Even though both weekends of Coachella have come to a close and Ultra Music Festival is firmly behind us, summer festival season is just getting started. In addition to iconic festivals like Insomniac’s Electric Daisy Carnival, ID&T’s TomorrowWorld and Tomorrowland, and Made Event’s Electric Zoo that are all still on the horizon, there are countless smaller, more niche festivals, like Wakarusa and Shambhala, setting up shop around the country year after year.
With so many festivals on the calendar for 2015 and festival ticket prices steadily rising, it’s hard to decide which festies are worth your precious time and money. Festivals like Electric Daisy Carnival, TomorrowWorld, and Coachella charge a high price, but the return is massive, as the festivals pride themselves on creating an immersive experience beyond the music for all of their festival-goers. Other festivals, like Mysteryland and Lightning in a Bottle, target more niche markets, charging lower ticket prices, but promising a more diverse array of talent and activities. Is one better than the other? Huffington Post thinks so, as they present 5 smaller festivals that they believe are actually better than Coachella.
Huffington Post lists Mysteryland USA, Wakarusa, Shambhala, Camp Bisco, and AfroPunk, as their five festivals better than Coachella. While all five of these festivals are undeniably smaller than the Coachella’s, EDC’s, and Tomorrowland’s of the world, they are all still pretty well known stops on the festival circuit, which begs the question – what sets these festivals apart?
The first festival on Huffington Post’s list is Mysteryland USA. The Mysteryland brand is one of the longest-running dance music festivals in the world, as the festival made its debut in 1994 in the Netherlands. Last year, the festival expanded to the United States, laying down its roots in Bethel Woods, NY, the location of the original Woodstock festival. With headliners like Kygo, Dillon Francis, Diplo, Empire of the Sun, Porter Robinson, and Madeon, there’s no shortage of talent playing at the two-year-old festival. Huffington Post describes who should go to Mysteryland USA as, “You believe PLUR is a lifestyle choice and jump at any chance to let your inner rave goddess run free around the campfire.”
In addition to Mysteryland USA, Shambhala is the only other primarily dance music festival that Huffington Post shines a spotlight on. Held in British Columbia, Shambhala welcomes over 300 musicians and artists performing against the gorgeous backdrop of the wilderness of Canada. Shambhala will be hosting Skrillex, Datsik, Big Gigantic, Pretty Lights, Kygo, Bonobo, amongst many others, at one of the most unique festival experiences in the world.
Is there really all that much different between Coachella and Mysteryland USA or Shambhala? Huffington Post seems to think so. As music festivals grow in popularity, the bigger festivals will only get bigger, forcing veteran festival-goers to look towards smaller festivals that offer the same eclectic lineups, but with a more close-knit and intimate setting. Like the argument between the underground and the mainstream of dance music, are smaller festivals really better than bigger festivals? Ultimately, there may never be a definitive answer, but we should appreciate both the Mysteryland’s and Coachella’s of the world.
H/T: Huffington Post