Elements Music & Arts Festival was a magical weekend. Tucked away in the mountains of Pennsylvania, the festival provided breathtaking artwork alongside a star-studded lineup that made for an unforgettable […]
Elements Music & Arts Festival was a magical weekend. Tucked away in the mountains of Pennsylvania, the festival provided breathtaking artwork alongside a star-studded lineup that made for an unforgettable experience. The diverse lineup featured heavyweight names, including Porter Robinson, Skrillex, John Summit, Chris Lake, Seven Lions and Subtronics. However, the lineup didn’t stop there, as the lower tiers were loaded with up-and-coming producers such as ST4RFOX, Zingara, Masta Plan, and Leuthero. The culmination of a diverse lineup of artists collided with the colorful creativity of the Elements Festival art team to create a picturesque experience, building upon the strong roots the festival has laid in its relatively new home.
The Festival Experience
This year’s Elements got A LOT bigger. The main stages from last year all relocated and new areas of the forest were transformed into magically colorful playgrounds. The incredibly unique stages featured upgraded visual and sound production that had attendees in awe all weekend. This included the new Funktion-One Vero system at the Fire Stage, a brand new custom Hennessey Sound Design rig at the Wub Hub, as well as a beautiful stack of Funktion-One Evo’s at the Air Stage. Not only was the sound top-notch but upgraded projection-mapped visuals at the Water stage were a real treat to witness. The use of pyros at the Fire stage throughout the weekend as well as brilliant fireworks displays were really the cherry on top.
While we were entranced by some epic sounds, just walking around the festival grounds provided a lot of entertainment. The emphasis on art installations skyrocketed this year. Everywhere you turned, you would see beautiful art, whether it was a vendor selling pieces they made or lit-up sculptures in the forest. There was truly something for everyone, which made this festival very inviting for all walks of life.
We were able to catch some incredible sets throughout the weekend. Friday’s highlights consisted of some epic performances by John Summit, Ganja White Night, wave-dad Skeler, as well as bass music rising stars crawdad sniper and Masta Plan as part of the Para Presents takeover.
Saturday was the festival’s biggest day, topping at around 20,000 people. Several thousand additional single-day ticket holders poured in to catch an all-time set from Skrillex. Having released two albums in the span of a week earlier this year, it was amazing to hear how he was able to blend his old tunes with his new tunes, in addition to several songs from his peers. Even with the giant thunderstorm that came through and caused some delay, Skrillex gave fans a little bit of everything and reminded everyone why he is such an important figure in electronic dance music.
Other highlights from Saturday included an earth-shattering performance from Subtronics in the rain as well as two beautiful sunset sets from Daily Bread and Lane 8. If you were to have looked up at the sky during these sets, you may have noticed the skydivers that paraglided down to the festival grounds. This was unlike anything we had ever seen.
Jumping into Sunday, the festival kicked off in the morning with a very special LIGHTCODE by LSDREAM set at the Air Stage. Here, hundreds of attendees brought their moon mats and blankets to lay out in the sun and shade and take in some healing sounds to start the final day of the festival. Feeling recharged, attendees were ready for a great day of music. This picture-perfect day started with some amazing sets from artists like ST4RFOX, Lavier, The Sponges, Second Nature, Curra, and Vide.
Once the night hit, the Earth stage became a destination for all EDM lovers. We witnessed a crazy Of The Trees set, including the debut of his new collab with Mersiv. Our favorite space mom Rezz took over shortly after, with a jaw-dropping and hypnotic set. However, it wasn’t until the Porter Robinson DJ set that things officially flipped on their heads. Porter blessed us with a 75-minute masterpiece set that included mashups, edits, originals, songs from friends, and everything in between. It was beautiful to hear how he blended songs together from his Nurture and Worlds albums, as well as the different eras of the Porter project. Closing things out in the main festival venue, we were also treated to two banger sets from Chris Lake at the Fire Stage and Chef Boyarbeatz at the Wub Hub.
The Camping Experience
The festival featured group camping for the first time in its new location. The Vibe Villages stood together as unique camping experiences offering a variety of late-night stages and short travel times to the festival gates. Depending on where you were camped, it took anywhere from ten to thirty minutes to enter the main venue–a reminder to bring your comfortable walking shoes to festivals! The new entrance planning did its best to accommodate the greatly increased audience capacity. Despite some frustrating traffic, the new campground entrance route was well-organized, offering direct and secure access to sensibly plotted campsites around the venue.
Once the main sets had concluded, festival attendees who were camping explored the renegade stages sprinkled throughout the Vibe Villages and GA camping areas late into the night. This was especially cool, as it allowed attendees to choose their own adventure. These renegades presented surprisingly high-end production, both audibly and visually, from midnight until sunrise. It featured epic performances from artists like DiCE MaN, Soukii b2b Chef Boyarbeatz, Sketchy Pete, as well as a sunrise takeover by the Philadelphia-based Realty Records crew, featuring performances from Siroch, Heph, 9B49, SECR3T, and Dank Street.
Overall, this is definitely a festival we recommend checking out in future years to come. To get the most out of this festival, we definitely recommend you purchase camping so that you can explore the renegades once the main music concludes. The festival grew tremendously this year and managed to expand its artistic footprint. Jaw-dropping artwork sprawled the forested landscape of the festival and impressive renegade stages created a holistic experience that continued on long past the main stages closed down. Clean facilities, epic sound systems, delightful attendees, and incredible artists left us at HIHF very impressed and eagerly awaiting Elements 2024.
You can learn more about Elements Festival at their website here.