasts rap acts like Ty Dolla $ign and Allan Kingdom. Kingdom is totally underrated and dropped one of the most slept on LPs of the year so far in January.

Psych yourself up for the third annual Mysteryland USA with this handy Spotify playlist of the phase one and two lineups.

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Entertainment |  Source: FlockU

Whodunit at Mysteryland

Where were you when the bass dropped?

Last weekend, I paid a man in a bear suit $5 to spin me on a carnival swing ride while Bassnectar blew the socks off of tens of thousands of festival attendees. Today, I sit at my desk at work, still nursing an exhaustion hangover from the most surreal and fever dreamlike experience of my life.

Source: FlockU

Let me backtrack.

FlockU was kind enough to send me to Mysteryland this year, an EDM festival on the original Woodstock grounds in Bethel Woods, New York. All they asked was that I had an authentic festival-goer experience and write about it. Easy enough.

Now an important preface before I dig any deeper: This was my first camping festival. Do you hear that? That's the collective sound of tabs closing as the internet masses huff in disbelief that I could write review of an EDM festival having only been to one.

Put down your digital pitchforks.

I realize that my experience might seem like hot air coming from someone who has never been to Camp Bisco and was essentially paid to be surrounded by beautiful women who think pasties are appropriate daytime wear.

But I assure you, I'm hard-boiled, hard-to-please skeptic with a back problem 50 years my senior and only a passing interest in EDM. I'm a tough customer.

I hope that my account, as an outsider who hadn't heard Speakerboxx before Sunday, offers some value. Moving on.

So, Friday morning, I packed my sunglasses, crowdsourced some camping supplies from co-workers, and did my best to channel Hunter S. Thompson - as I intended to go full gonzo journalist.

Let me give you the highlights.

***

I notice a couple of things when my photographer (also my older brother) and I drop our backpacks off at our campsite.

1. The Bethel Woods campgrounds are beautiful.

Source: FlockU

2. People who brought wagons to haul their equipment from the parking lot are geniuses.

Source: FlockU

3. At some point in my time away from fashion trends, bras have jumped the rungs from utilitarian breast support to chief outer layer accessory, passing shirt somewhere along the way.

Source: FlockU

4. There is always a beat playing. No matter where you find yourself at Mysteryland, there is always the sound of some faraway bluetooth speaker bumping dance music with only the bass audible, like some distant, irregular heartbeat of the campground.

It didn't take me long to make my way to the gorgeous festival grounds, which, especially the stages, give the impression of being painstakingly designed to be stylish and conveniently located, not to mention you're always a stone's throw from a bar.

Source: Flocku

I won't dilly dally on the layout, but Mysteryland feels more like a small town than festival; one populated by bizarrely-dressed denizens and clusters of oddly western-themed pop-up food stalls.

Source: FlockU

Mysteryland offers a lot. I could gush about the arts and culture attractions, incredible headliners (I get what the borderline zealot Bassheads are raving about now), great food, and jam-packed festivities, but what really makes Mysteryland incredible isn't a mystery at all: It's the people.

In three days at Bethel Woods, I didn't meet a single mean-spirited person, be it security guard or hippie or porta potty vacuumer.

For example, Saturday, I met a kid named Bryan who had broken his ankle on the first day of the festival. He refused to go home - he wanted to stick around to see Skrillex on Saturday.

Source: FlockU

So what did his fellow festival-goers and strangers in arms do? They built him a throne on wheels.

Source: FlockU.com

Stories like this at Mysteryland are not uncommon. Bryan and the strangers that helped him are the rule, not the exception.

I could go on and on, from free bottles of water for kids that blew their money too early to kaleidoscopic sunglasses during the laser show, passing along the psychedelic frames until they make their way back around and it seems that everyone bouncing to Bassnectar underneath a blizzard of confetti at the main stage has shared the same pair.

Source: FlockU

I'd hate to reduce Mysteryland to a feel good Jerry Maguire-esque message, but speaking honestly, the people and culture of improving each other's experiences are what make Mysteryland so special.

I think fans of EDM have a lot in common with the hippies of Woodstock, and I mean more than just calling Bethel Woods home.

Peace, love, and bass.

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Entertainment |  Source: racked.com

Slightly Less Basic Guide to Festival Fashion

Say no to crop tops.

It's time to jump into one of my favorite times of year: Festival Season. Ahead of us this summer we have big name festivals like Firefly, Lollapalooza, and Mysteryland.

This means warm weather, good music, cold beers, and fast times with fun friends. For us girls, it isn't always just about the music. We go for the music, and stay for the fashion.

Some people have a distinct way of styling themselves for festivals, while others are just doing it all wrong. It's important to dress with unique, original flare, because that's what festival style is all about. If you follow the norm by wearing the same high-waisted shorts and crop-top like every other basic girl in the crowd, you really aren't being very original.

Oh, and ditch the flower crowns--you aren't a fairy or a woodland nymph, take them off, you look stupid.

A few of my favorite festival trends right now are fringe ANYTHING, western style accessories like belts and boots, boyfriend cut denim shorts, bandanas, and layering pieces. You can wear any of these pieces a million different ways, and you can check out the various ways other festival goers rock 'em.

