If you follow me on social media, you probably saw me posting all summer about my excitement to go to Moonrise this year! I absolutely love EDM and am a frequent raver at Echostage here in DC, which just so happens to be the #1 club in the country! Despite loving live music, I never thought that I would actually attend a music festival. Growing up with an overprotective mom that watched too much true crime TV and a general sense of social anxiety, I nearly accepted my fate as someone that would live vicariously through others Instagram posts and always feel like I’m missing out. However, 2018 has been filled with learning to grow through discomfort and experiencing amazing things – and this was one of those moments.
We got to the festival grounds pretty early day one so my friends could pick up their wristbands from will call, and I’m so glad we did. Just waiting in the line to get in was filled with incredible energy. My friend Arianna is a natural talker, so we ended up chatting with such a diverse group of people. We met people who’ve never been to a music festival before and rave families that have been to Moonrise every year since its conception. We even adopted a grandpa in his 70’s going to his first festival because he was determined to “live it up until it’s time to go to heaven” – what an amazing mentality!
Being some of the first people to walk through the gates and walk the grounds definitely gave the perfect opportunity to take it all in and explore! The way that I jumped from booth to booth and stage to stage probably showed how much of a festie newbie I was, but I don’t care! I loved the wide variety of food vendors, especially since there was a good amount of vegan options and even a vegan food truck that everyone was raving about.
We spent most of day one running around the festival grounds trying to get the entire friend group together, standing in line for water bottle refills (next time, I WILL have a hydration pack), and sitting under the shade tents with the Solar Tent being our home base – fittingly so, when thats where the bass lived and the entire group seemed to be filled with headbangers. When we finally figured out a game plan, the lightning caused an evacuation of Moonrise! I understand that it is not the festivals fault for Mother Nature wanting to stir things up, but it seemed extremely unorganized and there was no clear communication from the staff on what was going on. After what seemed like hours (but probably, an hour and a half tops), everyone ran back into the venue and the party resumed! I spent the rest of the night dancing to the sounds of Kaskade, Zeds Dead, and DJ Snake – and it was amazing! The visuals, pyrotechnics, and overall atmosphere was breathtaking.
After knowing what to expect from Moonrise, we headed into Day 2 a few hours after gates opened and were met with another evacuation. An hour passed after we arrived (and sat in the stands waiting out the weather again), we were given the clear to enjoy the final hours of the festival! Again, the Solar Tent was where we spent most of the time until it was time to run to the Lunar Stage for Galantis! Galantis was the set I absolutely needed. They were who I was looking forward to the most for day 2, and they did not disappoint. Being able to scream along to all of my favorite songs and dance with my boyfriend to songs I dedicate to him in my head was damn near a spiritual experience.
Then came Excision…… dear lord. Every single person in the group I was with was looking forward to Excision the most (I believe they have all seen him live at least once) but I have never really listened to him. Not a purposeful thing, but he wouldn’t normally been a subgenre of EDM I would listen to without being introduced. That set was TRANSFORMATIVE. What an amazing way to end Moonrise weekend! This weekend allowed me to be introduced to new DJs I would have never listened to and connect with so many beautiful people. My only complaint is that it didn’t feel long enough – which probably has something to do with the time spent waiting to reenter after evacuations and missing sets because of it. A third day would definitely have everyone leaving completely satisfied!
FAVORITE SETS OF THE WEEKEND: Galantis, Zeds Dead, Sullivan King, Kaskade, Excision MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT: Dancing to Galantis with my boyfriend under the fireworks! LEAST FAVORITE MOMENT: Missing Anna Lunoe due to the confusion rain delays! FESTI-REGRETS: NOT BRINGING GUM! Not investing in a Vibedration hydration pack, and relying on Uber for a way back to the hotel.
Overall, I had an amazing time at Moonrise and I am definitely planning on coming back next year. I think this was a great festival for a beginner, but I am definitely feeling unfulfilled and wanting more. With that being said, I’m already planning on my next festival – Nightmare Festival Oct. 25 -27!
What festival are you planning on going to next? Or if you’ve never been to one before, what is your dream festival? Comment down below ☆
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