The Electronic Dance Music festival which took the East Coast by storm in 2014, succeeded again this year as Baltimore's Pimlico Race Course hosted the still blossoming Moonrise Festival 2015. August 8th sparked the kickoff to this music filled weekend with what seemed like an endless list of artists performing on both days, we knew that experiencing each set was not going to be easy, but still a fun challenge. Tens of thousands of young people from many different walks of life pranced joyously upon the gates of Pimlico displaying vibrant rave attire from their shawls to their LED hoops and Bassnectar totems. After the long and anxious wait to get in, we all finally broke through the long lines and entered the tunnel leading into another world of musical fantasy.
Day One featured acts such as Zomboy, Andrew Rayel, a back to back set from Doctor P vs. Funtcase vs. Cookie Monsta, and of course the most anticipated set of the night performed by none other than the "Bass God" himself, Mr. Bassnectar. We made it just in time for Doctor P vs Funtcase vs Cookie Monsta. Making our way over to the Solar Tent, we heard the first build up, and in that instance felt at home. It was one of the most insane, bass-packed, high energy sets of the whole festival. Moonrise patrons were absolutely mind-blown by this set, and it only got better when the majority of Bassheads drifted over to the Lunar Stage as Lorin Ashton aka Bassnectar, took his throne to deliver an Earth shattering set. In that moment we looked around at the crowd jumping and dancing without a care in the world. It was amazing how just a few people performing on stage captured our hearts and minds with their sounds and lights, but they did. The entire crowd was engaged and hanging on his every movement, and so was I. We felt as though we were all connected during his performance right up until the very end. Most of Nectar's religious followers said that his Moonrise 2015 set deafeated the "Mudson Project" revenge set that he threw down at Camp Bisco 2015 three weeks prior. Lorin yelled out to the crowd in the last few minutes of his set, "Hell Yes! Happy 808!!! This festival doubled the size this year! Make some noise Moonrise!!!" The crowd roared, glowsticks flew, and totems raised high like flags in the wind. Day One went out with a serious bang, 808 style.
The second and final day of Moonrise delivered non-stop action from start to finish. Trance and House lovers were most likely to be found enjoying the delightful sounds of Porter Robinson, Myon & Shane 54, and Blasterjaxx at the Lunar and Stellar stages. Meanwhile, at the Celestial Garden, Brillz locked down his very own "Twonk Stage", and absolutely curated what most thought to be a dream come true. We found ourselves splitting up to tell each other about our experiences, but at the same time wishing we were together. When some were holding it down with Brillz, some made their way over to the dance tent where most were found to be head banging to Snails' signature Vomitstep, Datsik's filthy Dubstep, or high octane legend Dieselboy's Drum & Bass. Arms were flailing, legs were kicking, and it seemed like there was zero control to be had. Each person in the crowd was right there with us as we sang and danced along. What we most waited for however, were festival closers Zeds Dead and Above & Beyond. Zeds Dead really took us to a new place in their creative and trap bangers while over at the Stellar Stage, two out of three of the London based progressive trance group (Tony McGuniness and Paavo Siljamaki) Above & Beyond lived up to their name by leaving their fans completely awestruck as they spun the most emotional yet uplifting performance of the Moonrise 2015. As always, their show was not one to disappoint with couples warmly embracing eachother and singing along. There was nothing to do but bring our hands to the sky dancing the night away in such a beautiful sight with misty eyes alike. One of the last messages Tony and Paavo typed to the jumbotron screen behind them read, "Music Unites Us All." This couldn't have been more true as a bright bomb of confetti and streamers popped from the stage as smiling strangers stood arm in arm realizing life is really made of small moments like these.
First time festival goer, Keri Garrety spoke to us with such strong words when she said, "For my first time at a music festival, I would not trade it for the world. The people, the vibes, the atmosphere, and the artists were all amazing! It was my first time seeing Bassnectar and Above & Beyond. To end my first Moonrise experience with Above & Beyond will always hold a special place in my heart. Their whole set was absolutely breath taking, and mesmerizing if you will. Moonrise 2015 was something that I have never experienced in my life and I'm so happy I finally had the opportunity to share the good vibes and build priceless friendships and memories!"
Jolted with a plethora of build ups and drops, dubstep sounds as well as trap, and light shows that cannot be put into words; all that is really left to say is... Thank you Moonrise Festival 2015 for exceeding our expectations entirely. Here is a video below to leave you with so you can all reminisce with us as festival season has truly come to an end.
Written by Kellee Liverani and Matt Lechowicz