As an electronic music festival novice, I didn’t really know what to expect when I arrived at Identity Festival, a festival that featured many well-known DJs such as Steve Aoki, Avicii, Kaskade and Rusko. Sure, I knew that the music would be incredible and that tons of concert-goers would be sporting an overwhelming amount of neon clothing, but that was about it. Excited to see what Identity Festival had in store, my three friends and I loaded up the car on the corner of 178th and Broadway in uptown Manhattan and were on our way. Identity-Mansfield and Identity-Wantagh. This was Identity Festival: The Road[trip] to Ultra!
Saturday: Comcast Center, Mansfield, MA
Thankfully, I was with some music festival veterans who advised us that it was unrealistic to show up at 1PM for the opening show. This was a ten-hour festival and we needed to conserve our energy for the headlining acts.
We were officially en route to Mansfield for our first stop on the Identity Festival tour.? ?
Once we finally entered the venue, our ears were instantly drawn to the Skrillex remix playing at Advent stage. Who was playing this lovely dubstep melody? It was Nervo– two Australian born twins were rocking the stage. With a stage presence like no other, the crowd was having a blast. ? ?
Again we were on the move. Chuckie was playing at the main stage in about fifteen minutes. That was one act we had to catch. After getting a little bit more comfortable with the area, we realized that if we sat in the marked off pit three rows back in between acts, that we were able to get access to the VIP only section. However, after listening to half of Chuckie’s set, some of us decided to venture off to Nero. The dubstep symphony that filled the Rockstar stage was incredible, not to mention the FREE Rockstar drinks available under the center tent. ? ?
With time running out, we knew that we had to get to the main stage as fast as we could because Avicii was performing within minutes! While many were disappointed with his set, I was blown away. After Avicii came Rusko, which was when half of our friends left to go see Steve Aoki. Dayna Basri’11 and I stayed at Rusko because we knew we would see Steve Aoki perform at Jones Beach the following day.
After a long day of listening to many incredible DJs, the time had come for the final one. All of the sudden, the light show began. An indiscernible feeling surged through the stadium. Everyone was standing on the seats embracing the music. The set was amazing. [To listen to Kaskade’s set visit: http://crackbeetz.com/post/9135373885/kaskades-live-set-from-identity-festival-in-bristow] The Benny Benassi and Skrillex remixes that were thrown in were mind-boggling. Once the lights went on and it was back to reality, or rather, back to New York. We said our goodbyes and, again, we were on our way back to my house in Long Island.? ?After tossing and turning all night, my friends and I woke up, showered, and were on our way to Jones Beach for a second day of the music festival.? ?
Sunday: Nikon Theatre, Jones Beach, NY
Once we were inside, the first stage on our left was playing Swedish House Mafia’s Save the World. Everyone in the surrounding area was screaming the words.
We rushed to the main stage to see Chuckie. Unlike the previous day, I loved every song he played. The crowd screamed, “C-H-U-C-K-I-E! C-H-U-C-K-I-E!” He finished his set and we were all having a blast. Next Avicii owned the crowd. We danced, we sang, and we loved every minute of it.
The second Kaskade started his set we were all on another planet. This was unlike anything else. If anyone ever has the opportunity to see Kaskade any time soon, I would urge you to do so. He was phenomenal. ? ?As my watch read closer to 11:30, I realized that it was time to go back to reality. I wanted to hold on to this moment forever. It had truly been “the Road to Ultra.”