Euphoria Music Festival is celebrating its 5th year in 2016. What was once a regional gem of a festival has transformed into a nationally recognized gathering of culture. Euphoria not only has one of the best line ups we have laid eyes on in 2016 but also features extravagant camping packages, RV camping, art displays and now a pre-party celebrating the new moon the first night of the festival. Euphoria is the latest experience to become something more than just a venue for music with camping. It has become a true gem of culture and art on the base of the Colorado River. I have decided to highlight a few reasons why Euphoria is one of the festivals we are most excited to attend this year.
Let's start first with the obvious reason, the line up. Euphoria announced its initial artist line up months ago. It was impressive to say the least. Artists featured on the line up spanned genres including jam bands, EDM, and hip hop. It was dynamic and exciting. I moved to Lubbock, TX this past summer from Philadelphia. Initially I was quite concerned about the music scene in the lone star state, more because of my ignorance than anything based in reality. I quickly learned that the second largest state in the union is a breeding ground for musical excellence and Euphoria was quickly the first festival that captured my attention.
We used to say that at Euphoria there were no strangers, just friends you haven’t met yet.
As the festival continued to drop more phases to the line up I continued to get more excited. Their announcement of Above and Beyond as the first artist on their second phase was a game changer. They now brought in an entire new realm of possibilities to the line up. A trend they would continue with their full second phase announcement. They have brought on aritsts like Eric Prydz, Cherub, and a slew of up and comers which has given the line up depth and weight as well as credibility. Euphoria's line up is all that is right in dance music at the moment, they did not shy away from indie acts, nor did they exclude mega stars. It is a comprehensive picture of what the scene looks like at the current moment.
Let's go to the second reason, the incredible community behind Euphoria. I reached out to the festival's founder Mitch Morales for some help on what makes Euphoria so special, and his responses made it clear that this festival is built on a foundation of love. Euphoria, as mentioned before, is now celebrating its fifth year in existence. Just as any proud parent would have quite a bit to say about their child's first five years of life, I wanted to pick Mitch's brain on the emotions connected to watching his festival grow.
“Obviously, whenever you undertake a project of this nature and scope, there are going to be a lot of emotions tied into it. This is our passion. We've poured our blood, sweat and tears into this for the past five years, so we always want to come with our best which means outdoing the year before. I haven’t allowed myself the time to take a second to look back at where we’ve come from nor what we’ve become. I am guessing that will happen sometime during the middle of Above & Beyond’s set on the final night of Euphoria.”
The answer is one of a man who is entirely in the moment. Someone that does not live in the past with regret nor in the future with anxiety. That in my mind characterizes Euphoria perfectly. A place to go and just be alive, separated by the influences of the outside world, a place that is free enough to allow you to be yourself. I could not agree more on the A&B comment either, I think 75% of my powerful existential moments in the past five years have come during a group therapy session with 2-3 British gentlemen at one main stage or another. So with my interpretation on what Euphoria stood for, I wanted to see exactly where he obtained inspiration for the festival, and how that has shaped it over the years of growth.
“The initial thought behind Euphoria is still very much a part of our fabric today. The desire to pull together Euphoria stemmed from my travels around the world going to festivals and experiencing this great sense of community between so-called strangers. When I returned I knew it was something that I wanted to bring to Austin and with the help of my friends we did it. And it is that sense of community that I feel is thread that ties year one to today. We used to say that at Euphoria there were no strangers, just friends you haven’t met yet. That’s no longer a big part of our messaging because it does not need to be said. It can be seen.”
So I took it one step further and asked him if he could break down Euphoria in 5 words, his response honestly gave me chills of nervous excitement to get down to Austin for my first Euphoria experience.
“Wow. That is tough. Freedom. Community. Energy. Discovery. Beginnings.”
So it is clear that the line up and community make Euphoria damn near perfect, but what about the end piece that brings it all together? It is truly the little things. That is the third reason for why Euphoria is why we love music festivals. They are bringing a slew of things this year in addition to amazing music and vibes.
Each day will start off with morning yoga hosted on the Dragonfly stage which overlooks the Colorado River to make sure everyone is in top spiritual, mental and physical condition for the day moving forward. Euphoria for the first time ever is bringing a late night silent disco featuring local and regional talents. This is the same silent disco that has made its way from the Sherwood Forest of Rothbury (later Electric Forest) and festivals in CA such as Treasure Island. Alamo Drafthouse, the Texas fan favorite dine in movie theater corporation, will be hosting indie flicks and special surprise appearances throughout the weekend for campers who want to chill out and get their cinema on. These are just some of the noteworthy special showcases coming to Euphoria this year, all for free, all for the fans. There are so many more special additions to the festival that I cannot realistically explain them all, you need to come and see for yourself.
We love festivals here at EDM Sauce, that is no secret. The past few years have been rough though. We have seen many festivals canceled in 2016 so far, and many more decline in quality. But luckily we have Euphoria to remind us exactly why we love the music festival culture, because when it is done right, like they do it down in Austin, you leave a changed and enlightened person permanently. We cannot wait for April 7th-10th.