The ever-expanding Lost Lands Festival curated the perfect party with a bass-fueled lineup and worthwhile experience for its fifth edition.
Lost Lands Festival blew me away with the music, production, and overall community vibes this year. Those who made their way to Legend Valley, Ohio, for the latest edition of this bass-fueled extravaganza had the opportunity to arrive early, with entry starting as soon as Tuesday night, with Wednesday and Thursday available as well. While entrance wait times have been horrendous in years past, my group and I opted to arrive on Thursday, and we only had an hour’s wait to get in.
The addition of close car camping and a separate entrance line logistically solved many of the previous wait time issues. When entering the campground, the staff were friendly and helpful, with many enjoying the passing music. Overall, the entrance and load-in to the festival went quickly and efficiently, and my crew and I were ready for the weekend of bass music ahead.
The massive b2b2b2b set during the Thursday night pre-party started the weekend off strong with jaw-dropping lasers and more.
This year’s event held so many incredible acts that it makes it difficult to talk about them all, but some of the standouts started right from the beginning of Thursday. The b2b2b2b featured many artists playing that weekend, including a Rusko b2b FuntCase within that set, but an exciting surprise came in the form of a Subtronics b2b John Summit portion that left me shocked at how fun it was. It’s always a good time when an artist successfully experiments with a different genre, and I hope they keep doing these sets in the future.
After ending the first night with such an eclectic bunch of artists, you could feel the excited energy in the air Friday.
Friday’s standouts included Rusko‘s phenomenal daytime performance, which always guarantees a lively set. As night started to fall, G Jones lit up Wompy Woods with a tantalizing mix of wubs and experimental dubstep with insane visuals. Svdden Death surprised everyone by blessing the crowd with a specific Voyd set towards the end of his time slot. Later in the night, Chee had a b2b set with Tsuruda deep in the Forest Stage, which was the perfect mix for that time of day to be among the trees.
Saturday was full of high-energy sets and plenty of drum and bass.
Tape B got the vibes ready for the day at the Subsidia Stage with some great drops that had everyone on their feet bobbing to the beat. The absolute banger of a set for Saturday goes to ATLiens throwing down on the main stage. All forms of production were on point, from the lasers to the music. At the Forest stage, drum and bass thrived with performances from Downlink, Modestep, Pendulum, and many more that indicated the growth of drum and bass in the US.
The bass house vibes were strong on Sunday at The Forest Stage, a fun alternative to the ongoing dubstep.
Sunday blew my mind with some fire music to finish the weekend strong. The Prehistoric Evolution Stage offered some banging sets throughout the day. Rezz gave the crowd an epic set filled with new music and visuals and welcomed everyone to her new era and direction. Additionally, SoDown gave the most incredible performance that solidified his ongoing rise.
Dr. Fresch and Habstrakt played some heavier bass house that got everyone grooving along the way. Meal Prep, the collaboration between Sullivan King and Kai Wachi, honestly shocked me as well. As I mentioned, I’m a big fan when artists effectively switch up genres, which is precisely what they did.
One of the big hits of the entire weekend was the Excision b2b Sullivan King set which exceeded expectations. From the overlooking hill I was dancing on, there was clearly not a bored eye in the house. Everyone enjoyed it, even those I knew who had mentioned they weren’t sold on it when the lineup dropped.
A notable moment that shined on Sunday was the explosive set from DJ Diesel that brought the house down and displayed the festival community’s kindness.
DJ Diesel’s set had everyone headbanging away, but at one point, he cut all music when he noticed a festivalgoer in the crowd being trampled in a mosh pit who needed critical assistance. Once he saw them safely removed, he mentioned the importance of safety and looking out for fellow community members. That gesture was something that other artists might overlook, and putting safety first at shows is something of great significance, so shoutouts to Diesel for showing how much he cares about the community.
The overall camping experience at Lost Lands was one of the smoothest I’ve had at a festival.
The weather was perfect, being warm during the day and slightly chilly at night, allowing everyone to bundle up and stay cozy without freezing. Adding a hill shaded with trees next to Wompy Woods Stage allowed many to finally use their hammocks and enjoy some shade and relaxation during the day.
A huge plus to the festival was the many food options in the Village Marketplace. From smoothie bowls to the Headbanger Hibachi Grill, food options were plentiful for all appetites. The Hibachi grill was terrific not just for the taste but also to have the food prepared right in front of you, a fun alternative to waiting in a boring line. Inside the festival, there were so many drink and food vendors. Rarely was there ever a wait for any of them. No one likes to stand in a line during a set, so that was a blessing.
This year’s stage developments included a more prominent presence for each stage, except for the Asteroid and Raptor Valley stages.
Unfortunately, Excision and his team didn’t expand the Asteroid and Raptor Valley stages to fit the more prominent artists who were playing there. As a result, getting into the crowd for each was near impossible, and I had to miss a few sets I wanted to see. With the expanse of land they used for the festival this year, a good improvement for next year would be to adjust those stages for larger crowds.
One of the more significant issues for Lost Lands this year was the immense size of the crowds that led to choke points in the walkways.
At some sections, when walking between stages, it became suffocating to walk through, reminiscent of issues that had plagued even larger festivals like EDC Las Vegas in past years. With additional walkways and areas, this problem could be eradicated as the festival expands. Additionally, while the restrooms were cleaned and serviced quite frequently throughout the weekend, there were only three areas within the entire festival, so getting to the restrooms from some stages was quite a far walk. That being said, the VIP bathrooms were lovely and worth the extra cost.
Overall, the expansion Lost Lands has seen throughout the last few years has been incredible.
Lost Lands attendee Claudia Escobar said this to me at the festival, “It’s fun to see how big it’s grown, even after the last three years, and how many people enjoy themselves. I think it’s a good time of the year since they pushed it back because it’s cooler now, and you don’t get dehydrated,” and I couldn’t agree more. This experience has become one of the best that a bass lover can attend, and the cooler temperatures definitely helped.
Hopefully, with the rise in attendance and the addition of more production and space, Lost Lands will begin to accommodate to keep that ongoing growth without losing that small community feeling. See you all next year!