Every festival has its own personality. Ultra is revered for its setting in the heart of Miami. Coachella is the sophisticated festival in the desert where celebrities can be seen left and right. Tomorrowland is a fantastical world themed with magical scenery that feels like it was taken out of childhood fairytale. But, Mysteryland is an entirely different festival experience that prides itself on being a Culture and Arts festival, transcending the usual music festival.
Music and art festivals have been around for decades. It just wasn’t until the explosion of EDM and the dominant role of social media that people were exposed about the superfluous amount of festivals that are available at a click of a mouse. But, what the dance music culture is looking for is that one festival that defines this generation. The one festival that is the millennial Woodstock.
Woodstock is without a doubt one of the most legendary festivals ever. In the farm country of upstate New York, 400,000 young attendees left their daily lives behind to watch over 30 acts perform in a carefree environment. From the Grateful Dead to Jimi Hendrix to Janis Joplin, the lineup for Woodstock was stacked for 1969, and the 3-day event quickly became the turning point for the rock n roll era. Electronic music is currently looking for its Woodstock.
Every person will argue a different festival is dance music’s Woodstock, but none of them can confidently say that it was a turning point in the scene. Some festival’s have been around for 10+ years and are still looking to be the greatest. Here’s an argument in favor that Mysteryland’s USA edition could become our Woodstock.
First, Mysteryland has been the oldest dance music festival in the Netherlands. Started back in 1993, it has hosted the world’s most influential DJ and live acts of each year, and continually pushes the boundaries. Second, its expansion to the USA only occurred last year, but after its first edition, the festival is now one of the most anticipated events of the summer. The first year boasted a lineup of Kaskade, Moby, Dillon Francis, and many more premier acts, with tens of thousands of people flocking to the legendary Bethel Woods Center where the original Woodstock was held. Many struggled to book one major headliner for their first year, but Mysteryland was able to attract a handful of them and more popular support acts.
Finally, the lineup for this year’s Mysteryland is absolutely breathtaking. Their headliners include Empire of the Sun, Diplo, Porter Robinson, Kygo and Dillon Francis, but it is the diversity of the entire roster is what truly stands out. The event promoters are clearly a forward-thinking group, with the array of underground acts that the festival boasts from Richie Hawtin to Maceo Plex to the Legendary Josh wink to Matthew Dear and Adam Beyer both hosting their own stages. Beyond the main stream and underground tastes, Mysteryland accommodates almost any fans’ tastes with a plethora of artists in the spheres of trap, future funk, tropical house, deep house and more.
Yes, Mysterland does take place on the legendary grounds of where Woodstock made history, but the festival looks beyond just the location to make their mark on this generation of music. Only in its second year and already delivering the most innovative artists that have pioneered what electronic dance music is today, Mysteryland’s future is promising. Are they the Woodstock of this era? No one can say for sure, but Mysteryland’s ability to go beyond the public’s expectations puts them in the front running.