Location: Convention Center in Center City Philadelphia
If you’ve read any of my other blog posts you may have noticed at this point that I’m a big fan of music festivals. When I heard that there was going to be a festival right in my home town, especially with a lineup up as strong as Hijinx’s, I didn’t hesitate to purchase a ticket. I’ve traveled as far as Atlanta, GA to go to a festival so the opportunity to attend one that allowed me to get there via Uber, Subway or even a friend driving was so exciting. Plus being able to go back home to my own bed was amazing, too. The dates were nestled in between Christmas and New Year’s Eve so it sort of snuck up on us. With the chaos of the holidays it was easy for the festival to slip your mind.
The festival was held on one of the floors of the Convention Center. This same venue hosts a number of huge events: the annual Car show, Flower show, a comic-con like event, etc, so there was ample amounts of space for the stage and vendors to set up. The line to go through security and enter the festival moved relatively quickly. Once you entered the festival space you were met with inflatable decorations all over: octopus tentacles reaching down from the ceiling and alien shapes with psychedelic colors. Acrobats hung from above and performed. There was a huge amount of port a potties and a lot of water stations throughout the room. Whoever set up the venue did their best to accommodate the huge masses that were in attendance. The way it was set up it felt like a huge warehouse rave. It was pretty dark in the room which made it easy to get separated from your group.
There was one stage which was nice because it meant you didn’t have to sacrifice seeing one act to go to another. One downside of only having one stage was that there was a long downtime in between sets. Aside from one act, the schedule was followed and people started on time. The headliners for night one were RL Grime, Big Gigantic and Bassnectar. Personally Big G was my favorite of the night but everyone was really entertaining. Bassnectar’s light show is always on point but musically it wasn’t his smoothest set. He played for what felt like 2 hours. The second night was Illenium, Griz and Odesza. I had never seen Odesza up until now so I was excited for them, but Illenium and Griz are some of my favorites. It’s honestly hard for me to say which was my favorite of night two… each of them played very different sets from one another, and they played them damn well I might add! I was curious about the acoustics of the room, with a huge open indoor space like this I was concerned with echoing, but I didn’t really notice any issues. When Big Gigantic was playing I found that the sound quality was WAY better in the rear of the room vs. the middle. I’m not sure if that was by design or if it was unintentional. I didn’t notice that when any other act was on.
The crowd that attended was pretty fun for the most part. The first night I spent a lot of time wandering around by myself. I didn’t hear any reports of theft and everyone that I interacted with was friendly. The crowd got really tight up by the front of the stage, which is normal, but there was enough space to navigate through the crowds towards the center and the back of the room.
Seeing the crowd leave after the festival was a little nerve racking. People spilled from the convention center into the streets of Center City Philadelphia causing some havoc for the traffic in the area. There were after parties at clubs that were a quick walk away. One of the best parts of any show is the recap with your friends at the end of the night. Remembering the funny moments that happened throughout the event while listening to more music and holding on to the night that we’re not ready to be over. There’s something about when your whole group sticks together and vibes out in the crowd together; making memories and sharing the feels. It’s so much more than music sometimes, it’s about bonding with each other and loving every second you’re together. I can say with certainty that there wasn’t much time at all that I didn’t have a huge smile stretched across my face.