Mysteryland USA - The Happiest Festival I've Ever Been To
Mysteryland USA is now over, and its safe to say that the inaugural gathering was a complete success. The festival was perfect, but not necessarily in all of the ways you might expect. Despite the rain and the cashless system going down for a few hours, the festival was one of the most magical events I have ever witnessed, and I’ve attended a fair share of festivals so far. What made Mysteryland so enchanting were the positive vibes, attention to detail and downright amazing music on every single stage of the festival.
It is not uncommon to hear people complain at a music festival – and I’ll never exactly understand why. But at Mysteryland, this was not the case. The combination of camping and older crowds really brought out the best in everyone, and the result was 20,000 smiling faces. Maybe the setting of Woodstock's original grounds had something to do with it...
It's hard to speak on my experience at Mysteryland without first talking about its stages. The main stage, if you haven’t already seen by now, was a colossal castle of cards – an Alice in Wonderland theme that could take you straight down the rabbit hole if you looked hard enough. My favorite part of the main stage was the giant clock that was placed front and center – in place of every numeral on the clock was the word “Now,” which made sense because when you’re in a magical world like Mysteryland, the time is always now. I don’t think there’s a more appropriate way to describe the way everyone at this festival felt, so I think it’s safe to say that the festival designers had the right idea in mind.
The music was fantastic at every stage of the festival throughout the weekend, but below we’ve picked out some of our favorite sets from the weekend. Let us know in the comments which ones you think we missed!
Top 6 Sets From Mysteryland (Because we couldn’t pick just 5)
1. Dillon Francis / Dillstradamus
At this year's Mysteryland USA, Dillon brought the party... twice. For his main stage performance, he masterfully executed our favorite set of the weekend, dropping everything from old Moombahton hits like “IDGAFOS” to new remixes of Daft Punk and a jokingly catchy Meowski 666 (Dillon and Kill the Noise) remix of “Tremor” by Dimitri Vegas, Martin Garrix and Like Mike. For his second and closing set on The Boat, Dillon Francis and Flosstradamus brought us to a house party filled with old school classics like Alice Deejay, “Better Off Alone.” They even threw stacks of money off the boat into the crowd. All the way around, both of Dillon’s sets got the crowd moving nonstop.
The electronic music icon Moby brought us back to an "old school" rave at this last weekend, dropping dance classics such as “Infinity” all throughout his set. Along with the best light show of the weekend, Moby reminded everyone at Mysteryland USA that he’s truly a legend for a reason.
Opening with “It’s You It’s Me” was a pretty bold statement, but it worked, as it set the tone for the rest of his beautiful-crafted closing set of Mysteryland. Dropping a ton of hits, giving everyone ‘them feels,’ and even playing the hot new Galantis track “You,” made this one of our top sets of the weekend.
4. Justin Martin
The catchy and groovy beats we heard at Justin Martin's set in the Spiegeltent had us feeling like Michael Jackson, moon walking across the dance floor like a smooth criminal. The Spiegeltent was on fire while Martin played, with the sunset peering through its stained glass surroundings made for one of the most memorable moments of the weekend.
5. Oliver Heldens
Oliver Heldens brought his passion for deep, jackin, and tech house records to the main stage and kept the energy going all afternoon. Despite fans swarming the stage continuously, there was always enough room to run straight to the front. Everyone was turning and gasping at each other every time Oliver switched tempos, and when he dropped his hit "Gecko," there was not a single person standing still in the crowd.
6. Noise Controllers
This was the first set I was able to see in MLUSA's Q-dance stage, and it was worth all the hype. The amount of energy and emotion I felt upon entering was incredible. I felt Bas Oskam's passion from the front all the way to the outside of the stage. Everyone was at his set for a reason: to raise some hell with a whole lot of stomping and flag waving.
Photo Credit - Cover Photo - Kerry Sullivan
Photo Credit - Main Stage - Andrew Rauner