With sets by Travis Scott, R.L. Grime, Waka Flocka Flame and more, EDM and hip hop acts pumped up Belknap Park on Friday on the first day of the national festival. (Recap, photos, video)
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For one weekend at least, the Breakaway Music Festival has turned Grand Rapids’ Belknap Park into Electric Forest Jr.
With thousands of young fans pouring onto the baseball diamond-turned-festival site for a nearly non-stop assault of EDM and hip hop stars, the music celebration being held for the first time in Grand Rapids reveled Friday in comfortable late-August weather and a unique atmosphere while uncorking bass-heavy sets by the likes of Travis Scott, R.L. Grime, Waka Flocka Flame, Bro Safari and more.
“I DJ and it’s nice to find EDM in Grand Rapids. It’s the type of music I listen to and makes me feel better as a person,” said fan Alex Dykstra, 22, of Grand Rapids, aka, DJ GVO (Good Vibez Only).
“To see all of the Grand Rapids EDM people together, it’s great. It’s great to see us all come together.”
“Coming together” at the site just north of downtown Grand Rapids took many forms at this national festival that started a few years ago in Columbus, Ohio (and will once again set up shop in Columbus in September and North Carolina in October).
‘A GOOD THING’ ON A BEAUTIFUL DAY
Colorful throngs crowded and twirled and bobbed close to the sprawling stage set up at second base of the baseball diamond, while others lounged on Belknap hill, which turned the field into a natural amphitheater. At the top of the “chill hill,” a silent disco drew clusters of dancers; others lined up at concession booths and beer stands below, with crowds growing steadily as night fell.
“I think it’s a good thing and it’s a beautiful day. It’s a nice younger crowd,” said Cassie Truskowski of Grand Rapids, who’s working as a circus performer and stilt-walker at this weekend’s Breakaway festival.
“We try to be a big city and it’s good to give the younger generation something to get excited about. It’s a festival in our own backyard. It’s cool. It’s a huge turnout and a lot of kids are here.”
Although specific crowd attendance numbers weren’t immediately available, the ethnic diversity of the audience was impressive, too, not to mention the enthusiasm for electronic dance music that continues to sweep the globe. For those familiar with Rothbury’s annual Electric Forest, the scene Friday resembled the vibe of the Forest’s EDM-driven Tripolee Stage.
And while there was no parking on site, that didn’t seem to faze most fans who walked or were shuttled/dropped off near the intersection of Coldbrook Street and Plainfield Avenue NE, with the festival patrolled throughout the day and evening by police and security personnel.
It all ramps up again today. Saturday’s lineup is led by Zedd, Jon Bellion and 3Lau. The music resumes at 2 p.m. with Grand Rapids’ own DJ AB, followed by Attak, Two Friends, Quinn XCII, Black Bear, Cheat Codes and Super Duper Kyle. Grand Rapids’ DJ Jay Vee is emceeing and performing between sets both days.
And come back to Local Spins later this weekend for more coverage of Breakaway.
PHOTO GALLERY: Breakaway Music Festival, Grand Rapids (Day 1)
Photos by Anthony Norkus
PHOTO GALLERY: Breakaway Music Festival, Day 2
Photos by Anna Sink and Dionte Hampton
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