If you live on the east coast and are in the electronic dance music scene, you probably have heard the name Badvss Raves before. The company has been running as long as we can remember and has brought to the scene some of the most positive grass roots events to many of the major EDM markets on the eastern seaboard. While Badvss throws a plethora of single night shows over the course of the year, it is their festivals where we have found the most genuine version of the company's vision. Our main home here at EDM Sauce with Badvss falls very close to the border of Pennsylvania and Maryland at Camp Ramblewood. Here, Badvss hosts two events a year, one in the spring and another in the fall. Dreamscape, the spring event, was one of our favorite festivals of the warmer months. You can check out our review of it here. Last weekend, we had the pleasure of being hosted again at the spooky halloween inspired event Nightmare Festival and in no way, shape, or form, were we disappointed in the slightest. As the title says, it was the place to get down, grimy, and spooky for halloweekend this year.
With school, work, and plenty of other responsibilities beating down on me the week leading up to Nightmare, the festival seemed to not be able to come soon enough. Unfortunately we were not able to leave for the festival until Friday at around 4pm. Music had already begun and many/most of the campsites were already set up by the time we were leaving, so getting there and getting to the music was a pressing matter. Finally we arrived at Ramblewood at 6pm. Parking was a breeze even with a decent amount of traffic in the parking area. We must have not been the only ones who had to arrive late on Friday. The staff was courteous and nice and attempted to hold cars who were trying to sneak up in line in order to keep things fair. “Just bare with me y'all, I'm fixing the chaos” was the line we heard many times before we had successfully parked. Once parked, we headed into the festival and sprinted our way to the main warehouse to make sure we snagged a good spot for Bleep Bloop's set at 7:30. Starting off the weekend with some classic outer space beats was filling us with giddiness and excitement.
Bleep Bloop knowns a thing or two about getting weird, and similar to his performance at Dreamscape, that's exactly what he did. With his unconventional drum patterns and synths that seem to come from outer space, the experimental trap set sent us into another dimension. A fresh sound coming from a young producer was the perfect way to start the weekend for us. We kept our spot in the crowd for the next two hours or so and geared up for the wonky dub style of Ganja White Night and the heavy wonky riddim influenced beats of Dubloadz. Both of these sets ended up being two of our favorites of the entire weekend. The Belgian duo known as Ganja White Night threw down an epic set that reminded us of the earlier days of dubstep. With very basic drum patterns and slicing synths, the whole room was bouncing from start to finish. Ganja had a stellar festival season and having the chance to catch them again gave way for worry that their set would sound relatively similar to their festival sets from the warmer months, but we were happy to be surprised with not only new music but also some special VIP's of many of their tracks off of their Mr. Wobble EP.
Up next was Dubloadz who had also gained one hell of a reputation over the last year. His set was nothing sheer of an energetic journey through some of the heaviest bass music we heard all weekend. Dropping all of the tracks off of his new Cuck Life EP as well as plenty of other music from Disciple records, the label he belongs to, we were very satisfied with his song selection. His mixing was stellar as well throwing in double drops galore and using many vocals and build ups from some of the biggest bass music songs outside of dubstep in the genres of trap and drum and bass. We headed out of the warehouse main stage covered in sweat and ready to take on the rest of the night. Our night wouldn't last much longer though, as we were equally exhausted as we were excited to see more music.
We headed over to the barn which is where our night would end. Luckily before we threw in the towel, we had a chance to catch sets by Late Night Radio and Crissy Criss. Late Night Radio got us down and dirty with some of the funkiest feels music we've ever experienced. In the midst of jamming in the barn, we took a few minutes of air outside as it had gotten very chilly and after the last few hours of dancing it felt great to let that cold breeze pass over us. We walked around the campsites by the barn and found probably the biggest campsite we had see so far. Just by staring at the large dome structure at the entrance to the campsite, we were welcomed in by those inside. They explained to us the campsite was open to anyone who wanted to come in and enjoy the company. Along with the extremely generous souls running the camp, they offered us comfortable blow up furniture to sit in, a fire to cozy up around, and food ranging from oreos to hot dogs to you name it. We spent a decent amount of time at the campsite, and experiences like this are what make Badvss festivals such a special rarity, the welcoming open arms unspoken policy by all those who attend. We headed back to the barn with smiles on our faces ready for a little more music before we grabbed our night caps.
