[FESTIVAL RECAP] Sun Shines for a beautiful BUKU Music + Art Project 2016
Buku Music + Art Project, March 11-12 2016
Buku Music and Art Project, held in the heart of New Orleans’ Warehouse District at Mardi Gras World, had a successful and electrifying run this past weekend in Louisiana.
Hosting over 50 music acts on six unique stages, the sold out festival featured every genre of music for music lovers to choose from. Due to BUKU being an art festival, fans were able to indulge in live art. Large graffiti murals, jewelry, clothing, and more were available each day to check out and purchase. Attendees were able to enjoy the interactive art throughout the festival, while indulging in the awesome variety of food from vendors on the water. Impromptu acts of music, dancing, and creativity kept a spark going the entire weekend.
Power Plant Stage, Buku Music + Art Project
Float Den Stage, Buku Music + Art Project
Although it was scheduled to downpour each day, New Orleans held strong and the sky stayed clear throughout the weekend. Festival-goers were prepared, however, carrying raincoats and wearing proper attire for the potential rain. “It makes me so happy that it’s not raining. I prepared for the worst, and get to dance in the sunshine. I get to watch my favorite band play while looking out from a boat on the water. New Orleans has a special magic about it; everyone feels so alive,” a happy festival-goer adorned in glitter and excitement explained to me. Day one of the festival hosted big names such as Griz, Kid Cudi, Fetty Wap, CHVRCHES, Above & Beyond and more.
Hula Hooper, Buku Music + Art Project
Baddie Winkle, Buku Music + Art Project
One of the best parts of the festival was how much love New Orleans received from the artists and production. Many different acts and artists such as CHVRCHES, Break Science, and Borns exclaimed throughout their set that New Orleans is their favorite city to perform in due to its beauty and the awesome crowd it brings in. “Are you guys enjoying the festival? It rains constantly in our country, so we thought that was nice…” Lauren Mayberry, singer from CHVRCHES said to the crowd as she smiled.
Break Science, Buku Music + Art Project
Borahm Lee of Break Science shared some love for the festival while killing his set. It was one of the best sets of the festival. The funky, upbeat music blasted through the Ballroom Stage and the crowd never stopped moving. “We just wanted to say that this is our favorite festival…It’s the best one ever. Best city, best crowd. You guys rock.”
Live Graffiti Art, Buku Music + Art Project
Buku Break Dancers
Buku hangout net by Power Plant stage
Some of the coolest elements of the festival were the intricate and wild art pieces. There was a freedom of expression and creativity in the air in New Orleans throughout the festival. From the lineup itself, the costumes, the dancers, the wall of art, and the pop-up acts, the two day festival was like being in a carnival while hearing your favorite songs live. The Buku Breakers, live violin trap band New Thousand, DJ Mike Feduccia & Chris Welcker, and the Buku dancers and hula-hoopers were just a few of the interactive art and music pieces we got to be a part of.
VIP S. S. Buku Boat
DJ Mike Feduccia
Grant Kwiecinski, also known as the electronic funk music producer Griz, was more than excited to be performing at Buku and closing out the first night. “I love you guys…” he spoke to his crew backstage before his set. “I feel so honored to have such a smart, talented group of awesome friends. You guys rock.” The kind words drew a smile from everyone in the room, as they brought their hands together and cheered, ready to rock the Float Den stage.
GRIZ, Buku Music + Art Project
GRIZ, Buku Music + Art Project
After experiencing the festival, I have to say that attending the fest with a VIP ticket is the way to go if you want the “full” Buku experience. The sold out festival was pretty crowded, and having access to the VIP boat, free drinks, VIP areas, and all of the other amenities made the festival that much more enjoyable. The VIP S.S. Buku stage on the boat was in a small, intimate room on the boat. Each stage had its own unique flare, however, this stage was one of the best. Being three feet away from Louis the Child and rocking out with all of your friends made that stage and the boat experience as a whole one to remember. Day two featured headliners such as What So Not, NGHTMRE, Future, Pretty Lights Live Band, A$AP Ferg, Nero, and more.
Tokimonsta, Buku Music + Art Project
Fetty Wap, Buku Music + Art Project
NGHTMRE, Buku Music + Art Project
Kid Cudi, Buku Music + Art Project
Buku Music + Art Project hosted a series of official after parties each night, including headliners from earlier in the day, as well as other artists not on the lineup. These were a huge success, as the “Buku All Stars” after show featured an “evening of improvisation and collaboration” with an impressive lineup. On the All Star roster was Adam Deitch (Lettuce), Borahm Lee (Break Science), Eric Bloom (Lettuce), Eric Krasno (Soulive), Eric Vogel (Nigel Hall Band), Jai Wolf, Russ Liquid, Griz, P.Y.M.P., and rapper Mystikal. It was a phenomenal performance of creativity to watch and each attendee had a smile on their face that never left. “Performing for you, up here with my best friends…it’s a pretty indescribable feeling. I get to jam out with my favorite people in this awesome city. It’s so much fun,” Russ Liquid, the New Orleans native and multi-talented producer exclaimed before the show. Coming back out for a Jimi Hendrix tribute jam as their encore, the All Stars ended the night for Buku day one with lots of favorites.
Buku All Stars Late Night Show
Rain or shine, Buku Music and Art Project rocked the city and was a huge success. The location and weather was beautiful. Each artist was a treat to see. You could feel the love coming from each performance as you got to see how much fun they were having, performing for their fans. The attendees of the festival upheld such a positive, fun, and excited attitude. The staff was helpful, and the vendor carts with authentic Nola food were having just as much of a good time as everyone else was. There was so much beauty surrounding everyone, dancing around and experiencing the art and music. New Orleans hosted a beautiful festival. Buku Music + Art Project, you were a great success.
Photos by: Chester Pink (@iamchesterpink)