photos taken from Moonrise Festival Facebook
Upon arriving at the Moonrise media tent Saturday afternoon I was getting ready to embark on this two day adventure when a gentlemen sitting at a table asked me, “Do you wanna do an interview?” Naturally my response was “Like right now?” Immediately unprepared I answered maybe? “How much time do I have to get ready?” He simply replies, “About three minutes.” So I quickly jot out some questions with a little help and conduct a brief interview with Moonrise Promoter Evan Weinstein.
Festival Squad: How long have you been promoting for Moonrise?
Evan Weinstein: This is our fifth year, I’ve been with Moonrise since the beginning.
FS: What are some changes you’ve seen or helped make for the festival?
EW: Obiviously umm…everything. (We both laugh) We’ve changed a lot of stuff. Everything from the operations, water operations, the Star Team, literally everything.
FS: I give major props to Moonrise because after going last year and doing research beforehand it seems like you guys are receptive of hearing feedback and making changes.
EW: It’s like you gotta allow the market to tell you what they want. So it’s a lot of listening, customer service, etc. You’d be surprised as to how many inbox messages I’ve replied to. We literally watch all of it (feedback on socials) and talk about all of it. Like even today. Walk around in about an hour and things will start flattening out. There’s still woodchips being dropped. It’s almost like 24 hour shifts since last July getting everything ready. Putting down the sod and everything, we’ve been working our asses off.
FS: That’s great to hear, it’s definitely noticeable with the woodchips and sod down. What are a few things people don’t know that makes Moonrise different from other festivals?
(SPOILER ALERT: I found out later the plastic clasp on the wristband glows in the dark!)
EW: We actually have a handful of things. Our pre parties. We’re the first festival to have Food & Artist Activations. For example the Taco Party. Augmented authentic reality screening booths and so much free stuff. I mean there’s other cool stuff about this festival also. I like our water stations. The ascension of water is crucial.
FS: That’s one of the big things I heard after doing research people were like “There’s no water, there’s no water”. And y’all had a lot of water stations last year! There was water stations.
EW: We have forty spigots of high pressured water that can fill twenty ounces in like four seconds. Then we give out, I think it’s like eighteen pallets of water. Which is like ten thousand or some ridiculous amount of free water. Then we have backup water if that runs out.
FS: That’s a very interesting thing about festivals and the high pressured water with the forty spigots.
FS: Yeah, it’s like some festivals you go to and your water source is from a fountain that’s like low pressure and gross.
EW: Yeah and it takes forever! So we have the really good ones. It’s the same guys who do EDC and a lot of the East Coast stuff. We went to ten water stations this year instead of six. It’s a lot of water. Our merch is really sick this year too. I think Rockstar gives out all kinds of free products. There’s so much free shit everywhere here.
FS: So much free shit heard.
EW: Yeah so much free shit. I mean I just like giving stuff away.
FS: That’s great. Logistics question: Why did y’all swap the Lunar and Stellar Stages?
EW: Honestly because of how the event is laid out. The long stage, like here (pointing at Lunar) it looks so much better. It just kinda made sense aesthetically. Also some of the noise. The Stellar Stage because of the nature of the music there, it travels a bit further. And we were getting some complaints from pretty far away last year, some houses were shaking. So we flipped it.
FS: This is year five for Moonrise. What are some changes we can expect to see in the future? Possibly more than two days?
EW: I wouldn’t do more than two days. Maybe expand on the pre party thing. We had some ideas with venues. Like we have this 5,000 person venue downtown on the water that we were gonna do something but we couldn’t get a lineup together and it was last minute. We did a small event last night with some regional acts that we could probably expand on. We’re gonna see what happens this year and figure out what makes sense to do more. Maybe switch weekends. I don’t know, we’ll see if we make it thru the weather tonight.
It was tough interviewing while Grandson was cranking up tunes during our conversation. Grandson comes highly recommended by Evan. I was glad to catch up with Evan before the mayhem began, it was very eye opening to here from someone so involved in the Moonrise production. After seeing how things played out with the weather, I saw so much truth in his answers and preparedness from the festival. Best of luck to your future Moonrise Festival!