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Barnstock Music Festival Proves That Jam Bands and EDM Can Unite [Festival Review]

     It was a gorgeous Saturday evening in Huntersville. We popped up at the yearly Barnstock Music Festival in the heart of North Carolina to check out some of the great local artists scheduled for the day. A lot of aspects of the festival were made possible due to the homies at SOMA Entertainment. They took a lot of time and put in a lot of effort to bring in fantastic artists like The Mantras, BroMosapien, Yuki, Atlas Road Crew, Brightside, The Marvel Years, Boogie T. and so many more incredible acts to the Charlotte-metro area for over fifteen hundred fans to enjoy. Let’s get into it.

      Barnstock Music Festival is basically set up on this really dope family’s home farm. It’s big enough to fit thousands of people if achieveable. The parking was set up pretty smoothly. It seemed like for every car in the lot, there was four people in the festival. Hippies and ravers were once again united by the music.

     We arrived as the sun was going down, we missed a lot of the fun daytime action unfortunately due to other commitments, however, when we got there… we stumbled upon some incredible sets at the Silent Disco. We had never really seen a Silent Disco with three different DJ booths set up side by side. It was very advanced and the crowd was loving it. Basically, a section or piece of land better yet was cut off for the Silent Disco. It was big enough to fit about 100 ravers out of the giant sea of blue grass and jam band fans. If you’re new to Barnstock, traditionally it’s been known as more of a blue grass, rock n roll, and jam band type of setting. Recently the owners saw the rise in demand for EDM, and smartly integrated our favorite musical genre into their humble event.

     We had just missed our buddy BroMosapien throw down what was allegedly one of his best sets ever, according to local Charlotte supporters. When we had arrived we caught AziraYuki and Makak giving the crowd a taste of their own medicine. Yuki was throwing down the deep house vibes while Azira and Makak were getting dangerous with the heavy bass wobbles. It was definitely neat having options to choose from at the Barnstock Silent Disco. We can’t wait to see who these guys are bringing in next year.

    Exploring the festival-grounds was truly exciting. Art littered the farm from corner to corner. Our friend Mallory created a huge mural with one of her pals. Believe it or not, beer and paint do go well together. We were even impressed with the amount of vendors who showed out for the day long event, including our family over at GB Unique Creations. We couldn’t imagine what Barnstock would be like if they extended it to two days and added camping. It would be amazing to say the least. Sooner or later we found ourselves in the woods where a special stage was set up for the big time DJs like Cut Rugs, Boogie T. and Brightside.

Cut Rugs

    We popped up at the wood stage  just at the right time to catch the tatted wonky spaced out Bass music producer known as Brightside, as he held it down for NC for a solid hour. Originally from the distant lands of Colorado, Brightside brought out his intergalactic vibes to the Barnstock family as he performed with his unusual, wonky, spaced out style. The last time we caught this mad man was at the Ganja White Night premier show in Charlotte last Fall, and boy oh boy did the crowd have fun. Brightside brings out energy like no one you’ve ever seen before. Throughout his set he played hit singles such as Hit the Fan, Neighbors are Knocking, and PondHopper. His set was far out of anything we expected. He also performed several other songs off his new Ghettoblaster EP which got good reactions from the wonked out space cadets engaging in his set. Glad we got to experience his incredible style once again.

    It wasn’t long before a true don in the Dubstep scene made his way on stage to perform in the Carolinas for the 4th time since last fall. The man, the myth, the legend from the 504 NoLa, Boogie “Muthaf*ckin” TAs many of you know, Boogie T. has been writing music ever since he was young. While most people were working at McDonald’s to make a little money in High School, Brock was playing Rocks shows and posting up around New Orleans with his guitar. The guy is a true hustler. So far he’s been to Charleston, Asheville, Charlotte, Huntersville, and now he’s set to perform in Greensboro this Saturday. The dude never stops moving.

     We saw the long, blonde haired OG hanging out by the stage and immediately gave him a big welcome. Boogie T. is probably one of the most entertaining people to hang out with, on and off the stage. If you can ever have a beer with him and hear his story, by all means! His set was over an hour long and featured so many incredible heaters. Boogie usually has a wompy style that carries a certain ring to it, it’s basically impossible to miss if you know what to look out for. Want to know what this mad man played? We’ll tell you. We heard incredible tunes like Voco Riddim, Random Riddim, Cum Wit Da Spoon, Wiggle Riddim, My Sharonaand so much more.
     The folks in the crowd were going absolutely nuts, especially when Boogie dropped anthems like Ain’t Safeand Gettin Gone with Chicago’s very own KTRL. Our favorite song of the night had to be the Stan Marsh sample where he pretends to be Lorde, called Ya Ya Ya. We actually have a pretty sick video of this tune live. Make sure you check out Boogie T. in Greensboro on August 26th at the Blind Tiger.

    We ended off the night the right way by catching one of the Carolina’s most popular bands shut down the festival with an absolute bang. The Mantras are a Jam Band originally from our distant neighbor city of Greensboro. The band is composed of members Keith Allen, who is on guitar and vocals; Justin Loew who plays the drums; Julian Sizemore who plays the keys and also does vocals; Brian Tyndall who plays the bass and also does vocals; and last but not least Brent Vaughn who is in charge of percussion and is the 4th member to stroke his angelic voice for a crowd of hungry fans. While our time with the Mantras was short, we heard a few familiar tracks off their 2016 album “Knot Suite,” and an older project called “Jam Bands Ruined My Life.” The Mantras perform with an uprooted sense of energy and love. They emit waves of freedom and passion as they move on throughout their set from key to key. Not only are these guys fantastic musicians, but they’re also impeccable businessmen. Throughout they years they’ve put together a mini music festival called Mantrabash, usually held in Ferguson, North Carolina. We were basically left in awe with the incredible performance.

 This festival was extremely special to say the least. We hope to volunteer next year and help out the cause, and we would highly advise anyone else to do the same! After The Mantras set was over we lurked around the scene to meet incredible Barnstock fans and supporters, and even wound up in the famous Barn with the family who made it all happen. We stayed with them and their friends until 3 in the morning listening to Bluegrass and having a blast. We are counting down the days until Barnstock 2018! Click Here to View the Entire Album for Barnstock Music Festival!

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 Thanks For Stopping By!

–   Zyven

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