Guest Post by Max Christiansen

It is always interesting to see how festivals similar to Rapture improve from year to year. Just imagine the event producers in the crowd watching all their preparations culminate into an experience for music fans who expect a certain level of quality after last year’s show. Things such as stage design, talent bookings, and logistics all must improve, and they did.

This year’s Rapture Music Festival exceeded last year’s inaugural show in several ways. The stages were situated closer together and turned toward the beach so none felt too barren. Specifically, Rapture removed a long walk between the Flying Circus stage of last year and the rest of the festival. They also moved a stage onto the beach, which allowed people to party in the water and on the sand. Overall, this year was more intimate. There was also far more to do, such as watch a dude who looked exactly like Jimi Hendrix playing guitar in front of acro-yogis and a massage table during the day, just in case you wanted to take a break from the incredible house music at six different stages.

The music was of course the best part – why else do we go to these things? Rapture organizers know exactly what they’re doing when it comes to talent bookings. Rapture invites the best house artists from all over the world and somewhat organizes their stages according to house niche. On the Un_Mute stage, we saw a six hour morning set from RPR Soundsystem, a b2b (back-to-back) act by the founders of [a:rpia:r], Romanian minimal house label, as well as a special closing set later that night. The Un_Mute stage was also hosted by ReSolute, and featured awesome performances from Cristi Cons x Dewalta, Zip, tINI, Ion Ludwig, and Sammy Dee. The Un_Mute crowd enjoyed a great many unreleased minimal tracks with complex high-energy bass lines and layered percussion, along with the unnoticeable mixing between them by these elemental artists. It is pretty rare to find that kind of music in America at such a quality.

Tech fans found a place to park at the Nomad stage with special sets from tINI and M.A.N.F.L.Y rocking the beach: tINI with her funky vocals she gathered from living in Ibiza, according to RA, and M.A.N.D.Y / Audiofly members with a groovy, soothing, mind-erasing mixture in front of the water. Nomad was hosted by Mixmag, WAV, and Lab Miami and featured several other artists who kept the sun fresh for twelve hours.
The Be-At.tv Soundgarden stage featured Hernan Cattaneo, Yotto, Guy Mantzur, Danny Howells, Nick Warren, and Eelke Kleijn. Proper progressive house sounds together with deep house underneath a tent in between the Un_Mute and Terra (main) stages. Hernan Cattaneo obviously put the crowd in a trance along with a quintessential set from Yotto and a dramatic yet bass-teasing one from Mantzur. Every set at this stage was recorded and streamed by Be-At.tv and can be found on its website, same as its name.

The Terra Stage led the festival overall with headliners Luciano, Guy Gerber, and Chris Liebing, big names in different parts of the world who definitely attracted the largest crowd at night. Un_Mute was consistently crowded all day. However, with new music from the Terra headliners, the crowd couldn’t resist; Guy Gerber’s deep house, Luciano’s tropical-infused house, and Chris Liebing techno were crowd favorites.
Until next year.