Anyone who’s been to their fair share of festivals and shows knows that each has its own one-of-a-kind vibe and 2016’s Mad Decent Block Party is no exception. Those looking for a low key experience need to look elsewhere. MDBP always has a variety of artists on its repertoire but one thing is common: it’s always a party.
The two-day extravaganza was non-stop celebrating from the moment What So Not took the stage as the gate opened Friday to the final drop from Chicago duo Flosstradamus Saturday night. From the chill nu-disco vibes of Le Youth to the groovy house beats (and cat visuals) of Justin Martin, from the breathtaking future bass sounds of Illenium to the holiest house tracks of all time from none other than Tchami, there was pretty much something for everyone the entire weekend. Lil Dicky performed a few of his rap tracks (which we found hilarious), Dada Life brought the bananas and champagne (as always), and RL Grime brought the bass – and even a few unreleased tracks.
And of course the king of Mad Decent himself, Diplo, stole the show at the end of Friday night. The guy clearly knows what he’s doing when he DJs and he brought the house down (and maybe even a little upside down during “Express Yourself”).
Every event has its own kind of energy and its own type of crowd it draws in. This weekend the Desert Canvas Media Team had the pleasure of meeting a ton of creative and interesting individuals who all made their way out to Chandler for a bit of an escape for a day or two. We made it our mission to ask a simple question to everyone we had the chance to meet:
If you could teach the world one thing, what would you teach?
As you can imagine we had quite the answers. Right off the bat a guy in a banana suit said he wanted to teach others how to fly. Eating tacos every Tuesday, playing the xylophone, using chopsticks, recycling, how to be a baller, and quantum teleportation all made the list (sadly, Quantum Teleportation Guy did not go into specifics).
Some went a little bit deeper. Timmy, the Icey Natural Pops vendor, said he’d teach everyone how to grow their own food and how exactly things are made. One discussed the “value of bettering yourself.” One girl talked about the importance of being nice, but also “having a little attitude.” One talked about “researching political candidates.“
However, as we were meeting different festival attendees, a few common themes began to emerge as we wrote down answers. Acceptance, compassion, and perspective made the list multiple times. Open-mindedness was also written down more than once. So were patience, respect, peace, and forgiveness.
And the most popular idea on the list? Love. Loving yourself, loving others, loving everyone. “Peace and love is the answer,” one festival-goer told me. “We need to learn how to love like how dogs love. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that. There shouldn’t need to be a reason to be kind and respect each other. That’s just the way it should be.” Suddenly it all makes sense why this community of festival-goers is so strong. In a world where stories of war, crime, and judgement are overtaking our TVs and our Facebook feeds, life can easily feel so negative.
That’s where music oriented events come to the rescue. Serving as a place of refuge from the normal day-to-day chaos, concert and festival-goers come to celebrate life, to embrace individuality, and to cherish a judgement-free zone. Once people walk through the Rawhide barn and onto the open-aired grass field, all problems are left behind. Whether they sprint towards the stage with their arms waving around to catch their favorite DJ, do a little jig right in the middle of the space without a care in the world, or sit down with their crew to simply relish in the joyous energy that fills the air, everyone realizes one thing: nothing else matters except the present moment. And it’s times like these when love is felt more strongly than ever, because everyone has one goal: to enjoy the night.
The crowd at Mad Decent Block Party had people from a variety of backgrounds – many of the people we spoke with said that this was their first festival style experience. But by getting to know just a fraction of the 14,000 attendees you see that everyone isn’t really that different after all. Underneath everyone’s unique party attire we all value the same things. It’s these values that keep bringing us and so many others to show after show after show.
There is beauty to be found in the way the electrifying music and mesmerizing lights unite a crowd. When nothing else matters except wanting to enjoy the night with those around you, love is more tangible then ever. Thank you, Mad Decent and Relentless Beats, for throwing a giant party that reminded us of the one thing that can bring us all together.
If you find yourself already missing those incredible vibes, no worries – the season has only just begun in Arizona! Things are getting a little bit spooky in October with BOO! Arizona. We’re heading back to the wild west for Global Dance Festival in November with Bassnectar and Galantis. Finishing off the year strong will be Deadmau5 enhanced Decadence with a lineup that’s going to provoke a serious case of FOMO. Tickets are all available at Relentless Beats right now, so be sure to head over and grab those tickets, fast!