Ubbi Dubbi Music Festival kicked off last weekend in sunny Fort Worth, Texas and let me tell you, it was quite a ride! With names like Zeds Dead, Tchami, and Illenium gracing the inaugural lineup it gained attention quickly reaching capacity in sold-out ticket sales. Massive stages and high caliber production mixed in with some good ole southern hospitality made Ubbi Dubbi spectacular. This sleepy little city got rocked back and forth with some of the best artists in House and Bass music. If you missed it, I’m genuinely sorry for you!
After all of 10 minutes in the security line and a little wandering to get the lay of the land, it was time for the first on my schedule, Lucii. A quick 10-minute walk (15 if you dawdled) across the grounds to the Dubbi stage and the turnout for such an early set was pretty impressive. Lucii delivered all the expected wubs and even threw out a bass classic, “Pink Elephants“, which was played seamlessly into her space bassy vibes. Fast forward about an hour as I leave backstage, the crowd had tripled. Since the sun got hotter, peaking at about 87 degrees and very little clouds, the two free water tents available were at about a 45-minute wait.
As we explored the grounds, we came upon some beautiful festie-goers getting in a formation for a picture. They must have been cheerleaders or part of a dance team with how easy this came to them. I snapped a picture and gave them my name but forgot to get their information. Help me find the Ubbi Dubbi Cheerleaders! Look at that form!
The rest of the day was spent at the Zoom Room seeing Matroda (aka the GOAT), DESTRUCTO, and Claptone, all absolutely exquisite sets in their own way. My boyfriend and I were enjoying Claptone’s romantic House vibes when we looked up to see the disco balls swinging from the slightly inclement weather. We looked out and saw it was raining a little so we decided to step out of the way of the lighting rig above our heads that was slowly swaying from the wind. Once it started to tip, it was time to go. That’s when they evacuated.
We started to walk calmly to the front as they announced the rest of the day was canceled. There were only about 30 minutes left of the schedule so not much was lost. As the storm started to hit harder, people started to panic. Running and pushing through the only exit, sprinting down muddy hills and shaking the gate to try to find another way out. Next to us, someone broke through the barrier so we slipped out and made our way under a bridge where we waited for about an hour as the storm subsided. I’ll spare you the rest of my sob story but after about a three-mile walk and a $30 Uber, we made it back to the hotel stressed, but safe. So we drank our weight in champagne and called it a night.
Sunday was utterly flawless. Mother Nature blessed us with clouds to block the sun and there was a nice breeze to cool you down. Aside from a few mud puddles from the day before, nothing was damaged in the storm that we could tell and everything went off without a hitch. My boyfriend and I spent almost the entire day in the Zoom Room, aside from stepping out to see Tchami, and Dion Timmer, who both absolutely killed it. But I’d have to say CODES stole “Best Set of the Day” playing a truly unique and original set.
We closed the day with Walker and Royce leading into Chris Lake. “Wait, Ashley. Does that mean you didn’t go to Illenium?! WHAT?” Yes, and I can’t tell you how happy I am we made that call. Illenium is great but Chris Lake capped off the entire weekend perfectly and the crowd was much more my pace. Also, my boyfriend waited all weekend to hear “Deceiver” and watching him shuffle his little heart out made my heart happy. While we walked towards the gates, fireworks boomed next to the night lights of the city and Ubbi Dubbi weekend came to an end.
The Zoom Room
A personal favorite and the absolute high point of this festival. Much smaller in size compared to the Ubbi and Dubbi stages but its size was made up for in character. This little big-top tent was located about halfway between the two stages so as you walked by, you got a little taste of the artists they had to offer, which was exclusively House music. And it definitely was not lacking in lasers! The crowd was lively and interactive; I don’t think I saw one person standing still in that tent.
The high-quality production came as a shock to me, honestly. Though I didn’t see a lot of the main Ubbi and Dubbi stages, what I did see was impressive. The graphics were interesting and varied with the artist playing. Even from a distance, you could see the fire and the lasers across the festival grounds. Each stage was high caliber in comparison to the overall size of the fest.
Panther Island was a lovely setting for Ubbi Dubbi and I sincerely hope it stays there. The Fort Worth skyline behind the Ubbi stage with the river running next to us was a truly beautiful sight. Though the walkways were somewhat narrow, this venue was a solid choice.
Matroda was my most anticipated set of the weekend and he exceeded expectations ten fold. His set wound up and slapped me hard in the face with some of his classic tracks, newest releases and some ID tunes I can’t wait to get my hands on. His remix of Adam Beyer’s “Your Mind” is fucking incredible. Watching people try to walk by as they heard his set, get drawn in by his sound, and then lose it as he dropped one of his original tracks was truly a wonder to see.
Every single staff member that we encountered at the festival was honestly delightful. Genuine smiles and pleasant demeanors across the board. Southern hospitality is alive and well in Fort Worth and it elevated the festival to even greater heights.
It is rare at a festival that you get in as soon as you arrive. Both days we got through security in under 10 minutes. Truthfully, it’s unheard of in my festival experience. Color me impressed Ubbi Dubbi!
I do understand this was not the festival’s fault and they cannot control the weather. But they should have evacuated sooner to spare the panic. Watching people fall in the mud while they ran in every different direction looking for an alternative exit could have been avoided.
I don’t mind a crowd. Obviously, that is something you just have to deal with at a fest. But if I can’t enjoy one of my favorite artists because of the massive amounts of people, it’s gonna tick me off a little. This is what happened at JOYRYDE. I had been looking forward to his set all day and our little group of friends was pretty far away at the Ubbi stage where you’d think the crowd would be better. Even still, we couldn’t escape the pushing and trains of people so we moved back about 200 feet. Still dealt with pushing and shoving. We tried to rally because JOYRYDE was throwing down all his best tracks, but towards the end, we called it quits and headed back to the Zoom Room where we could breathe.
At a sold-out capacity, Ubbi Dubbi oversold tickets just a tad. In the early afternoon, the narrow walkways were a non-issue. But anytime after 6 pm when the majority of people had arrived for the night, it was a madhouse and walking from stage to stage was not an easy task.
No water fillup by the Dubbi Stage
Oh, you’re thirsty while jamming to Dion Timmer? Too damn bad! You’re gonna have to walk ALL THE WAY back past the Zoom Room to get water. Not a long walk in reality and honestly, an easy fix. But leaving a set you’re digging and having to go completely out of earshot of the stage was kind of a bummer.
No recycling bins!
This one is straight up not cool. I didn’t see one visible recycling bin in the entire festival. It’s 2019! Unless they have people sorting through their garbage, which is unlikely, they’re gonna have to get with the times next year and splurge for the blue bins.
Free energy drinks
Great idea in theory but throw in 87-degree temperature and it gets a little dangerous. Energy drinks are not hydrating so when they have no line and water is a 45-minute wait, people may get sick. Even I found myself a little shaky after drinking two and I was well hydrated. If you’re gonna have a free beverage at the fest, make it hydrating.
First-time festivals usually have major issues along with them and truthfully, apart from some minor hiccups, Ubbi Dubbi went off smoothly. The stages were impressive and the artists delivered fantastic one-of-a-kind sets. Adding a third water station and selling just a couple thousand fewer tickets would send Ubbi Dubbi straight to the cream of the festival crop. Regardless, I had a fantastic time at Ubbi Dubbi and I would love to return for next year. Thank you to Disco Donnie for having me and putting on such an incredible festival. Ubbi Dubbi 2020, please!
*Featured Image Via Rukes.com*