The weekend of August 12 and 13th was all about peace, love and the elevation of the human spirit. BangOnNYC! has done it again, hosting the Elements Music and Arts Festival in Hunts Point of The Bronx, New York. Vibrations, harmony, and serenity ruled the rambunxious roundabout. Five stages, over 60 artists, and thousands of rave babies together to celebrate the passion and sentiment for music. OneEDM was lucky enough to join in the festivities for both days and boy do we have a lot to say.
Festival goers hopping on the 6 train filled with elation and glee, transfer their energy to the strangers next to them. The positive effect that the Elements Festival dispenses hits you before you even get there. A walk through the industrial park of The Bronx leads you to your retreat of musical, mental and spiritual stimulation. Staff along the route to help guide you to your elemental oasis just thrills you even more. Each step closer fills your heart with felicity and solace that only a festival could do. Finally reaching Oak Point Ave, the smoke from the dragon lair catches your view and the Elements Music and Arts Festival welcomes you.
A step inside the festival and you take in all it has to offer. The option to activate a wrist band to purchase food and such is on your left and straight ahead……vendors! Food trucks to salivate your partying taste buds line up the strip. Bare Burger, serving organic and locally grown products is a sure thing for you hearty yet healthy eaters. Meatoss Truck, food porn on wheels need we say more? Los Viajeros, the Latin fusion food truck of NYC bringing good food with flavor. Coexist Kitchen, the cooking company of the community. As well as Jamaica Choice Carribean Cusine, Lukes Lobster and of course the amazing lemonade made by Sal, the man. Kim and the rest of the crew had the little-fried food spot was on point big shot out and thank you to them. As you continue down the strip you come across body painters, jewelry designers, garment makers, and even a voting registry table. A street fair within a music festival, if that doesn’t sound like a perfect weekend excursion than what is?
Video: Constatin Poselski
Further down the path, the first stage you see is the stage of intuition and emotion, WATER. Acts like The Golden Pony, Bakermat, and Shiba San all tackle this stage of life and clearing, later on, that evening. Festival goers passing by in elemental inspired gets up to consume your vision. Shirts made of leaves, body paint, yoga pants, and glitter beaded vests all float throughout the elemental hemisphere. As you continue down, art installations and games full of color and personality polka-dot the pavement. And only a few feet away The Healing Garden in all its glory nestles its Zion. Healing crystals, massages, tantric massage, stretching with Vinny B, sound healing, hammocks, meditation and just calming energy. It’s what we could all use now and then even when we don’t want to admit it.
At the tip of the Elements map was the stage of intellect and reasoning, AIR. A desert like dance tundra with the plant bar and teepee tent of leisure. Artists like The Sorry Entertainer, and Damian Lazarus all blew the crowd away like the wind. A turn back around towards the entrance and you come by the Elements warehouse. Inside you will find the stage of abundance, fertility, and nurturing EARTH. This was the place to be, the larger than life talent and fan energy that graced this stage and warehouse was immense. Aire Atlantica, Flying Lotus, The Knocks, and GRIZ all came to dominate and the mass did not disapprove. Inside the warehouse, you will also find The UV Portal by Myztico Campo. Walls of the beautiful fluorescent art Tico creates of acrylic on canvas fill the space. Black lights against images of elemental spirits, and nature author this sacred gallery.
A walk by the Thunder Dome (inspired by MAD MAX Thunder dome) screams futuristic and apocalyptic aesthetic. Fire tricks and harness battles partook inside this life or death dome. It was about 415pm and local artist Matt Sebastian is performing at the stage of enthusiasm, creation, destruction, and transformation, FIRE. He had a little crowd gathered, all vibing, lounging and gazing up at Matt atop the royal Heavy Metta. A walk back inside the warehouse to the second level you will reach the stage of love and spirit, The Fifth Element. A tiny hole in the wall with all the poise tenacity of the main stage. A walk back to the earth stage and Aire Atlantic was on with his deep down and chill flow. The festival dancers were prancing around like tribesmen around a fire and the desire to join in burned like a fever in you.
Back at the water stage, The Golden Pony’s set was one cool laid back and colorful atmosphere. Jesse Perez had the party popping and percolating, the 90s influenced tech house sound along with a cool late summer breeze surrounded and cleansed your aura. Each stage has a different vibe and a different crowd. Costumes out of the Apocalypse and ear gauges the size of rabbit holes walk by you amidst this folksy get-down. You won’t be sorry with The Sorry Entertainer, his chill flow at sunset had the elemental goers grooving at the zero air stage. Making it difficult to really choose where to stay put.
