San Francisco, CA October 29th-31st -- Bay Areaaaa 🗣 OutsideLands is back for the first time since 2019, but this time with a spooky twist! 👻 This years festival took place over Halloween weekend due to date changes caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 🎃 [Vaccination and/or COVID testing was required to enter the festival and mask were needed to enter the indoor Soma tent.]
It was a fog-filled weekend, with temperatures hovering around the 60’s! 🌁 Throughout the park there are tons of food options, mostly from businesses located in the Bay Area! 🍴 It makes it easy to discover new restaurants that you might have never heard of! My favorite is Señor Sesig, seriously one of the best burritos ever and I continue to get it ever year. 🌯 The live art around the festival was always really cool to watch & witness the pieces come to life! 🎨 I loved the graffiti happening near the Panhandle stage!
Check out the daily highlights & photo gallery below! 📸✍🏾
Day 1 Highlights:
Tyler, The Creator — What an energy-filled set! He played everything from the classics to his newest album, CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST!
Flo Milli — A quick & short set that left the audience wanting more! She is a super star and pulled in such a big crowd early in the day. I only see her going up from here!
Day 2 Highlights:
Lizzo — FINALLY!!! Lizzo live! This was only her 4th show in the last 2 years, and her last show for 2021! She was truly the PERFECT headliner for Saturday night! She is a PERFORMER and I loved that she brought out the flute!!
Rico Nasty — I am HERE for all the female rap artists on this years lineup and seeing Rico Nasty on there made me so excited! She ran on the stage with her badass rockstar-punk energy while being dressed in a corset & tutu! Favorite moment of her set was when she requested the audience to open up a girls-only mosh pit! She knows how to keep the audience engaged & never leave disappointed!
A R I Z O N A — Seriously of my favorite bands since I first listened back in 2018! The perfect afternoon set filled with electro-pop and beautiful vocals.
Day 3 Highlights:
Tame Impala — or should I say The Wiggles? 👀 If you get it, you get it 😉 Kevin Parker knows how to produce a show, from the sound to the lighting — The Rushium Tour is probably one of the best tours to take place in 2021!
Kehlani — Closing out the Sutro Stage on Sunday Night, Kehlani and her whole band/dancers wrapped up the weekend perfectly! I am personally a HUGE fan so I enjoyed singing along to every song while photographing her set!
Nelly — Everybody loves a throwback set and he understood the assignment! He played all the hits that everybody knew & could sing along to, from the early 2000’s to his newer country hits like “Lil Bit”!
Las Vegas, NV September 17th-19th — Life Is Beautiful made its grand return to Downtown Las Vegas last weekend with a stacked lineup featuring Tame Impala, Megan The Stallion, Greenday, Young Thug, A$AP Rocky, Illenium, & more! Every year they manage to cover an array of genres and I’m always excited to discover new artists! My favorite set that I happened to stumble upon was Evan Giia, an amazing singer & performer singed to Odesza’s label! All 3 days were pretty warm this year compared to previous, but that didn’t stop everybody from having a memorable weekend!
Check out the photo galleries below!
*zoom in or click to enlarge photos*
San Bernardino, CA August 27th & 28th — WE’RE BACK BABY! Festivals have officially returned to California since the coronavirus pandemic halted everything in the beginning of 2020! Insomniac Events hosted Beyond Wonderland at the NOS Event Center this year, originally scheduled for spring 2020 but postponed to August 2021! Check out the gallery below!
*click images to enlarge*
Shot by C TORRES
Ciudad de México, February 28th, March 1st & 2nd -
EDC Mexico 2020 returned to the Rodríguez Brothers Racetrack in the heart of Mexico City bigger & better than EVER! For the first time in EDC MX history, Insomniac Events expanded the event to 3-DAYS! 🙌🏾 We got an extra full day of music & good vibes! 🇲🇽✨
As always, Insomniac found a way to one-up themselves! Not only did they expand the event, but they also added new experiences for all of the attendees to partake in! One of my favorite additions to the map was the ‘Bionic Jungle’ stage! 🌿 This was a huge tented structure, covered in lush greenery from floor to the top of the structure! I was in AWE at how beautiful it was. 😍
Check out my photo recap of all the festivities that went down south of the border! 😜📸
RSVP FOR INTERSECT 2020! CLICK HERE.
