Whether you’re enjoying a show at a famous venue or simply walking down the street, music is in every corner of New Orleans. For decades, NOLA has been revered for its cultivation of musical talent and trends, and as of late electronic has been carving out its spot in the city’s musical landscape.
Three years ago Winter Circle Productions held the first Buku Music and Art Project, its goal to showcase a unique blend of electronic, hip-hop and local music. While maintaining the festival’s intimate setting, today the event has grown in attendance and importance, and according to NOLA.com is the city’s fastest growing festival. We’re not surprised, as each year the event delivers an incredible lineup and an even more impressive ticket price.
Music festivals are great, but can sometimes be stressful or expensive due to size and corporate influence. While Buku Fest is growing, it still has a while before it compares in size, cost and mentality to festival giants like Ultra, Bonnaroo or Lollapalooza. Until then, there are several reasons why the Buku Music and Art Project is one of the best festivals around. Read those reasons below and start putting aside the laughably affordable $169.50 you need to attend next year’s Buku Fest.
1. The Intimate Setting
Not only is Buku Fest held at one of the coolest venues around, Mardi Gras World, it features only three stages, which is almost unheard of in the festival world. Two indoor and one outdoors, all three stages are in close proximity to each other and super easy to move between. Unlike festivals like Bonnaroo where you are forced to tailor your concert schedule to a few juxtaposing stages, at Buku you can attend any show by walking no more than five minutes away. You really get your money’s worth at Buku, as you are able to move freely from stage to stage and fit as much music in as possible.
2. The Ticket Price
For many music lovers, ticket prices make most festivals unattainable; Buku Fest is not one of those festivals. A two-day general admission ticket goes for $169.50, which is absurdly low compared to festivals such as Ultra, $399.95, Electric Forest, $269.50, and EDC, $240.00. While Ultra and Electric Forest are three-day festivals, Buku features a similar lineup for a significantly lower price. Because Buku is a relatively new festival, once on festival grounds most food and drink prices are affordable as well. All in all, Buku allows for an unforgettable experience that won’t break the bank.
3. The Fashion
One thing I’ve noticed every year about Buku is the unique fashion. Perhaps due to the mix of genres on the lineup, festival-goers venture outside the realm of furry boots and kandi bracelets to really experiment with their style. There is a huge focus on art at Buku Fest, and many attendees use their bodies as canvasses with fashion-forward outfits and experimental body art. The eclectic mix of both male and female wardrobes makes for an awesome people-watching experience.
4. Late Night Sets
In New Orleans there is no enforced closing time for bars, and the same mentality applies to music festivals. While all Buku sets must move inside by midnight, the actual festival does not end until 2 a.m., with after parties stretching as late as 6 a.m. Many festival pros agree that the last thing you want to do after a high-energy event is to go to sleep, so late-night sets and after parties provide the perfect continuation to the evening.
5. The Hangout Spots
After a physically exhausting, 2 hour dance-heavy set, sometimes you need a minute to decompress, relax, and regain strength for the next show. Buku Fest provides the most epic hangout spots of any festival I’ve attended. Whether it’s the massive suspended net where tired attendees can put their feet up or the super-secret seats with a view of the Mississippi, Buku Fest guarantees a crazy yet comfortable weekend.
6. IT’S IN NEW ORLEANS, Y’ALL
I don’t think this requires much explanation, but come on, this festival takes place in one of the most culturally rich, musically dense cities in America. When you buy a ticket to Buku, you’re not only getting the opportunity to attend an awesome music festival, but also the experience of visiting one of the greatest cities on Earth. It’s a double whammy of uncontrollable awesomeness.