One step into Tampa’s Sunset Music Festival 2017 and you will understand why the festival attracts over 50,000 people each year. Walking into the grounds of SMF feels as if you just stepped into a tropical paradise where the air is thick with bass and love. The grounds comprised of three stages, each equipped with a different production setup. Each of the stages had a massive tent from which attendees could enjoy the show during the day without being charred by Florida’s infamous sunshine. The Eclipse stage in particular, featured a cooling machine that sprayed a pleasant mist around 360 degrees to anyone within about 10 feet from it. The venue offered delicious options from hotdogs to chicken skewers, and even free water bottles near the entrance of the festival in efforts to keep everyone safe. The best part about SMF, however, is the fact that you get to see some of your favorite DJs in such an intimate setting. Where else can you be about 10 feet away from Above & Beyond and not have shoulders digging into you from every direction? We decided to round up 4 highlight sets from the weekend.
It’s crazy when you think about the fact that the Slander duo has performed at SMF about 3 times now. SMF has traced their growth from trendy new kids on the block around 2015 to bass music powerhouse today. In 2017 Slander dominated the mainstage with the confidence headliner status provides. From beginning to end they slayed the crowd with IDs and the biggest tracks in the scene right now. They came fully armed with Gud Vibrations fire to heat up the already scorching Tampa landscape. If you were gonna see 2 sets on the mainstage Slander absolutely had to be one of them.
Brohug is the artist you probably didn’t know about this Memorial Day Weekend, but you will wish you saw them when they blow up later in 2017. The trio headed up by legend, John Dahlback (yup really), has taken the bass house scene by storm. Having the blessing of a wide variety of heavy hitters like Tchami and Axwell Ingrosso, you know this is certified fresh music. They kept the crowd grooving even when the sun rays were almost unbearable. Best believe they’ll be gracing more stages in 2017.
Above & Beyond
Though every performance was worth attending SMF for, Above & Beyond’s performance was especially outstanding. They were the closing performance Sunday night, and what an incredible finale it was. The air was filled with love as Above & Beyond’s lights lit up not just the festival grounds, but also the hearts and minds of every attendee watching with their hands raised to the sky. The trance trio pleased the crowd with big hits such as ‘Sticky Fingers‘ and ‘Thing Called Love‘, but also surprised all the “little dreamers” in the crowd with the still unreleased song ‘Tightrope‘. They even brought back some less recent tunes such as ‘You got to Believe” and ‘Sun in You Eyes’. And of course, no Above & Beyond concert would be complete without the shared fulfillment felt with one of the very fans in the crowd makes their way up to the stage to “push the button” and resume playing ‘Blue Sky Action‘. As ephemeral as it all seemed, it was the perfect way to end the celestial paradise setting created by Sunset Music Festival as a whole.
Every festival has that set that you know is legendary as you’re there. Despite being early and on a less than stellar stage, Yotto entranced the crowd with groovy techy house that the crowd wished would never end. As the second Anjuna artist of the day, Yotto brought the chill side of Anjunabeats that had the crowd following every beat. If you ever get the chance to see Yotto, don’t sleep on it.