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BUKU Recap: 5 Things That Made The NOLA Fest

earl sweatshirt flying lotus

1. Special Guests

Sit-ins and special guests are more customary with bands and non-EDM oriented festival. Luckily, BUKU gives no f#cks and we saw a bunch of really cool guest appearances at sets around the weekend.

Flying Lotus appeared as Earl Sweatshirt’s right-hand man and helped DJ / host the Odd Future rapper’s awesome performance in the Ballroom.

Flux Pavilion and R3hab joined Zedd for a b2b2b set while Zedd played his late night slot in the Float Den.

Dominic Lalli from Big Gigantic joined STS9 on “Be Nice” as the band’s unbelievable second set continued to melt faces.

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band sat in with Alt-J for an “horny” indie rock jam.

2. STS9

STS9’s two sets were one of the most anticipated aspects to this weekend and they surely didn’t disappoint. With a sexy first set and a lively second set, the quintet clearly displayed their talent to a crowd that had been pumped DJ sets for a large part of the two days. The first set was a weird one, kickin’ it off with “Kibuki” and later playing “Metameme.” The songs were a little shorter than their usual as they thrashed through the first hour 15 with ease.

The second set was for the true players. Scheme > Bloody Beetroots “Awesome” > Unquestionable Supremacy at 12:15 at night, in a warehouse in New Orleans 20 yards away from the Mississippi… things are bound to get weird. The crowd was a lot more spacious as Major Lazer was taking over the Ballroom down the fest-grounds. Luckily for us, Tribe ripped through another set, this one with longer songs, better jams and the sickest “EHM” I’ve ever heard in my life.

Set 1: Kabuki, Hidden Hand, Hidden Fist, 20-12, Vapors, Bigs, TWELVE, Metameme, Looking Back On Earth, Simulator Set 2: Scheme, The Unquestionable Supremacy of Nature, Robot Rock, When The Dust Settles, March, Be Nice*, What Is Love , EHM, Rent

Notes: * w/ Dominic Lalli on sax.

3. Float Den

We actually had a love-hate relationship with the Float Den throughout the weekend. Basically we loved it at all times except when the speakers were blown during Flying Lotus, turning one of our most anticipated sets into a bunch of trippy, muddy noise.

However, Birdy Nam Nam, Shlohmo, Flosstradamus, Nero, Ryan Hemsworth and more were able to take advantage of this awesome venue. It was a warehouse that housed all of these Mardi Gras floats on the side, even some hanging from the roof. It gave the stage a really cool vibe and when the sound was good, it was one of the coolest venues around.

4. Chill Music

You know what the best part of a wild, hyphy, crazy festival is? Chillin’ the hell out to some awesome music. Taking a much-needed break from bass-blasts. Slowin’ it down and gettin’ sexy.

Shlohmo had the Float Den on a great vibe Friday night. His syrup-paced, bassy downtempo beats had the ecstatic crowd taking a breather, swaying back and forth to the rhythms.

Aeroplane gathered some of the best vibes at any set of the festival for his late-night stint on the Riverfront stage. This stage was outside to the left of the mainstage and even though it was cold, a good 60-70 of us gathered around as he spun the best selections of deep house and nu-disco out there. Everyone was on the same beat and on the same page as he closed out night 1 alternatively to Datsik and Sander Van Doorn.

Ryan Hemsworth, a hip hop producer, got the crowd going with his afternoon set on Saturday. He had remixes of Drake, Rick Ross and Frank Ocean over smooth beats which had everyone excited.

5. New Orleans

New Orleans knows how to get DOWN. The open container laws, the liquor licenses, the general vibe of the city. It’s something that more than one artist commented on during the festival and it’s very real. This city has a certain mystique that makes it a destination for all sorts of people from all walks of life. Whether you’re a blues musician or you practice voodoo, this place is open to everyone and everything. If you’ve never been, be sure to hit it up. Whether for Jazz Fest or Voodoo Fest or Mardi Gras or just to hang out and hit some local bars. It’s really a wonderful city that attributed hugely to the success of this festival.


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