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: Daniel Robert Dinu

5 Types of People You Will Encounter at an EDM Concert

Eat, sleep, rave, repeat.

EDM concerts attract a plethora of people, and let's be real, the crowd is usually far from normal. You can meet some really cool people who just wanna have a good time, but then of course you'll definitely encounter those randos who have no qualms about crushing your body in order to get closer to the stage. Here's a breakdown of the eccentrics you'll be sure to encounter at a show.

The Rave Queen

Ah yes, the Rave Queen. This girl plans her entire calendar around the next rave. She gives no fucks about her wardrobe, which usually includes a bedazzled bra, a thong, knee high socks, go-go boots, and a crazy headdress that miraculously manages to stay attached to her french braids even after the beat drops.

You are secretly jealous of this girl's ability to pull off minimal clothing (mainly because these concerts are so fucking hot) while not giving a shit. She's probably here with her posse of people who use LED gloves and hula hoops.

The Mrs. George

I'm sure you all remember Amy Poehler's iconic role as Regina George's "I'm a cool mom!" in Mean Girls. At every EDM concert, there is always that one parent-aged, trying-to-be-hip person who is reminiscent of Mrs. George, and is just loving life dancing in the crowd. Seeing this person is a mixed reaction of "what the fuck are you doing here?" and respect for this Baby Boomer/Gen X who's just doing his or her thing. Until he or she tries to dance up on you, then you're just scarred for life.



The Twilight Zone Kid

This guy is literally in another world. He is either tripping balls, or is faded from too much alcohol (or maybe a combination), and has no idea what is happening. You don't wanna meet this guy. This guy will have no regard for your space, smack your head with his elbow, and worst of all, will literally not comprehend your attempts to tell him to get lost. Most of the time other concert goers will physically push this guy out of the crowd because nobody has time to wait for this kid to lock his shit up.

The Oprah

You get a water! And YOU get a water! These people are great. They are generous as can be, and are just trying to make sure everyone has a good time. They're mellow, and don't mind sharing what they have with strangers. Whether it's water, weed, or alcohol, they are all about the giving and they expect nothing in return. These people are just here for the music and good vibes, and are the ones that make concerts really fun. We need more of these people in our daily lives.

The Hot Mess

It's inevitable that at every concert, you will witness someone just completely lose their dignity. Unlike the Twilight Zone Kid, they are waaayyy past that 'happy' drunk/high stage and are in the depths of hell. Their bodies can't handle the shit that they just put into them, and they are in full-on shutdown mode. They're most likely vomiting somewhere by the porta potties, acting belligerent while getting thrown out by the event staff, or picking fights with random strangers who accidentally bumped into them.

Have you ever witnessed the medical tent at one of these concerts? It's actually unreal. I have seen blacked out people throw violent screaming tantrums at the event staff. It's like watching Cops. Seriously, major shout out to these people who work the concerts. They definitely don't get paid enough.


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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: YouTube.com

Your Festival Wristband is Grosser Than You Realize

Please take that thing off immediately after the festival.


Summer is festival season, and anybody who's somebody has been to one in the last couple months. The proof is in those colorful little paper wristbands that everyone keeps on for weeks (or months...or years...ew) after the fest. Yeah, they make great bracelets to jazz up your cute summery outfits, and they're probably good conversation starters, but it turns out that they're actually super grimy, and you should definitely not keep them on after the festival is over.

Take a look at what happens when you wear your wristband for too long - spoiler alert, they become scary zoos of bacteria, and it's pretty disgusting.

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Entertainment |  Source: @shanegrayyy

Why It's Important to Support Local Music

Less Netflix and chilling, more moshing.

There have been a handful of articles published recently about surveys that show millennials aren't going clubbing these days and would rather Netflix and chill than go out.

While there are a ton of surveys and studies out there trying to eat the brains of generation Y to gain our knowledge and insight, I imagine most of the "results" are based on assumptions made along with data from previous studies, or they're just the biased perspective of some old guy with an agenda to push.

We've been called all kinds of things from the generation of couch potatoes to lazy, entitled little shits. But is this all really true? Are millennials really the new walking dead?

What exactly are we doing instead of going out? Binge watching American Horror Story? (I'm totally guilty of that.) Walking to hell and back to hatch an egg in PokemonGO? (Yeah, that too.) Or maybe we are all so dazed and confused about who the hell to vote for? (Guilty as sin.) Despite the digital age we have all grown up in, where Facebook events can sync with your phone's calendar to make sure you don't miss anything, it can still be incredibly hard to get people out to any event, especially music shows.

But why is this so important, you might ask? Well, here's a few reasons that might just get you off of your couch and out moshing at a show:

Most of your favorite artists started out local.

Say and think whatever you want about Lady Gaga but even SHE started out doing small gigs in New York City before she made it big. There are so many bands and artists that begin by clouding their local circuit, everything from open mics to getting used by promoters who don't pay. We've all pretty much been there.

Sure, you have your "artists" like Beyonce and Andrew W.K. who have been focus group tested and pre-approved for the masses beforehand, but there is a good chance that the weird guy with the dreads who gave you a sticker for his band at a house party last weekend might end up being the next Bradley Nowell.

Being a musician can really suck.

If it's not the money-hungry promoter who doesn't pay you, or the venue in Connecticut that won't even cover your drive from New Jersey, it's always something. Anyone within some artistic field can attest to the fact that if you aim to make money, then you are in the wrong business. Band members have it the worst because after a while, it is inevitable that things will eventually go sour with the other members. It can seriously suck sometimes.

You Should date or befriend a musician.

While there are a ton of horrid aspects to busting your chops as a seasoned musician, it does have its perks. Some venues (like Otto's Shrunken Head in NYC) give free drink tickets to performing artists. And I've played venues that don't mind if artists spark up herb in the "green room". And did I mention the appeal to the opposite sex? If you date a musician, trust me, you'll have a lot of fun. If you get lucky enough to friend one, you may have just found the best wingman ever.

It's good karma to help out your friends.

Chances are, that the guy with dreads and the stickers who now blows up your news feed is probably a college kid, just like you, trying to get by the best way he knows how. I've taken morning classes, worked day jobs all around New York City, and played music by night to make ends meet. It's exhausting. But at the end of the day, there is nothing like doing the things you love. And if you can make a buck or two doing it, then that's the cherry on top. AND if you can do so while getting an education, then you're GOLDEN.

It means the world to an artist when people show up to their events, even if you are the only one there. And sometimes it determines whether or not that artist can play the same venue in the future. So many of us aren't driven by fame or financial gain, but a simple impulse to express ourselves.

So it's about time you cherish the guy that infects your Twitter feed with show dates. You never know, he might just be a part of the next artistic movement. And you could miss out on it, holed up in your dorm, wearing My Little Pony pajamas and binge watching Orange Is the New Black.

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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.