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Sunset Music Festival: The First Return of East Coast Festivals

Updated: Sep 22, 2021

As we all know, 2020 was rough. Like, really rough. Society was shut down, we were locked inside away from our friends, and worst of all it seemed like there was no end in sight. All summer long we waited as indefinite postponement announcements kept coming out, unsure whether festivals would even return in 2021. Festival Season 2020 was so dearly missed, but Festival Season 2021 has already been making up for lost times!


On the East Coast, we kicked off festival season with Sunset Music Festival in Tampa, Florida! The lineup was stellar, but that’s no surprise. Disco Donnie Presents does not disappoint! It featured some pretty big names like Rezz, Troyboi, LSDream, NGHTMRE, Seven Lions, and more. This lineup had something for everyone - it didn’t matter if you were a bass-head, a house hoe, or if you’ve never even listened to EDM before. Everyone could find a vibe! The festival was split into three stages on very easy to navigate grounds. The first stage was dedicated to house sets, the main stage was for headliners, and the third stage was for the bass. The bass stage had the best visuals as it had screens on the ceilings that projected trippy images. Perfect for those of us who needed to take a lay down! The middle of the festival grounds were decorated with statues of glowing dragonflies, big beach chairs, and some small art installations. None of the stages were ever body to body packed. Everyone had some elbow room which is important considering we’re still not technically fully out of the pandemic.


Speaking of pandemic, there were signs up at the bars, bathrooms, and booths that indicated that fully vaccinated people did not have to wear masks and unvaccinated people did. Obviously this wasn’t something the festival could enforce, but it was still appreciated to have these reminders around. Most people on the grounds were not wearing masks, but since the festival was outdoors there wasn’t much reason to worry. The coolest thing about this festival was the fact that they were offering free vaccinations in the parking lot before the festival! It’s so nice to know that Disco Donnie Presents prioritizes the health of our community, and the health of the city that hosts us. It’s going to take a combined effort in order to fully stop this pandemic, so the fact that we were being encouraged to do our part is much needed.


Valentino Khan was a headliner for day two of the festival, so it was unfortunate to find out that he and house artist Malaa would not be able to perform. Because of current travel restrictions, French DJ Malaa had issues with getting into the U.S. There is no clear answer as to why Valentino Khan could not be there, but it is believed to be travel issues as well. The announcements were made at the last minute, but no one was too disappointed. We weren’t going to let that kill our vibe!


After over a year of missing out on the wonderful experiences created at music festivals, everyone at Sunset was clearly very happy to be there. Every crowd gave off good vibes and everyone was respectful and friendly. Sunset had those good ole fashion PLUR vibes we all miss and love! People were trading Kandi, dancing with strangers, head-banging together; it was damn near magical. If Sunset gives any indication of how Festival Season 2021 is going to go, we are definitely in for an insane ride. So buckle up y’all! We’ll see you at the next fest!



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