HiJinx Music Festival 2018

Hijinx Music Festival 2018

Nick Gerace

HiJinx Music Festival not only had one of the most impressive debut festival lineups, but also sold out its first year taking place in 2018. North-Eastern electronic music fans came together on Friday December 28th and Saturday the 29th, to see some of the biggest names perform at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. The 1-million-square-foot building was outfitted with trippy art installations, specialized merch and a designated lounge area, all surrounding the massive stage and floorspace. Headlining the festival was Bassnectar and Odesza, two extremely unique acts that have been recruited by some of the most renowned festivals in the world. Each day was stacked with talent coming from every end of the electronic genre spectrum, featuring Big Gigantic, RL Grime, Ganja White Night, Illenium and many more. All of the artist over the two days put on stellar performances, but here are three that stood out to me:

via @hijinxfest on Twitter

Rap music at exclusively electronic music festivals has been a growing trend recently, making these events more diverse and changing up the tempo of the festival from time to time. HiJinx was no exception, bringing out Denzel Curry on Friday. Curry had a big year in 2018 with the release of his three-act album, “TA13OO” (TABOO), which he performed at HiJinx. He began with the title track of the album accompanied by colorful visuals and lights that immediately changed the vibe following Whipped Cream’s set. His consistent flow and varying styles kept the crowd on their toes the entire time, perfectly feeding into Ganja White Night’s set after him. Recently, rappers have made a habit of depending too much on their audiences reciting their own songs back to them and being too out of breath from moving around the stage too much to actually perform their music. Curry shattered expectations by not only being able to rap every one of his songs verbatim, but also by dancing more than anyone else in the entire building. Denzel Curry has recently been added to The Governors Ball’s lineup for June 1st in New York, so he will be visiting the North-East again if you didn’t catch him in Philly.

The next performance that stood out was Kaivon’s set, which kicked off day two of the festival. Kaivon has been on a lot of SoundCloud users’ radars for a while, closely resembling artists like Illenium (who performed later that day) and Trivecta that produce melody-oriented bass music. With a single featured on Dim Mak Records and a remix on Alison Wonderland’s new “Awake” remix EP, the LA-based producer has been receiving a lot of attention lately.  All of his drops were explosive, driving a lot of emotion through hard hitting drums and deep basslines. You could tell that even the audience members who had not known of him before were also enjoying the set as well, giving into the intoxicating

Via EDM Identity

atmosphere and getting ready for what day two had in store. Kaivon finished his set and floored the still arriving crowd with his previously unreleased remix of Lana Del Rey’s “Dark Paradise”, which he released about a week later. Kaivon will be performing at Crush Arizona Music Festival’s 10th anniversary alongside artists like Seven Lions, JOYRYDE, and 3LAU. Keep on the lookout for his coming releases, Kaivon is not an artist to sleep on in 2019.

Electronic music, for many people, is an acquired taste. For many people just getting into it, synergistic artists are the gateway into the genre. GRiZ is one such artist, mending his electro-funk and live saxophone to create a very unique style that appeals to different audiences. After putting out a two track EP in November with hip-hop artist DRAM as a feature on “It Gets Better”, people have been dying for even more new GRiZ. With his cryptic activity on social media, speculation is that something big is coming soon. At HiJinx, he combined his unique style with cleverly placed dubstep drops, engaging rap tracks, and a crazy laser light show. His mix of classic and new tracks from all different genres on top of everything had everyone anxious to hear song after song. This added to his wonky visuals and his overall contagious personality made for the best set of the weekend.

Overall, HiJinx was an amazing experience across the board, and everyone involved should be happy to have been a part of its first year. There has been no indication of whether or not it will be returning in 2019, but it would be huge for Philadelphia and fans (such as myself) if it does. You can check out the official after movie here: