The Inaugural Elements Lakewood Music and Arts Festival Brings Tipper, Claude Vonstroke, & More

first_img4,000 people swarmed Lakewood, PA on Memorial Day Weekend in a Bushwick exodus as the very first edition of Elements Lakewood Music and Arts Festival came together in a resounding success. A full, 3-day camping experience had been a long term goal of nightlife innovators BangOnNYC and despite some minor transportation setbacks, the festival delivered amazing audio-visual production, a diverse lineup of electronic sounds, and numerous installations throughout the clearings and woods.Similar to the Red Hook edition and any BangOn event, the space, structures and fixtures of the venue were utilized and transformed to their full potential while the sounds pulsated through Funktion-1 sound systems. Members Only kept the Brooklyn after hours alive with their make-shift loft space featuring sets by Thugfucker, DJ Three, Honey Dijon, and Satori, who shepherded a shuffling crowd through the night until noon the next day.The activities and installations reached far beyond music, and the grounds were a perfect backdrop for BangOn’s whimsical production ideas, which are normally limited to a dark warehouse. Every nook and cranny was taken advantage of in the beautiful woods. There was a roller rink with a stage, an actual Pirate Ship on the lake for relaxing drifts, a tattoo shop, kayaking, rock climbing, jet skis and even water powered jetpacks.The elemental themed stages were spectacularly produced, a significant step up in both size and quality for a BangOn event. Fire domes and powerful flamethrowers engulfed the sky each night. There, Claptone kicked off the night vibes with his deep disco funk, spinning sultry tracks like his edit of “God Made Me Feel It” and remix of George Porter’s “Liquid Spirit.” Other Fire Stage highlights included a stroking papa Claude, Doorly, Walker & Royce and BangOn staples Dirty Looks and the Golden Pony.A black-lit trail of neon and psychedelic art through the woods led to the Air Stage, curated by the Zero community, with tree trunk stage design built by Bryant Jensen and wind chime installations by Kristine Kätzchen Kim. Located in a clearing lined with treehouses and elevated platforms, it was an incredibly intimate setting for a mystical and comforting Lee Burridge set in the forest, a magical and pleasant contrast to the massive parties he’s played recently. German house music veteran Oliver Koletzki closed out the last night with a sophisticated yet energetic set that guided a unified crowd with a singular heartbeat.The Earth Stage featured cutting edge visuals and wolf-themed projection mapping designed by Rhizome NYC and the Reliquarium. As expected, Tipper was an enormous climax for all involved, as he tore through warped remixes of Bubble Control and Ambergris as a surprise firework show filled the sky above. The visuals created by the innovative digital artists Datagram.tv provided hyper-vivid layers of inter-dimensional fabrics and portals. The jaw dropping continued for Ott and Liquid Stranger. And female fire collective The Hive heaved giant fire breaths into the dusk sky as Yheti churned a continuous stream of bizarre breaks.The best break-out show was by the young Jade Cicada, who draw a large crowd for a 3:30pm set. Already stacking up shout outs from the likes of Bassnecter, this newcomer has built up a surprisingly strong following over the past year. His free-form bass music is frenetic yet polished with a lot of personality, somewhat akin to Tipper but extremely original in its own right. Combining visceral glitch beats, rapidly changing time signatures, and humorous pop-culture references, Jade knows how to engage. He ripped through originals like “4am” and “Sacred Trek,” which cleverly incorporated the familiar gobbling noises of the arcade classic Pacman, and distorted yet hilarious glitch-hop interpretation of the Cha Cha Slide.Most importantly, Elements provided an opportunity for underground producers and artists to come together, share their art, and thrive off each other’s energy. In a time where musical experience is corporatizing, Elements offered an opportunity for realignment for independent creative entrepreneurs. From the stage managers to the vendors to musical collectives, Elements Lakewood is shaping up to be an annual retreat for presenting and consuming the art and raw energy of the Tri-State area.[photos by Julian Cassidy and FreedomFilm LLC]last_img

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