Future sounds

1st Electronic Dayton Music Festival thrills at Middletown’s Land of Illusion

Photo: Grammy-winning Cleveland hip-hop veterans Bone Thugs N Harmony headline Electronic Dayton Music Festival July 14 at Land of Illusion

By Gary Spencer

Over the past few or so years, Dayton has become one of the places to go for live electronic dance music (EDM). Thanks in part to the ongoing popularity of Therapy Cafe’s EDM Tuesday and Volume: Deep House series, and 3DMentional Entertainment’s ability to attract internationally renowned house, techno, and trance artists to town, the Gem City has turned into a hotbed for EDM artists and fans.

And this reputation continues to build, enough to bring the first Electronic Dayton Music Festival to Land of Illusion in Middletown July 14, with a stacked lineup of popular acts from across the U.S. and some of the best local talent. Despite how this event has shaped up after years of planning, those behind the scenes at EDMF worked toward a simple (yet lofty) goal when getting this big shindig together.

“I have been planning this festival for over two years,” says local entrepreneur and EDMF organizer Anthony Trimble. “The mission of the festival is to create a local music experience with EDM and DJs that people would not [normally] see here in the Dayton region but would have to travel to Miami, Las Vegas, or Los Angeles to see.”

EDMF organizers then went about executing their brainchild into something memorable for the debut outing. This has proven to be quite the challenge for an inaugural music festival in a historically untapped market, but planners anticipated this possibility and were ready to take this sizeable task head on.

“The first year is the toughest to bring in big names, but we know in future years we will have artists that want to come and perform and experience the festival,” Trimble says.

Despite being relatively unknown as far as national EDM festivals go, EDMF managed to secure three marquee names. Headlining the festival is Los Angeles-based DJ and producer Deorro, a young but already influential player in the contemporary house music scene. Deorro has performed and collaborated with big names such as Skrillex, Steve Aoki, and Tommie Sunshine. This will mark his first performance in the Dayton area. Also on the bill is the LA duo and RCA recording artists Lost Kings who, despite also being relative newcomers to the EDM scene, have already amassed a reputation for their killer remixes of Rihanna, Imagine Dragons, and Tinashe; this in addition to original material focusing on a sweltering mix of progressive house with bass elements. And last but not least, the most recognizable name on the EDMF lineup is Grammy-winning Cleveland hip-hop veterans Bone Thugs N Harmony, best known for their 1995 smash hit LP, E. 1999 Eternal, containing instantly recognizable hits “1st of tha Month” and “Tha Crossroads.” Even 20-plus years into their career, they are still known as one of the best live rap acts.

The lineup also consists of cream of the crop regional EDM acts such as Trentino, Caine, Gateway, and Tangled Branches, as well as a silent disco.

“The disco consists of three DJs playing at the same time, and everyone is wearing colored headphones, and you can select which DJ to listen to,” Trimble explains. “If you don’t have headphones on, the whole area is quiet.”

Additionally, there will be clothing vendors, face and body painting, and some other surprises.

With artists locked down and extracurricular activities in place, EDMF organizers were also tasked with securing an ideal venue to host this extravaganza. Turns out that spot was half an hour from downtown Dayton at Middletown’s Land of Illusion, known regionally as the go-to place for haunted house action during the Halloween season.

“The Land of Illusion ownership is great to work with,” Trimble says. “The location is perfect with the current infrastructure and open space to expand multiple stages, camping, and parking.”

Everyone involved with EDMF is confident this year will be a success—and will continue to be.

“The festival has a multi-year plan,” explains Trimble. “The first year will be the building block for a larger future with even bigger artists and festival options. I pride myself and the festival in bringing an experience to Dayton that local people have not seen here. This festival is the future of music.”

Electronic Dayton Music Festival takes place Friday, July 14 at Land of Illusion, 8762 Thomas Rd. in Middletown. Tickets are $40–$175 in advance for all ages. Festival starts at 4 p.m. For more information, please visit EDMFest.net.

 

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Gary Spencer is a graduate of Miami University and works in the performing arts, and believes that music is the best. Contact him at GarySpencer@DaytonCityPaper.com

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