The Art at Day For Night Proves Festivals Can Be About More Than Music
Let us start by saying this; we have been to more than our fair share of art & music festivals. Much like you, we have watched the United States’ festival culture grow, evolve…and sometimes devolve. We have been along for the ride as countless cookie-cutter events, self-identifying as “festivals”, came into being as a sort of capitalistic response to the quiet success enjoyed by a handful of independent events during the early 2000’s. As the years went, these events became more & more corporatized and, as a result, they simultaneously began to feel less & less satisfying. Don’t take it the wrong way–we still enjoy the traditional music festival. It’s just that, after attending so many, you can’t help but wonder if the festival experience had always been missing some crucial element from the standard format.
Free Press Houston (the founders of the wildly successful, “Free Press Summer Fest“) recognized this conundrum in the festival scene and decided to create something different. They joined forces with the minds at New York-based creative agency Work-Order to initiate the inaugural Day For Night Winter Arts & Music Festival. Together, the organizers promised to deliver a “Music Festival INSIDE of an Art Installation” that would celebrate “The Evolution of Light & Sound.” These were bold claims that were supported early on by powerful branding, hypnotizing imagery and a first-class array of musical talent that was diverse enough to arouse the interest of live music fans across all ages and cultures.
Yes, there are a plethora of music festivals that hire highly skilled art directors to curate a series of art installations to create or add to an existing ambience…but nothing like what we experienced at Day For Night. This was not another rehashed festival concept. It was obvious from the moment that we walked through the gates that this was something different. Something significant. Something that we have all been waiting to see since festival culture first began taking a stronghold on the American population. The truth is, we didn’t see a whole lot of music during our time at Day For Night. We spent most of our time taking in the 20+ art installations and simply observing the deeply appreciative nature of one of the most interesting and respectful festival crowds that we’ve been apart of. All in all, Day For Night was easily our favorite festival experience of 2015.
We could go on and on about the festival’s impeccable attention to detail, the carpeted outdoor dance floors, the ease of the site plan, the amazing selection of food trucks or the noticeable lack of the typical corporate sponsorships we are accustomed to seeing at festivals… But, since this is a self-proclaimed “video journal”, we’re going to skip those details and turn the stage over to a few videos that we took of our favorite installations at Day For Night 2015–enjoy!
“Infinity Room” by Refik Anadol
“VOLUME” by NANOTAK studios
School For Poetic Computation
Video/Sound Install by Casey Reas