By Amanda Cosenza (Cover photo by Charles Reagan)
November 2, 2016
This past weekend Voodoo Music + Arts Experience (Voodoo) celebrated its 18th year with wonderful weather, spooky festival grounds, and a weekend filled with exhilarating performances. With temperatures in the low 80s during the day and not a single rain cloud all weekend, attendees could not have asked for more perfect weather in late October. Festival goers were met with plenty of entrance lanes that allowed quick entry, a new food court, and a good scare from a zombie if they dared to walk through the mortuary.
Improvements this year not only brought better amenities like more local food options, but a redesigned map allowed attendees to easily navigate between stages without sacrificing sound quality. Main stage performances on the Altar Stage from Cage the Elephant and G-Eazy blew fans away with electrifying shows while more intimate stages like the Toyota Music Den gave fans a chance to get an up close acoustic session from artists like Shakey Graves, Reign Wolf and Saint Motel. The Chainsmokers drew a huge crowd to the Le Plur Stage Sunday night, with most of people expanded well outside the optimal viewing area, leaving the rest of the grounds, including Arcade Fire’s performance on the main stage, less packed.
Voodoo has already announced that it will return again in 2017 on the same weekend but until then here’s some more highlights from this year:
The costumes were incredible
In true halloween weekend fashion, all three days were filled with attendees and artist alike dressed up as everything from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to Pac Man.
Toyota Giving and VH1 Save the Music Art Piece
Toyota and VH1 Save The Music, a foundation committed to restoring music education programs in America’s public schools, have been traveling to festivals throughout the year to increase music education awareness with an interactive art piece. They made their last stop of the year at Voodoo.
Music fans and Voodoo artists were invited to write or draw their answer to the important question – “What Does Music Mean to You?” – on the globes, which were added to plexiglass tubes throughout the weekend creating a mural displaying everyone’s contribution. Various artists participated including G-Eazy, Bear Hands, Breton Sound, Active Bird Community, Slander, Seratones, Lost Kings, The Pretty Reckless, Bob Moses, Cakes Da Killa, Saint Motel, Eagle Rock Gospel, Singers, and Sir the Baptist.
As part of this philanthropic festival campaign, Toyota and VH1 Save The Music will go to Chicago Thursday, November 4, as part of a special assembly and grant ceremony during which Voodoo artist Sir the Baptist will present $40,000 worth of music education grants to three underserved schools in the Chicago area.
Paul Meany of Mutemath rocks out with his daughter
In 2006, Mutemath played for the first time at Voodoo Fest. During their set they were joined by frontman Paul Meany’s grandfather, affectionately known as “Papa G.” Ten years later, the band and Meany celebrated the anniversary by bringing his daughter, Amelia, on stage to help him dedicate a song to his now late grandfather. Hearts melted as Amelia rocked out on her pink guitar, confidently owning the stage alongside her dad.
Global Inheritance is a nonprofit that develops experiences to educate individuals about global issues and inspire them to take positive actions that create solutions. They were on site to reward fans for helping to keep the park clean with their Recycling Store. But this wasn’t your typical fill a bag with bottles to get a free t-shirt, this was an organized, well thought out rewards system with awesome prizes. Fans could recycle four bottles and receive a tote bag, 50 for a Band of Horses vinyl, or even 500 for Voodoo 2017 passes.
Cage the Elephant
As expected, Cage the Elephant’s performance Saturday night was explosive. Lead singer Matt Schultz owned the crowd as he jumped, sweated and ran shirtless across the stage. At one point, he even launched into the audience and began to crowd surf causing the audience to rush the stage with excitement.
The Toyota Music Den
This intimate stage provided some up-close and personal acoustic sessions from various artists throughout the weekend. Some of the highlights included Shakey Graves, Saint Motel, and Reignwolf.
More about Voodoo Music + Arts Experience
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