Thursday Photo Recap @ MEO Kalorama 2023 (Lisbon, Portugal)


This past weekend, Music Festival Wizard dropped into Lisbon to catch the 2nd edition of Portugal’s MEO Kalorama Festival and it did not disappoint! Kicking off our coverage from the 3-day fest (August 31-September 2) are photos from the absolutely stacked opening day with highlights from Blur, The Prodigy, Shame, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Amyl & The Sniffers

Yeah Yeah Yeahs




The Prodigy

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Oktoberfest Celebrations Around the World [2023]


You don’t have to be in Munich if you want to hoist an oversized beer mug while listening to traditional German folk music. Oktoberfest celebrations are happening all around the world and we have collected some of our favorites down below (including a certain classic Oktoberfest in Munich).

Oktoberfest Munich 2023

September 16-October 3, 2023

Munich, Bavaria

Oktoberfest is a legendary German festival that takes place in Munich every year in late September and early October. It is a celebration of Bavarian culture and features beer, food, music, and carnival rides. Millions of people from around the world attend to experience the unique atmosphere and celebrate Bavarian traditions.

Oktoberfest Frankfurt 2023

September 6-October 8, 2023

Frankfurt, Germany

Over a span of slightly less than four weeks, this German celebration draws in a crowd of 60,000 attendees. The Frankfurt Oktoberfest encapsulates the genuine essence of the Munich beer festival, featuring traditional games, enchanting music, and of course, an abundance of finely brewed beer.

Kitchener Waterloo Oktoberfest 2023

September 22-October 14, 2023

Kitchener, ON, Canada

Canada’s largest Bavarian festival is back and better than ever. Onkel Hans and Tante Frieda are excited to see you all don your Tracht, raise a stein, polka around, and enjoy delicious Bavarian cuisine from our German Clubs and local restaurant partners.

Das Beste Oktoberfest USA 2023

September 28-30, 2023

La Crosse, WI

Step into the Midwest’s enduring Oktoberfest celebration, Das Beste Oktoberfest. A tradition rooted in La Crosse since 1961, this event proudly claims the title of the region’s longest-standing Oktoberfest. What was once a modest community gathering has blossomed into generations of cherished tradition and timeless, wholesome enjoyment.

Breckenridge Oktoberfest 2023

September 15-17, 2023

Breckenridge, CO

One of the most iconic Oktoberfest events in Colorado is a three-day celebration in historic downtown Breckenridge. The annual Breckenridge Oktoberfest Presented by Breckenridge Brewery mixes time-honored Oktoberfest traditions with collectible steins and local flavors from Breckenridge Brewery.

Frankenmuth Oktoberfest 2023

September 14-17, 2023

Frankenmuth, MI

Frankenmuth’s Oktoberfest was declared the first Oktoberfest to operate with the blessing of the original Oktoberfest in Munich. With this proclamation, the event was moved into September to coincide with the opening of the Munich event. Also, for the first time in history, the world-famous Hofbrauhaus brewery of Munich exported their beer to the United States.

Karlsruhe Oktoberfest 2023

September 22-October 7, 2023

Messplatz, Karlsruhe

Karlsruhe Oktoberfest offers a delightful experience for everyone to relish. Revel in live melodies, an unparalleled party ambiance, gastronomic delights that tantalize the taste buds, and a symphony of exquisite Oktoberfest beers to savor.

Denver Oktoberfest 2023

September 22-October 1, 2023

Denver, CO

Since 1969, the Denver Oktoberfest has been a cherished bi-weekly tradition nestled in the heart of Downtown Denver. Offering a medley of activities including keg bowling, stein hoisting, and live music, this festival caters to both seasoned Oktoberfest enthusiasts and those embarking on their very first experience.

Oktoberfest Hannover 2023

September 22-October 8, 2023

Hannover, Germany

Indulge in a two-week extravaganza of festivities at the Oktoberfest celebration in Hannover, Germany, The 3rd largest Oktoberfest in the world offers more than just the quintessential German culinary delights and beverages; it presents a kaleidoscope of experiences including exhilarating carnival rides, mesmerizing firework displays, spirited dance competitions, and an array of engaging activities.

