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Addictedtoedm / Alba Smith

In Dancefestopia’s eighth year running, the Wizard of Oz themed music festival reminded attendees that “there’s no place like home”. The venue, music and overall experience created an amazing four-day event spanning September 5th through September 8th for attendees from the Midwest and beyond.

The Venue

Dancefestopia returned to the small town of La Cygne, Kansas for the second year in a row. The venue itself is a kid’s camp for most of the year, creating a unique atmosphere for campers and day attendees. The area, littered with small cabins, become perfect spots for VIP wristband access to A/C and indoor plumbing.

The festival had 4 stages total. This year’s mainstage, named the Emerald stage, looked as if it was three stages side-by-side. The two side stages were mostly used for visuals while the center stage held the artist on a high catwalk accessible via side stairs. In the opposite direction, the Lollipop stage, was nestled behind the food vendors and rows of trees. In years past the stage had been confined inside a tent. However, this year’s stage was an open air experience, allowing for a much needed cool breeze during a packed set. After the mainstage ended each night, attendees could move to the Lollipop stage to hear music until roughly 6 a.m. The diverse food selection had something for everyone to enjoy including the highly sought-after pizza vendor, Spicy Pie. Another hit seller was fruit bowls and smoothies from Space Fruit that gave attendees a lighter option.

Dancefestopia has always been at the mercy of September weather and more importantly the rain that comes with. Problems with mud during prior years contributed to the nickname “Mudfestopia”. There were clear skies for the majority of the event, besides lightening and rain in the area early Saturday morning. The festival advised campers to return to their cars until the all clear. The dog days of summer made for sultry early afternoon sets, but shaded camping and purchasable pool passes provided relief. 

The Theme

Certain elements were added to play up the Wizard of Oz theme, but seemed unnecessary to the overall event. One unique element was the addition of a yellow brick road through the campsite. Large inflatable characters made their second appearance at the festival creating a viral moment for one attendee.

The Music

The festival kicked off Thursday, September 5th with a Wakaan Takeover pre-party. Wakaan artists Liquid Stranger, LSDream, Champagne Drip and more launched the festival into action. Friday’s lineup featured some unforgettable sets including the return of Said the Sky to Dancfest for a second year in a row. Attendees got a small taste of everything as the night continued including Big Wild, Ganja White Night and Alison Wonderland.

Saturday’s festival grounds were the most crowded and for good reason. Saturday’s lineup included the likes of SPACE LACES, Zomboy and RL Grime. One of the highest regarded sets of the day and potentially the entire weekend was Trampa b2b Skism. Sunday saw a significant drop of attendees in the daytime, both from campers sleeping in and attendees choosing Friday and/or Saturday passes. Despite less crowded festival grounds, Sunday’s music lineup remained stacked late into the night and morning. Acts at the mainstage included HE$H, Sullivan King, Feed Me, Virtual Riot, Kayzo and Big Gigantic to close. The party then moved over to the Lollipop stage where Rusko, BONNIE X CLYDE, Golf Clap and DUCKY played.

Conclusion

While I can’t speak for all attendees, in my opinion Dancefestopia might’ve had made all changes for the better this year. As a now 5-year attendee, its nice to see a festival take suggestions and create a better product each and every year. After a great event this year, one can only wait to see what Dancefestopia 2020 will have in store for us.

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Words by Alba Smith
Music Editor