Festival style is all about having fun with the way you dress. Stand out and make a statement! Dress crazy and cool, but keep it comfortable and stay true to yourself. Here are a few of my favorite festival looks from previous years, and ways for you to recreate them yourself!

The Wild Child

Source: Vogue.com

Festival fashion is full of bright colors and bold statements. Try re-creating this fun, 90s-inspired tie-dye look with a halter top. You can pair it with white cut-offs and add your own personal touches like a tattoo choker or hair glitter with braids. Complete the look with some rounded sunnies! They're the perfect finishing touch to any festival outfit.

The Free-Spirit

For the optimal "boho chic" look, this whole outfit is based off of one piece: the fringe vest. This vest from WetSeal is great because it's super lightweight, but still gives the effect of good-quality suede. You can create this look a few different ways, whether you're pairing it with a Lacy Midi Dress, or a concert tee and cutoffs. To add to the bohemian style, try pairing the vest with a statement coin necklace. You can also try playing with color by adding a bright side-satchel bag to complete the look.

The Fashionista

Source: elleuk.com

Out of all of the looks I've seen, this one is by far my favorite. It's really different from your typical festival uniform. it's super original and really stands out. The black culotte pant is not only comfortable, but extremely versatile. You can recreate this look by pairing the culottes with a ruffle neck lace blouse. As far as accessorizing, try a thick velvet choker and a black wide-brim fedora. To give this look a western feel, grab some pointed toe booties!

The Rebel

Source: elle.com

This look is wild, fun, and all about expression. Perfect for the hot festival weather, this outfit is all about the patched-up denim shorts. To add to the retro vibe, you can play with different 70's inspired patterns and colors, for example, in the bikini top. Throw on a kimono for some added flare, tie your hair up in a messy bun with a turban style headwrap, and complete the look with boot-like sandals.

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Entertainment |  Source: matadornetwork.com

The 10 Commandments of Festival Going

Make sure you drink some water, too.

Summer is coming, which means that in addition to the beach, barbeques, and blockbuster films, festival season is also upon us.

Yes indeed, going to a music festival in the summer has become quite the tradition in recent years, combining all the bests of camping, going to the beach, and having a barbecue.

Live music, free flowing alcohol and drugs, and a loosened moral code allow for a wonderful opportunity to say "fuck it" and enjoy yourself. But fun festival experiences can quickly turn into nightmares if you aren't properly prepared.

As long as your follow the 10 Commandments of Music Festivals, you can rest assured knowing that you will have a most memorable (and blessed) festival experience at Sasquatch!, Lollapalooza, Mysteryland, or wherever it is that you're goin'.

Thou shalt not malnourish thyself.
Bringing food is a good idea. Humans need to eat to survive, especially when faced with days of excessive drinking and physical exertion. Festival food is usually more expensive than the typical fare, so bring your own! Borrow your friend's cooler and stock it with provisions (resist the urge to fill every cooler you own with beer). Unless you want to mooch off the people grilling two lots over, or resort to trapping vermin, just bring some food.

Thou shalt pack many snacks.
Keeping with the theme of bringing supplies, make sure to stock up on all the essentials BEFORE you arrive at the campground. Before you even set out from home, make sure you hit your local convenience store and grab all the beer, liquor, cigarettes and munchies your heart desires. You'll be kicking yourself when you have to walk two miles to the gas station on the interstate because you only brought one pack of your beloved Marlboro Lights.

Thou shalt not tolerate stinky balls.
Be sure to bring a few extra pairs of underwear. Yes, it may be only three days. Yes, you may believe you can "pack light" and just stuff a handful of assorted summer clothing into a gym bag and call it a day... but anything can happen once you enter the fairgrounds. It's easy to lose clothing and footwear. You can get very sweaty dancing in the sun. Drinks will surely be spilt. You could get way too drunk and shit yourself. You get the point. Grab a couple extras pairs out of the laundry and you'll be glad you did it.

Thou shalt not go barefoot.
Speaking of proper attire, try not to forget footwear. Unless you have hairy Hobbit feet, spending nearly three days without shoes or even flip flops can take its toll. Especially when you consider the level of filth which will rapidly accumulate under thousands of dancing, drinking, sweating bodies.

Thou shalt bathe thyself in SPF.
Sunscreen is also a great idea. Just bring it and put it on at some point during the morning pregame. If you are bringing a pack into the concert, toss it in there. Just don't forget to use it! Barring a rainy weekend, you can expect to be in the sun for three days straight. Most likely without a shirt or any form of protection against deadly UV rays. Lather up! Ask a friend to help you with those hard to reach places, offer to help the ladies in the next lot over, draw faces and designs with it to make it more fun for all. Just wear sunscreen, it's the 21st century for Christ's sake.

Thou shalt not shower for days.
Some advice to those with high standards of personal hygiene. Just forget about it for three days. Festivals can get pretty fucking gross. Sweat, beer, sex, smoke, mud and all other sorts of shit will be accumulating on your person as soon as you pull into the campsite. Do what you can to maintain some level of decency and self respect and enjoy the rest. It's fun to smell like a dirty hippy... it is, in a way, liberating. Plus, every shift of the body in the car ride home will release a new odor for you and all of your friends to enjoy!

