I Found Euphoria in Texas

written by Danny Smith

photos by Tyler Fewox

I almost didn’t experience Euphoria. Complicated travel arrangements and terrible storms that swept the South (caused The Knocks to cancel) set my trip up for one to remember. Thanks to one ATLien Basshead Sam Woo and a couple Megabus rides I made it to Carson Creek Ranch. Well worth the trek.

Music genre: Jam, Funk, Rap, Electronic, Awesomeness

Camping: Yes. You can stay at other places near the Austin area. I camped, but ironically I never slept in the same place consecutive nights from Thursday to Sunday. The festival Gods placed me by some of the most awesome neighbors a dolo traveler could ask for.

Capacity: Extra small (5k-10k): I was perfectly ok with the amount of attendees, but there could have easily been more people.

Crowd type: Beauties, Lovelies, Ravers, Vibe Tribe, Festies, Funkers, Families, Happy People

Water stations: Yes. Awesome fill up stations in different locations throughout the festival grounds and campgrounds. Not so much the Silent Disco area unless I really overlooked it.

For The First Timers – It is a HUGE ranch. Bring comfortable shoes or boots. Hide in the shade when you can during the daylight. Have earplugs. Paper maps/schedules were available; always a plus for any festival. Not a necessity but I advise a bandana or something to block some of the dust. Of course it’s also a great prop to have when Alesso is bumping songs like Future’s “Mask Off”. Gotta rep the set. Also, go with the flow. Let the music take control. Don’t have expectations just know that mostly everyone around you is fun and beautiful inside and out. If you find yourself wandering, you may stumble across a Shelby and Will with his Kai support totem to close out with Knife Party. I slept in the hammocks by the Silent Disco one night and no one bothered me or stole from my belongings on the ground beside me. Euphoria is truly something to experience especially for festival goers.

Standout Food – The Chaco stand had free tacos. Portions were healthy at food trucks but prices in Texas are big too. I had variations of loaded fries. Some Wicked Fries and Brisket Curly fries; both fairly tasty.

Musical Highlights – I honestly heard so much funky, crazy music that I feel bad not thoroughly mentioning every artist I checked out. Flamingosis, Spag Heddy and Minnesota were all impressive Friday.Although we ended the night with Alesso, Bakermat (Live) and the last four acts at the Dragonfly Amphitheater Saturday were killing it. Sunday was odd because there was mad funk during the day that turned into a rave by night.

I was introduced to Manic Focus when they started the weekend off proper with their funky swag. Things got real cool when they played “Let Me Blow Ya Mind”. They were so awesome I was hoping they would play again later in the festival. Great kickoff.

Shoutout to Raven Felix (Taylor Gang affiliated), Ill-esha, and the female vocalist during Sip Sip. They were just some of the talented female spotlights from the weekend. Ill-esha was probably my favorite as she finished her set spitting some dope lyrics. I double L.

My favorite the whole weekend…Zeds Dead baby. Sensory overload at its finest. The active eyes of the Elements Stage, planes flying overhead, the visuals, the lights, all while they were playing a phenomenal set of classics, newer songs, and other mixes. I laughed when “Same Damn Time” came on as I was eating Sweet & Sour Starburst at the same damn time! I almost lost it when they dropped the words ‘oh my God’ during the set. It was like DC and Hooks seized the words straight from my brain. Arguably the best Zeds Dead set I’ve seen.

Things To Do – Duh, listen to music. Provide a fun and safe environment for others, children were present. Meet new people. The Art Outside Village activities which included Yoga and several workshops from self-help to helping the world around you. Dance. Chill. Take pictures with the Unicorn Crew from iheartraves.com. Share good vibes with the Euphoria Vibe Tribe. Kite flying. Acro yoga during sets. Late night Silent Disco.

VIP or Nah – I would consider VIP. A chill VIP area near the Euphoria Stage provided a shaded lounge area, AC bathrooms, happy hour specials and other perks. VIP camping was less like a ranch as it had grass and trees throughout the VIP camping area.

Story Corner – It was priceless to make so many connections with new people. It was cool to fest with another team member, photographer Tyler Fewox, as he took stellar pictures all weekend. Side note, an aggressive security guard broke the zipper on my fanny pack the last day. Thanks.

In one corner a low-key raver couple from Kansas City. I knew they were cool after reminiscing about Tycho and BUKU Thursday night. They also helped shoo off this World War Z zombie like soulless vandal while Moby was performing at the Element stage. It was the one sole bad vibe for me all weekend/sketchiest encounter ever. On the flip side, there was a group of rowdy ravers from various parts of Texas. One of their dad’s even raved beside us with his chicken turkey totem Saturday. They definitely had a badass Geodome too.

Geodome education: This design in particular consisted of 165 pipes with 61 connection points to shape pentagon and hexagon patterns. It is based on the same design as the EPCOT center in Disney World. The dome can hold ten times the weight of the materials used to make it.

Overall Euphoria was an unforgettable adventure. The music was outstanding from start to finish. The production was magnificent with lights, visuals, smoke blasts, etc. The security and officers for the most part were cool. The security going into GA campgrounds were really great to start off opening night. The festival had some of the most gorgeous and healthy looking girls I’ve seen at any festival (props to Texas). It was a perfect medium of a weird chill rave environment. Arguably one of my new favorite festivals. I’m lying to myself if I said that I’m never going back.  I could bore you to death with my full escapade but its better if you experience your own Euphoria!

Check out the full photo gallery from Euphoria here!


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