A Variety of Sonic Delights at 2014’s Buku Project
Standing in the middle of the grounds of the Buku Music and Arts Project, one can easily become overwhelmed with the absolute grandeur of it all. The air is alive with sound as four stages pump out some of today’s greatest music. All around, brightly attired men and woman are laughing, dancing, painting, and just flat out enjoying themselves. The smell of amazing southern cuisine lingers in the air, tempting all those lucky enough to catch a whiff, and in the Bazaar, vendors sell their various pieces of art, jewelry, and clothing. Could this be a dream? No, it’s just another weekend in New Orleans.
Anyone in attendance at the Buku Project this year knows that, above all, the focus was most definitely on the music, of which there was absolutely no shortage. Four unique stages cranked out tunes from a wide variety of different artists. The very first thing festival goers see when entering the grounds is the enormous Power Plant stage located in the shadow of the now defunct Market Street Power Plant. Here, music fans were able to throw their hands in the air to some of today’s biggest and finest acts. An early afternoon performance by Bone Thugs-n-Harmony really set the mood as they spit classic verses from hip hop standbys such as Notorious Thugs and E. 1999 Eternal.
Just a short distance away was a more intimate stage called the Ballroom. Here, fans could get up close and personal with a wide variety of rock, hip-hop, dance, and even a bit of world music. Explosions in the Sky’s set was just that – an auditory explosion like the world has never known. Wavves brought that California surf sound to the Mississippi with their unique brand of dark surf rock, and Beats Antique captivated audiences with their worldly brand of dance music (as well as a beautiful belly-dancer that accompanied them onstage).
Beyond the Ballroom lies the airplane hangar-like warehouse that is Mardi Gras World, though today it has been transformed into a massive indoor dance floor. With Mardi Gras floats present and vibrant visualizers protruding into the crowd, onlookers were treated to a feast for both the ears and eyes. Lights flashed and lasers shot as Conspirator jammed their way into oblivion the opening day, and in the evening, Zed’s Dead brought the roof down with their heavy blend of dubstep and electro. This is were The Glitch Mob closed out the festival with one of the most epic, hard hitting performances ever to be experienced.
Just around the corner, and directly next to the Mississippi river hides the smallest of the stages, the aptly named Back Alley stage. With a vibe similar to a tropical getaway, festival goers could enjoy themusic of acts such as Cashmere Cat, Skream, and Dusky. This is as up close and personal of a stage as one can get. No matter where a listener stood, it always feels like being in the front row.
Whether it’s fist pumping house, or epic instrumental rock; noodly jams, or the mind bending experience that is the Flaming Lips, the music featured at this year’s Buku Music and Arts Festival was sure to please the ears of just about any music enthusiast. The variety and scope of bands and artists featured is like no other festival, and the atmosphere created by the unconventional stages just added to the enjoyment. It’s hard to believe that anybody would walk away from such an event without a smile permanently affixed on their face.