.As the summer festival season comes to a close it becomes harder to want to get up and go out for something as big as a two-day event. Halloween weekend, however, is a different story. Get Freaky festival, the annual Halloween-themed massive electronic music festival, takes place on the shores of the Great Salt Lake each year. This year V2 Presents, the production company behind the festival, changed things up a bit to give their attendees a bigger, better production than ever before.
Walking into The Great Saltair for Get Freaky Festival, it immediately became clear that V2 Presents had worked hard over the last few months to fix the issues that had come up during Das Energi Festival. The parking lot was much easier to navigate, as the complicated shuttle system at the previous massive festival event left many attendees feeling frustrated and angry. Overall the experience seemed much smoother as an attendee. The venue had reorganized the entry process to keep lines from getting long and the security at the venue seemed happy and friendly. There was an obvious increase in staff, which made the process seem hassle-free and in a lot of ways, safer.
Inside Get Freaky
The inner stage housed a packed lineup of some of the best names in bass music and dubstep. Thousands of energetic ravers basically bashed their skulls into the crowd barrier as the speakers pounded over the course of two nights. Honestly it seemed pretty fun, and it seems like Salt Lake is one of the only American Cities that still go that hard unapologetically. Where so many music scenes seem to be fueled by ego, the salt lake rave scene is based purely on a love for the music. Classic artists like Flux Pavilion and Doctor P closed out the stage on the final night, while artists like Whipped Cream, Sudden Death and Wooli kept the crowds going from start to finish. Local support from Z&Z was the perfect added touch to the event.
Two massive LED screens created a triangle behind the DJ booth to give the appearance of a 180-degree LED backlit stage. The screens displayed psychedelic imagery throughout the two nights. Dancers dressed as skeletons and voodoo queens lined the edges of the stage Friday and Saturday, while the room lit up with live lasers and fog (which, to be honest, could have easily come from the vape pens in the room).
Outside the perfect fall weather meant that the grounds never got too cold on either Friday or Saturday, which is rare for late October in Utah. A massive Halloween-themed sign read “Get Freaky” as you walked out from the warehouse venue of The Great Saltair. Orange and red lights illuminated the sign to give it an extra spooky touch. While a large event tent that had been erected in the lot behind the venue housed the techno stage. The white-topped tent was illuminated only by the lasers that coordinated with the music throughout the night. Meanwhile, a line of vendors rounded out the back of the outdoor space. This worked to provide a finishing touch to the festival.
Electronic Goes Back To Its Roots In House
If anyone was skeptical of whether or not house and techno would be the next big thing in electronic music, they probably aren’t now that the sub-genre’s stole the show at an event like Get Freaky. The festival is almost always focused on bass music. V2 clearly decided to take a risk and venture into house and techno and it went well. The well-curated lineup was reminiscent of events like Dirtybird Campout, which took place just a few weeks prior in California. Artists like Nate Lowpass, Volac, Jack Beats, Wax Motif and AC Slater kept the beat going throughout the night. There was a slow progression from catchy house to blaring techno as the night progressed.
The next night saw some of the best sets I’ve seen all year. Nate Holland started the night off with a safe, yet danceable set to warm things up. A few hours later, Treasure Fingers took things up a notch. The dj played a bouncy set full of the best bangers in house music. If Treasure fingers wasn’t on your radar before, put him at the top. Next came Blackgummy. The heavy techno/bass artist may not seem like the right fit for a stage full of house music stars at first. However, he ended up being the perfect segway into the rest of the night. The mau5trap protege threw down a set full of original tracks. People flocked into the outdoor tent to see what was going on.
The standout set for the weekend came from Walker & Royce, two Dirtybird players that have made quite a name for themselves in the last year with the release of their debut album “Self Help,” in 2017. The album, and therefore their set, was about an hour of back to back bangers. Each track had killer vocals and catchy basslines. The music vibrated your chest cavity on the top of the line sound system provided by Get Freaky. It’s sometimes hard to have a set that really stands out at a festival with so many similar artists, but Walker & Royce stole the show as one of the best artists of the weekend. Shiba San closed out the event in the techno tent as a fan favorite among house and techno fans. You really can’t go wrong with any of the bookings on the lineup. Get Freaky really nailed it in the two genres they showcased at the festival.
Fall events are where lineups really matter. Most people that regularly attend festivals are pretty picky. A great festival lineup is key to the success of a fall festival. Get Freaky Festival was organized well in this way. The lineup worked to please all types of music lovers. With its mixture of bass music and dubstep with house and techno, there was something for everyone. One thing became clear throughout the weekend; the two vastly different genres pulled two vastly different crowds. Because of this, Get Freaky Festival was able to appeal to almost any music fan in the area. This is a pretty difficult feat considering how picky electronic music fans can be.
Overall Get Freaky proved to be the event that showed where V2 had learned from their mistakes last August. The growth of the festivals have created a lot of new hurdles. The company was forced to either find a way to jump over those hurdles or take a step back. Get Freaky showed that growth is more than possible with the right adjustments. The new attention to detail and genre-focus at the event showed that V2 wants to stick around for much longer.
Julia Sachs is a staff writer at Grit Daily. She covers tech, entrepreneurship and entertainment news and is based in Park City, Utah.