This year, Mysteryland, the longest running electronic music festival, returned for its second installment on American soil in Bethel Woods, New York this past weekend. Although it had immediate competition from two others popular festivals, Movement in Detroit and EDC NY at the Meadowlands in NJ, Mysteryland definitely held it’s own not only in talent, but in the crowd it drew as well as the experience it curated. We break down everything that went down this weekend below.


This year, Mysteryland was jam packed with goodies that everyone could enjoy. Aside from the music, there were an immense amount of art and installations to explore on the journey between stages. Some of them changed day by day, some of them you wouldn’t fully understand unless you were able to catch one of their performances. The non-musical structure that stood out the most to me was Life Size Mouse Trap, a large-scale rendition of the classic board game Mouse Trap. Not too far off was a fire show done by Incendia, which featured a metal dome where an operator controlled fire. Periodically, the entire roof would be engulfed in flames as viewers lay out on the floor and received a blast of warmth that was extremely pleasant given the cooler temperatures at night. Miniature red and white mailboxes, and white birdcages were scattered in various trees. Another nice addition was a swing carousel that was definitely a hit.




Musically, Mysteryland definitely provided. It’s difficult to compete when Movement and EDC NY are so close and on the same weekend but Mysteryland was able to pack a wide range of talent into six stages. Mysteryland’s main stage was headlined by the likes of Empire of the Sun, Kygo, Madeon, Diplo, and Dillon Francis; all of which definitely delivered during their sets and left many people leaving wondering what they just experienced. It was nice to see such well-rounded talent take on the main stage throughout the weekend. Between Porter Robinson, Bob Moses and Netsky’s live performances, to Classixx and The M Machine, there was something for everyone on the mainstage.


This year, Beatport brought the bass with their Beatport Big Top Stage. The stage was a techno fans sanctuary this weekend. Beatport stage headliners included Matthew Dear (curator of the stage for Saturday), Adam Beyer (curator of the stage for Sunday), Ida Engberg, Paco Osuna, Maya Jane Coles and Nicole Moudaber. Matthew Dear and Adam Beyer definitely brought along some heavyweights with them including Anja Schneider and Bart Skils who blew the walls off the stage. The sound on all the stages was great quality. Some spots sounded better than others but when you’re filling a space that large, quality is bound to suffer in some spots.


The Boat stage was a crowd favourite this year again and this stage also received an upgrade. Last year, the boat stage featured a classic pirate ship with gorgeous colorful butterflies as the sails. This year, ID&T transformed it into a steamboat complete with balcony for festival goers to dance on. This added to the experience and allowed people to actually feel like a part of the stage. Throwing down on this stage was Griz, Gramatik and Beats Antique on Saturday, while Bro Safari curated the stage for Sunday. Along with him he brought ILOVEMAKONNEN, TJR, Doctor P, ETC! ETC!, CRNKN and Gent & Jawns. All of these artists had the boat stage bouncing the entire weekend with their unique styles of mixing. There was non-stop dancing every time you were at the Boat stage.


New York City residents got the chance to see some of their more popular local clubs get a chance to curate their own stages also. Verboten and Webster Hall, two prominent nightclubs in NYC, each got a chance to host their favorite sounds for the day. Verboten took full control of the Spiegeltent to turn the place out and that they certainly did. Damian Lazarus, fresh off his latest essential mix, gave a proper set in the Spiegeltent along with Lee Burridge, Guti (Live) and Audiofly. The highlight of the weekend for Verboten had to have been the closing lineup on Sunday. The Martinez Brothers blew the walls of the place with their high energy on stage and mesmerizing bass lines throughout the set. Although Webster Hall shared a tent with Q-Dance, both brought along their own lineups of heavy weights. Q-Dance was headlined by crowd favorites Noisecontrollers alongside Bass Modulators and Audiofreq. Taking the stage for Webster Hall was Klingande, Goldroom, Girrafage, Sweater Beats and Mija. They brought their unique New York flavor to the Boys and Girls stage and provided an oasis to escape to all day Sunday.


Some additions to the Zeitgeist stage included an enclosed area above the dance floor filled with red balloons being swiftly moved throughout the space by strategically placed fans underneath. This pleasant surprise was greeted with the sounds of renowned record label – the French Express; a stage of disco. Moon Boots played a stunning set but the technical issues seemed to have had the volume lower than usual. Regardless, they put on a fantastic show. On Saturday Lee Foss and Skream sent the crowd on an insane journey to close out the night.



Finally, Mysteryland provided a safe, mysterious and unusual experience for the ones lucky enough to have attended this year. There were many surprises to be discovered if you took the time out to do so and there was more than enough great music to keep your ears entertained for the entire weekend. This year’s festival was all around better than last year for the most part when it came to food, stages, staff and personnel and other people in the crowd. If the festival continues to grow, it won’t be surprising if this festival becomes a yearly event for many people.