Lost Lake Festival: A Desert Oasis in the City

Photos by Ho Sayy

Lost Lake Festival took over Indian Steel Park of Phoenix, AZ for its inaugural run this past October 20th-22nd and boy, was it a success! About 45,000 eager attendees celebrated the music, food, arts, and culture of our beloved desert home, drawn in by the lure of over 50 dazzling performances. Tunes filled the warm Arizona air at the four epic stages, the lineup boasting Chance the Rapper, The Killers, Odesza, Big Gigantic, Run the Jewels, and so many more heavy-hitters.  Being the first year of the event, I had no idea what to expect.

Hearing nothing but great things about Superfly events (the creators of Bonnaroo and Outside Lands), I knew I had to check it out for myself. And I gotta say- they KILLED IT! Here are FOUR of the coolest things I experienced at Lost Lake Festival:

City Festival Vibes

Don’t get me wrong, – I’m a camping festival kind of gal. So naturally, I was a bit skeptical of the whole city factor of Lost Lake Festival. After entering on Friday night, I quickly realized that city festivals are just as awesome!

As a local, I’ve personally never been to this particular park before; Turns out, it is a prime festival location! Getting there is made easy with nearby public transportation with the Light Rail.The grounds were huge, leaving plenty of room to explore and allow for an immersive experience at the various stages. There was an enormous hill that overlooked the festival grounds, a large pond lined with glowing trees, and plenty of grass to chill out and take a breather on.

Everything was curated ever so perfectly- the marketplace, the vendors, the bars showcasing their local favorites, and even an oversized playground. The vibes were very futuristic and made you feel like you were in a whole different world when you walked through the festival gates. Since it was downtown, the party always continued in the bars outside of the venue after the main acts were over. Best part- you even get to sleep in the comfort of your own bed/ hotel in between days!

Marketplace- Photo by Bailey Goldstein


Lost Lake Festival had a TON of food vendors for its inaugural year, letting local restaurants showcase their favorites and share the culture of Phoenix grub. It was pretty awesome to see some of my favorite places vending there, such as White Eyes Fry Bread, Left Coast Burrito, Kaleidoscope Juice, and Freak Brothers Pizza. There was so much variety, where flavors existed that could entice any taste buds! For this type of festival, I always recommend coming hungry- you won’t regret it! Nothing like a fat burrito in between sets to support local business or a refreshing all-natural juice to get your energy back up.

Photo by Andrew Kemp/FilmMagic)

Now, for the FUN…

Has your inner child been calling out lately? I know mine has been.

Photo by Jorgensen Photography

The Lost Playground gave attendees the opportunity to let their inner child out to play, but with games that are large and in charge. YES, I’m talking OVERSIZED CLASSICS! There was croquet so large that you can walk through the hoop, pool with bowling balls, MEGA twister, Lifesize Connect-4, and so much more! Seriously, you could spend all day here playing games and still now try all of it.

Photo by Jorgensen Photography

Nights Lit by Fire and LEDs

City vibes brought a different type of art installations to the festival scene than that I am used to. Walter Productions of AZ was showcasing some of their prized possessions- beautiful art cars! I had so much fun exploring these cars and talking to the people that were involved in the creation of them. Big Red, Kalliope, and Walter were some of my favorite places to hand out throughout the weekend. Coolest part-they’re local and head to Burning Man yearly!

So okay, cool- they light up…

But, what’s a celebration without fire?

Yep, some of these works of art shoot fire too. Why would we expect anything less of the amazing artists of AZ?

Photo by Bailey Goldstein

While on the topic of fire, Lost Lake actually hosted one of the coolest things I’ve seen to this day at an event. Every night, there would be several fire shows on the pond, where lily pads would shoot jets of flames up in the air- choreographed every so beautifully to the music that was playing.  Think the Bellagio fountain show of the Las Vegas Strip, but with FIRE! These tunes ranged from classical music to dubstep, to even Metallica and it was something I looked forward to every night and will never forget.

Photo by Jorgensen Photography

Whirlwinds of Emotion

Music always makes me feel some type of way, and Sunday was an adventure through the feels. I went from in awe, to hype, to absolutely blown away and wanting the night to never end.

The latter of the day Sunday began with a viewing of a Circus Farm performance, which was really awesome as some of the performers were my friends! It’s always amazing to see how much talent we really have in AZ regarding performance arts. Jaw=dropped.

Photo by Andrew Kemp/FilmMagic

Major Lazer was the biggest party set of the weekend, playing crowd favorites like “Bubble Butt”, “Be Together”, and “Get Free”, among others. The dancers on stage were next level, twerking and moving in ways I didn’t even know were possible. The energy was high and the night wasn’t even close to over.

What came next that night was a wave of love and touching of the soul, with the most anticipated act and closer for the event, Odesza. This was by far, the most magical set I’ve experienced to this day. So surreal, so visually enticing, and so HEARTFELT! Tunes, both new and classic, filled my ears with pure joy as I connected with those around me like never before. (Seriously, don’t miss them if they’re in town near you). I’m currently in pursuit of the next place I can catch them on tour this season.

All in all, Lost Lake Festival absolutely slayed it for their inaugural year, and I sure hope we get to experience it again next fall! It was the perfect collaboration in showcase of the art, food, and energy of the city of Phoenix.

A Recap to Get You Excited For Next Year:

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