Reviewed by Michael Talavera
Euphoria Music Festival Quick Facts
Capacity: Medium – About 15,000
Crowd type: Everyone from the trendy hipster to the kandi raver showed up for Euphoria
Music genre: Jam, Funk, Bass, Trap
The fifth annual Euphoria Music Festival went down this past weekend in Austin, TX at Carson Creek Ranch. Thousands converged on festival grounds just outside the city for one of the best lineups of the year curated by the tastemakers at Euphoria. With sets by G Jones, Juicy J, GRiZ, Bassnectar, STS9, Above & Beyond, Waka Flocka Flame, The Motet, Eric Prydz, and so many more we really couldn’t resist coming back for this one.
How To Get There
Located less than 5 minutes from the Austin airport, you could easily uber directly to the festival from the airport. Alternatively, if you’re staying closer to the city, everywhere in Austin is just a short drive away.
Where To Stay
Austin is a huge hub for travelers and tourists so there are always Air BnB’s available if you’re looking to live comfortably. Since Euphoria is just outside of the city, you can find cheap hotels as well. In my opinion though, all the fun happens in the campgrounds.
Admittedly, it was a little bit of a struggle getting our camping gear to the site. Campers park at a parking lot a little over a half-mile away from the campgrounds and haul their gear into the fest. Luckily, Euphoria had volunteers with wagons helping with the load. In the end, the work was worth it because we had a blast camping. Plus, how could we have missed that Polish Ambassador set for Thursday-arrival campers or the packed-out silent disco happening 2-5 am in the campgrounds?
For the glampers, there were a few options through Euphoria’s EnlighTENTment camping packages. Including all of the VIP amenities, the packages came complete with fully furnished teepees.
The food options inside the venue were delicious and diverse. I feasted on everything from teriyaki chicken wings to gyros and Juiceland’s cucumber kale and fun punch juices kept me alive all weekend. The only problem came after the main venue closed. There was a shortage of camping vendors and the one that was open late-night was definitely overwhelmed. However, knowing Euphoria, I’m sure this won’t be a problem next year. In any case, it’s always good to stock your own snacks and fruit at the campsite.
The two main stages were adjacent to each other and the second stage was much bigger than last year. This was great for scheduling conflicts because the artists playing at the second main stage still got the sound and production they deserved. The real gem of Euphoria, the Dragonfly stage, was on the bank of the river. Last year, Dragonfly stage was the place to be if you wanted to catch your up-and-coming artists and this year was no different. Artists such as Space Jesus, SNBRN, and Grateful Dead cover band, Deadeye, brought us all together at the amphitheater to create a vibe you couldn’t find anywhere else at Euphoria.
Artists You May Not Have Heard of But Can’t Miss
Space Jesus, Luca Lush, and Big Wild all stole the show at Dragonfly stage this year. If you’re still sleeping on any of these artists, now is the time to catch up. Surprise sets by Crizzly and Gamma (Slice Gang) on both Saturday and Sunday at the silent disco was the icing on the cake. Both nights we left the festival craving more and Slice Gang came through with the grimy dubstep until the sun was coming up.
Things To Do
Need a break from main stage? Yoga in the morning, workshops on anxiety or stilting, and ENO hammocks for all your napping needs made it easy to get away. Bring some extra spending cash? Plenty of great vendors and live painters to browse. Alamo Drafthouse had a movie theater playing all sorts of films throughout the weekend for those looking to lounge.
Why Go VIP
VIP offered express entrance, private viewing areas (perfect for getting close and didn’t seem to get overcrowded), private bars and food vendors (these still stayed pretty busy), private restrooms with A/C toilets and showers (this is why we buy VIP in the first place, right?), and increased shaded areas (the lounge by Euphoria stage was awesome).
What Makes The Festival Different?
Four things really make Euphoria stand out: the planes, the people, the size, and the lineup. Being so close to the airport, planes are constantly flying overhead and this never ceases to amaze me. Cheering and howling can be heard all throughout the venue and campground after a plane flies by and it always seems to bring everyone a little closer together. Austin is a melting pot of all types of people and its many festivals always bring a diverse crowd of friendly faces. Great vibes are in abundance and you always end up making new friends. With only about 15,000 people, Euphoria finds the happy medium between a festival large enough to bring in the big headliners, but still small enough to maintain an intimate community.
Take advantage of the passenger drop-off. Walking your camping gear the extra half-mile from car parking can test your patience. Just drop your gear off at the gate and have someone drop the car off instead. Security is hit-or-miss. Some will dig through every crevice, while some will barely pat your stuff down. Pay attention to the list of restricted items because there were definitely some frustrated people that had to walk back to their cars with a speaker. Weather is pretty great in Austin this time of year if you can avoid the rain, but always prepare yourself for the rain or cold.
Seriously, if at all possible, stay a few extra days before or after the fest. Austin is rich with amazing food and great places to explore. I heard of many adventures to places like Hamilton Pool or Barton Springs and feasts at famous restaurants like Chuy’s and Ramen Tatsu-ya.
Every year, Euphoria is one for the books and it only seems to get better every year. I have to give a special shoutout to the community at Euphoria. The fest itself provided reusable water bottles for all its attendees to promote hydration and a leave-no-trace mindset. A special moment was shared after GRiZ and Bassnectar’s sets on Saturday when the crowd came together to pick up all the trash at Euphoria stage. It was truly spectacular and, in my opinion, is a great representation of what makes Euphoria unique. See you next year, Euphoria!