Well, back from Photosynthesis Festival 4.0 and slightly more rested up today than I have been in days. Overall it ended up being an amazing weekend, way more fun that I had even been anticipating.
The location itself was beautiful, a really nice campground on a beautiful stretch of beach at the tip of the Olympic peninsula. This was all native american reservation land, and the resort where the festival was held was run by the local Makah Indian tribe. It had been cloudy and raining a bit on the drive up, so I was a little worried we might not be getting the nice weather we were supposed to. As part of the opening ceremonies for the party though, the local indian shaman (??? not sure the correct term for this tribe) did a quick prayer for good weather, and spookily not 5 minutes later the clouds parted and it was gorgeous the rest of the weekend.
Most of Friday night spent in the ambient and downtempo H’art tent, some great music was playing there almost all night, and it was a really cool venue. They had put carpetting and tons of pillows down on the floor, and were making people take off their shoes when they came in. Lots of cool artwork on the walls, and even the “DJ booth” was low to the ground too. The sound system was set up totally surrounding the round room too, which was nice. Overall it was one of the more relaxing and beautiful places I’ve played in, perfect for the chill music they were playing all weekend.
I did leave for a bit to check out Kilowatts, who did an amazing set in the gallery tent.
It was interesting that practically the whole native american local community seemed to come to check out the event too. Probably the craziest thing to happen there ever, many looked pretty bemused at all the partiers and their outfits. The event was billed as a dry event due to all the alcohol and drug problems the indian community had dealt with in the past. Something like this will never be completely dry, but everyone who was drinking did so discretely out of respect. I honestly never really saw that many people too wasted or out of control, it was a really positive vibe the whole weekend.
With the music going on in all the tents until 6:00 AM each night, we were basically up all night until the music stopped and we could get some sleep. Saturday we woke up about 8:30 because the sun was out and the day was already so warm that is was uncomfortable being in the tent any longer. Hallie and I decided to drive 10 minutes down the road to Cape Flattery, which is the northwestern-most point of the continental US. Beautiful park, and a short 20 minute hike to get to the tip of the cape. It was nice that we were able to get out and do some things we enjoyed that made it feel a bit more like a normal vacation too, and not just a 3 day music festival.
Where as Friday night had been about relaxing and chill music for me, Saturday was totally different. Tipper went on at 11:00, and I have to say the 7 year wait to see him live was soooo worth it. Brilliant set, amazing music, the whole place was into it and dancing their asses off. At midnight I sadly had to leave to get my gear and set up for my set at 12:30, so I missed the end of his set unfortunately. Great stuff though, I was so happy he was the main headliner, perfect music for an event like this.
I got to the chill tent to set up about 30 minutes early so I’d have plenty of time to set up and get ready to play. As I walk in, I see the previous group was already packing up, and there’s no music playing. Uh oh.
The sound guy rushes up to me and asks if I’m Tarekith, I say yes, and he breathes a sigh of relief and tells me the previous group stopped 30 minutes early for some reason, and asks when can I start. Ummm…. So, it was a bit of a scramble to set up as quick as I could, hit the bathrooms one last time, and then start my set 15 minutes early. All while I was still out of breath from dancing to Tipper for an hour too. 🙂
Overall I think my set went pretty well. Enough mistakes happened while I was playing that I was a little bummed afterwards, but it was pretty much unfounded from talking to everyone else later on. I think a lot of my misgivings came because the way the DJ booth was set up really low to the ground, meant there was no room to set up my laptop stand without it being right at eye level. And to the left and right were the DJ and house mixer which coulnd’t be moved. So my view of most of the people directly in front of me was blocked, which made judging people’s reactions a little hard.
Also, the Kapture Pad app I was using on my iPhone to reset my Live controllers was honestly more hassle than it was worth, and threw me off a few times. Too many times it just didn’t reset all my controls, or it would randomly reset them at the wrong time or late. Good idea, but honestly I can’t recommend it for live use right now.
Once I ditched that and just focused on the APC40, things went smoother though. The promoter of the tent I was in came over as I was packing up and said he really, really liked my set, so I guess it couldn’t have been that bad. Ultimately I think it’s a good reminder that we’re always our own worst critics, and if mistakes do happen, just smile and move on (which I did) and most people will never even realize.
Here’s a couple videos of the set:
The rest of the night we just wandered tent to tent dancing pretty much non-stop until 6:00 AM or so. I was mostly going after some of the harder tech-house DJs, but we checked out some really smooth DnB for a bit too. Great night, lots and lots of happy people everywhere you went, locals and party goers. There was some amazing music happening all over the place, I danced more than I have in years. I really hope they have another one next year, I’d go again in a heartbeat!