Middlelands 2017 Music Festival Review: A Mythical EDM Paradise
Knights of shining armor and barbaric clowns wandered the majestic grounds of Middlelands Festival. I felt like I was living in a magical world where Game of Thrones meets my favorite EDM festival.
The creative minds of Lollapalooza and EDC came together to bring us a super-festival that is a medieval-themed in Todd Mission, Texas.
Thousands of beautiful souls enter a mystical oasis past lush green grass, green trees, and even livestock animals. Going into the gates, we had no idea what an amazing weekend was in store, except for the promise of an amazing lineup and great weather forecast.
You had an option to camp on the site, or stay off-site in lodging. We chose to camp at the Arbor Court, where there was a place to park our vehicles and to put up out tents. Our neighbors started flowing in with nothing but kind smiles, welcoming words, and good vibes.
On Thursday, the pre-party was upon us featuring 12th Planet, Crizzly, Space Jesus, Tim Gunter, Carlyle, and Madhatter. They set the vibes for the weekend by giving us raging sets and joining the campsites together.
But before the party, we ventured out and explored the campsite activities. Middlelands gave us entertainment like archery that fit the medieval theme perfect. There were arts and crafts, yoga, and so many art installations to wander around, which gave us a perfect chance to meet new people.
Everyone there was excited to be there at the first year of this festival. The atmosphere and vibes Middlelands brought together were out of this world. Everyone was representing PLUR and participating in things like "The Giving Tree" and sharing kandi and keepsakes.
The festival officially opened Friday and you could look out from our campsite and see everyone getting ready for the magical day ahead. No one knows what to expect from the first day of this festival but excitement travels throughout as you look around and see so many people dressed in extraordinary costumes on as princesses, kings, and knights in shining armor.
“Welcome to Middlelands” decorated the entrance on a stone wall as you enter. The mystical experience starts as you walk through a medieval village.
There were stations of vendors selling just about anything you can think of: clothes, jewelry, and unique art. There was pizza, mac and cheese bowls, turkey legs, and steak on a stick. All the food I got a chance to taste was delicious. And my favorite part is everywhere you looked there was a smoothie booth waiting for your call to make you something fresh.
What’s a festival without totems right? Festival-goers brought their A-game to Middlelands. As we all know totems are used mostly to try to keep your crew from losing one another but they have a more depth than that. Their homemade flags and signs are a way to represent a group of people in a way they find appropriate. My favorite one said, “Trance with ME.”
We walk to the Stronghold Stage, where the real headbangers come out and play. The stage is loud and the bass was killer.
The main stage was called Castle Northwoods, which had stage production to gawk over, and I would expect nothing less from the brain power of Insomniac. The lasers beam across the giant crowd and touch the trees that were all over the grounds of mainstage. There was a huge screen located on both right and left of the DJ booth with entrancing visuals unique to every artist.
Then there was the Trinity Vale stage and once you reach it, you’re dancing right away. Trinity Vale is the sacred stage for house music lovers. Shufflers rejoice, because this stage got your feet moving to the beat, with artists such as AC Slater, Will Clarke and Sirus Hood.
On Friday, I found myself dancing for hours at the Trinity Vale stage. BILLY KENNY’s house music swamped and looped around making everyone dance like animals. His set was unique and vibrant and I spent most of my night here enjoying and meeting people from all across U.S.
And finally, there was the Middlelands Arena. This stage was set up in a dome figure at the bottom of a hill. The stage had stone-like letters in two rows that read MIDDLELANDS.
Even after the stages closed, the party was never over. Sound Camp raved all night long and anyone could bring their DJ system and play their own stuff. 12th Planet showed back up Saturday morning at a spot called “Call of Booty” to play a special 5am set.
There was also an art cart shaped as a boat that would travel different places each night with underground music blasting from the speakers.
On to Saturday, there were two sets I was looking forward to. It was my first time to catch GRYFFIN live. He is talented beyond words. From playing his piano, guitar, and mixing, he put on an amazing performance. Next up was SEVEN LIONS, who has always given everything in his sets, and I can honestly say that he did on Saturday night. Starting off with his original Strangers and dropping some psytrance, he made sure everyone in the crowd was feeling good.
Sunday was my favorite day at Middlelands. Exploring VIP more that day, I went to the open bar and even hung out with SEVEN LIONS himself. Everywhere you looked was an adventure waiting to happen.
Being backstage was something new for me and it gave me a chance to look at the festival through another perspective. After meeting Kaskade again, I headed my way to Galantis’ set. Galantis prepared me for my favorite DJ to take the stage.
As soon as Kaskade came out to close Middlelands, everyone went crazy. Kaskade has always been known to put everyone in their “feels.” I can honestly say he did that by playing his classics like “Angel On My Shoulder,” “Room For Happiness,” and “Move For Me.” He was a great choice to close out the festival.
Middlelands stamped history as an amazing event in South Texas with vibes that will have it known as one of the best festivals in Texas to date. All the amazing people who attended this festival have been tweeting about the great experience Middlelands was and how excited they are for Pasquale and his team announce the return of this festival in 2018.
Anyone who didn’t go missed out on a weekend full of medieval adventure, but it’s okay because they have already announced plans for next year including Pasquale asking Bassnectar to be a resident DJ.
We are excited for next year because this is hands down one of the most unique festivals I have ever been to.
We hope to see you at EDC and Electric Forest coming up this summer! Gear up with the iEDM festival collection here.