10 Highlights of North Coast Music Festival
North Coast Music Festival is truly a one-of-a-kind city festival. The close proximity of all the stages makes it easy to navigate and find your friends. Because the grounds are smaller than the average fest, the vibes are very friendly and there is a home-y kind of feeling. This was my first city festival and it was a great one to start with.
1. The Vibes
As I mentioned above, the vibrations at North Coast are very welcoming. I think this is so important to note, especially with a city festival because the majority of city festivals are insanely crowded.
And because most city festivals have tens of thousands of people, it can feel like you're in a huge crowd full of strangers. North Coast was far from that. Warm, inviting vibes filled the air making it easy to turn strangers in to friends.
2. The Music
North Coast is praised every year for it's diverse music lineup and man did they deliver this year. First off they had some of the most progressive, notable, electronic music producers in the game which included, Tipper, Bonobo and Destructo. Then they added in some reggae tunes with Damian Marley, as well as some music veterans with performances from Ween and Primus, just to name a few.
3. Surprise Appearances
One of the best parts about North Coast this year were the surprise appearances from unexpected musical artists. During Manic Focus's set Derek Smith aka Pretty Lights came on stage and rapped while Manic Focus played. You heard me right, Pretty Lights rapped on stage. When I told my friend this he was in disbelief, "What? Pretty Lights rapped?" Yes, he rapped.
It was an awesome performance and when he came on stage he was announced simply as Derek Smith. This was a pleasant surprise to everyone at the festival and made Manic Focus's set a memorable one of the weekend. Another great guest performance included Chance The Rapper showing up unexpectedly with The Cool Kids.
4. Live Painters
There is art everywhere at North Coast and it surely elevates your experience while at the festival. Not many city festivals have a large focus on live painters but North Coast provides a visual experience for everyone.
There is an art gallery right next to the Coast stage where you can walk through and gaze at so many different styles of art and still listen the music. Some live painters were invited to paint on stage during certain musical performances. I personally love when live art is created on stage alongside musical artists, it takes you on a different kind of journey through the music and art.
5. Silent Disco
The silent disco is held on a tennis court towards the back of the festival grounds. Its tucked away in a partially shaded area and is a great place to get away and vibe out. The silent disco is also part of the Elder Tree Living Art Gallery, so as you walk in to rage you are also immersed in artwork.
6. Art Installations
Art Installations Everywhere! I love when music festivals have interactive art installations. They are great for photos and really add a special flare to the festival as a whole. It was so fun walking around and seeing colorful murals everywhere. And I mean everywhere, North Coast was full of colorful art installations.
7. Photo Booths
SO many photo booths! North Coast was the first music festival that I had seen photo booths at and they were so much fun. I'm the kind of person who always forgets to take pictures at music festivals so these photo booths made it easy for you and your friends to just hop in and get a good pic. My favorite one by far was the VW old school orange bus. It really brought the hippy flare to North Coast Music Festival.
There were so many great vendors at this festival. A lot of the merchandise stood out and some of it was fair trade, making it easy to find that one-of-a-kind accessory you've been looking for. I loved shopping around at all the different vendors, each one was unique in what they were selling and whatever you needed you most likely could find. From back packs, to jackets to cute little trinkets and scarves the vendors had it all.
9. Stilt Walkers
The stilt walkers were nothing but a party. They brought so much goofiness and fun energy. All of them were constantly smiling and dancing to the music. As they walked around you would see several people come up and join them so wherever they went a party followed.
10. The Tie-Dye Station
There was a tie-dye station! This was such a fun activity to have at a festival. Need a break from the music? Just go make a tie dye shirt. This allowed for people to come together and make connections not only through music but with crafts. Which is always a good time.
If you're looking for a city festival to go to don't miss North Coast next year!
And as the chillier side of festival season approaches check out iED MHoodies HERE.
Photos by Keith Griner of Phierce Photo