The Nashville Oktoberfest 2023

October 5-8, 2023

Nashville, TN

The Nashville Oktoberfest celebrates live music, local breweries, the Dachshund Derby, and a 5K bier run. It’s Oktoberfest Music City style! Prost y’all!

Oktoberfest Leipzig 2023

October 6-November 4, 2023

Leipzig, Germany

The renowned Oktoberfest Leipzig is nothing short of legendary. Annually, nearly 40,000 attendees come together at the historic Old Leipzig Trade Fair grounds to partake in traditional festivities. Spanning a vibrant four-week duration, the event pulsates with a medley of party anthems, a flowing river of beer, and a delectable array of Oktoberfest culinary delights.

Oktoberfest Brixton 2023

October 7-28, 2023

London, UK

Oktoberfest Brixton will accommodate 2,000 festival-goers from across four Saturdays in October. Brixton will become the heart of Bavarian exuberance, with the space morphing into an energetic beer hall complete with traditional wooden tables, festive bunting, music and more.

Oktoberfest Oslo 2023

October 12-28, 2023

Oslo, Norway

The Tyrolean orchestra “Ronald Schnipfelgrüber Tyrolerkapelle” will be on stage every day playing traditional music and ensures a good atmosphere. Festival goers will sit shoulder to shoulder on long tables while enjoying traditional German food and drink.

The American German Club Oktoberfest 2023

October 13-22, 2023

Lake Worth, FL

The American German Club Oktoberfest is where German and American cultures meet. This beer fest is one of the largest in the country with two German bands on two weekends, authentic German cooking, domestic and imported beer, a carnival and much more!

Oktoberfest Mannheim 2023

October 13-November 4, 2023

Mannheim, Germany

Over the span of four weekends in October and November, the spirit of Oktoberfest comes alive in Mannheim, captivating festival enthusiasts. This cherished event, thriving since its inception in 2009, beckons. While predominantly an adult affair, attendees will immerse themselves in the embrace of time-honored German gastronomy and beverages, complemented by the cadence of live music and the joyous rhythms of dance.

We are Music Festival Wizard — a loose coalition of writers, photographers, artists, and musicians roadtripping around the world in search of the “perfect” music festival.

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The Scene @ Boomtown Festival: The Twin Trail 2023


In its fifteenth year, Boomtown festival took us on an epic five day journey of music and theatre with this year’s storyline – Chapter Two: The Twin Trail. It invited us to look at the theme of duality of life whilst following immersive theatre trails and quests.

Photo Credit: Boomtown

The theatrical opening ceremony set the tone as Inja repeated…we were all invited, all united. The crowd spread as far as you could see and held up peace signs whilst setting the intention to spread love and embrace music this weekend.

Acts spanned genres from drum and bass to disco and hip-hop with Chase & Status, Sister Sledge, Sub Focus, M.O.P, Cypress Hill and Mungo’s Hifi all drawing huge crowds. Other highlights included Peaches’ high-energy punk performance art, SHYFX opening the Origin stage on Sunday before A Little Sound, Mura Masa and an hour of pop joy at the Barbie Party.

Photo Credit: Sian Herbert for Boomtown

The cityscape was created for 66,000 festival goers to interact with its immersive theatre storyline. We picked up ‘permits to work’ from Let’s Be Avenue and went on exciting quests, which included writing a filthy poem for Shelly at the Post Office and being sent into the Betterverse to become a verified citizen. The storyline and immersive theatre venues are unlike anything else found in festivals around the world. The dedication to this aspect brings so much fun and creativity to the sets and experience.

At one point, in Let’s Be Avenue, there was sheer joy and chaos swirling with Boomtown Bobbies cycling with sirens, handstands, a game of duck duck goose, spanking, soundsystem delivered by Grime (in the style of Prime delivery) whilst hundreds of other people were completing quests for the likes of The Luck Exchange or raving in Soapranos laundrette.

Photo Credit: Lucas Sinclair for Boomtown

The humour and attention to detail of the storylines, set design and hidden venues make this wondrous maze almost impossible to completely explore. This is what pulls the crowd back each year to almost sell out the festival before the lineup is even announced.

