Euphoria Music Festival simply reminds us why we gather around music, art, community and like-minded people. The amount of times I found my euphoria this go around makes this festival truly difficult to sum into a physical and communicable form. Hosted on stunning private grounds just a skip away from Austin’s airport on a branch of the Colorado River dubbed Carson Creek Ranch, Euphoria Fest hosted its 6th and best year yet over the weekend of April 6th-9th, 2017. Every gear in the well-oiled Euphoria machine that helps create this diverse and intoxicating dreamland of an affair is to thank for their hard work, innovation and dedication to curating a better and more stunning event each year. CYM is here to break down the most beloved components of ‘EUPHORIA’ 2017 in order to shed light on the reasons this Festival is one not to miss out on in 2018!
Euphoria has always been a festival with a focus on being ‘Green,’ finding ways to give back to the local community and producing a more conscious group of festival throwers and goers. This year, Wysidio, a company offering sustainability (and other all-inclusive services) for festivals, artists and more, linked up with Euphoria to help evolve their second year of ‘Ecophoria.’ The simple but straight forward goal of this green initiative is to “Do Better.” Ecophoria achieves this goal by reducing waste, beckoning better stewards of Carson Creek Ranch, promoting sustainability education by partnering with the Austin Permaculture Guild and other nonprofits and offering related workshops as well as focusing on staying green throughout the year even when Euphoria itself is over. This year, Clay Young, Chad Rittenberry and the amazing Ecophoria Team were able to ban stage confetti, single use straws, provide donation stations for leftover camping goods to disperse to homeless in town, create a composting program, partner with huge bands like Zed’s Dead to organize after show stage cleanups and SO much more. The hard work was seen in action before, during and after the event (in the form of media floods talking about how darn amazing Euphoria is at keeping it’s festival grounds clean)! Keep it Green, #Ecophoria and thank you for setting a new precedent for how all festivals should make eco consciousness as important as the music in this day and age of fest-ing.
Euphoria is a festival based on the one thing that keeps this Earth spinning ‘round…LOVE! Love drives music, love drives creativity, love drives union and love is all you need…or something like that, right? If you were able to attend 2016’s Euphoria, you might have been there for the precious moment when one of Euphoria’s founders, Mitch Morales, stopped the Above & Beyond set to propose to his amazing partner (and now wife) Tyler Morales. This year, Euphoria teamed up with an amazing group of different local companies including 3 of Cups Weddings + Events, Aveda Institute of Austin, PRIV, ConTENTment Camping, Bribery Bakery and more to offer marriage ceremonies for couples wishing to tie the knot on Euphoria grounds. A breathtaking space was designed and set up for pre-planned ceremonies and on Sunday, we witnessed the making of the Morales’ family. What a beautiful idea, sight and moment to be a part of. Thanks for making so many dreams come true as well as giving hope to those of us still searching for that “too good to be true” ONE…we see you, Euphoria!
Euphoria is all about getting attendees, the local community and anyone interested, involved with the festival through many outlets of participation. From teaming up with local companies for the ceremonial wedding space, to extending partnerships with local nonprofits like the Austin Permaculture Guild and Keep Austin Beautiful, to providing so many different options for music lovers and festival goers to work for a ticket through their different initiatives, Euphoria truly is actively participating with their community and fans. They used a variety of programs to increase user engagement and bring the best and biggest production and attendee involvement at a festival that is hard to match. Through their Dragonfly Initiative, volunteering options, The Elements applications, Art Grants and more, Euphoria is always finding ways to engage their festival community and have a space for anyone looking to work hard and deliver an individualized service in exchange for the chance to #FindYourEuphoria and be a part of the team. Shout out to Felipe Gomez and team for coordinating the Performance art, troupes and amazing teams of artists out on the grounds enhancing our Euphoria experience all weekend long!
