05 Mar ILLfest: Festival Review
We’re still buzzing from the madness that went down on February 18th and 19th in Austin, TX, at the Circuit of the Americas. I dreamt of a world of bass, lights, and art, and that’s exactly what ILLfest provided for us attendees! Featuring over 50 electronic and live music artists across four stages, from mind-blowing visuals and installations. With more than 20 internationally renowned muralists and plenty of surprises, we couldn’t have asked for a better weekend.
The two festival days were nothing short of amazing. Almost three years and two postponements later, one thing is clearer than ever: it has absolutely been worth the wait. To make it even better, ILLfest will be back this September 2022 for the next edition of ILLfest.
ILLFest Day 1
When my friends and I arrived at the Circuit of Americas, we were so happy with the parking situation. There were multiple parking lots available with plenty of space, and to make things better, bike taxis were available to transport us from the parking lot to the festival entrance.
As all attendees needed to get in line for the box office to pick up their GA, GA+, VIP, ILLVIP wristbands, my friends said their line went by quickly because multiple tents were available for assistance. As I hopped into the media line, it was even shorter as the guest list, and media attendees had a short line.
Upon entering the festival, we were welcomed by a mural. A line of attendees was anxiously waiting to take pictures in front of it. Also upon entering were activation kiosks available on-site to help guests create an account and link their credit card information to their wristbands for a cashless experience.
ILLfest teamed up with Billfold, an internationally respected company featuring the latest in RFID technology and security so that guests could have a seamless experience checking out at bars and vendors. I wish more festivals did this because it was such a breeze just to tap and go!
The first artists we saw on day one were The Boom Bap Kids, followed by Devin The Dude, Nitti Gritti, Peekaboo, Vincent, Liquid Stranger, Borgore, Com Truise, and RL Grime B2B Baauer. It was my first time seeing The Boom Bap Kids. This whimsical and poignant group brought the golden age of rap and hip hop to an alternative puppet universe.
If you don’t know who they are, The Boom Bap Kids are a puppetized version of their human counterparts. They get decked out in classic hip hop attire and punctuated with larger-than-life personalities. I do have to admit, RL Grime B2B Baauer was the perfect way to close out night one! The two provided a high-energy performance, which was a very steamy night to remember. Their set highlighted hit after hit, and the crowd matched their energy all night long!
ILLfest Day 2
By day two, we already had our wristbands, so we just entered the festival upon arriving. We wanted to make it a point to see the installations and muralists, so we arrived early. In addition to wandering around the festival, we made sure to grab some macarons we had been eyeing the day before from Those Sugar Mamas.
Each flavor we had was such a treat! We saw Juelz, followed by Lucii, Mr. Carmack, Valentino Khan, Ekali, and Kaskade. Having never seen Mr. Carmack before, he was straight grooving and dropping heat. He was feeling the audience’s vibe with his huge range of musical styles I don’t believe often get showcased.
I can’t end this festival review without mentioning any surprises we saw. From aerialists to characters on stilts dressed in suits made out of glass pieces to fire dancers, these performers added so much fun to our experience!
To summarize our ILLfest experience, it was nothing short of an unforgettable weekend. It was filled with beautiful people, stunning art, and vivid moments. I can’t wait for ILLfest to return in September for more core memories to be made with my best friends.