Las Vegas, NV December 6th & 7th — A brand new music, art, + tech festival has emerged! 🤩 Hitting the strip for the first time in 2019, Intersect by AWS was a weekend full of new and exciting experiences that left me wishing for more! 🙌🏾
Intersect 2019 took place at the newly built Las Vegas Festival Grounds (right next to Circus Circus if you’re familiar with Vegas). This wasn’t my first time at the festival grounds, but it was the first time I was impressed with the layout! They did a great job with placing the 3 megastructures, not too close/not too far from each other, with tons of things to see, touch, feel, and do while walking from structure to structure. One of my favorite spots to chill was the vitaminwater Fire and Ice Lounge! 🔥❄️ They had fire pits with seating set up around the bar, so it was the perfect spot to rehydrate and keep warm since temperatures were around 50 degrees all weekend! 🥶
Both days were filled with music from 3 PM to 12:30 AM, with artists Kacey Musgraves, Anderson .Paak, Gesaffelstein, H.E.R., Kaytranada, Leon Bridges & tons more! 🎶 In between the music is the perfect time to check out the art! When it comes to festivals, art installations are one my biggest drawing points! They’re not only fun to look at, they also make great backdrops for photos. 😉 I’m a lover of the arts and creativeness as a whole, so I tend to judge festivals pretty harshly on their choices when it comes to art installations. That being said, Intersect made sure to come through with some dope emerging artists from all around the world to present some of the coolest & most interactive installations I’ve ever seen at a festival! From being immersed into Nonotak’s and the Lost & Photon installation rooms (full of lights, lasers, and music), to gazing up at the Monolith, a gigantic 60-foot tall video tower in the center of the festival playing beautiful vivid computer animated visuals — I never had a chance to get bored.
See you in 2020, Vegas!
Check out a photo recap of the weekend below! 📸
shot by C Torres & Dario Tejada @d.vision_
Santa Cruz, CA October 19 & 20th 2019 — Returning to the beautiful city of Santa Cruz for another year of music, art, and community, the 2019 Santa Cruz Music Festival was a weekend full of just that! This expansive festival is spread out throughout the downtown area of Santa Cruz, with multiple different venues all within walking distance. Definitely unlike any other festival, in my opinion! You get to immerse yourself in this beachy city, with streets filled with vendors, artists, and (of course) musicians. It truly feels like the perfect place to host this kind of event and I plan on returning just to feel those same vibes again!
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE WEEKEND:
THE MUSIC — Jai Wolf closed out the festival Sunday night at the Civic Auditorium with a show full of nostalgic tunes and a beautiful array of lights with visuals to match. I also really enjoyed all 3 stages over at the Catalyst Club. Easy bar access + nice viewing areas for those 21+.
THE FOOD — Over at San Lorenzo Park, World Famous Hot Boys were busy selling their iconic chicken sandwiches. I overheard tons of people raving about these sandwiches, claiming to be the best they’ve ever had! Besides the food available within the festival, keep in mind there’s also a ton of places to eat in between each venue. I saw a few pizza spots that looked good, but ended up grabbing some tacos and a margarita from Snap Taco.
THE ART + COMMUNITY — Throughout the festival and on the streets of SC are tons of local artists and vendors with tons of items to choose from! From beautiful live painting, to community yoga, it was truly a magical feeling just waking around the area!
CHECK OUT THE PHOTO RECAP BELOW!
San Bernardino, CA September 14 + 15, 2019 — Nocturnal Wonderland made it’s return for the last party at Glen Helen Regional Park last weekend with a lineup full of my favorites, including DJ Snake, Malaa, Snakehips, Jauz, Deorro, Alan Walker + so many others! The production value this year was amazing! It seemed as if each set was filled with pyrotechnics & fireworks which always makes the show more exciting in my opinion.
Glen Helen has been a favorite venue of mine for years now! The mountain views make the perfect drop every night while the sun sets and the moon rises. Insomniac Events transforms the place into a mystical land full of creatures, live artists, and interactive displays throughout the park — which truly makes it more than just a typical music festival! There’s so many small details that go into every Insomniac event and they worked hard to make this 2019 Nocturnal Wonderland a memorable one!
RELIVE THE WEEKEND WITH ME!
Check out the photo recap of the festival below!
Fontana, CA August 3 + 4, 2019 -- HARD Summer returned to the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA this past weekend with a stacked lineup featuring a mix of hip-hop & EDM! Temperatures soared into the hundreds like usual, but thankfully this year they addressed & fixed one huge issue from previous years: the dirt! They pretty much covered the entire speedway with a tarp material to keep the dirt tucked away! It definitely helped out and made the event THAT much better. Each year HARD Summer seems to be stepping it up, so I’m super excited to see where they take it in the future!
