The BUKU Music + Arts Project 2018 kicked of Friday March 9 at 2:00 p.m. and from the moment it started it was electric.
Things kicked off at the Power Plant stage with the hip-hop, EDM and psych-rock duo New Thousand. Their performance featured electric violin and synth heavy piano, the duo rocked the crowd. Next CloZee rocked the Float Den with her set. The crowd was bumping to this DJ’s set, and CloZee had people running toward the Float Den from across the festival to catch her performance.
At train threw a kink in the festival around 4:00 p.m. Friday to the distain of many festival goers, myself included. For 2018 Buku moved its main stage, The Power Plant, to the other side of the tracks, but the trains seemed to not get the memo, stranding festival goers on one side of the festival or the other every time a train came through.
Spag Heddy, a dubstep artist based out of Spain, was up next at the Float Den which drew an even larger crowd to the stage surrounded by Mardi Gras floats just to remind everyone that they were indeed in the Crescent City. Spag Heddy had the crowd jumping and moshing with his bass-heavy dubstep set.
At the Ballroom stage Homeshake changed things up with their indie pop and lo-fi sound. The crowd may have been on the small side, but Homeshake played like they were at the main stage, and the crowd felt that energy. The chill vibes at this set were a nice break from the rest of the bass heavy performances.
At sunset the weather started to cool off, but when MGMT started their set at the Power Plant stage the crowd couldn’t have cared less about the weather. This indie rock band had fans running from across the festival to catch this energetic set. The crowd lost it while simultaneously mesmerized when “Time to Pretend” started playing. The crowd was packed in to catch this amazing set. From the super fans on the rail to the people dancing in the back of the crowd MGMT was putting out good vibes for all festival goers left and right. At the Power Plant Stage R&B singer SZA kept the crowd that MGMT drew, and kept the good vibes going at this main stage, until she had to end her set 15 minutes early due to a fall.
At the Ballroom Falling in Reverse brought the punk energy to this EDM dominated festival. Falling in Reverse had the crowd raging and headbanging throughout their 30 minute set. At the Float Den Alison Wonderland had an already packed crowd amped to see her set. Once she came out on stage the crowd erupted into cheers and this DJ sure didn’t disappoint her fans with her lively and energetic set. At the Ballroom A Day to Remember followed Falling in Reverse and that punk energy didn’t go anywhere. The crowd was amped for this performance and almost immediately a mosh pit broke out in the crowd. Shortly after the mosh pit broke out streamers erupted from the ceiling and smoke shot out of canons directly in front of the stage and the crowd was living for it. The festival was well planned, with the exception of trains occasionally interrupting, it never felt overcrowded and lines were never unreasonable.
Friday of BUKU 2018 was an eclectic mix of EDM, hip-hop, R&B, feel good indie vibes and punk energy that was well planned and overall an amazing experience.