The New York Debut of the legendary music festival drew aces, and here’s how.

The longest running Electronic Music Festival finally made its debut on American soil over the past weekend. Mysteryland, as its name suggests, was full of uncanny surprises that you wouldn’t witness at other big name festivals like EDC or the Ultra Music Festival in Miami. However, the biggest surprise came long before the three-day festival even kicked off.  With the announcement that the historic Woodstock ’69 grounds would be the site for Mysteryland’s USA debut, people hardly needed any more incentive to trickle down than to just be a part of a festival at such an iconic venue.


This was the first time since 1969 that the town of Bethel, NY granted camping permits on the very soil that witnessed Woodstock, with Mysteryland organizers rightly referring to it as the “holy ground.”  With thumping bass and turntables instead of classic rock and guitars, the music might have been a far cry from what defined Woodstock 45 years ago, but some of the senior festival goers said that it was great to see a new generation making new Woodstock memories. “EDM fans are the hippies of this generation,” said Joy Kim, 23, from Philadelphia, and “so we are carrying forward the baton from that generation.



From the onset, Mysteryland advertised itself as something different than the usual electronic dance festivals, and simply put, they nailed it! The festival ground decorations were reminiscent of some kind of fantasy land with rainbow hue colored flags spread across the grounds. The vibrant, and almost bohemian like dresses of the people and performers only amplified the fantasy of Mysteryland. In addition to the unique decorations, the musical selection also represented the “something different” philosophy of Mysteryland. Aside from popular mainstream artists like Steve Aoki, Kaskade, Nicky Romero, Dillstradamus, Moby, Dillon Francis and many more headlining the main stage, there were numerous other lesser-known artists playing various electronic sub-genres that could be heard pounding through the grounds.


Q-dance, a Dutch company that focuses on harder styles of electronic music, had its very own stage at the festival and showcased some amazing talents in Ran-D and Coone. Though its following in the US is considerably limited, there were many people that turned up to see exactly what Q-dance had to offer, and we personally came back wanting more. Then there was a stage fashioned into a sailor’s boat with massive butterflies as its sails. This stage showcased artists playing genres of trap and moombahton with a mix of hip-hop. We were also lucky enough to witness the mash up set of Dillon Francis and Flosstradamus (nicknamed Dillstradamus), as they cleverly chose some really popular R&B and hip hop tracks and interspersed these with deep, trap bass rumblings.


Relative to other electronic festivals, the genres of deep house and techno received a lot of air time at Mysteryland with three stages solely dedicated to the underground circuit rolling brand called Sunday School. The highlight here was the legendary Pete Tong, whose set focused on heavy vocals with mellow house beats and tribal sounds. The Spiegeltent became jam packed by the time Pete finished his set, which should say a lot about the quality of his set. In addition to the SpiegeltentSunday School’s Big Top tent and the Vinyl Only tent showcased some big techno names such as Joseph CapriatiCarl Craig and Marcel Dettman. With really articulate interiors, and mesmeric techno music, these Sunday School exhibits were the go to spot if one had to take a break from all the house overdose.


To sign off, you might ask us whose set was the best or flawless. Even if we somehow got our hands on Hermione’s time turner from Harry Potter, we still couldn’t answer that question. We can, however, tell you who was the most entertaining amongst all, and left everyone wanting for more. Steve Aoki is out of his mind! Or his mind is out of his physical self! Or both!  Not only was his music very upbeat and alive, but as is known, his interactions with the crowd made his set very intimate and made everyone feel involved as an audience. From the moment his infamous silhouette appeared in front of the DJ booth, till the moment he bid his farewells and the lights dimmed, were two hours filled with champagne showers, crazy Aoki jumps, positive energy, lots of caking (LOTS!), and phenomenal music.


Overall, Woodstock was a booming ground this past weekend and Mysteryland a great success surely to attract an even larger crowd when it happens next!



 Pictures & Words By Qandeel Khan and Deepesh Rana