Mamby On The Beach - Total SUCCESS!
Since it was the first year for Mamby On The Beach, I didn't know what to expect. Usually before going to a festival, I spend days (alright weeks) reading up on the ins and outs, what to bring, how people liked it in previous years, and so on; but for this I was mostly on my own to speculate. I knew the location and the lineup, which was enough for me to decide I had to go. After arriving at the festival I knew I stepped into something important. The general feeling was different from other festivals I've attended and couldn't pinpoint the exact reason for that. So instead of trying to explain the wonderful feeling this beach festival gave me in terms of how my stomach shook with the bass, my heart swelled as I heard amazing artists play/mix live, and how I felt joyfully weightless, I'm going to tell you the things I absolutely loved about Mamby and why I can't wait to go again.
1. The Visual Effects
Although sometimes while at concerts I can't help but close my eyes and have the music carry me away, I was hypnotized by the visuals at Mamby. During the day, typically graphics fall short at festivals because the use of lights and lasers are the main attraction; but heavy use of the three separate screens at the main stage and the one at the tent proved worthy of my attention. I couldn't believe my eyes. What is usually expected is the sight of the band/artist going at it on stage but at Mamby they must've had some class acts in the visuals/camera department because it was impressive. The use of camera angles and views made for some mental trickery. The combination of seeing what the artist was doing on stage and how the crowd was reacting (giving a great look at some of the CRAZY costumes and makeup some attendees decided to adopt for the weekend). The camera flashed from person to person, and at one point it even did a 360 view of one person. I was thoroughly impressed.
As the headliners closed with their final songs, the festival ended with a bang. No seriously, fireworks went off. It wasn't a grand 4th of July show, but it was still a fun way to add the element of surprise on Saturday, which truly made the night seem extremely special.
2. The Quality Of Music
I'm no audio expert, but my ears were extremely happy this past weekend. There weren't any sound issues (that I know of) and everything seemed to blend into one magical eargasm. Everything was crisp and clear and although the bass was heavy, it wasn't overpowering. We could still hear what the artist intended us to hear which made me jump for joy (literally, a lot of jumping occurred in the form of dancing).
3. Range of Artists
Electronic music comes in all shapes, sizes, and forms and Mamby successfully brought in a fantastic range of such. Smaller up-and-coming artists had a spot on the lineup as did big names such as Empire Of The Sun and Passion Pit. A variety of DJs were featured, bands that presented DJ sets (Cut Copy, James Murphy), and even some electronic that boarders indie/indie rock such as Tanlines and Cherub. It was a fantastic mix of talent and we hope to see a similar lineup next year.
4. The Location
I don't know about you, but a party on the beach always sounds like a good idea.
I thought that the creators were extremely smart in the fact they only allowed those with VIP passes access to the water, and I give a lot of credit to whoever landed this beach as the venue! There was a nice visual of the water from behind a fence preventing drunkards from wandering into their doom and the view of the Chicago skyline was gorgeous. The three stages were pretty close together so it made walking from stage to stage effortless. Although it was a bit far from where a lot of people were traveling from, it was well worth the journey and Mamby tried to make it as easy as possible to get to the location (see #5).
Since it was based pretty far south, it was a trek but the availability of shuttle buses from the Cermak-Chinatown Red Line/Cermak-McCormick Green Line to and from the festival made it a whole lot easier. It was a great system and although the line after the festival to get on a bus seemed like it took forever, it was monumentally easier than trying to drive there. The simplicity of traveling to and from the festival made the weekend more manageable and the fact it was on school buses made it that much better. I couldn't keep track of the amount of stories I heard exchanged of being young and on a school bus. Trust me, hilarity ensued.
6. The Vibes
Walking into Mamby was like stepping into an almost island-like getaway. It felt like I was on vacation and I loved feeling like I escaped the real world. The atmosphere made it easy to let loose and have a good time. The amount of fun art and decor transformed the beach into something more. Graffiti sprayed on what looked like plastic wrap around the trees by amazing urban street artists greeted us while walking into the festival which started the area Mamby called the "Bohenna Village." This fun area included a temporary-tattoo table, "Yoga On The Grass" fit with headphones instructing you what you to, decorative paper lanterns, and a Buddha statue to complete the space. One other thing that really helped with the vibes was the type of people that attended. Ask anyone and I'm sure they would say that the 18+ age restriction really helped with that. Everyone was there to have a good time and to enjoy the music and it really showed. People respected others' space and allowed room to dance. Overall it was a friendly and exotic looking environment and I cannot wait until this time next year. I'm already planning for Mamby 2016!