This past weekend, Excision, aka Jeff Abel, held his annual Lost Lands Music Festival in Legend Valley, Ohio, uniting bass heads and headbangers alike to dance with the dinosaurs. After a year-long pause due to the pandemic, the festival-founder promised to bring fans a bigger and better event in comparison to its previous editions. Surely, he did just that.

Each year, Lost Lands is known to go above and beyond to create a memorable experience for festival-goers. Apart from the actual festival, which took place for three days from September 24 – 26, campers were also in for a treat. As I have heard many times before, the best way to attend Lost Lands is to camp at the event. This is because campers have the opportunity to make friends with other campers and attend the festival’s pre-party, which included a massive B2B set.

EDMTunes had the chance to see the official return of Lost Lands this year. Here is our review of the event.

Lost Lands Camping Horror Story

Campers did receive an unsettling start to their Lost Lands experience, although it is important to state that this was beyond the control of organizers and staff. Due to unforeseen weather, early campers saw massive showers hit the campgrounds, leading to the closure of the gates until late Thursday night. This was because the rain caused the grounds to become muddy, making it difficult for vehicles to drive through it. Ultimately, organizers made the decision to close the grounds until the land became dry enough to let cars through without any complications.

Once doors reopened, campers were hit with long lines and wait times, with some saying they couldn’t enter until the early morning of the actual festival. Organizers, however, did well in keeping campers updated on the campsite, making statements multiple times on social media to ensure attendees safety. Excision also gave an update to campers, stating he, his family, and friends were in the eye of the situation to help everyone get to the grounds safely.

Although campers were faced with this difficult situation, everything turned around once the festival began. According to some campers I spoke to, this was only a little bump in the road before the fun really began.

The Festival and Venue

When walking through the entrance of the Lost Lands festival grounds, many can see why this festival is well-known within the dance music community. Besides the blast of bass music flooding the entire area, attendees are surrounded by many animatronic dinosaurs.

Lost Lands did receive a full-out expansion in comparison to recent years. Not only did attendees see an addition of three more stages, but they also saw various chill-out spots, a whole village of retail vendors, and a variety of food vendors.

As a first-timer at the event, I didn’t know what to expect when attending the festival. However, I can tell you that this festival was certainly one of the biggest I’ve been to since the return of events this year.

According to attendees, the festival almost doubled in size in comparison to Lost Lands 2019. If you look at the site maps for both years, the difference is uncanny.  Certainly, more walking was involved for attendees this year, but there was also much more fun and entertainment.

Overall, the venue site was big and spacious. The land was dry, but some attendees found themselves slipping on mud, created from the water stations and Wednesday’s rainstorm.

Lineup

Lost Lands never fails to bring an extensive lineup. This year featured many figureheads in the dubstep/bass music community, including Excision, Subtronics, Griz, Dion Timmer, SLANDER, and more. Apart from the solo acts, there were some special B2B sets, including a first-ever ARMNHMR B2B MitiS set, HE$H B2B Bommer, and best friends Sullivan King B2B Kai Wachi.

What was most impressive about the lineup was how diverse the artists were. Not only did attendees have the chance to listen to dubstep music, but other forms of bass music as well. For example, there was a large number of melodic dubstep artists, such as Crystal Skies, Trivecta, AMIDY, and SLANDER. In addition, there was also a special electro house set by Kai Wachi and Sullivan King.

At first, Sullivan King and Kai Wachi did receive some hate on social media because they were bringing a house set to Legend Valley. However, I had the chance to catch these guys perform their Meal Prep set together, and it was quite relieving to catch a break from the constant dubstep/riddim. Frankly, they both blew me away with their house set. I didn’t know what to expect from their performance, but it certainly exceeded my expectations.

It is worth noting that Lost Lands seemed to have a variety of female artists performing at the festival. You had artists such as Lucii, Jessica Audiffred, Level Up, Lizzy Jane, and Vampa taking the Legend Valley stages to give attendees unique performances while debuting their work.  