A return to the fire stage to catch, Chicago duo Gilligan Moss was next on the agenda. Now residing in NYC, Ben and Evan bring their chill non-genre defining dance sound. Opening with “Choreograph” Gilligan Moss share their endearing passion for their art with the festival goers of Elements. People dancing around like a tribe of spiritual healers as tracks from Till Von Sein and Four Tet are blended in with the musical Moss move. At on point Ben from the group couldn’t contain his joy and joined the crowd for a dance. Footin’ it and moving his shoulders while rubbing shoulders with fans. The act of remaining connected to the people by getting down on the dance floor and dancing with them puts an instant smile on your face and a big appreciation on your heart. They drew a crowd in and kept them as Heavy Metta bared her fire for all. A chill and high pedaled set with two local DJ’s with support from their girlfriends, support from each other and support from the Moss mass.
Ending Day one back at the main stage (earth stage), The Knocks and GRIZ lay down the law on festival performances. The Knocks made the main stage multitude come alive. Two party partners who jolted the kids made them dance and had them screaming and cheering for their elemental raveolution. Pure energy and youthful vitality circulated the element warehouse as their hit “Classic” ft. Powers edged the metaphysical mob. Patiently waiting for GRIZ, 1030PM rolls around and the sultry saxophone of the Michigan electronic master astounds the room. Blasting out “PS GFY” ft. Cherub, the jazzy soul-funk of GRIZ had the good times rolling. Killin it on the saxophone like nobodies business, he carries this big sound that defines what live music is. Bouncing around and playing like a kid with his new toy, you feel his joy as it becomes yours. Imagine musical prominence along with psychedelic imagery, that’s what a GRIZ show is like. His graphics are like a collage of magazine cut-outs that are vibrantly animated and just damn cool. You can’t hold GRIZ down as he masterfully incorporates the sounds of yesterday with today to make one peanut butter and jelly-like formulation.
All one great first day at the Elements Music and Arts Festival, where mind, body, and spirit all interblend through music and art.
A clear sky and a warm temperature were waiting outside the doorstep, as the trip to the Elements Music and Arts Festival Day 2 began. A hop on the element shuttle bus took you to the destination from pick up at Longwood avenue subway station stop. A big yellow school bus had festival hopefuls piling up and ramping up for their earthy retreat. A step inside the Bronx festival and a slow steady rising of energy were the atmosphere that early afternoon. It was clear the bodies were all still recouping from their eventful past evening. A walk over to the Healing Garden was the best way to kick the day off, Stretching in public with Vinny B was taking place and looked like a much-needed revive for the hominids.
Day 2 went on to be a very fast-paced day compared to day 1. It was six in the evening already and MAX (performing as Party Pupils) were warming up their carousing act back at the fire stage. Even with sound difficulties within the first song, MAX didn’t let the energy drop. Hopping off stage and into the crowd with a microphone and his naturally given instrument, his voice, Letting us all hear that prime pop voice he shows you tech issues shouldn’t stop the show.
A very professional and true entertainer, MAX gives his all to not let anyone down. It makes you want to holla, just like his Party Pupils remix of his sexy and sultry track “Holla”. Ripping sh*t up on the production side, Ryan lays down the heavy artillery to complement the roar behind MAX‘s vocals. The ferocious and rugged track “Savage” with Whethan and Flux Pavilion had the kids bouncing and boppin while MAX careened and broke a sweat on the fire stage.
Also at the fire stage, Kasbo, and his ethereal and majestic electronic waves of musical fantasy. A cozy packed group of dreamers and passionate indie electronic lovers gathered to witness Kasbo’s wonder. His record with Chelsea Cutler, “Found You” echoed over the fire realm as its bells and rings chimed in and out of the company. Treating the crowd with an unreleased track, Kasbo had the listeners relaxed, calm, peaceful, and at ease. A perfect summer night with friends, new friends, and more.
It’s about 845pm at the earth stage and Flying Lotus and his next dimensional 3D show are commencing. An extrinsic performance with gut, wit, and vigilance, Flying Lotus dares you to dream and imagine a reality beyond this one. A start with his track “Getting There” ft. Niki Randa Lotus gives a pure example of his mad scientist like conduct. A visually stimulating landscape into the mind of Flylo opens you up to the wide world of creativity. Time muscles on and you feel the end approaching, people are getting in their last moments to remember while others throw in the towel. A successful weekend and a fun way to experience a festival. There are so many nowadays it takes personality and passion to create one that stands out from the rest. Elements Music and Arts Festival could be that one for you.
OneEDM would like to thank BangONNYC!, Elements Music and Arts Festival, Gilligan Moss, MAX, and Ian, for their help.
Co-Author: Kayla Myers