After sitting down and talking with Dada Life about bananas, pillow fights, and the rules of Dada, I finally had the opportunity to take a trip to Dada Land for their 2nd annual festival known as The Voyage. From what the presidents of Dada Land told me in regards to last year's festival, it was nothing short of amazing. From flying into the festival on a hot air balloon over thousands of people to walking around the campsites in the middle of the night to hang out with fans, it sounded like an unforgettable experience for both Dada Life and fans alike and I could not wait to see what they had in store for this year.
As I was on my way to the venue, the weather was looking very gloomy and I could not help but think about how this was going to impact the night's festivities given the high chance of rain that day. Sure enough, Dada Life took to Facebook to announce that rain or shine, it was time for the citizens to get ugly. Once I arrived at the San Manuel Amphitheater and made my way to the lines, there were several signs posted stating that we were now entering Dada Land and that no rules but the Rules of Dada applied at this festival. That is when it hit me that I was really in for something special.
Walking out onto the festival grounds I could not help but notice a few unique things that you just don't see at other festivals. First of all there was only one stage, which I personally enjoyed because the line up was stacked and it kept the entire festival centered around that one stage. Everybody there was enjoying the same music which made for a very communal environment, something that the mega-festivals tend to lack a lot of the time. While walking around grooving out to Bixel Boys' set, I could not help but notice how many people were dressed up in banana costumes, along with the one drunk guy wearing a green dragon suit who looked like he was very lost. This is the only festival I've ever been to to have such a theme going and I was loving every bit of it. On top of the banana costumes, they even sold bananas at the fruit stand and you best believe that I bought a few to keep me going throughout the night.
The crowd cheered as Dada Life came out to play a "classic set", consisting of old-school Dada Life tunes that had everybody getting down in a time where festivals consist of future bass, future house, and whatever other genre Marty Mcfly may have discovered. Towards the end of their set, Dada Life announced that all people dressed up in banana costumes were to report to the back of the festival in order to be counted for the Guinness world record attempt. As I was enjoying their music, I turned around to find hundreds of banana costumes looking down onto the festival from the nearby hillside, something I will never forget. They were counted and promptly urged to return to the crowd to get ugly.
Even though I had my doubts about how fun the festival will be in the rain, I found that it didn't hold anyone back but rather added to the experience. Going ham to Party Favor while having the rain pouring down to keep you cool was almost better than dancing in the hot sun. And when it started getting dark, watching the visuals and rain interact with one another was just next level.
Ookay then went on to deliver an amazing performance filled with plenty of trap bangers and enough troll songs that he made me wonder if he was trying to be more of a comedian than a DJ. I still enjoyed it and wanted to hear more but it was 12th Planet's turn to take the stage. Watching all these people dressed up in banana costumes get down to some of the heaviest, grimiest dubstep music you could think of was absolutely hilarious and I enjoyed every second of it. Never in my life did I think that I would see a bunch of bananas moshing at a festival. It was just as amazing as it sounds, believe me. 3lau was up next but because of some flight delays he was running late. I was disappointed for a moment but then 12th Planet announced that he was going to go back to back with Ookay and I had no problem with seeing that go down. Finally, 3lau arrived to squeeze in a short but fun set to keep everyone dancing.
Dada Life then went on but before they started playing they had a spokesperson from the Guinness World Record come out on stage to read the results of the world record attempt. Lo and behold, the citizens of Dada Land broke the world record for most people dressed as fruit, making that the second world record for the Swedish duo. They then went on to deliver a smashing performance and closed out their amazing festival.
It is rare that an artist decides to organize their own festival, but Dada Life showed that when done properly, it can make for one of the most unique and amazing experiences. I can say that that day was the ugliest I have ever gotten and that I am looking forward to next years Voyage even more! I can't wait to see how bananas they will be going once they finally get their own land to call Dada Land.
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