Mysteryland ’14: Wet & Wonderful

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Au Revior: Kaskade closes out the fest.
Photo: Mark Owens
By Michelle Fetky

Bethel, N.Y. – This past Memorial Day Weekend, ID&T’s Mysteryland, made its American debut. The world’s largest-running electronic festival was held at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, the same legendary grounds where the 1969 Woodstock festival took place 45 years ago. Over 20,000 fans came from all over to experience this latest three-day festival of peace, love and music.

Even though the festival did not officially start until Saturday, the lucky attendees who held a Holy Ground camping ticket were able to enter the grounds at 11 a.m. Friday morning, set up camp and kick off the festival with Nicky Romero’s Protocol Records NY Reboot pre-party. With the rain holding out, campers lugged their bags up hills and through security points. As nightfall hit, everyone gathered at the Circus Tent to dance the night away with DJ performances by John Dahlbäck, Don Diablo, Michael Calfan, Tritional, Vicetone and a special performance by Romero himself.

On Saturday morning, campers slowly began to emerge from their tents. Lines grew for food and showers. People also lined the walkway with chairs and blankets next to any electrical outlet to gain whatever battery life they could. Once fed, showered (at least some people) and semi-charged, everyone began the walk over to the festival entrance, which was a bit of a hike. After a long security check line, people spilled out onto the Bethel Woods grounds and headed for the stages.

Crazed: Steve Aoki on the main stage.
Photo: Pearcey Proper

It was an overcast day with rain showers on and off. Some did not mind getting wet, but others took shelter under umbrellas and ponchos. Still, the weather did not stop anyone from raging. In fact, during Lets Be Friends set a downpour occurred and the people went nuts.

Bassheads gathered at the boat to catch Delta Heavy, Figure, Dirtyphonics, Zomboy and Big Gigantic, while the main stage had talents like Sick Individuals, Dyro, Fedde Le Grand, Nervo, Showtek, Nicky Romero and Steve Aoki. Of course, so many artists overlapped with one another that it was hard to manage. And yes, Aoki closed down the main stage by popping bottles of champagne and throwing multiple cakes.

Sunday was the nicest day of all and everyone was excited to leave their sweatshirts behind. Both stages offered great lineups. The boat killed it with Brillz, Bro Safari, Chase & Status and Dillstradamus. Over at the main stage, built like a house of cards, there was, The Chainsmokers, DVBBS, Kill the Noise, Flosstradamus, Dillion Francis, Moby, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike and Kaskade.

Dynamite Duo: Nervo in the mix.
Photo: Andrew Rauner

Kill the Noise dropped rose petals over the crowd, while Moby won over everyone’s heart with his epic, hit-filled set—he also had spectacular visuals and awesome build-ups. And when he dropped Tiësto’s version of “Adagio for Strings,” the crowd went wild.

Kaskade closed out the night with an emotional and satisfying set. Being the last performance of an historical weekend, Kaskade did not disappoint. The visuals, the fireworks and the confetti all added to the moment.

Although the weekend didn’t include perfect weather, the line-ups were solid, the vibes were positive and attendees were thrilled to be on historic grounds of Woodstock. Mysteryland’s first time in the States certainly made an impression and left its footprint in dance-music history. Until next year…