Storyland Stands Out

What’s up Festival Squad! I just finished my first adventure of the year attending Colombia’s very own Storyland. I can definitely see this event taking off in the years to come. During this particular festival, there were a lot of things that stood out from the many other festivals I’ve experienced around the world.

10 Ways Storyland Stood Out

    1. VIP is worth it. The VIP section started from the front of the main stage and went out about 100 feet. Compared to Snowglobe festival, which I came straight from, in Lake Tahoe, where the entire main stage area is packed to the point where you can’t move at all, Storyland was a night and day difference in the sense that I was able to move around more freely. There was plenty of room to dance and the people down here don’t get mad at you for moving through the crowd. When I did walk through GA area, there was also plenty of room to walk around. This is because festival attendees down here are  more spread out and like their space while dancing instead of flocking to the front areas because that was reserved for VIP.
    1. Festivals in Colombia are safe. I felt safer at this festival than I have at the last few festivals I’ve attended. As I walked inside on the very first day, there were probably 100 Colombian policemen standing guard. There were also about another 100 policemen spread throughout the festival, as well as a ton of hired guards. They also did thorough checks of my bag both days. Last year, there were at least three festivals, that shall remain unnamed, that never checked my bag as I walked in. So this made me feel much safer.
    1. I’ve been eating food the wrong way at festivals. Imagine being super hungry. Then you look up and down comes a hamburger on a parachute straight into your hands. Well that’s exactly what happened at this festival. If you were watching Festivals Squads Instagram, you may have seen me post footage to the story regarding these flying, glorious hamburgers. Every hour, this “volcano” looking structure went off and out came maybe 100+ hamburgers on parachutes. I might’ve actually gotten hit by one of them instead of it landing softly into my hands, but hey… I wasn’t complaining! Best part about this was that it was actually really good.
    2. Fila from Aly and Fila is a genuine artist and person. I first bumped into him backstage at the festival before his performance. About an hour later, I was waiting backstage to capture footage of him going on stage, but he never showed up. A different artist eventually went on and I stood around confused for about 10 minutes. I finally asked a production crew member where Aly and Fila were and they directed me to the smaller stage at the other side of the festival. I guess I’d made the mistake of thinking a headlining artist like Aly and Fila would be getting the closing slot of main stage for the festival. Still a little confused, I ran over to the other side of the festival and was at least able to catch half of the performance. After his show was over, he went down to the gates and took photos with every fan that approached him. There was not one fan that was not able to meet him and get a photo. To me, it was very cool to see how much he cared about his fans. Shortly after, I walked with him back to where his transport was waiting, and we were able to speak for a bit.  We talked about his show in Egypt, FSOE 500 at the pyramids, and Aly’s absence from the performance. For those of you who haven’t heard why Fila is performing without Aly, it’s because Aly suffered an ear defect during a previous performance. He later found out that he could possibly lose his hearing if he was around loud sounds, so unless it’s at the pyramids, traveling to different festivals wouldn’t be a wise idea. The important thing is that they still make music together in the studio. Fila goes out and holds it down for the duo by performing on behalf of the team.
    1. Day one was stacked. When I spoke to Moska back stage, he made it a point that he only plays on day one as if hinting to me that it was a bad thing to play on day two. Most festivals I’ve been to have always had balanced schedules across all days, so it was interesting to see a festival plan a schedule like this. Luckily for me, I was able see Aly and Fila on day two. They weren’t able to play on day one, because of flight delays. Having all the headliners on the first day made the second day of Storyland felt like a completely different festival. I was able to walk around more and check out other things the festival had to offer other than the music.
    1. Strong South and Central American unity. It’s presence at this festival that cannot be found at most festivals around the world. One of the biggest differences between this festival and the many others I’ve been to in America was the diverse crowd. I was able to come into contact with so many festival goers that were from South and Central American countries. I bumped into people from Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. I was expecting to only see Colombians at this festival, but I was wrong. I really loved seeing how united the South and Central America cultures were. It was exciting to be able to meet so many people from those countries.
    1. A new kind of vendor. When this festival is over, you should be prepared to get harassed by people selling anything and everything while you leave. As funny as it sounds, it became annoying. I remember leaving each day and people shouting in my face asking me if I wanted to buy the most random things. I discovered that usually by the third or fourth “no,” they’ll finally give up.
    1. Moska! I discovered a resident performer of Storyland. Moska in an electronic DJ from Cali. I was thoroughly impressed by his performance on day one. Right before he jumped into his performance, I was able to chat with him about what was to be expected from his show that night. He told me that he would be playing a lot of new music and exclusives. Also that he would be releasing new music this coming summer, which will have a groove bass house vibe with classical vocals. I asked him which upcoming festivals he’d like to play at, to which he responded that hopefully, he’ll be able to perform at Ultra Miami. After the interview, I jumped back into the crowd and got ready for his performance. Wow! I was blown away by his set. I loved his performance all around. I especially loved how there was Colombian style influence in his music.
    1. Sun Ministers. This trio, which consists of two brothers and one friend, are all from Colombia and are all young. I was fortunate enough to hang out with them before and after their performances. If you watched Festival Squads on Instagram, I posted some stories on stage with them while they were performing. I really enjoyed their entire set on day one. During the festival, the set times were interrupted, because there were a couple issues with artists not showing up, so they performed again later on that night. I can’t wait to watch this trio to blow up in the future.
  1. You can walk around with an entire bottle of alcohol. Not only could you buy an entire bottle but you can also openly walk around the festival grounds with it. Although I was not drinking myself, I saw a ton of people with bottles walking around. It was pretty funny to say the least, but I think this is just a Colombian custom, because I’ve also seen this happening at the local clubs.

All in all, this first festival of the year was a success. It seems like the festival has found their new home in Santa Marta, which I think is the perfect location. I hope next year they consider opening up access to the beach since it’s right next to the grounds. If they figure out a way to allow access or better yet, even have a stage on the beach, that alone would take this festival to the next level and would attract a lot more people. I do plan on coming back in the coming years to see how this festival evolves. I made so many new friends down here and was introduced to new music that I would’ve never have heard about had I not attended. I can’t wait to see what next year’s Storyland will hold.

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