Taking advantage of the Electronic Dance Music craze, USC Events not only staged Paradiso Music Festival this year, but expanded it to two days with carnival rides and giant swings set up at The Gorge Amphitheater in central Washington.
Besides lucking out with temperatures in the high 90s and afternoon showers, USC promoters made the sold out Paradiso as much a visual experience as a sonic one. Screens on the Main Stage, Bass Haven and Digital Oasis were plastered with pinks, blues and greens, along with visuals of The Gorge, Seattle and the Grand Canyon. Graffiti artists hovered over decorated plywood walls that separated the Digital Oasis stage from the rest of the event.
Dancers were decked out in balloons, bird costumes, stilts and futuristic insect get-ups. USC even added a cove covered by fish nets and seahorses that housed mermaids who tried to lure in attendees.
For many EDMers, their biggest problems had to do with scheduling conflicts. DJs Felix Cartal and Adventure Club played at the same time. And Borgore had a competing time slot with dirty dubstep mastermind Figure, leaving bassheads with tough decisions.
But others faced more serious issues. Medics and event staff struggled to keep up with numerous demands. Despite adding cooling and water stations, many festival-goers still battled the heat. Water stations lost pressure as the night went on, leaving attendees struggling to rehydrate. And according to the AP, multiple attendees were rushed to Quincy Valley Medical Center for drug overdose symptoms and one death has been confirmed, though police have yet to release a name.
Drug and medical issues aside, music was the festival's central focus. Zeds Dead played popular original tracks like “Rumble in the Jungle” and mellower ones like “White Satin." Porter Robinson relied on 16-bit video game visuals and dropped his track “100% in the Bitch."
Kill the Noise brought some humor to the scorching weekend with remixes of the theme song from the Fresh Prince of Bel-air and "Who Let the Dogs Out." Kill the Noise encouraged fans to get down on their knees as they used a "meow" beat to imitate Who Let the Dogs Out and then dropped the bass.
By teaming up with acts like Borgore and Kill the Noise, Paradiso proved that it is more than a house or progressive festival.
For a slideshow of Paradiso, click here.