Some of the top performances from the event were Adventure Club, Sullivan King/Kai Wachi, ARMNHMR B2B MITIS, Excision’s Throwback Set, and Bijou. However, each artist truly went above and beyond for their performances, as there was not one bad set at the event.

Stage Production

The production at Lost Lands was phenomenal. Not one stage lacked creativity or entertainment. The Prehistoric Main Stage was not only gigantic in size, but it also had a variety of pyrotechnics such as fireworks and fire. The visuals and music quality were great for a stage at its length.  However, due to its close proximity to the Wompy Woods Stage, there was some noise bleed coming from both stages. However, it was only a minor inconvenience.

The Asteroid is a notable stage to mention, as the production was impressive for its size. Fire escaped from the roof of the platform all night, surrounding attendees with great visuals and heat throughout the performances. The heat wasn’t so bad, as attendees experienced cold nights during the event. If festival-goers needed a place to warm up, this was the place to do it.

The only downside to the Asteroid was the size of the stage and its closed fixtures. Most nights, attendees saw an overwhelming number of people at the platform. If you didn’t go early to see your favorite artists, then the chances of you being able to see them were unlikely. More often, you’d find yourself listening to the music at a decent sound level outside of the platform.

The Forest Stage and Subsidia Stage also had some great production, as each one came with its own set of lasers, lights, and visuals. Their locations were a plus, as both had a lot of space for attendees to dance comfortably throughout the day.   

Lost Lands Attendees

Before attending Lost Lands, I always heard the people found at Lost Lands tend to be very introverted. However, after going to the festival, I had a completely different perspective. Everyone I met was very kind and outgoing. Everyone there symbolized what the dance music community is all about. Just love, peace, and respect.

Even those who attended the festival alone, including me, found themselves making friends along the way. Not only that, but you never danced alone, as those around you wanted to take part in all the fun.

As most people say, the people around you are the ones who make an experience memorable. Therefore, the attendees were a huge part in creating such a successful Lost Lands.

Theft

One of the main issues that come with any festival is the possibility of getting your phone stolen. Unfortunately, there was a lot of pickpocketing going around at Legend Valley. Not only did I hear reports of stealing from attendees, but there was also an attendee who caught a pick-pocketer with a full bag of cellphones. This incident circulated across social media, with photos of the phones wrapped in aluminum foil.

The festival is not responsible for the pickpocketers walking among their grounds, so it is not their fault. However, the festival should consider more security guards or helpers in the future.

Medical Tents and Staff

Due to the festival’s large expansion and huge crowds, it was almost impossible to help anyone who needed medical attention. I only say this because I saw a few people collapse while in the crowd, with some who did not receive any medical help for at least 45 minutes. During one situation I witnessed, a man collapsed and fell. Due to his size, his friends had no choice but to wait for assistance as others called for help. However, even if they did choose to carry him, it would have been a long way, as the medical tent was essentially on the opposite end of the stage. Fortunately, paramedics did come to rescue him and took him to the medical tent, but it took them quite a while to get there.

Upon entering the venue, I did notice that there was a lack of medical tents during the event. Not only were there not many, but they also weren’t within close reach from many of the stages. Therefore, it seemed like such an impossible journey to enter one or call for help when you were in the confines of a large crowd such as the main stage.

In this case scenario, it would have been helpful to see paramedics or guards walking around during the event. It would be beneficial to see an increase in medical tents and staff next year to better maintain the health and safety of attendees.

Overall Rating

Although there were some minor inconveniences at the event, they didn’t impact the festival experience by much. Therefore, we are giving this year’s Lost Lands a 9/10.

Lost Lands is still a must-attend event for all those involved in the dance music community. The overall quality of the festival was unmatched in comparison to other music festivals. Plus, how often can you dance the night away with a pack of dinosaurs? Not very likely.

If you are interested in attending Lost Lands 2022, make sure to stay tuned for updates.