Highlights from the weekend: Kid Cudi closed out the main stage while DJ Snake & Malaa packed out the Pink tent on Saturday! If you were even able to get inside the tent, then props to you! My favorite set of the weekend? ZHU b2b Tchami! I was in house-music paradise! Seriously can’t wait to see either of them (together or separate) again! OOKAY threw down an awesome live set filled with vocals, dancers, & tons of energy! Anna Lunoe was another artist that surprised me! I’ve always heard buzz around the name, but seeing her live solidified why she’s popping. Other notable sets from the weekend include RL Grime, Floss b2b 4B, & Dillon Francis!
See my full photo gallery below recapping the event!
EXCLUSIVE INSIDE LOOK: Insomniac Passport Lounge
I’ve been an Insomniac Passport Member since the original launch in December 2018! One of my favorite perks of being a member is the private members-only lounge at every Insomniac event! The structure at this year’s HARD was built by Live The Night Entertainment and unlike any other lounge I’ve experienced! Fully air conditioned, private bar, free snacks, meet & greets with the CEO, surprise DJ sets, free games, photo opportunities & SO much more! I can’t wait to see what they come up with at Glen Helen for Nocturnal Wonderland next month!
SAN DIEGO, CA (July 13th & 14th, 2019) — We did it gays! The 46th annual San Diego Pride parade broke attendance records! San Diego Pride unofficially reports attendance of over 300,000 people at Saturday's parade, which featured the diversity and achievements of indigenous, black, trans, military, and Latinx folx, highlighting the 50 years of accomplishments of the community while paying tribute to Stonewall’s 50th anniversary.
The music festival followed the parade with an estimated 30,000 attendees enjoying headlining acts Melissa Etheridge, King Princess, Mykki Blanco, Greyson Chance and RuPaul Drag Race Queen’s Aquaria, Asia O’Hara and Kim Chi. Activities included entertainment zones, local drag performances, community organizations and free community resources, youth organizations, dance areas, beverage gardens, visual art, vendor booths, educational and art exhibits, cultural presentations, free HIV testing, delicious food, and much more!
All proceeds from the festival and parade support San Diego Pride’s LGBTQ-centered philanthropy and year-round education and advocacy programs. Volunteers and youth high school-aged and younger will be admitted free.
In conclusion, we stan San Diego Pride and will definitely be back!
Life is Beautiful is a music, art, + culinary festival that takes place in Downtown Las Vegas! Since 2013 the festival has helped revitalize Downtown Las Vegas, specifically Fremont Street. With stages tucked behind buildings, motels decorated as art installations, and food trucks around every corner - there was a TON of stuff to see and do! This festival was unlike any other, because Life is Beautiful actually takes place in the streets of Vegas, sprawling over 18 city blocks!
It was definitely a hot weekend in Vegas, but the cool temps at night felt awesome with the breeze! On Day 1 we started early to explore what the festival had to offer. One of my favorite discoveries was the art installation on Fremont & 9th! It was an air-conditioned building filled with art and shops! They even had lounge areas with a bar and real bathrooms! After looking at the art we spent the day jamming out to my favs like Elohim, Justice, and the Weeknd! (photographed below!) Day 2 I entered the festival a little later, but just in time to see Foster The People! It was my first time seeing them and even though I only knew a few songs, they really surprised me and had me vibing the whole set! The set was filled with tons of energy and even featured live Cirque dancers that came out during a cover of Hey Jude by the Beatles. My other favorites that night were Alison Wonderland and The Drums! Alison is an EDM DJ that I've seen grow so much in the past couple years and I'm all for the female DJ's claiming their space in a male dominated industry. Day 3 was probably my favorite day! Odesza and DJ Snake both make music that take me to another place and I live for them. Seeing both of them live, back-to-back was such a moment.
Overall, I definitely think I would return to LIB! As always, more water stations are needed. (And for a desert festival on it's 6th year, I'd expect them to have this down.) I also think the production value can be stepped up! With the profit the festival makes, I think spending money on things like fireworks and pyro make for a better experience and should be worked into the planning of these festivals. How you gonna close the festival with a DJ Snake set and not have fireworks? But, nonetheless, Life is Beautiful 2018 was an experience I will never forget and a festival I plan on attending in the future.
Check out the slideshow below to see the highlights of my weekend in Vegas!