Photos provided by Seismic Dance Event
Written by Abel Longoria
When Seismic Dance Event dropped their surprise lineup, seemingly out of nowhere this past July, I was completely and utterly speechless! As a passionate festival freak and house head, I have been begging for an eclectic lineup at a Texas festival for as long as I can remember, and this was the jackpot. Seismic included the perfect mix of underground house legends like Duke Dumont and Armand Van Helden, coupled with hot up-and-comers like OmNom and RYBO; and to have the Desert Hearts family as well set it over the top for me! From the minute I saw it, I knew it was a lineup that would attract not only the perfect amount of people, but the perfect type of people for ultimate good times. Everyone that was there attended for the beats, for their friends, to dress up and dance wacky, or to experience festival culture without mass commercialization, long lines, and jam-packed crowds.
Our state has some of the best festivals on the planet, like Austin City Limits and South by Southwest, but what made Seismic Dance Event unique out of these bigger festivals was the people and good vibes (as cliché as that may sound)! Looking back, my favorite part of the weekend was actually the attendees: I honestly felt like I could have walked up to every single person there and found a way to vibe or connect with them. The beauty with these boutique-style festivals is that it’s such a quality, intimate experience with family; and because of that there will always be a special place in my heart for these boutique festivals catered to festie lovers like myself. Not even a last-minute venue change could detour the good crowd!
I’ll admit, I was a little bummed out when I heard the event could no longer be held at one of my favorite venues, Carson Creek Ranch, where it was originally planned. On Tuesday before the festival, RealMusic Events, the Austin based production and event company who founded Seismic, announced the change to The Travis County Expo Center. The weather had been spotty for weeks and rain was in the forecast, so the grounds weren’t in the best shape. An outdoor and camping experience was just too much to risk for the first-time festival, which was committed to making the event a hit. With that being said, I could not have been more impressed with the speed and effectiveness in the transition! RealMusic made it happen without a hitch, and by the end of the festival people had forgotten all about Carson Creek because the Expo Center had its own unique qualities that made the festival great in different and unexpected ways!
There were two indoor stages, a Tsunami and Volcano Stage, both of which benefitted from the indoor setting and enhanced acoustics. You could jump between both of them within a minute if needed, but there was still no sound interference between them! HALLELUJAH! This is something even the biggest fests struggle with at times, but RealMusic understands what the people want and delivered!
As a first-time festival, it can be hard to add a ton of attractions, but Seismic showed their commitment to providing a well-rounded experience. Food is key, so Seismic did an amazing job with the selection of food trucks! I cannot tell you how many times I heard someone say “That was literally the best pizza I’ve ever had!” So there was no doubt that the quality of the food was on point. They also included a Silent Disco powered by NV’d Records, which featured a variety of local talent and late-night sets. And let’s not forget about The Complementary Bar, a crowd favorite! It features two lovely ladies who serve up the best and most flattering complements you’ve ever heard! You’ll be able to find them at Hulaween later this month.
All in all—although the odds were stacked against them, Seismic proves that it is a festival that’s here to stay. From the artist selection; the seamless venue change; all the way to the epic good times, stories, and friendships that came from this weekend; RealMusic showed us they are a festival production company that deserves to succeed and grow! We’re excited to see what they stir up in the future and can’t wait for Seismic Dance Event 2019!
You can relive the experience by watching the sets from Justin Jay and Armand Van Helden, both of which were live streamed on the MixMag Facebook page.