Festival Review

[Festival Review] Outside Lands 2013

Outside Lands: That time when San Franciscans make their annual trek into the foggy depths of Golden Gate Park to tap into their inner rocker, raver or head bopper depending on the vibe they’re going for (and/or how many drinks they had the night before).

Show-stopping performances came from newcomers and veterans alike throughout the course of the weekend, but a few stood out to me as especially noteworthy. [Continue reading to get the skinny on all the best performances, songs and secrets from the weekend from guest writer Molly Murtaugh.]

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[Festival Review] Positivus 2013 Festival in Latvia

Positivus truly is a festival like no other. Set a brief drive away from Latvia’s capital city of Riga, in Salacgriva, the festival is a beautiful combination of all of the elements we’ve come to love from frequenting both small indie festivals, and the more renowned festivals like Primavera and Glastonbury. Featuring a wonderfully diverse line-up including Sigur Ros, The XX, Jack Beats, Tom Odell, Michael Kiwanuka, Two Door Cinema Club, Imagine Dragons, C2C, Darwin Deez  and John Grant – amongst many others. Continue reading to get a full rundown of Positivus Festival.

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618 Fest 2011 (Live Review)

618 Fest

Sunset in the Rearview was proud to be one of the music blogs that was asked to be an official sponsor of 618 Music and Arts Festival. As part of this, we decided to offer out a free press pass and VIP ticket to the afterparty to one fan who responded on our Facebook Page. We did this last year and got a great review out of it, and this year we got another great review from James C.


Philadelphia had a brutal winter that consisted of frigid temperatures & snow that stayed on the ground for a record number of consecutive days. The sun was something you barely recalled & you practically slept in your coat because you were wearing it so often that there was no point of taking it off. It was followed by a miserable, rainy spring. But the best part of living in the Northeast is that you get a stark contrast between seasons, so when June hits, everything seems that much brighter & one adopts an almost aggro zest for all things summer. I guess that’s also how guidos happen but dammit if they don’t know how to have a good time.

That brings us to this year’s 618 Fest, held at scenic (or in today’s case, scene-ic) Penn’s Landing right on the waterfront. Billed as an “electronically flavored music & arts festival,” what better way could you finally file the doldrums of the past few months away & welcome summer in style? 618 Fest was marked by a surprisingly chill vibe that can be attributed to the venue size, thoughtful lineup, interesting vendors (Let’s Rage & aPHILLYated just had super cool stuff) & exhibits (highlighted by a 60 foot live graffiti wall) & great organization.

Got there in time to catch the end of the hip-hop portion of the day with West Coast party-hop duo Shwayze, who boosted their live set with an appearance by none other than Sexy Sax Man Gilbert Flores. Now you can call it a party! They ended their set by getting a ton of what seemed to be exclusively underage girls onstage to dance, the number of which momentarily stopped the show & resulted in a subsequent ban on fans onstage, despite the fact that we’ve all seen a million bands, rappers & DJs do this before. Feh!

The crowd that had been milling about throughout the festival area was starting to congregate at the Great Plaza as night approached and you could sense the energy level rising accordingly. Canadian duo Jokers on the Scene & T3RR0R kicked off the electronic evening with some massive electro & dubstep beats. Porter Robinson’s mixes were just hard and filthy with unexpected borderline trance breakdowns that the audience really enjoyed. I later found out he is only 18. Jeez, I was still having trouble keeping my finger out of my nose at his age!

Switch, the Patrick to Diplo’s Spongebob in Major Lazer, was the penultimate performer of the now-finally dark evening and by this time it really felt like the advertised “Rave On The River”. Switch was a master of the slow build followed by fast, aggressive dancehall beats and it paved the way for the explosion that was Cataracs’ set, whose hip-hop influenced techno sound was a brilliant way to end the evening.

All in all, 618 Fest brought a relaxed yet super fun day to a city that really needed something like this to kick off the summer. I’d love for this to stay about the same size next year but judging by the smiles I saw all day & on the train afterwards, it’s only going to get bigger, and hopefully better!

-Written by James C., lucky winner of a free press pass from Sunset in the Rearview’s Facebook Page

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