For such a huge festival, it’s created quite a cult following. I saw multiple Boomtown tattoos and some homemade merch created by fans, showing just how much this festival means to people.

Having not been to Boomtown or to such a large festival for a few years, I was worried that I might be slightly overwhelmed this time. However, I was pleasantly surprised that the crowd was diverse, bursting with good vibes and people looking out for one another. We even saw some young families and met some parents who loved the psy-trance area.

Photo Credit: Sian Herbert for Boomtown

Every day we enjoyed the Don’t Tell Dad game show where members of the crowd took part in talent competitions – the show encapsulated everything we love about festivals with the crowd coming together to share their quirks, cheer each other on, and create some rapture.

Away from the hustle of the city, there are spaces to rest and recharge. The Twisted Roots stage in a woodland leads to the Valley Village, which hosted Kanga Wellbeing. Here they hosted wellness therapies like sound healing and we took part in Kundalini yoga with Kate Burnett, which was a beautiful, healing way to start Sunday.

Every day we also enjoyed crafts and workshops at Rebel Girl Club such as Ru Paul’s Flag Race or meditation and art. We took a spin in an aerial hoop where you could try circus skills and made a flower crown from willow. On the outskirts of the city there were also many services for wellbeing including Safer Spaces and the Samaritans, showing a dedication to wellbeing and balance.

Photo Credit: Leora Bermeister for Boomtown

Practical Info

Whilst this five day extravaganza is an epic adventure, getting to the campsite with your belongings and booze was no easy feat. Be prepared for a long journey, potentially up hill with your luggage. Luckily we managed to get a £15 taxi to save queueing over an hour for the shuttle bus to the site. We opted for the Skylark camping, which included a bell tent, showers, flushing toilets and a pamper parlour. This really helped us feel refreshed each day as we had somewhere comfy to return to.

One thing that can usually put a dampener on the experience is queues and we were delighted that this festival had plenty of loos, food stalls, and bars. The food choices were great, even for vegan or vegetarian options. The queues were longer during headline acts, but we never really had to wait more than ten minutes for anything.

Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Boomtown

We were very lucky with the weather and had mostly sun, with a couple of showers that helped prevent the site from becoming too dusty. There are lots of hills and stairs so it can be challenging for even the fittest of people. Boomtown has accessibility options that you can read about on their site. Some acts like the incredible Peaches also had BSL interpreters.

Some music went on until 4am, like The Tribe of the Frog, which we were camped next to. Because of this, earplugs and an eye mask were very helpful to catch some extra sleep for this marathon of a festival.

Photo Credit: Sian Herbert for Boomtown

Tickets are already on sale for next year 7-11 August 2024 with two phases sold out.

Dates: August 9-13, 2023
Editions: 15
Attendance: 66,000
Artists: Hundreds
MFW Beer Index: £5.50/500ml
MFW French Fry Index: £5.50
Highest/Lowest Temperature: 25C/12C
Reusable Cups? No
Free Water Stations? Yes

Photo Credit: Boomtown

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Your 2023 Guide to NYE Music Festivals Around the World


Photo Credit: Lights All Night


It’s the end of the decade and before we launch into the next iteration of the the Roaring Twenties, it’s time to gather for one last music festival. From festivals at ski areas to festivals in the sun, your options for a NYE fest have never been more plentiful than here in 2023, and below is our list of the best parties on the planet to ring in 2024.

Beyond The Valley 2023

December 28-1, 2024

Victoria, Australia

One of Australia’s premier events across the New Year’s Even holiday, Beyond the Valley attendees experience art installations, sculptures, communal hubs, boutique bars, gourmet food trucks and morning yoga . This annual haven for festival fans boasts a carefully curated lineup across three uniquely designed stages

Beyond The Valley 2023 Guide

Lights All Night 2023

December 30-31, 2023

Dallas, TX

The longest running EDM festival in Texas lights up New Year’s Eve in Dallas with a roster of confetti exploding talent. The production is top-notch, with stages and light shows that has fans raving. Jump on a plane to Dallas and jump your way into the next year.

Lights All Night 2023 Guide

Decadence Arizona 2023

December 30-31, 2023

Phoenix, Arizona

Where are you going to be when the ball drops on New Year’s Eve? Hopefully, dancing your booty off in Arizona at this two-night festival with some of the hottest electronic artists in the country.

