The first day of the second-year music festival brought bigger crowds and bigger names to Grand Rapids’ Belknap Park, with another robust lineup unfurling Saturday. Review, photos.
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Ignore the occasional sprinkles and overcast skies.
After a solid inaugural splash at Grand Rapids’ Belknap Park last summer, Breakaway Music Festival 2018 roared out of the gates Friday with more enthusiasm, more attendees and an even more upbeat attitude.
And it was buoyed even further by a resplendent, elaborate, video-enhanced, laser- and pyro-festooned headlining set by electronic music’s Odesza, with the duo closing out the evening, lighting up the night and pumping up thousands of fans in uber-impressive fashion.
But heck, even opening DJ sets by Grand Rapids’ own electronic music stars Super Future and Flats Stanlie had fans gyrating and howling in approval (with DJ Jay Vee entertaining the troops between sets).
Many of them came from other cities to revel in the compact festival, which takes advantage of the natural amphitheater created by Belknap Hill (which is topped by a silent disco during Breakaway).
Eighteen-year-old cousins Katherine O’Conner of Chicago and Mary Katherine of Kalamazoo were attracted by what they felt was a stellar roster of performers.
“We’re really into EDM (electronic dance music) and they have a really good lineup,” O’Connor raved.
“Also, it’s affordable,” added her cousin, referring to the weekend price tag of $129 (which was even cheaper for early buyers). “Honestly, I like that it’s small. It’s manageable.”
‘GREAT MUSIC, GREAT VIBES’
Muskegon’s Chase Maycroft, 26, a lighting designer, called the festival “amazing … for it to happen here and to grow so quickly. We are coming together as a community. Michigan has a great music scene.”
Fellow Muskegon-ite Jonathan Davis, 25, put it more simply: “Great music, great vibes.”Indeed, the ‘great vibes’ included lively DJ sets by the likes of NGHTMRE and crowd-interactive hip hop courtesy of Rich the Kid, who managed to light up the Breakaway throng with the classic “Plug Walk” in spite of light rain that began to fall at the end of his set (though it cleared relatively quickly).
But Odesza – aka Washington’s Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight (Catacombkid and BeachesBeaches) – was clearly the night’s biggest draw and clearly didn’t disappoint fans with an eye- and ear-pleasing chill and electropop spectacle that reportedly required two semi-truckloads of lights and gear to produce.
The set featured incredibly crisp, tantalizing video images on three screens, well-time pyro, flames and lasers, gargantuan sound and even a choreographed drum line/dance routine. The truly mesmerizing affair was actually better appreciated from the bird’s eye perch of Belknap Hill, something to which many fans availed themselves.
(Of course, there’s also money to be made by this weekend cavalcade of music with $9 beers and the cheapest T-shirts priced at $30.)
Skewed toward electronic music, hip hop, R&B and pop, the festival – which has sister events in Columbus, Nashville and Charlotte – continues all day Saturday at Belknap Park with performances by Khalid, Flosstradamus, Flatbush Zombies, Borgeous and many more. (See the full schedule below.)
PHOTO GALLERY: Breakaway Music Festival at Belknap Park – Day 1
Photos by Kendra Kamp and John Sinkevics
Copyright 2018, Spins on Music LLC