Thou shall not fellate.
While festivals can be a great place for a random hookup, just keep in mind that most everyone you will come across will likely not have showered or groomed in days. Practice *smart* sex. Be on the lookout for dirty dicks and funky beavers. Avoid oral sex at all costs. You do not want to put your mouth anywhere near a pair of balls that have been soaking in their own filth for two and a half days.

Thou shalt look 'fly'.
Last minute fashion tip: Bring a bandana. It's a versatile and classic accessory. As a fashion statement, it can simply be worn to show that you are down with the general free flowing vibes of the festival. Wrap it around your head or tie it around your neck and you are good to go. You can go full biker bandana, karate kid headband, the possibilities are endless. It's also an effective means of keeping the sun off of your head and neck, and when wetted down with some cool water, can help provide some relief from the heat.

Or you can simply drape it over your head (see below).

Thou shalt hydrate often.
Finally.... HYDRATE. If you see water, drink it. If you haven't had water all day, find some and drink it. Nothing like trying to enjoy the Friday headliner while your friends are dropping like flies from dehydration. Stay hydrated folks.

Thou shalt have an AWESOME time.
Keeping all of this in mind.... Don't forget to have a great time!

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Entertainment |  Source: @yenformore

Five Things You Need for Jingle Ball Philly

But first, tickets.

Congrats, you did it! You managed to score tickets to the Annual Jingle Ball Concert Extravaganza held in Philly on December 7th!

It's like the Super Bowl of concerts, tickets are hella expensive but HELLA worth it. Whether your parents love you a lot, or you luckily won them through a radio contest call-in, consider yourself #blessed.

Let the satisfaction commence and go ahead and flaunt your passes to your friends on social media (cover the bar codes of course), BUT - remember these things as you get yourself prepared to be Jingle Ballin'.

1.Your BFF/CB (Concert Buddy).
Honestly, taking on this hype event with the wrong person has the potential to crush all the expectations leading up to it. Concert experiences are typically ones that you'll hold onto, and it creates a special bond with the person you shared it with. Not kidding, funness in a CB is important.

You need to be able to dance like a fool and be yourself. The beauty of your BFF/CB is that they have already seen you be the weirdest freakazoid possible, and most importantly, they embrace it! Cherish that friendship. News flash: no one is looking at you while Shawn Mendes is singing on stage being a total babe.

2. Customize your apparel and be comfortable.
Cool, sexy, original, fan-girly, glittery, stand-out-notice-me. Whatever look you decide to go for, take time to prepare your outfit because this event is perfect to show off your fashion and let your "freak flag fly".

Seriously, anything goes.... I went and embraced my inner Justin Bieber fan-girl with my BFF. No shame. No regrets. Just make sure you dress comfortably because most likely you will be standing and dancing the entire night.

Buy a souvenir shirt before you leave, but when putting your outfit together, be funny and original! Customize your T-shirts with the artists' names or lyrics of your favorite performer's songs. "I've got your cake Joe" @DNCE, BABY I'M WORTH IT #The6thHarmony, "I'm screaming mercy @Charlie, LETS (marvin gaye) GET IT ON ;) @Charlie.

Oh, and If you leave your mom at home, at least take her advice of bringing a jacket with you, even though it'll be warm inside. It's December, and chances are there will be a wait to get in, plus it will take a long time until you get out and find your car.


3.Fully charged camera and back up batteries/charger...obviously.
Besides safety reasons, phones will be your way of posting all your favorite concert moments on Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Not only are you crying b/c Charlie Puth is totally singing to you, but you'll also be crying if in the middle of Jingle Ballin' your phone dies and you no longer can take any more pics or videos.

Portable phone chargers can be cheap as $10 and will give you at least a full charge. Remember: Pics or it didn't happen.


4. Bring water and snacks.
Seriously... HYDRATE RESPONSIBLY and eat. Carbs carbs carbs carbs, you'll be sweating more than usual and will need ample amounts of energy to dance to your favorite songs.

Don't skip any meals because you want your stomach to look extra small in your body-con dress or funky crop top. Drink lots and lots of water and snack throughout your day so you don't pass out while DNCE sings about your cake by the ocean. After that extensive concert you basically did your cardio for the week so you're going to need the food to replenish your fan-girling soul after dancing the night away.

5. Be able to live in the moment.
Whether your phone dies or not, don't just capture the moment--enjoy it, live in it. Take enough pictures to take your mind back for when you reminisce, but be present. Don't put a screen between you and your life the whole night.


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Entertainment |  Source: Mysterland USA

Mysteryland Announces 2017 Festival, Releases Aftermovie

Let the hype begin.

Mysteryland USA just announced that they're going to be back at Bethel Woods in 2017, bigger and better than ever. Which is pretty wild, given this year's lineup is hard to top.

FlockU sent me this past June and it was pretty dope (understatement of the century). Seriously, a guy in a bear suit pushed me on these spinning swings, it was pretty surreal. Check out the Aftermovie of the 2016 festival.

You can order your earlybird tickets here.