Elements Lakewood Festival blew crowds away Memorial Day weekend, with 3 days of nearly non-stop music sprawled across over 6 stages, and several more that opened at night. Uniquely defined by it’s curated mix of music, art, performances, and interactive activities – Elements went beyond the interactive summer camp experience it promised, and wow’d festival goers with a completely immersive experience that shifted shape, style, and vibe as you roamed the festival grounds. A branch off from BangOn!’s festival of the same name in NYC, this camping festival nestled in the woods of Lakewood aside a picturesque lake, is sure to become a northeast favorite – with plenty of space and interest to keep growing in coming years. Here’s our favorite aspects of Elements Lakewood… and why you should totally follow their Facebook and get your tickets early for next year.
1. Headliners with Epic Performances
Elements’ lineup featured over 40 talented artists and DJs that spanned the electronic genre, from bass-music to techno. Tipper’s performance, which was his only show on the East Coast for 2017, was a highlight for many, who were eager to experience his mind-blowing combination of trippy music with artistic, fractal style visuals. Later that night, Claude VonStroke drew in a slew of house music fans to the Fire stage, where Dirty Bird artists spun booty bounce throughout the day.
For bass lovers, Keys N Krates, Liquid Stranger, and Yheti had loyal fans filling the Earth stage area. As a house lover, I loved getting down to Claptone, Lee Burridge, Snbrn, and some personal favorites off the headliners list – Eli Escobar, Golden Pony, Horse Meat Disco, and new favorites – N2N and Jade Cicada. Festival friends of mine couldn’t get enough of Ott, Herobust, Bixel Boys, Asadi, and Spundose. I only knew a handful of acts on the lineup before going to Elements – yet still had an incredible time bouncing from stage to stage and experiencing new music. Whether or not you’re familiar with the acts on the lineup, you’re guaranteed to have an amazing time simply getting down to new music and finding new artists to love.
2. Speaking of Stages…
Elements had over 6 main stages, and many more that opened up at night. The Fire stage hosted house music for three days, with fire lighting up the stage and surrounding areas, plus fire performers at night. The Air stage featured a lot of bass music, and had an industrial Burning Man vibe, with metal cages and art installations perfect for climbing and dancing on. The Water stage was right on the beach aside a lake, with a pirate ship where you could set sail all while still getting down to the music. The Earth stage was nestled in the woods with treehouses to climb on during the day, and neon trees lit by blacklights at night. Aside from those 4 main stages were a roller disco, a stage in the the camp area, a huge gymnasium that turned into a warehouse rave at night, a Rock and Roll hall, and other stages that popped up throughout the weekend across the grounds. Each offered a unique experience with different vibes, music, and interactive art to keep you entertained beyond the music.
3. Interactive Art at Every Turn
My favorite part about Elements was the interactive experience at every turn of the festival. At the Water stage, I set sail on a pirate ship, complete with dancing mermaid, pirates, fire blowers, and clowns as blowers floated bubbles over the crowd toward the lake. I also took a kayak out to explore the lake, and kayaked over to the Earth stage to check out those sounds.
Leading to the Earth stage, I wove through a forest of neon-lit trees, tapestries, buses, mirrors, and other art installations that looked especially alive at night. Next to that stage, you could climb several types of treehouses and suspended bridges throughout the woods to listen to the music while overlooking the crowd. At the Fire stage, I spun poi atop a flower-decorated bus where cool (totally not creepy) clowns danced around me. In the theme camps, I chilled on massive blow-up couches and beds with my friends to get a rest from dancing during the day, and came back at night to relax while listening to some late-night tunes with trippy cartoon animations behind. Wherever you went at Elements, quirky, trippy, interactive art was there to meet, entertain, and invite you to play!
4. Summer Camp Games
Beyond the interactive art, each day of Elements had a schedule of interactive games and activities where festival goers could join in on the fun. A Roller Disco playing disco music with real roller skates and a rink had people skating nearly all day long. There was also life-sized Fooz Ball, an interactive igloo with workshops from Voice Cult, a Healing Garden with daily yoga and wellness activities, tug of war, rock climbing, a fire pit perfect for making roasted marshmallows and s’mores, and many other interesting activities to pique your interest when not getting down to dance-y beats.
5. Lakeside Camping & Cozy Cabins
One of my favorite things of festival culture is always camping. There’s something special about camping that creates a community, and brings festival goers closer all weekend long. Personally, I’d be hard-pressed to go to a festival that didn’t offer camping! Elements offers traditional camping, premium camping (closer to the stages) and RV options for attendees. You could also add on camping extras, like private showers and bathroom access (rather than porto potties).
Elements offered an even more unique experience – cabins! They offer 3 different styles of cabins: private cabins (sleeping up to 14), bungalow suites (sleeping up to 3), and single beds in a shared cabin (where you can request to be placed with your friends). All the cabins had beds, hot showers, electricity, and a front porch, and were nestled together in the center of the festival grounds for easy access to all the areas. There were definitely some private parties bumping in the cabin section late night! Elements also had a ton of food selections from early morning til late at night, so while it’s recommended to bring some snacks with you for sure – you can definitely get some delicious hot meals and treats throughout the day.
Stay Connected for Next Year
Elements Lakewood Festival is a must experience event for the summer. This festival radiates artistic, earthy, Burning Man vibes with tons of interactive art installations, performances, and things to do beyond just the music. The fest also offers great opportunities to show off your artistic side, learn a new skill, enjoy some great music, or simply connect with nature and good vibes. BangOn! knows how to throw an incredible festival, and I’ll definitely be going back for more next year. Keep connected at https://www.elementsfest.us/ or follow their Facebook and get your tickets early for next year. All photos are from Elements Lakewood.