If there was any question that the progressive, electronic and experimental music stylings presented over the past two years at the now three-year-old Buku Music and Art Project (a/k/a Buku Fest) was taking hold in New Orleans, next spring’s expanded line-up announced today certainly denounces any such thought. Held each March on the banks of downtown’s Mississippi riverfront on the grounds of Mardi Gras World, Buku Fest made its debut in 2012. Adding a fourth stage next year (The Back Alley Stage), Buku Fest 2014 takes place March 21-22.
Festival organizers Winter Circle Productions (New Orleans local) state that they partnered with Huka Entertainment (Hangout Fest) and MCP Presents (TomorrowWorld) to create the Buku Music and Art Project in an effort to “attract music that its founders felt was missing from the post-Katrina New Orleans scene.” Although the festival initially met with some adversity from many of the more traditional, established New Orleans music and culture leaders, Buku Fest quickly caught on among young early-adopters.
By its second year, the festival proved its solid role in the economic and cultural landscape of the city’s growing tastemaker audience and now, with the announcement of an expanded line-up for 2014, there is no question that electronic dance music and experimental hip-hop is an integral part of New Orleans’ music scene. Like the many jazz, blues and Cajun festivals that take place throughout the year, Buku Fest represents the burgeoning electronic and experimental fusion culture among the decidedly younger New Orleans.
Buku’s 2014 line-up once again meshes minimal electronic acts with popular hip-hop artists and DJs. A few throw-back pioneers in experimental genres, such as The Flaming Lips and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, are also on the bill. Highlights should be dance floor maestros Kaskade and Chromeo; electronic powerhouses Explosions in the Sky, Beats Antique and Soul Clap; as well as hip-hop artists like Pusha T, Tyler the Creator and Danny Brown. Current buzz artist and progressive bassist Thundercat will also make his New Orleans debut at Buku Fest 2014.
Local artists on 2014’s roster include bounce star Big Freedia, modern funksters Gravity A, indie-pop bands Big History and The Generationals, rising hip-hop collective the Flight School Preps, plus DJs Kid Kamillion, Unicorn Fukr and Dxxxy. The main festival line-up is below, still more artists to be announced over the coming weeks.
BUKU MUSIC and ART FESTIVAL 2014 LINE-UP:
THE FLAMING LIPS
EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY
TYLER, THE CREATOR
THE GLITCH MOB
BAAUER B2B RL GRIME
THE PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART
BLUE SKY BLACK DEATH
FLIGHT SCHOOL PREPS*
*Denotes New Orleans or Louisiana artists.
This year’s festival grounds lay-out also expands slightly with the Back Alley Stage moving to a new location away from the Riverfront Stage, to the space where the Buku Back Porch was situated last year.
Tickets for Buku Music and Art Festival 2014 are now on sale. Two-day general admission passes are $170, or two-day VIP passes are $400. Buku Fest also offers TOO BUKU VIP packages with access to the S.S. Buku steamer ship docked directly on the riverbank on festival grounds, including three levels of open bar, extra stages, private performances and more. In addition to the regular VIP pass access to the three-level S.S. Buku, TOO BUKU VIP passes also include bottle service in the private top-tier boat lounge, “Buku Butler” serivce and exclusive access to the artists-only Grand Oaks Mansion inside Mardi Gras World. Buku Fest has also created weekend travel packages for out-of-town festival goers traveling into New Orleans. More Info: www.thebukuproject.com