Festival Spotlight EP010: Mysteryland USA
While it is clear that music is the life force behind EDM, no one can argue that dance music would not be where it is now without the driving force of its festival scene. From Woodstock in the early 1970s to the early days of EDC in Los Angeles in the 2000s to the massive underground festivals of Europe, music festivals have been deeply ingrained into the world’s culture.
In a new weekly series, EDM.com is shining the spotlight on lesser known festivals around the world that are on par with marquee festivals like Electric Daisy Carnival, Ultra, and Tomorrowland. These festivals are highlighted for the atmosphere, the people, and most importantly, the music and the talent that they bring. From Austria’s signature Snowbombing festival, to ZoukOut in Singapore, to Shambhala in Canada, this series will be your one-stop guide to some of the best hidden gems in the festival scene around the world.
This week’s pick is the longest running EDM festival in the world, Mysteryland.
Since its inception in 1993, Mysteryland has firmly cemented its legacy as one of the best music festivals in the world, due to its forward-thinking and innovative blend of culture, music, and arts. Billed as the longest running dance music festival in the Netherlands, the ID&T produced music festival has a lengthy past, and is the precursor to some of the biggest and most iconic music festivals in the world today, including its sister festivals, Tomorrowland and TomorrowWorld.
In 2011, Mysteryland left the Netherlands expanded their brand internationally, calling Chile its second home. The very first international Mysteryland was a massive success, and since its debut in 2011, Mysteryland Chile has taken place year after year, and is considered a premier festival in South America. In 2014, Mysteryland, once again, ventured abroad, but this time, ID&T took their iconic festival brand stateside, setting up shop in Bethel Woods, New York.
The stomping ground for Mysteryland USA is iconic for more than one reason. Bethel Woods was home of the 1969 Woodstock festival, an iconic gathering in American history and culture, and Mysteryland USA, with its twenty-year history, is bringing back the same enlightened approach to festival production, albeit almost 50 years in the future.
Mysteryland’s USA debut was a tremendous success. With twenty years of experience under their belts, the two-day festival brought together a diverse array of superstars and up-and-coming talents, and created a tight-knit community of festival-goers. In 2014, the festival not only welcomed main stage talents like Steve Aoki, Kaskade, and Dillon Francis, but Mysteryland also paid homage to its underground roots with its side stages, which featured both big and small acts like Seth Troxler, Dubfire, Joris Voorn, and Justin Martin.
This year’s edition of Mysteryland USA will bring a similarly curated group of artists, with one spectrum lying in the main stage, with the roots of the festival firmly planted in the underground. Spanning two days, the festival will welcome a wide spectrum of artists, including Porter Robinson and his live Worlds setup, as well as tropical house flagbearer, Kygo, on Friday, while dance music’s favorite jokester, Dillon Francis, will be returning for his second year at Mysteryland with Mad Decent head honcho, Diplo, on Saturday.
Away from the main stage, Mysteryland USA will be hosting stages curated by New York’s Verboten and Zeitgeist brands, which specialize in undergroud talent, as well as techno havens curated by Matthew Dear and his Subversion stage, and Adam Beyer and his Drumcode stage. The iconic Netherlands hardstyle brand, Q-Dance, will be hosting a stage on Friday, while Webster Hall will be taking over that stage on Saturday for their Girls+Boys stage, which features up-and-coming talents like Anna Lunoe, Mija, Giraffage, and Nora en Pure.
While the monstrous lineups that Mysteryland pulls year in and year out are a major draw for the festival, they are not the only “festival” that sets up shop at Bethel Woods. The second run of Mysteryland USA will also see the return of Brooklyn’s Smoragasburg food festival, dubbed “The Woodstock of Eating,” which will feature delicious eating options by local New York vendors.
Mysteryland USA will be taking place over Memorial Day weekend in 2015, and limited tickets to the festival are still available. Make sure to snag your tickets here, because this is one festival you don’t want to miss.