Lost Lands has developed from an already revolutionary festival featuring an all-star bass lineup in 2017; to an unstoppable juggernaut of incredible proportions by its third year. As the leading bass music festival in the world, run by none other than the legend himself, Excision, Lost Lands has become home to an entire genre. It’s gained well deserved worldwide fame for its incredible production, unique character and mind-blowing performances by the world’s greatest bass music performers.
We’ve all heard the stories about Lost Lands in the past, ass eating competitions, volcanoes on fire, and more bass than any sane person would ever dare put in a single festival. Lost Lands had a somewhat rough start getting off the ground. In its first two years as a festival, it’s experienced an infamous stage fire, issues with camping arrangements, sound camp distribution and set up, and car search lines that took many hours to get through. I’m here to tell you that every single issue Lost Lands has encountered in previous years has been ruthlessly noted, cataloged and handled in meticulous fashion by the incredible team responsible for bringing this monster of a festival to life. The addition of Madison House and their highly professional team to run the camping side has eliminated every previous complaint lodged by attendees. The car checks were smooth, fast and efficient. The camping was well laid out and restrooms, water stations, and vendors were evenly spaced to reduce the amount of walking required to reach amenities.
The return of Pangaea Productions with a hand-picked all-star labor crew working alongside such well-respected companies as Christie Lights, Mountain Staging and Pk Audio resulted in a smooth, efficient and constantly ahead of schedule load in and construction phase. In doing this, there was more time for tweaking and ultimately a mind-shattering production experience that moved me to tears several times. Small details and issues were addressed and corrected comprehensively. Site lighting was improved for better visibility inside the venue at night. New water stations were added to cope with the increased number of patrons. Extra medical staff was on hand and Battle-Tested Security was brought in to watch over the crowds. Watching the security team was incredible. They were the warmest, friendliest, most effective team I’ve ever seen. Information was more readily available, even the toilets had motion-activated lights for night-time use and electric ventilation systems for the comfort and convenience of patrons. The devil is in the details, but the Excision team seems to have rooted him almost totally out of their festival, and the level of improvement was palatable.
Let’s talk sound camps; last year at Lost Lands, the sound camps concept was brought to fruition, bringing six additional stages to the campgrounds at reduced volume for post-festival sets. The issues with the layout were many because the camps were in the campgrounds. Most attendees ended up just getting stuck at camp and never making it to the sound camps, the darkness at the stages was also a hazard. This resulted in a few people being tripped over or stepped on. This year, however, we were given the pleasure of experiencing five new sound camps, all housed inside the venue for more convenient access. The Wookie Woods sound camp was located in the trees directly behind the Wompy Woods stage and played host to a variety of freeform and experimental acts throughout the weekend. The Pit sound camp was a main stage artist free for all, with open decks all weekend long. The Takeover stage hosted takeovers by major recording labels including experimental label Wakaan and up and coming Gravedancer Records.
The Asteroid bar brought an incredible level of pyrotechnic display to a variety of performers. They wowed the crowds with jets of flame and innovative uses of fire. Finally, Raptor Alley hosted some fantastic up and coming heavy dubstep artists, as well as providing a shaded area to sit during the day while the sets being played on the Wompy Woods stage were live-streamed on to the video screens attached to the stage. This gave fans front row seats with no crowd and less sun. This area of the festival is the one I saw the most incredible improvement in. Every sound camp had a unique theme, well thought out design, and a logical lineup that made the post-festival vibes everything I needed after a long day on the rail.
Last but not least, let’s talk about the main stage sets. Every performance I saw at Lost Lands was a handcrafted masterpiece. A cohesive and logically progressing stream of music demonstrating innovative thinking, personal style, and incredible raw power. Highlights of my weekend included Subtronics, Zeds Dead, Ghastly, BTSM (they’re making a movie if you didn’t hear, and announced a winter tour as well) and of course the Illenium B2B Excision set. I spent most of my weekend on the center rails at the main stage, a perfect front-row seat to the carnage. We also got an incredible range of bass music styles and several original sets. This rounded out an incredibly well put together festival; with main stage performances that shocked, awed, and moved the crowd to incredible heights of emotion. Lost Lands has officially gone from a good festival to a great one! I cannot wait to continue watching this festival grow and change through the years to come.