Are you ready to rave in the heart of Texas? RealMusic Events has us more hyped to than ever! With the Phase 2 lineup and last month’s long-awaited opening of The Concourse Project as a premier music venue for Austin, there’s no escaping the fact that Seismic Dance Event 4.0 is taking a major step forward into the future of house and techno festivals.
While the May edition of Seismic technically took place in the same location, both stages were outside. This time around, November 12-14, the indoor, warehouse-like main hall of The Concourse Project is finished and will host the underground techno and magma-hot rave-vibes of the Volcano stage. Cascades of house-music waves will flow freely at the outdoor Tsunami stage, and the new Frequency stage will raise vibrations outside as well.
The first name I noticed from the Phase 2 additions was the alter ego of future house paragon Oliver Heldens, known as HI-LO. Seeing the Dutch 26-year-old pop up as an add-on was a delightful surprise since he brings an overflowing sense of energy and commitment to every performance. HI-LO shows the supercharged live wire side of Heldens, more committed to electro house, bass house and even jackin’ house – a mix exemplifying the most exciting brand of future house in the sub-genre. Seismic has a reputation for esteemed DJs playing as their deeper, darker aliases to mind-blowing effect (Testpilot and Cirez D in 2019, Blacklizt back in May), and official HI-LO sets are rare, so this is guaranteed to be a defining set of the weekend.
The second name to draw my attention was Detroit legend Carl Craig, an absolute master of the art of DJing, as well as at educating and promoting the true Detroit techno sound to all of the world. Whenever he’s on any lineup in any city, he’s sure to deliver a magical moment where you’re not just showing him love on the dance floor, but you’re also helping him show Detroit love like he always does so well. After more than a year without live music, Craig was my first show back in 2021, and his old-school techno sensibility rooted me to the past with a rejuvenating groove I’m still carrying six months later.
The other Phase 2 artists joining Seismic include Night Bass founder AC Slater, Honeylove, Illyus & Barrientos, Kyle Walker, Tom & Collins, and Reinier Zonneveld (live). The Netherlands-born Zonneveld represents an elevated style of Euro techno both in the pulsing synthesizer production of his own buzzing beats and through how each performance is always live – therefore uniquely different every single time. Coming from a piano background, he drives throbbing rhythmic soundscapes alongside smooth, mesmerizing melodies with deft precision, and I can’t wait for him to bring his captivating energy to the Volcano dance floor.
The full lineup is stacked enough to leave serious house heads and techno snobs drooling, but Seismic Dance Event stands above other fall festivals through more than just its DJ curation. RealMusic Events remains dedicated to the intimacy of a boutique festival experience even as the production size grows. The Concourse Project combines the breezy movement of an open-air fest with the nitty-gritty immersion of an indoor warehouse space, launching a new era for Austin’s electronic music scene. The strong sense of community prevalent there welcomes ravers from across the country while never feeling like the crowds are too big (unlike the massive throng of people you can expect for Time Warp USA the following weekend). And with official after parties at Mala Santa Club – right next door to The Concourse Project – it’s easy as can be to keep partying till 5 am.
The last two Seismic Dance Events rank among my all-time favorite festival trips, and with their greatest lineup yet, plus the now pitch-perfect venue situation, this should be the best Seismic production to date. Three-day GA passes start at $230 and single day tickets start at $99. VIP 3-day passes start at $330 while single day VIP tickets are $150. See you in Austin!