Now that we have finally landed back on Earth, I just have to say that Phoenix Lights 2018 was completely surreal. From the unveiling of the spacious brand new venue to the diversity of the lineup, to the trippy, UFO-themed stages and props scattered throughout, Phoenix Lights felt like if Burning Man met Ultra, they had a baby, and then that baby was abducted and raised by aliens just to land back in the middle of the Arizona desert to throw a rave for all of his alien buddies.
The music of day one had us headbanging during the day, despite the intense heat, then left us in a puddle of feels, hugging strangers and friends on our way home. Bad Decisions and the masked duo ATLiens set the bar high for daytime sets. Joyryde brought insane energy and his unique bass trap/hard house blend had the main stage filled to the brim. We were blessed with a sunset at the Invasion stage during Minnesota, which, along with his deep, bass tracks, rejuvenated the crowd and readied everyone for the roller coaster of a night we were about to have.
Seven Lions had the best set of day one for me personally; watching the crowd during his shows is just as entertaining and emotional as Jeff’s music and visuals. The highly anticipated Gucci Mane only took the stage for about ten minutes, leaving the crowd confused. Luckily, Martin Garrix quickly moved in and brought his world-class show. We stuck around for a few songs before heading over to Gramatik, who has been killing the game lately on his current Re:Coil Part One Tour.
Day Two was much heavier overall, so we spent our time spread out through all of the stages. The “local” Fallout stage was presented by Shady Park and featured some of their best alumni, like techno up and comer, Cormac. If you ever find yourself in the Phoenix/Tempe area, I strongly recommend checking out their Treehouse Sundays. Eli & Fur held the Colony stage down with their house beats. Midnight Tyrannosaurus honestly had the most packed stage of the entire weekend, and for good reason, he absolutely threw down straight headbang-worthy filth. Having Midnight T and Zomboy billed so closely together, at different stages, kept us very busy and satisfied. Oshi was the surprise of the weekend, with his unique electro sound. Diplo and Bear Grillz were the last two sets of the night for us, the perfect end to a great weekend.
Through all of the incredible organization and stellar production, I also spotted special wireless assistive listening stations at multiple stages. Those stations were put into place by a company called OTOjOY (Check out OTOjOY here), and work to supply hearing loop technology for hearing impaired attendees. As someone who has a family member with a disability, I am always pleased to see when any type of accessibility is brought into our already extremely welcoming scene.
The Park at Wild Horse Pass is going to be a remarkable venue in the years to come. This festival was only the first of many events that will be happening on these grounds courtesy of Relentless Beats, who are making quite the name for themselves by curating events that are turning out to be comparable to common household names in the festival industry. Thank you to everyone at Phoenix Lights for joining us on this wild adventure! And what a trip it was. See you next year when the Lights return!
And what abduction would be complete without the magic photo documentation of Josh Andrews @blahahau