Decadence Arizona 2023 Guide

Rhythm and Alps 2023

December 29-31, 2023

Wanaka, New Zealand

Bask in the southern summer of Rhythm & Alps, a 3-day music and camping festival that takes places in the beautiful Southern Alps of New Zealand. The nearly 10-year old festival features more than 50 international and local acts spread across 4 unique stages. 10,000 festies show up every year to dance in the New Year and take in the gorgeous beauty of the area.

Rhythm and Alps 2023 Guide

Rhythm and Vines 2023

December 29-31, 2023

Gisborne, New Zealand

The first place in the world to welcome the first sunrise of the New Year – welcome to the Rhythm and Vines Festival, New Zealand’s aware winning NYE event. One of the island’s largest camping festivals, the four-day festival takes place at Waiohika Estate in Gisborne. In 2022, the fest will move from its traditional time to a 2-day show over Easter.

Rhythm and Vines 2023 Guide

Northern Bass 2023

December 29-31, 2023

Mangawhai, New Zealand

Northern Bass is three days and nights of New Year celebrations! Situated just over an hour north of Auckland in the summer hotspot of Mangawhai, Northern Bass brings together a world-class selection of musicians, DJs and producers to provide the perfect soundtrack for bringing in the New Year.

Northern Bass 2023 Guide

We are Music Festival Wizard — a loose coalition of writers, photographers, artists, and musicians roadtripping around the world in search of the “perfect” music festival.

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We Scare Up Some Spooky Halloween Music Festivals


The only two times it is socially acceptable to wear a costume is at Halloween or at a music festival, so you better believe combining the two is going to be a blast. Check out our comprehensive list of Halloween fests for 2022 and get inspired to get dressed up and get after it.

Escape Halloween 2022

October 28-29, 2022

San Bernardino, CA

Held in Southern California, Escape: Psycho Circus is an annual electronic festival running over Halloween. Continuing their impressive repertoire of festivals produced by the brand Insomniac, Escape: Psycho Circus promises to deliver spooky vibes and a top electronic lineup to festival attendees. Taking the Halloween spirit to heart, the festival also features themed stages, immersive art installations and costumed performers lurking the festival grounds.

Escape Halloween 2022 Guide

Suwannee Hulaween 2022

October 27-30, 2022

Live Oak, FL

Halloween’s jammiest music festival, Suwannee Hulaween, takes place annually at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park. Hosted by The String Cheese Incident (who play two sets every evening), the jam band filled lineup features multiple stages filled with fans dressed up for the event.

Suwannee Hulaween 2022 Guide

Get Freaky 2022

October 28-30, 2022

Salt Lake City, UT

Get Freaky is an annual electronic music festival held during Halloween in Salt Lake City, Utah. The two-day event takes place at The Great Saltair, a unique venue that sits on a picturesque spot overlooking the Great Salt Lake.

Get Freaky 2022 Guide

Freaky Deaky 2022

October 29-30, 2022

Houston, TX

It’s Texas meets Halloween meets dance party when Freaky Deaky lands in Houston. The wildest costume party in the south gets spooky at the Sam Houston Race Park with some of the hottest names in the EDM scene.

Freaky Deaky 2022 Guide

Boo! Seattle 2022

October 28-29, 2022

Seattle, WA

Prepare yourself for two nights of monstrous beats and dance among the skeletons, ghouls, goblins, and frightfully fun characters who haunt this festival in downtown Seattle.

Boo! Seattle 2022 Guide

The Fest 2022

October 28-30, 2022

Gainsville, FL

This independent multiple-venue festival that celebrates underground music has been rocking Gainsville for nearly two decades. The numbers speak for themselves at The Fest: 300+ artists, 4 stages, 18 venues, and more than 50 professional wrestlers.

The Fest 2022 Guide

Time Warp Germany 2022

October 28-29, 2022

Mannheim, Germany

This electronic show in Germany showcases international heavyweights which perfectly capture the underground spirit of the event. With mesmerizing lighting design, jaw-dropping production of the highest spec and crystal clear sound systems, Time Warp Mannheim is the ultimate festival experience for techno aficionados and needs to be seen.

