Written by ManVsParty
The music festival scene has become quite crowded in recent years. Festivals are popping up all over the country and Texas alone has several large ones of note with new ones set to spring up in Ft. Worth and outside of Houston in 2017. Many across the country boast to be the best but with so many sharing the same lineups throughout festival season it’s hard for a new festival to stand out.
Only in year 2, Day for Night is certainly not like the others. With a variety of interactive art displays and an eclectic mix of music, catering to some of the most avant garde tastes, this Houston based festival stands out among the monotony of the Coachella and Lollapaloozas. This year it was housed right in downtown Houston, in what was once the main post office in town and is currently awaiting its transformation into renovated downtown living. The organizers did well with the giant building, setting up 4 stages throughout the large building and its parking lot.
Although art abounded through the building, the second floor was dedicated to it and left many to get lost in it. The gigantic TUNDRA, which felt like a grid out of Tron had people captivated for hours. The ability to walk through the pitch black rooms full of light displays made you feel like a part of the experience. Of course, the stand out of the art displays was the Bjork Digital VR experience that had some people waiting in line up to 5 hours if they were not lucky enough to reserve a time slot.
The 80 minutes the experience took in of itself was daunting enough for those of us lucky enough to get in. Through each of the separate, 25 person rooms, you are placed directly in front of Bjork. First as she serenades you on the beautiful Icelandic coast, she takes you into a cave, then melts in front of you and into space, and finally culminating in a silhouette like form while a vagina expels light beams that you can manipulate with your controller. Definitely interesting, but I wonder if those who spent 5 hours+ thought it was worth missing out on so many of the artists.
The festival kicked off with Welcome to Houston, which is comprised of legendary Houston rappers all welcoming you to the festival and the city they call home. Paul Wall banged out some hits, Lil Flip played a dubstep heavy version of his hit “The Way We Ball” and Bun B closed out with his verse from “Int’l Players Anthem.” Tycho and Tobacco had huge crowds going for their eclectic sounds. The Jesus and Mary Chain belted out the classics to huge crowds but by far the biggest crowd of the weekend went to Richard D. James, better known as Aphex Twin. Many had traveled from across the country to see his 2-hour set. The dedicated crowd stuck around even as the sky opened up for a surprise storm and temperatures dropped 30 degrees, managing to stay warm by just dancing. After, many even stuck around till 2 to dance to DJ collective Soulection.
The weather was not as kind on Sunday, where the temperature barely moved above 45 but many were still ready to party. Austin’s S U R V I V E easily had one of the largest crowds I saw on the indoor blue stage, they played the theme to Stranger Things to the delight of many in the crowd. The haunting melodies a perfect sound for the dreary day. Lightning Bolt had many outside grooving to their chaotic sounds. Liars had an upbeat performance that got everyone dancing. RZA from the legendary Wu-Tang Clan had the crowd with their hands in the air and everyone went nuts when he covered “Shimmy Shimmy Ya” by his deceased cousin, Ol’ Dirty Bastard. My favorite of the evening was another DJ from the UK, Squarepusher. By the time local rapper Travis Scott performed, the crowd had thinned, due to the weather but many diehards crammed as close to the stage as possible to close out the evening.
Day for Night has certainly left an impression in only 2 short years, definitely curious to see how they manage to top themselves in year 3.