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Buku Point/Counterpoint

Anna Gowin, Features and Entertainment Editor

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If you were to look at any given picture of me, you’d probably be able to guess that EDM and hip-hop are not my favorite genres. However, I consider myself to be open to all styles of music, so when I got the opportunity to go to BUKU on Friday, March 10, I saw it as an opportunity to expand my horizons.

After our photographer, Nathan, and I split up to explore the festival, I found myself unsure of what to do. I ate some overpriced food, I wandered aimlessly. I was admittedly self-conscious about whether or not I fit in with the effortlessly glittery girls bouncing around me. I had never considered the ways that being at a music festival alone was different than going by yourself.

It was about then that I decided to just park myself in the back of the Float Den stage and let go of any lingering anxieties. EDM was about being carefree and enjoying yourself anyway, right? (Okay, maybe that’s just something I made up. But it certainly feels true, doesn’t it?) Slushii, a 19-year-old DJ from New Jersey, was already performing.

At almost the exact moment that I realized how in-my-head I was being, Slushii called out to the crowd, “Who out there doesn’t give a f*ck?” He then launched immediately into a remix of Cascada’s “Everytime We Touch.”

The throwback classic was just the beginning of Slushii’s nostalgia-filled, neon-tinted set. Amid hypnotizing, colorful cartoon graphics, Slushii provided satisfying bass drops and unexpected song choices. This included remixes of Run-DMC’s “It’s Tricky,” Migos’ breakout hit “Bad and Boujee,” The Chainsmokers’ “Closer” and my personal favorite—The Killer’s “Mr. Brightside.” Yes. Seriously.

It was totally satisfying to a newcomer of EDM, and I found myself dancing right alongside people who were probably way more intoxicated than I. I even made friends with a girl from Hammond who insisted I dance with her since I was there by myself.

I followed this up by chugging a bottle of water and eating more overpriced food.

Next was Sleigh Bells, a band I actually knew and was familiar with. The Brooklyn-based noise-pop duo didn’t manage to fill the entire Ballroom Stage venue; in fact, I was able to get incredibly close to the stage. But the level of enthusiasm fans had for the band made up for what they lacked in numbers. The group performed all of their hit songs, including their most well-known, “Infinity Guitars.” Vocalist and frontwoman Alexis Krauss has a stage presence that’s almost unmatched—wildly swinging her black hair and progressively tearing her fishnets more and more as she leapt around the stage.

I left their performance pumped up and hungry for more.

I ended the night with the act I had looked forward to the most- Lil Dicky. The Virginia-based rapper has gained a huge following with college students because of his comedic lyrics and impressive rhymes. I’ve been a fan of his music for a long time, before he’d ever put out a full-length album and worked with artists like Snoop Dogg and Panic! at the Disco’s Brendan Urie.

Dicky’s stage presence was exactly what his enthusiastic fans (called Dickheads) had come to know and love. Equal parts goofy and serious, he decided to play all of his music in short excerpts so that he could make it through his entire repertoire. It was exactly the kind of high-energy performance that can carry an audience until 1 a.m.

So, yes, BUKU might not have been the kind of festival I ever saw myself attending. But as soon as I let go of the idea of what kind of person I thought I was and just let myself enjoy the experience, I realized that any kind of festival can be my kind (and yours too, probably).

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Buku Point/Counterpoint