Time Warp Germany 2022 Guide

Levitation 2022

October 27-30, 2022

Austin, TX

Formally known as the Austin Psych Fest, Levitation has pushed out editions to Vancouver and Paris. But the home-base always remains in Texas where the flagship festival takes over Carson Creek Ranch near Austin. Founded by local psych heroes, The Black Angels, this DIY fest is like nothing else on the Texas festival schedule.

Levitation 2022 Guide

Return to Rio 2022

October 28-30, 2022

Wiseman’s Ferry, NSW, Australia

Dance yourself silly to some of the world’s best artists, sip on a cocktail by the pool chilling to some reggae or get your soul and funk fill at The Shack. Then recharge with a float along the river or some yoga and meditation before ending the day at the party to end all parties.

Return to Rio 2022 Guide

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Europe Music Festival Preview For September 2023


The bulk of the European festival season usually winds to a halt at the end of summer, but more than a few countries are beginning to realize that September is the ideal month for festing. Below, we have gathered up some of the more interesting lineups for your autumnal adventures.

Kalorama Festival 2023

August 31-September 2, 2023

Lisbon, Portugal

This is it. A brand new experience. All we need is Kalorama. There is a new era coming. One that knows how to enjoy every moment as it truly is – unique and unrepeatable.

Kalorama Festival 2023 Guide

Into the Great Wide Open 2023

August 30-September 3, 2023

Vlieland, Netherlands

‘Into The Great Wide Open is a pop festival on Vlieland, a small island on the coast of The Netherlands. A gathering with your friends and family: good music, visual arts, film, oysters and Mother Nature in all its grandeur. Into The Great Wide Open is a festival for all ages, an initiative of a group of people who know each other from pop music and who are creating their dream festival on Vlieland.’

Into the Great Wide Open 2023 Guide

Lindisfarne Festival 2023

August 31-September 3, 2023

Berwick-upon-Tweed, UK

The ultimate end-of-summer party festival back with music, magic & mayhem on the spectacular Northumberland coast. With hundreds of acts over 8 unique stages, get ready for a genre-hopping mishmash of must-see performances in the UK’s best-kept-secret festival location – overlooking Holy Island.

Lindisfarne Festival 2023 Guide

Dimensions Festival 2023

August 31-September 4, 2023

Tisno, Croatia

As the sun sets on summer, underground electronic fans flock to Tisno for the last major music fest of the Croatian summer scene. A spin-off of the hugely popular Outlook Festival, diehards can stack these two festival weekends together for one mega-run of electronic goodness.

Dimensions Festival 2023 Guide

Electric Picnic 2023

September 1-3, 2023

Laois, Ireland

Ireland’s mega-festival crams in so much music and activities into three short days, that you’ll be hard-pressed to sample everything over the weekend. Besides having one of the best lineups of the year, there’s endless fields of camping along with forested glades inhabited by late night revelers. From partying at a pirate ship to secret shows in the chapel to drinking in the Trailer Park, this is an unforgettable festival.

Electric Picnic 2023 Guide

Sundown Festival 2023

September 1-3, 2023

Norwich, UK

The perfect way to close the busy summer festival season with one last party in the sun, Sundown Festival hosts only the biggest and best in pop, dance and urban acts across a weekend of music and mayhem.

Sundown Festival 2023 Guide

Forwards Festival 2023

September 1-2, 2023

Bristol, UK

Forwards brings the biggest names in international music to Bristol Downs this September, blending a cutting edge lineup with a platform for social purpose and timely debate.

Forwards Festival 2023 Guide

ZeeZout Festival 2023

September 2, 2023

Amsterdam, Netherlands

ZeeZout Festival creates a moment for memories at Tuinen van West with this single-day house and techno festival. A temporary space curated to let you fully be present. Vivid, lively and sharp as ever. Loose like never before.

ZeeZout Festival 2023 Guide

ION Festival 2023

September 6-13, 2023

Dhërmi, Albania

ION is a different kind of music event, one where you’re invited to get outside the usual festival fences and have a real holiday experience. For everyone who chooses to come with us on this extended summer party, ION will be a week filled with new encounters and 3,000 like-minded friends, all soundtracked by electronic music’s best artists.

