Written & Photos By Ginger Wesson
Back for its second year, Lost Lands Music Festival put on by Jeff Able, aka Excision, brought the pre-historic experience to another level. From the second I stepped onto the rugged terrain of Legend Valley and walked along the ivy-covered walls, it felt like I should be looking over my shoulder to make sure I was not about to become dino food. Every aspect of the festival sticks to the dinosaur theme from the cave people roaming the grounds to the animated, life-size dinosaurs, all the way down to the prehistoric themed food menu items. I was completely blown away by the level of production that went into this festival.
Two words: Dinosaurs Everywhere! Walking around you come across animatronic dinosaurs that whipped their tails around and bobbed their heads. Some can say they were attacked by dinos at Lost Lands when not careful. There were also ridable dinosaurs, where you could hop on a baby triceratops and ride out for 10 yards. This year, there were two main stages. Back again was The Prehistoric Paradox stage which featured three giant screens that had you immersed in the visuals. At the ends of the stage were two giant volcanoes that blasted pyrotechnics and endless clouds of smoke throughout each set. You could catch people headbanging as far on top of the hill as there were no bad spots to view the stage. Replacing last year’s Cave of Souls was the second main stage called the Wompy Woods. This stage had a two large screen set up at the left and right side of a towering Brachiosaurus. There were endless amount of pyro, c02, and fireworks for every drop. Both stages were beautifully constructed and really played up the overall feeling of being on an island surrounded by dinosaurs. New this year was the Asteroid Bar, which was a large open dome-shaped structure filled with couches, a perfect area to chill. If you wait till after the sun falls, the ceiling of the dome will turn into a river of flames and you will get mesmerized by its flow. For the night owls, the Sound Camps hosted additional artists and secret sets in the campgrounds. Five stages lined the way and were separated by small walls which made each late-night set feel like an intimate experience.
Now don’t get me wrong, I truly was in awe of how much time and energy went into the production of this festival, but for me, the real treat was the food! These included some of your typical festival favorites from Gouda Boys, Spicy Pie, Hippie Dips, and King of Pops. The two standouts were Hibachi 4 Hire and Space Fruit. Hibachi 4 Hire had amazingly fresh vegetables that accompanied their perfectly seasoned fried rice with a portion size that could easily feed two people. Then if you really wanted to treat yourself, you could head over to Space Fruit for a smoothie like no other. I will warn you though, once you’ve experienced a Space Fruit smoothie, you will never look at regular smoothies the same. The taste of flash frozen fruit is pure bliss. I’m getting sad just thinking about the fact that I no longer have access to these wonderful little creations, but do yourself a favor and check them out if you see them vending at a festival you are attending!
The lineup for Lost Lands was stacked with some of the best artists in Dubstep/Riddim, and holy wow did they take their sets to another level. Excision played three separate sets over the weekend and even brought out Shaq (who knew Shaq was a headbanger?), as a special guest DJ. Some of my favorite performances of the weekend were from Ganja White Night whose visuals made you feel like you were being taken on a journey, Illenium who perfectly mixed melodic beats with heavy bass to put all of us in our feels, Dirtmonkey b2b Subtronics who, together, completely destroyed the souls of everyone in their crowd with some of the heaviest, grimiest dubstep you could imagine, and lastly Yheti, who closed out the festival (due to schedule changes brought on by potential thunderstorm threats) with his unique sounds mixed with some throwback 90s and early 2000s tunes. He even ended his set with a special appearance from his mom.
Lost Lands was well worth the 12-hour drive it took to get me there and I was pretty bummed it was over so soon. Legend Valley felt like a mythical place that allowed me to get lost in its prehistoric world, and I believe this festival should be experienced by headbangers far and wide. Overall, the weekend was truly one for the books and I hope to be returning next year!