Every festival is different. It is known. However, NO festival possesses the type of magic that Buku Music + Arts Project has. A big part of that unique magic is in the setting.
Mardi Gras World, where Buku is held, is nestled between the edge of the Mississippi river and the down town city of New Orleans. The space is perfect for the crowd that attends. I never felt too crowded or that there weren’t enough people to dance with. It was just right. Some of the more magical moments of the festival occurred largely in part because of the setting. Imagine this: Kaskade playing a heavy, electro house set in a warehouse decorated with giant Mardi Gras float parts. Definitely a highlight of the festival, partially because Kaskade usually plays the giant stages at festivals. It was cool to see him in some what of an underground way. I don’t even have any good pictures or video from that set. Sometimes, that’s when you know you had a good time!
Another unique part of the fest was the VIP area. It included access to a boat but not just any boat. The S.S. Buku is an old river boat that was parked next to the main stage. It had a great viewing deck, which I took advantage of during some of the headlining sets. It was also furnished with restrooms. Buku was the first festival that I can proudly say I never used a port-a-potty!!!! But the best part of this floating oasis was the open bar. The service was great, too…that goes for all of the staff. It really makes a difference when the people who are working seem genuinely happy to be there. Oh, and I also got to see Nas perform from the front rail because of my VIP pass. Definitely worth it! (and yes, I was that awkward white girl goin’ ham)
Overall, Buku 2014 was a great festival! I love that all of the stages are sort of close but there is never an issue with noise bleeding from one stage to another. That helps with being able to see as much music as possible! I really did get to see so many great artists perform. Everyone of them commented on how cool it was to be playing in New Orleans. We got to explore the city a little before the music started on Saturday morning. That place has so much to look at and so many interesting people to talk to! I definitely need to go back, just to walk around.
If you weren’t able to make it this year, I would highly advise putting Buku at the top of your spring fest list for 2015!!!