ION Festival 2023 Guide

Decibel Open Air 2023

September 9-10, 2023

Florence, Italy

Get ready to party the night away in Florence, Italy. This spectacular 2-day dance festival takes place in the open-air Visarno Arena just outside the city in September.

Decibel Open Air 2023 Guide

Siso Festival 2023

September 14-20, 2023

Dhërmi, Albania

Siso is an electronic beach festival that inspires you to chill by day and party by night. From house to techno to garage and bass to disco and soul, there’s truly something for everyone at Siso.

Siso Festival 2023 Guide

Dream Nation 2023

September 16-17, 2023

Paris, France

Dream Nation is one of the biggest electronic festival in Paris. Electro, Techno, Trance, Bass Music and Hard Music will thrill the 30,000 dreamers this September! Festival goers will enjoy more than 50 artists on 3 stages, from pioneers of the genre to emerging talents.

Dream Nation 2023 Guide

Full Metal Cruise 2023

September 20-24, 2023

Kiel, Germany

Set sail to the northern seas and a Viking adventure with the Full Metal Cruise. Departing from Germany and making stops across Scandinavia, metal fans are in for the ultimate cruise ship festival.

Full Metal Cruise 2023 Guide

Boundary Brighton 2023

September 30, 2023

Brighton, UK

Taking the best of Brighton’s creative energy, lust for life and generosity of spirit, Boundary Brighton is a festival with five stages of music, a funfair, delicious local food and other unexpected treats.

Boundary Brighton 2023 Guide

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The Scene: All The Electronic You Can Eat @ Family Piknik 2…


Since 2012, Family Piknik has been reimagining the concept of electronic festivals in the south of France. Based out of Montpellier, organizers focus on the best of the underground scene while making music accessible to all ages in a boutique-style atmosphere.

I’ve traveled from the MFW world headquarters in Montpelier, Vermont, to see how they festival in our sister city of Montpellier, France. I’ve only been to France to cover indie rock fests in the past so this is my first time sampling a French electronic festival. Family Piknik is also my 120th fest that I’ve covered for Music Festival Wizard, so I’m enjoying that small milestone over the weekend. Let’s get into the rundown!

Click here to see photos from Family Piknik 2023

Table Of Contents

1. Running the Numbers
2. The Scene
3. Music Highlights

4. Stray Observations
5. Travel Tips
6. Final Thoughts

1. Running the Numbers

Dates: August 4-6, 2023
Editions: 9
Attendance: 6000 est. per day
Artists: 40+
MFW Beer Index: €7.50/500ml
MFW French Fry Index: €4.00
Highest/Lowest Temperature: 29C/19C (84F/64F)
Reusable Cups? Yes
Free Water Stations? Yes

2. The Scene

The Venue
The festivities of Family Piknik takes place just outside the city in the seaside haven of Frontigan. Family Piknik has a very simple setup with one main stage and a smaller, chilled out spot called the Nomad Stage. Both are covered and provide some protection from the sun and wind coming in from the beach. There are some food stalls on site, but you are more than welcome to bring your own picnic as the name would suggest. I didn’t have the gear to camp this year, but the tent area featured shady trees and easy access to the festival. There are even glamping options available for those of you looking to spend the weekend in style.

The Music
My love for smaller festivals this year continues unabated with Family Piknik. With no major lineup clashes, you are able to see every major artist on the schedule and the smaller crowd size meant little difficulty getting close to the music. In line with their mission of bringing the music to the people, Friday night was a free show open to all followed by two packed days of performers.

The Crowd
This is a small, cozy festival with a super-friendly French crowd. This is not a headbanging, pump-your-fist, and scream-on-the-rails type of festival, and the fans reflect it. As a photographer trying to navigate my way through throngs of people, the fans here could not have been more helpful, actively giving me space or indicating that I should take their spot to get better pictures.