Austin, Texas, is a difficult location to match in all facets of the comparable competition. For an April festival, nothing beats Austin’s weather, the local food, the amazing vibe from the equally as amazing inhabitants, the nearby activities and the incredibly stacked cards of The Live Music Capital of the World’s local musical scene. For me, ATX is home. I was born and raised here, left for a few years to the equally brag worthy Pacific Northwest and Colorado, and now I am back again (at least I came back for a stint to Find My Euphoria—update: I FOUND IT!). You hear it everywhere, you see it everywhere and after you come here, you know why Austin is a coveted mecca for and why the city is Euphoria’s beloved festival home. Carson Creek Ranch is an easy place for Euphorians to call theirs for a weekend in April each year and we hope the festival organizers continue to let us soak in the beauty and love that abounds in this special space for years to come.
Oh, that lineup, though
The ‘O’ continues infinitely in this one (yeah, I did that), but let us be even more real when we say the Euphoria lineup straight slayed the game and brought it back to life this year. The organizers know what they are looking for in a lineup and seem to nail it every year with 2017 being no exception. The plethora of huge names in all genres mixed with up and coming international and national acts, left room for every single festival goer to see those heart-sets or venture to the “favorite” Dragonfly realms of the Denver Livetronica scene or those Whompy Space Bass sets at the Art Outside Village. The talent buyers completely crushed it and instead of diving too deep into how mind-numbing the music was all weekend, here’s a list of our favorite sets from each day.
FKJ -By far and wide, my personal favorite set of the entire weekend!
Pretty Lights Live
Happy Happy James
Ganja White Knight
Chronixx and Zincfence Redemption
The Funk Hunters
If I have not mentioned it enough, Euphoria Music Festival is reshaping today’s festival paradigm. From the Ecophoria and green initiatives, to the abundance of local love and community partnerships, to the on-site Art Outside Village (discussed more below) and interactive art pieces throughout the fest grounds and just the general consensus that festivals these days can ‘Do Better,’ Euphoria is changing the game. The festival brought multiple pre-parties and outstanding events to Austin beforehand to give festival goers a chance to get to know artists on the lineup, sign up for contests and events and receive discounted tickets through attending these events or helping promote the festival. Another re:creation of Euphoria’s I personally enjoyed was the partnerships with Tentsile, ConTENTment Camping and ElighTENTment camping options for VIP and upgraded pass holders. It sure was a treat taking my camping experience to an entirely ‘nother level, no pun intended. Just another way Euphoria is truly trying to ‘Do Better’ in all aspects of the festival life. Hangin’ and festin’ made easy!
Because the journey to find/be/know one’s self can only happen in opportunities of challenge, growth and stepping outside of your comfort zone, I am thankful to Euphoria for presenting me with all of these pathways. Thankful for the gift of safe spaces and incredible new and old friends to allow me to question my wants, needs, life goals, important relationships and more in order to shed old skins and let my transformation into the best me I can be, flourish and thrive (Gettin’ super deep here, thanks for listening!) I felt at every turn, I was greeted with a mischievously inviting grin, an arm to spin on, a new beat to dance to, a new heart to meet or a fresh hand to high five and I hope people felt the same when encountering my ‘self’ out there. Also shout out to the lady with all the healing vibes, Ms. Meera Hoffman, whose Thai Massage workshop at noon on Saturday came in clutch AF to skyrocket my day. When you leave a fest with squad and realize you each found your funkin’ Euphoria multiple times, you done fest’d not the wrong way! Yeehaw!
Art Outside Village
The Art Outside Village might have been my favorite space inside the Carson Creek Ranch grounds. The Art Outside team rolls on a constant level of crush mode in Austin year round, but the fact we were treated to an entire Village of A.O. this year at Euphoria was a creative blow of fresh trade winds. The Village featured incredible works from visionary artists whose art will literally blow your mind, silent disco and un-silent sets from badasses in the Austin music scene and a sanctuary of a space to play in during the uncertain hours of about 5 a.m. to 10 a.m.. The only downside of the Village was that the G.A. daily ticket holders were not able to gain access to this crown jewel of a space without an added camping package, which definitely left a lot of attendees with absolutely no idea of the magic the A.O. Village held. Hopefully, we see the art gallery back in the main stage grounds or some changes in access privileges for the silent disco and Art Outside access next year. Thanks to everyone involved in the A.O. Village, because hawt damn, did I enjoy spending some quality time basking in the talent and creativity of you beautiful artistic souls.