Last but surely not least we caught the first thirty minutes of Crissy Criss's set who gave us something that we don't get to experience very often in the United States, a proper drum and bass set. From the melodic liquid style of DnB, to the jungle anthems, to the breakbeat weird experimental tracks that made us look like idiots trying to dance to them, all of our 175-180 bpm needs were satisfied. While we would have loved to stay for more, our eyes became heavy and we called it a night. We traveled back to get our rest for the next day knowing even more great music and awesome surprises would be in store for us.
Waking up on day two we were greeted with gorgeous weather outside. We couldn't remember the last time it was 65 and sunny on halloweekend but we were really happy it was that day. We headed to the festival early that day to catch up with some friends and hang around at their campsites. We were blessed to find out once we arrived that there was some serious local east coast talent through down on the Area 51 stage all afternoon, so while we wanted to relax, it seemed that we couldn't keep ourselves away from the music. Our favorite act of the day was also the first act we had the chance to see. Local Philly producer Fenx absolutely slayed a larger crowd that we expected for his 12pm set. The sun was shining bright and everyone in the festival was happy to wake up to such a stellar performance both song selection wise and mixing wise. We took the rest of the day to enjoy the stage and rest up for the rest of the day ahead of us. Our first big act of the day was dubstep dragon phenom Squnto. Squnto provided us with the most chaotic yet smooth set we practically have ever seen. With his signature megachop in full effect we could barely even understand what song we were listening to as it seemed it changed every second, and we loved it. The highlight of the set was by far the biggest and best wall of death I personally have ever had the chance the witness. We can't wait to see what Squnto has in store next for us as it seems his sets just continue to get better and better as time goes by.
We began our night by watching the sun set over the trees at Camp Ramblewood. The venue is truly a gorgeous place and all who attended preached over the course of the whole weekend about how lucky we are to have it. We couldn't agree with the festival consensus more. Separated from society, it becomes our personal wonderland filled with open arms and lots of smiles for a few days. I think its safe to say that one of the reasons many attend festivals is to be able to get away in the perfect way we do at Ramblewood. As the sun fell we entered into the madness that was the warehouse once more. We had seen what happens to people inside the night before, and we were ready for the ride. Beginning with British act Jvst Say Yes, we got down to some dirty bass house to start the night. With the festival being dominated by bass music, it was really nice to get the chance to feel out some four on the floor groove. We shuffled our hearts out for the first forty minutes of the set, but found that we couldn't stay away from the heaviness of the Area 51 stage. We headed down there just in time to catch young riddim gods Codd Dubz and Ranga's b2b set. From the first song we got stuck in what seemed to be a never ending vortex of blasphemous riddim. Not only was the duo throwing down a b2b set in the most proper and well done sense, but their song selection, double drops, and chopping skills took the stag to a whole new level. The crowd was rightfully losing their minds, and it was one of the most enjoyable times we had all weekend. Hats off to Ranga & Codd for bringing their A game to Nightmare.
Finally, we entered the warehouse stage for our last time of the weekend. The place was filled to the brim and everyone was ready for the two biggest headliners of the weekend. Up first was hip-hop dubstep superstar Crizzly who's set I will have a hard time putting into words. It has been a long time since I have seen such a clean, well planned, electric set from an artist. Crizzly's energy level was unimaginable to me until after he played his first song. The set infused trap and dubstep along with hip hop in a way that only a great artist like Crizzly could do. The genre switching added a sense of wonder and excitement to the experience as well, as we truly never knew what was going to come next. Hands down, this was the best set the weekend had to offer. We commend you Crizzly, and are praying to the dance music gods for a tour from you very soon. The night ended on the perfect note for Nightmare Festival. The biggest name on the lineup Figure took the stage with his classic Terrorvision set up and tore the warehouse a new one to say the least. The horror movie visuals matched with Figure's incredible vinyl mixing led to a head banging fiasco out of a bass fan's wet dream. As his set came to a close, so did our spirits and we headed to sleep with a sense of sorrow knowing we had to leave tomorrow.
All in all, this weekend was an absolute stellar production. The vibes were perfect and the open arms policy from campsite to campsite was refreshing. We do not want to forget to mention that the Dance Safe team who ran their testing booth all weekend did an incredible Job as well as the EMT's and security on site. Their ability to be professional, understanding, and kind to all the festival goers while keeping us safe added to the already fantastic atmosphere of the vent. The music was on point, and the experience was one we will never forget. Kudos to you Badvss Raves, for keeping alive the parts of our scene that we should celebrate and that bring us together one event at a time.
Photos by Badass Raves Photography& Inmotion Event Photography