Photo by Drew Podwal Insta: @takethecann0lis

Photo by Drew Podwal
Insta: @takethecann0lis

Are you still on the after festival glow from last weekends Elements Festival in Lakewood PA? Me too!  I am in awe of the wonderful experiences that I had and the amazing people that I met at Elements Lakewood Music and Arts Festival this year. Here are five things to know about last weekend’s incredible festival plus some secrets!

 

Grounds

Photo by Drew Podwal Insta: @takethecann0lis

Photo by Drew Podwal
Insta: @takethecann0lis

Set in an idyllic campground, Elements festival had the perfect balance of activity and tranquility. There were incredible outdoor stages, large and accommodating indoor stages as well as cabins and work areas for staff and press. Playful attractions like the roller rink were exciting and active and other built-in accommodations like the stand-alone showers and premium bathrooms were wonderful perks. Not your typical camping festival, which was a good thing for those needing private bathrooms and plenty of electricity. The lake itself was beautiful and provided the perfect backdrop to the late night gym parties and daytime Water stage festivities. I even had the good fortune of flying a kite, catching just the right breeze over the clear blue lake. Camping was easy and plentiful whether you were staying in a tent or cabin all your basic needs were met and accounted for.

 

Music

Photo by Drew Podwal Insta: @takethecann0lis

Photo by Drew Podwal
Insta: @takethecann0lis

This music festival took it seriously with a forward thinking line-up that had something for everyone. Headlined by Baauer, Claude Vonstroke, Tipper, Liquid Stranger and Keys N Krates, each day provided a wonderful escape into the world of music. The local shows on the smaller stages were exciting and felt intimate and special as if they were playing at times, just for you. The party was everywhere a Elements festival. You should find music indoor, outdoor, back at camp and everywhere in-between.

 

Art

Photo by Ashlyn Fulton Insta: @shlynzzz

Photo by Ashlyn Fulton
Insta: @shlynzzz

The outdoor stages were the largest art pieces at the festival. The Earth stage had artistic wolfs on either side and incredible visuals that accompanied the artists with a special shout out to Ott and Tipper who pushed the visuals to the max. This stage was where the live artists congregated such as Josh Zarambo with his colorful pastel palette art that called to me more and more as the festival drew on. The Air stage was deep within the art-filled forest with a sacred space of large original paintings by Olga Klimpva who had captured the essence of the mind in her psychedelic décor.   The fire stage has installation art that kept the attendees warm under a ceiling of live fire, with artists like Claude Vonstroke who’s music caused the fire to burst from the stage and dance along with every beat. A secret stage behind the Theme camps was a personal favorite of mine during the twilight hours when most everyone else had gone to sleep. They understood the power of melodic downtempo music and I enjoyed a set of penetrating beats as I laid on a blow-up unicorn. Definitely one of my favorite festival moments of the weekend. The performance art was phenomenal as any BangOn!NYC event usually entails. I just adored the costumes and gogo dances provided by BangOn!NYC. It’s a detail that has been missed at festivals in our region and it was a personal favorite of mine and was a HUGE add to the music sets.

 

People

Photo by Drew Podwal Insta: @takethecann0lis

Photo by Drew Podwal
Insta: @takethecann0lis

No finer people could be found than those attending Elements Festival. There were so many costumes and participation from the 4000 people who were drawn to first-time time festival. Many misplaced Mysterlanders decided this would be their new home for the year. This heartfelt event had much more depth and a deeper love and feeling of communion than other more mainstream events I’ve attended. I asked a lot of attendees how they felt it compared to other festivals and the positive response was overwhelming. For first time event, I would venture to say that not one person was unimpressed. The BangOn!NYC team absolutely nailed it!

 

Vendors

Photo by Drew Podwal Insta: @takethecann0lis

Photo by Drew Podwal
Insta: @takethecann0lis

Sometimes at a music festival, you find yourself to be hungry at the oddest hours. I absolutely needed to eat at 4am on Saturday night and luckily for me, more than one vendor was at my service. Because the camping and festival were one and the same, this event was so much more accessible and fluid than those that have strict end times and obvious segregation of “festival” and “camp”. It was a wonderful time to wander in the festival all hours of the night. The vendor curation was excellent for both shopping and eating. I got an amazing pin from a great lil store and one drink vendor, in particular, I really enjoyed was a mix between lemonade and coffee…who knew! It really was something my mouth had never tasted before, and boy did I like it.

 

Staff

Photo by Drew Podwal Insta: @takethecann0lis

Photo by Drew Podwal
Insta: @takethecann0lis

BEST festival staff I’ve ever encountered at an east coast festival. Security was kind and courteous and the medical staff didn’t even snicker when I came over twice because my finger hurt after my cat scratched it and I had gotten some dirt inside. The press area was a wonderful add and allowed me some networking space and an area to just relax and have some much needed and appreciated water when things were a bit hectic outside from time to time. Those being paid to keep the party moving like camp director Rawb Lane and his team of bandits at the roller rink kept spirits high and games coming throughout the day and night. What a fantastic crew of genuinely good people that “get it” and are more concerned with making sure you are having a good time and are safe than they are about money or corporate politics. HIGH FIVE to team Elements Festival! You guys were amazing hosts.

 

Secrets

Photo by Drew Podwal Insta: @takethecann0lis

Photo by Drew Podwal
Insta: @takethecann0lis

Elements Festival heavily awarded the brave and curious. There were special rooms and hidden experiences such as the Asylum and Healing Garden that had to be found and ventured into to enjoy. One had to brave the high seas to enjoy a trip on the Pirate Boat or be okay in pitch black forest to find the back way from the Fire Stage to the Air stage. Lions and Tigers and Bears was a big hit song on that road! My favorite secret of all was the premium bathrooms that said “out of order”…..they weren’t! Excellent and fun experiences all weekend long.

Photo by Drew Podwal Insta: @takethecann0lis

Photo by Drew Podwal
Insta: @takethecann0lis

For a first-time festival Elements was ABOVE AND BEYOND my wildest expectations. Compared to festivals that have been around for years and decades, this festival still manages to sit at the top. The event producers know what they are doing and should be incredibly proud of their work. I am excited to attend their NYC Elements event this August in NYC with headliners Griz, Zeds Dead and Flying Lotus  (get your ticket here) and they have already announced Elements Lakewood Music and Arts Festival for next year in the same space. I AM THRILLED! Please connect with BangOn!NYC here for updates to all their incredible events throughout the year. Thank you so much to Elements staff, and attendees. You all made magic last weekend.

Written by damask schantz

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