3. Music Highlights

Acts I Caught and the Unofficial Order in Which I Enjoyed Them

  • Carl Cox
  • Joplyn
  • Hannes Bieger
  • Abstraal
  • Nakadia
  • Ben Bohmer
  • Roman Garcia
  • Automatic Writing
  • Josh Wink
  • Tom Pooks & Sebass
  • Patrice Baumel
  • Christopher Coe

Festival MVP: Carl Cox
You could palpably feel the excitement when electronic legend, Carl Cox took to the stage for a hybrid-live set. It’s wild watching a 61-year-old DJ fire up a crowd.

Most Intriguing: Hannes Bieger
I can’t even pretend to understand what Hannes Bieger, one of the scene’s best mixing engineers, is up to on stage, but I like it.

Up and Coming: Joplyn
A proudly independent artist out of Berlin, Joplyn brought a burst of fresh energy and positive vibes to Sunday afternoon.

4. Stray Observations

In Dust We Trust
On both days I attended, there were some strong gusts of wind coming in off the sea bringing more sand than I would typically like at a festival. I recommend bringing a scarf.

Costume Of The Week
I will never understand why Europeans are obsessed with a German-based grocery store called LIDL, but I admire their dedication.

Signs You Are In France
They serve wine bottles at the fest!


5. Practical Info

What’s the weather like? The heatwave is over for now in Europe so temps were typical seaside Mediterranean – hot during the day, but bring something warmer for when the sun goes down.

What are the prime hours for music? Music starts early in the day so you really can make a picnic of it. It seemed like the bulk of people filling the place up were from 9:00 pm to 1:00 am.

Where did you sleep? I stayed across the street from the train station at the Best Western Plus Comedie for all three nights. There are a ton of places to eat nearby, a small grocery store at the train station, and just a few blocks away from the city center. I regretted not taking advantage of the onsite camping.

How do you get there? The easiest access to the event is by train from the St. Roch station in Montpellier (€4.70 OW). The only downside is that the last train back is at 10:00 pm so you will miss a few of the headlining DJs or need to book the festival bus. Cabs were prohibitively expensive, so better options are to sign up for the Family Piknik bus that runs after the event is over or just drive down and park.

6. Final Thoughts

In our corporate dominated festival landscape, I’m really encouraged by DIY fests like Family Piknik creating experiences outside the box and reworking the concept of the modern day music fest.

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The Scene @ Hard Summer 2023 (Los Angeles, USA)


The 15th annual Hard Summer returned to downtown Los Angeles this August 5-6 with a sold-out show of 100,000 attendees. Hard Summer had a ton to offer for its return to the city, featuring 5 massive stages, 28 food vendors, VIP pools, a Ferris wheel, vibrant murals, art installations, and unforgettable performances from renowned artists. As everyone is still buzzing from the past weekend, Music Festival Wizard is here with its official festival recap of Hard Summer 2023. 

Keiki Lani Knudsen for HARD Summer

Photo Credit: Keiki Lani Knudsen for HARD Summer

Hard Summer featured five tremendous stages. The main stages, Hard and Harder, were located on opposite corners of the festival and stacked with screens, beaming lasers, booming speakers, and the main headliners. The Purple Stage, located in the BMO Stadium, and the Green Stage found in the LA Memorial Coliseum were equally as large as the main stages. Wherever you stood, every area of both arenas had a perfect view. The Pink Stage was located next to the Purple Stage in a smaller grassy area, and although it was smaller compared to the others, its picture-worthy setup remained standing tall.

Gina Joy for HARD Summer

Photo Credit: Gina Joy for HARD Summer

Day 1: Kaskade b2b John Summit, Kayzo b2b Sullivan King, Diesel, and 21 Savage

Day 1 of Hard couldn’t have been more highly anticipated. With the debut of its return to Los Angeles in 10 years,  everyone was in need to know how to navigate around, seeing how big the venue was, and the distance from each stage. Sure enough, everyone was able to get their steps in. Compared to Hard’s other venues in the past, this one provided many areas of shading, which helped with the heating temperature. Saturday’s lineup was filled with many talented acts. CHYL, Odd Mob, Blossom, Noizu, ISOxo, and Dillon Francis, took over the Hard stage while Devault, Fat Joe, Kaivon, 4B B2B JSTJR, and others had the Harder stage covered. 

