Euphoria Music and Camping Festival | April 6 – 9 2017 | Austin, Texas
Euphoria Music and Camping Festival 2017 had an unmistakable, genuine and purposeful happiness in the air. As soon as our crew crossed the threshold and left the real world behind, we could immediately feel a joyous exhilaration. The feels were wildly contagious.
Our second annual journey to Carson Creek Ranch in beautiful Austin, Texas would be exponentially better than our first, for a myriad of reasons.
Had the festival ended there, I would have been satisfied, but it was only just beginning.
The first thing we noticed upon arriving at Euphoria 2017 was how vastly improved the entry process was. We were overjoyed to know that the grueling entry process of 2016, affectionately known as the “Trail of Tears” had been eliminated.
Festival organizers listened to attendees and to our delight, there was no giant hills, rocky creek beds or 1 mile walks from the car to the campsite with all our gear. The security teams and volunteer staff were quick and courteous and we were moved in and set up within an hour of arriving.
There is something extra special about camping festivals that Euphoria has absolutely mastered – Fellowship and community. We immediately met and made friends with our camp neighbors. We formed the kind of bonds that lifelong friends have.
There were several times when I had to remind myself that these folks were perfect strangers mere hours ago. We felt like everyone around us was part of our squad, and even if we only knew their name, I would swear they had been our friend for ages.
The familiarity and kindness of strangers was a welcome change from a regular “9am-5pm please nobody bother me today” attitude. Each interaction was a reminder that we as people are intimately and infinitely connected. Something that is easily lost in our day to day routines.
Once camp was set up and our Euphoria family was united, it was time to have our jaws dropped and breaths taken away by the magnitude and talent of the artists and performers. Most of whom shattered our perceptions and broadened our perspectives on the world.
The familiarity and kindness of strangers was a welcome change from a regular “9am-5pm please nobody bother me today” attitude.
We willingly let our minds get lost in the paintings showcased by the Art Outside Village. The time we spent observing the artwork and seeing the world through the artist’s eyes, was transformational and fulfilling. There is something magical about watching truly talented, supremely passionate people do what they love.
From the display gallery, to the live painting art installations across the festival grounds, there was vivid imagination and beauty coming to life all around us, and it was a sight to behold.
If you ever get a chance to take a ride in the Sonic Portal – do it twice! The experience was unique and somehow cleansing. I felt like I had been inside of a human battery charger. I was energized and refreshed by the vibrations. The shared experience with new friends and perfect strangers was intense, and the Sonic Portal team radiated beauty and light which made the experience perfect.
The Silent Disco/ Art Outside Village stage invites and provides the best atmosphere, and the Thursday night pre-party was AMAZING. The music filled the air and the fire spinning performers were sublime. The raw skills they displayed, coupled with world class theatrics, was the best way to begin the weekend.
You could not escape the feeling of being connected, and being part of the performance. Had the festival ended there, I would have been satisfied, but it was only just beginning.
The festival itself was wonderfully organized and executed. The number of food vendors and merchandise outlets was vastly improved from last year. Again, The festival organizers did an excellent job of listening and responding to concerns from previous years.
There was never a line for water (at least when we needed it) and even though we were not drinking alcohol, I could certainly appreciate short lines and ample selection of drinks. No one likes missing half of an entire set, waiting for a beer. Quick Service, tons of selection, and acceptable festival pricing makes the entire experience very pleasant.
Let’s talk about the music.
I am a music lover, but odds are, I can’t tell you who is playing, what the song is called, or in some cases what genre of music it is.
What I do know?
Is this song a hit and does it get the people moving!? And let me tell you, the lineup of performers was amazeballs. It encompassed what I love most about Euphoria – diversity. You could hear everything from vocal performance, to jam bands, EDM to hip hop and everything in between.
ERIN: There was something for everyone and a few surprises as well. Walking through the trees just after sunset, I heard this beautifully haunting voice soaring above me. I followed my ears until I landed in from of the Art Outside Village Stage where SORNE was performing.
It was the first time in many festivals that WE sat down in front of the stage and just said “WOW” again and again for the entire set. It was mesmerizing and enchanting.
Watching ASADI throw down his Persian Trap and slick clever remixes was a high point for me. His Yoshi Remix was insanely fun and I have showed countless people the video, and they instantly can’t help but smile. I am excited to see what he will do next.
All the headliners made their point. Exactly what we expected. But it was the unknown artists and off-the-beaten-path performances that really made my weekend. Discovering new talents, and having your emotions rocked by their work, is astonishing.
We LOVE to dress up and show off, and Euphoria was a great place to join in the fun. The countless costumes, cosplays, rave outfits and amazing creativity were a sight to behold. If you saw us dressed as a giant big head Morty and his world-dominating dog Snuffles, or Sega’s Sonic and Tails – know that we loved putting a smile on your face and taking pictures with you!
Seeing faces light up and having folks enjoy our contribution to the atmosphere was invigorating and rewarding. The type of people that really go all out and commit to their Rave outfits are the type of people that transform an event from a regular concert, to a Festival – a celebration of life, art, music and love.
Another unique trait about Euphoria is the kind of festival goer it attracts. We turned in several phones to the Lost and Found, and it seemed like most folks were eager to do the same.
I have seen festival grounds TRASHED and left in ruins after a few sets. Euphoria is NEVER this way. Organized groups of paying festival attendees stay after each set and clean EVERYTHING from the grounds.
This isn’t just a mad dash for Ground Scores either! There is a LEAVE NO TRACE motto that resonates with almost every person. There is a viral image going around that my friend Kelly Maresh took, that shows a spotless, pristine main stage area, literally 15 mins after the last set.
Folks are using that image to try and persuade other festivals and events to adopt this strategy. I know when we go to Middlelands next month, we will be organizing and doing the same.
Teamwork makes the dream work, and it bolsters my confidence in humans to see us work in unison like this. You could feel the positive vibes emitting from every person you interacted with. It was magical.
We had 5 full days of Euphoria’s perfect weather, new friends, and re-connection with friends of Euphoria past. It was all you could hope for in a camping festival. Euphoria is the reason why we only go to camping festivals now.
The peacefulness of the forest, the love that everyone shares for art and music, the unity we feel dancing and caring for each other and the respect that we treat each other and the grounds with – was awe inspiring!
The improvement that we saw from 2016 to 2017 was monumental.
Hats off to the organizers for listening and delivering what the people want. Are there still areas to improve? Of course, but the team at Euphoria is aware of this and striving to make next year even better.
EUPHORIA has published a SURVEY where we can give feedback on the experience and even recommend Artist for next year’s lineup!!
This was the first time a festival asked me how I felt about things and provided a chance to help make improvements. It intensifies my anticipation for next year.
Dreaming of what other surprises the festival has in store is exhilarating. The Euphoria experience should be required for any festival lover. It has a bright future and I am thrilled to witness the magic in the forest next year. We hope to see you there!
We hope all of you #findyoureuphoria like we have.
Artwork belongs to the Artist.