This past Saturday, thousands of bassheads flocked once again to Baltimore’s Ft. Armisted Park along the Chesapeake Bay for Starscape, the one-day, one-night EDM festival. Attendance was strong and the weather cooperative as the day kicked off in 90+ degree heat at 2PM. As the afternoon continued on, more and more people began to fill in the stages and others joined up on the water, having fair views of the Beach and Sunrise stages from their boats. [A few tracks, review, and gallery links after jump]
As the sun set, the first set I watched in its entirety was Paper Diamond, who had the crowd moving as he knows how. One standout track that he played, which I later identified to be the song “I Am Your Leader” by Nicki Minaj, had the whole dance floor popping off. Quickly after Paper Diamond left the stage, Adventure Club took the decks and surprised me by starting extremely heavy with their set. Their newest track with Krewella “Rise And Fall” was well received by the crowd and shortly after, I headed over to catch Ghostland Observatory‘s set.
Despite Ghostland’s very contrasting style to many of the heavy dub and DnB acts on the lineup, the main stage was packed and their light show was as memorable as ever. Definitely have to put them as the top set of the night just for the incredible and different energy they brought with them. Electro-house beast Wolfgang Gartner followed, playing several unreleased tracks, including a track that was released earlier today “Flexx,” and then transitioning into some of his more popular material.
During Wolfgang’s set, I decided to stop by the Fort stage, in which the “crack alley” feel was complemented by intimate and enlightening sets from lesser known DJ’s. To my surprise, I caught Brown & Gammon (whose track “Blow My Mind” was later played by Flux Pavilion on the main stage) in the throws of a fun and high energy set with about 50 people in attendance. Following that, I caught part of Dillon Francis on the Beach stage who drew an extremely heavy crowd for which the stage could hardly handle… I could barely hear him from where I was and couldn’t get any closer with both sides being packed with people.
After briefly checking out Mimosa and Zedd, the “main event” begun and Flux Pavilion took the stage. His set was exactly what one might expect from the king of “brostep” and I could hardly complain while getting to belt out all of his classics. For whatever reason, Dada Life, whose set was supposed to overlap with that of Flux, got pushed back to start after Flux had left the stage, affording me the opportunity to catch one of my favorite live DJ acts of all time in action. Dada Life had the tent moving more than I had seen any other DJ(s) accomplish up to that point and I was unsurprised: I’m sure they gained a lot of new fans that night as it seemed like everyone was drawn to the Dance tent at that time.
I left shortly after Dada Life to start on my several hour drive home but I felt like the event was a major success. In my past experience at Starscape, the festival felt seedy (two years ago, security guards inside the festival were confiscating drugs from people then selling them back to others) and very shady and this year I no longer felt like that was the case. Everyone seemed to be under control (no bath salts?) and it occurred to me that a condensing of the major acts was probably partly responsible. My only two complaints would be that the line to get in the gates was insane (as I remember has been a problem in the past) and that Dillon Francis needed to be on the main stage. Now I have Chicago’s Spring Awakening Festival to look forward to this coming weekend and anyone who’s going to be there, be sure to hit us up on Twitter (@mmibty, or me @briansbiglife) to meet up, grab some stickers, and have your photo taken for our official gallery.
To see our photos from Starscape, head over to our Facebook page! Also, here’s a few tracks that I remember loving from the festy:
Nicki Minaj – I Am Your Leader (As played by Paper Diamond)
Brown & Gammon – Blow Your Mind (As played by Flux Pavilion)
Wolfgang Gartner – Flexx *NEW* (As played by Wolfgang Gartner, duh)