Photo Credit: Gina Joy for HARD Summer

Granted all of the artists had astounding performances, but one set that particularly stood out was from It’s Murph. The LA-based house producer was not on the original lineup, however, on the day of the festival, he was called with exciting news to perform at the Purple Stage. Without hesitation, It’s Murph acted upon the opportunity, having a successful turnout at his set. The crowd was on the same wavelength and everyone was pleased with his performance, featuring remixes of iconic hits “Give It To Me” by Nelly Furtado and “Work” by A$AP Ferg along with other house-vibing tracks. It’s Murph finished his set with his career-making single, “Food for the Soul.” From what was supposed to be an assignment from school, It’s Murph went above and beyond and exceptionally promoted this hit through TikTok. The engagement of this track set It’s Murph up for many opportunities throughout the year, including a set at this year’s Coachella and now Hard Summer. His remarkable performance at Purple Stage marked this as my personal favorite set of the entire festival. 

Jake West for HARD Summer

Photo Credit: Jake West for HARD Summer

Day 1 closed out with legendary performances from Kaskade b2b John Summit, Kayzo b2b Sullivan King, Diesel, 21 Savage, and Gorgon City. It was a tough decision for everyone deciding on which set to post up at since each and every one of these acts gave it their all. We decided to be at the Hard Stage for the Kaskade b2b John Summit. Both DJs balanced each other out, bringing in ravers from the early 2010s and new ravers with Kaskade classics and John Summit bangers. Overall, Day 1 was a hit!

Photo Credit: Gina Joy for HARD Summer

Day 2: Srillex B2B Four Tet, Knock2, Yellow Claw B2B Flosstradamus, and Kid Cudi

After settling in during the first day, Sunday at Hard was only getting started. Day 2’s roster included MK B2B Sonny Fodera, Disco Lines, Wuki, Blanke, Space Laces, Ludacris, Oliver Tree, Kai Wachi, Peekaboo, AC Slater B2B Chris Lorenzo, and more.

Photo Credit: Gina Joy for HARD Summer

The most talked about performance from Sunday had to be from Knock2. San Diego-based legend Knock2 has been on the come-up for the past year, touring across North America with his Room202 set. Knock2 brought out unmatched energy getting everyone in the crowd constantly jumping. Knock2 opened with one of his latest releases with NGHTMRE titled “One Chance”, and throughout his set, followed up with some of his other tracks like “gettin’ hott”, “Make U SWEAT!”, and “Rock Ur World”. At one point, he brought out his best friend, ISOxo, who also had a set at Hard on Saturday. They played out a couple of their tracks, including “Beam (Knock2 Remix)”. Lastly, Knock2 closed his performance with the notorious “dashstar*”, a track commonly played out by many DJs in their own sets. All in all, everyone can agree that the vibes were extremely high at Knock2.

Photo Credit: Skylar Greene for HARD Summer

Hard Summer finished off with closers Skrillex B2B Four Tet, Deorro, Yellow Claw B2B Flosstradamus, Kid Cudi, and The Martinez Brothers. This was also a difficult decision to make, however, we stuck with Skrillex B2B Four Tet. This power duo ended the festival with ultimate bangers and never-before-seen remixes. What makes them unique is how they experiment ways of blending different genres of music and creating new genres of their own. Ending the night with Skrillex B2B Four Tet was the ideal way to wrap up an awesome weekend at Hard.

Photo Credit: Keiki Lani Knudsen for HARD Summer

This concludes our rundown of Hard Summer 2023. Despite it being the peak of summer, the heat didn’t stop everyone from going hard. The new venue followed by a legendary lineup of artists made for a memorable weekend of electronic music. We look forward to what’s in store for next year and many more to come! 

Gina Joy for HARD Summer

Photo Credit: Gina Joy for HARD Summer

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Photo Gallery: Family Piknik 2023 (Montpellier, France)


Take some Carl Cox, Adam Beyer, and a bunch of world-class talent, add a dash of seaside sun, mix it up it the south of France, and you are ready to feast on the annual Family Piknik.  Music Festival Wizard stopped in the Mediterranean city of Frontignan just outside Montpellier for three days of dancing under the sun and stars. Below is our photo recap of what went down at Family Piknik over the weekend.


Roman Garcia



Hannes Bieger

Carl Cox

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