Throughout the months of March and April, thousands of college students flood the city of Panama City Beach for one reason: spring break. It is during those two months that the quiet Florida beach town transforms into a city of absolute madness. Although this craziness begins to subside around the beginning of April, college students around the Gulf Coast are given one more opportunity to rage before returning to the drags of school. That last chance is Spring Weekend.
Set right on the sandy beaches of Panama City Beach, Spring Weekend brings in some of the electronic music scene’s most premier artists, along with a number of local budding acts to help curate a weekend of non-stop partying. What makes Spring Weekend particularly unique is that its experience is that of both a festival and collegiate spring break combined into one. Simply put, Spring Weekenders get the best of both worlds.
Things got going the moment I entered the hotel. With the official Spring Weekend mug everywhere in site, it was obvious that everyone was here for one reason only and as the music began to play around the corner, it became official: Spring Weekend had officially begun.
The festival was split into two different portions, each with its own stage: a Day Stage and a Night Stage. The Day Stage was fueled by the local acts on the bill while the Night Stage, located across on the other side of the beach, featured the premier headliners. Just like their stages, the portions were as different as night and day. The Day stage gave off a real spring break beach party vibe, with attendees flowing in between the stage and their hotel rooms periodically. If you didn’t want to dance to the stage at the beach, drinking and partying at the pool was only a few feet away. Friday’s day portion was slightly more exciting than Saturday’s because it was closed out by Dada Life, who for an hour and half, turned PCB into Dada Land madness full of bananas and champagne.
The night portions of Spring Weekend separated themselves from the day portions in that the aura transformed to that of a more festival setting. People flooded to see the likes of Brillz, 3LAU, and Laidback Luke close out Friday night, with sets that consisted of trap, electro and big room styles. The real treat, however, came on Saturday night when the featured headliners consisted of upcoming OWSLA and Nest HQ producer Mija, future house pioneer Tchami, and Canadian duo Zeds Dead.
This bill was perfect in that the sets were somewhat thematic and consistent. Mija eased the crowd into the night, playing an assortment of different tech house songs as well as bass house tracks to get things going. This unique style was followed up with Tchami, whose set of signature future house tracks made the audience groove like they never had before. By the time Tchami was done, the crowd was well adjusted and prepared for headliners Zeds Dead. The duo has truly found a niche when it comes to their sets. A mixture of their older grungier dubstep as well as their new music, Zeds Dead really blurs the lines of genres, keeping true to themselves. This, however, is exactly what separates a Zeds Dead set from the rest. In an atmosphere that truly couldn’t be replicated, the attendees at Spring Weekend were treated to an unforgettable set to close out the weekend.
If there was one thing that disappointed me from Spring Weekend, it was the absence of the promised theme park grade water slide. The addition of this would have truly blown the festival out of the water.
However, between the picturesque sandy beaches, beautiful attendees, and lively music, Spring Weekend was without a doubt an absolute blast and an epic way to close out the 2015 spring break season.