Check out our video recap! Video produced by Ivana Bosek. Check her work out here.
What The Festival has always been an important pilgrimage for us here at Booms and Claps. This festival fills what had been a growing void in the Pacific Northwest; a boutique festival experience that caters towards adults looking to have the time of their lives. People aren’t joking around when they say What The Festival is “summer camp for adults”. After attending this beautiful (understatement) festival every single year since its inception in 2012, it is clear that the curators’ first priority is making sure attendees will have the absolute best time of their lives, 100%. The attention to detail is insane; from hauling in Oregon beach sand for the pool stage, planting an insane amount of grass seed for the dance floors to deter dust, curating dozens of art installations in The Illuminated Forest, movement classes, a hookah lounge, the list goes on and on. Oh yeah, and the music was spectacular too, emitting from mostly all Funktion 1 sound rigs.
The Groove Qube. Thank you Aaron Glassman.
After getting all settled in, we headed over to the Equinox stage and caught our local Portland homies Wolfkin and Cory O and Raquel Divar kick off the festival proper. This year, there was an entirely new stage set up in the Illuminated Forest called the Groove Qube. In my opinion, this stage took the cake for best stage, and it seems that’s the general consensus. On Thursday, Professor Stone gave us our first taste of the auditory and visual delights the Groove Qube would come to provide us throughout the weekend. Think of being in a nightclub… with the walls made of cubes, constantly changing colors, all while being outside. Each cube was wired with up with a RBGW light fixture, all fully programmed and controlled live with the music. It was a truly unique experience.
The Pool. Thank you Daniel Zetterstrom.
If you asked anyone how their What the Festival experience was you might have heard about the rain. In the last four years WTF has existed, it’s always been clear skies in the upper 80s and 90s. This year, we learned to cope with a bit of drizzle; mainly on Friday night. The pool itself didn’t truly pick up steam until Sunday, but that didn’t stop people from enjoying the music, which was predominantly house. I’m personally not the biggest fan of house but a little bit of quality house music poolside is sometimes just what the doctor ordered. Some notable sets that we personally enjoyed were LSV, Motez, Drexler, and Bennyrox. If the house music wasn’t your thing, you were sure to be entertained by the near-constant shenanigans going down poolside. Inflatable pizza pie twerk off? No problem! A floating used tampon? Of course. Two girls taking selfies dropping their phones in the water? Definitely. The list goes on and on.
Epic sunset on Sunday night. Thanks Daniel Zetterstrom.
Friday and Saturday were definitely the most stacked days for bass music fans. Team Supreme had a showcase at the Effin Stage, with Gangsigns getting the night started followed by Penthouse Penthouse, and then what was supposed to be Djemba Djemba, but he didn’t end up making it to the festival. Chase Manhattan got things popping at the Qube, and then we headed over to Equinox to catch Wake The Town‘s curated block with PRSN, Barisone, and Sam Binga. These guys have been bringing very dope talent the their monthly event at The Liquor Store in Portland that you should definitely check out. Saturday started off strong with Beat Lab Radio homie Matt Wax, Booms and Claps resident Pacific Patterns, and BOGL (we are releasing his summer wavy mix!). Our very own Tom Kha Soup played arguably one of the better sets of the weekend at the Qube that night, and I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that. As for Sunday, Portland hometown hero EASTGHOST stole the show with an incredibly energetic set with a ton of original tunes that had the crowd moving. Be on the lookout for this dude in 2016 and beyond.
The crew that makes it all happen. Thanks Daniel Zetterstrom.
It’s somewhat rare that a festival goes off without a hitch for as long as What The Festival has. From year one, you could tell the curators had a specific intention and vibe in mind, and the journey has just begun. What the Festival is not a festival that will “sell out”, it is a festival that will mature for years to come. Do yourself a favor. Go.