All photos by Alive Coverage
Our Memorial Day weekend trip has left us feeling young again. This sense of refreshment is all thanks to Brooklyn’s BangOn!NYC, who brought their expanded Elements Lakewood Festival back to a Pennsylvania summer camp for a second time. In between sets from scene heavyweights like Claude VonStroke, Maceo Plex, REZZ, Shpongle and international tastemaker, Jamie Jones, thousands of guests were invited to participate in Color Wars, kayaking and wellness activities like therapeutic sound baths, group yoga and sustainability focused workshops. Unfortunately, we missed the viking funeral, but I have to say, any festival that’s willing to shoot flaming arrows into canoes is the one for me! Sure, this wasn’t how the summer camps of my youth operated, but maybe they should have? (… probably not, but I’m glad someone is flipping the formula on its head.)
The return celebration was as offbeat and funky as the first, but of course, it wouldn’t be a BangOn!NYC party if there weren’t a few new surprises. Elements let their DIY roots shine again with their impressive collection of art cars and installations they’ve racked up over the years. We were especially enamored with the new Cookie Monster bus from Bad Man, which kept us doe-eyed and carbo-loaded throughout the weekend. The floating pirate ship brought guests back to the Water Stage, but it was the new swing set and slip n’ slides that kept guests splashing through daytime dance parties. The Fire Stage, which played host to a Desert Hearts takeover on Sunday, saw some serious upgrades thanks to the incendiary geodesic seating areas that were reserved for VIP patrons. The Earth Stage wore aviary robes as two hawk-like designs drew focus to the bass acts like Minnesota and TroyBoi who rocked the stunning set-up all weekend. And the air stage – well between the jaw-dropping lighting, concrete cast sculptures and enviable woodwork – we’d be hard pressed to find anything this majestic at another boutique festival.
Once again BangOn!NYC has created something uniquely beautiful inside and out. Elements Lakewood ignites the spirit and the imagination, drawing boundless energy from the kickass performances of resident DJs (Dirty Looks played our favorite set of the weekend, hands down), a truly innovative production team, a seemingly endless caravan of people willing to breathe fire and one of the most gracious, polite crowds to grace festival season.
But I’m talking way too much, when really, these photos from Alive Coverage are worth all the words (including YAS, dope, incredible, killer, take me back, etc.). Check them out, and then score tickets to Elements NYC which will bring a number of the same stage designs and a whole new lineup of DJs including Bassnectar, SNBRN, Lost Desert, Emancipator, Goldfish (live) and many more to Hunts Point, BX on August 11th.