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The Number Fest Raised The Bar Yet Again [Event Review]

Another year, another successful Number Fest in the books. This one really outdid itself as it tested the waters with many new and exciting additions from previous years including camping, more VIP options and making it a two-day festival instead of just the typical Saturday. The lineup was stacked primarily with EDM and Rap/Hip-Hop artists per usual as they continue to get top notch talent each and every year. This was my fifth time attending the Number Fest, although the previous four were back when I went to Ohio University in the earlier years of the festival. In my review of the Number Fest weekend I'll breakdown some categories to truly give you the full experience of what this festival is about. It's much more than just the music. I hope you all enjoy!

Weather: You couldn’t have asked for better weather. Both Friday and Saturday were in the mid 70’s and sunny. There was no rain to be found anywhere near Athens, OH…let me say it again, it did not rain. From my past Number Fest experiences it rained every year I went making the field an absolute muddy mess.

Food: Things have changed a lot and for the better since the earlier days of the Number Fest. This year they had a wide variety of food trucks ranging from the classic ‘Burrito Buggy’ to ‘Cupzilla’, which is Korean BBQ in a cup. I was very impressed with the variety.

Drinks: Many voiced their displeasure in that this was the first year that the Number Fest was not BYOB. I think this made people pregame or tailgate longer outside of the festival grounds to avoid paying for drinks, which made it more of a late arriving crowd. As far as drink selection, it was very impressive and reasonable. $6 for a Budlight and about $12 for a mixed drink. The lines were never really that long which is always a plus for a music festival.

Random Things I Saw: One of the greatest things about Number Fest is you never know what to expect. Below are a few of the random things I witnessed at this year's Number Fest.
– Mini zebra (no seriously, there was actually a real mini zebra there)
– Boobs (girls on guys shoulders were required to flash their boobs during Futuristic's performance, if they didn't they were booed)
– A bro fight and a girl fight (clearly alcohol was involved in both)
– Bro tanks and jerseys (no surprise here)
– High waisted jean shorts and crop tops (again, no one is shocked)
– Multiple girls coming out of one port-o-potty (teamwork.)

Friday: I was not sure what to expect when I arrived Friday at around 6pm when the gates opened, since this was the first year the Number Fest was two days. It was sort of a late arriving crowd but they really filled in for NGHTMRE and Big Gigantic. It was never to the point of not being able to move which was great. As the sun went down over the trees, the lights began to shine brighter setting the mood. It was my first time seeing NGHTMRE and I was blown away by his energy…and the bass of course. Big Gigantic also killed their set going through all of their hits and eventually spraying the crowd with confetti. I think looking forward to next year if they want to continue to grow the fest they will have to up Friday's lineup to entice more people to attend. Saturday has always been the day for Number Fest but if you bring out the big guns to headline Friday more people will show.

Big Gigantic

Saturday: As I was waiting outside the gates just before 2pm, I could just feel the excitement and energy in the air. The crowd was already noticeably larger than Friday with tons of people tailgating in the VIP parking area.

One of my favorite performances from the early afternoon was Futuristic. He really got the crowd involved and brought the energy up to a whole new level. Following Futuristic was a favorite of mine, Pierce Fulton. He played a ton of his original tracks (‘Runaway', ‘Kuaga', ‘No More', ‘Old Man & The Sea', etc.) as well as his funky Shirts & Skins track ‘Then Came You’. The crowd really went off when he played his remix of Martin Solevigs ‘Hey Now’.

Pierce Fulton

Things slowed down a bit as Niykee Heaton took the stage. To be honest, I was not very familiar with her but apparently she had quite the following…whether that’s because of her looks or the music we will never know. She sounded pretty good and sang tracks from her ‘Good Intentions’ EP. Slander brought back the energy and really put the speakers to the test with their trap and bass infused tracks. One of my favorite moments was when they played a remix of Aerosmith's ‘I Dont Want to Miss a Thing' and hearing the crowd sing along. It was sort of a relief that most people knew the song from 1998.

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Niykee Heaton

Lil Dicky was as advertised. He was funny, smart and really got the crowd involved too. So involved at one point he brought up a girl on stage and gave her a lapdance… in his boxers while rapping to ‘Save Dat Money’. Oh, he also said he forgot to start off his performance by singing the national anthem, so he helped the crowd sing it all together mid set. It was very entertaining and a little bit quirky but that's sort of his shtick.

Lil Dicky

There couldn’t have been a better person to lead into Fetty Wap as the crowd was eager for him to grace the stage. I wasn’t sure what to expect but he definitely exceeded my expectations. Probably the highlight of the weekend came as 15,000 people strong sang ‘Trap Queen’. It gave me the chills for sure.

Finally to cap off the weekend and close out the Number Fest, The Chainsmokers brought their energy as they played all their hits, remixes and more. They even played an unreleased track that one can assume they were testing out as they played at Coachella the following night. It was an amazing feeling to see everyone around you jumping up and down with confetti filling the air. It was truly the perfect way to end an amazing weekend full of great artists. I can’t wait to see how the Number Fest tries to up the ante as they raised the bar once again.

The Chainsmokers

Photo Credit: Tyler Church Photography on Twitter | Instagram
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