RÜFÜS DU SOL Creates an Unforgettable Experience with Sundream Baja 2023

Featured photo credit: Ruby Mountford / @ruby.mo

Last weekend was nothing short of a dream and I feel incredibly blessed to have been able to spend my late night and early morning hours dancing to all the house music and surrounded by people who were also crazy enough to be up until 8 AM for an unbeatable sunrise set on the final night. Before I dive into my weekend experience, I will preface this by saying that I was not at the first Sundream iteration last year in Tulum, so I don’t have a strong foundation to compare this to, but I have been to a lot of other festivals and Sundream Baja is definitely at the top of my list.

While I understand that it’s hard to top a festival right on the beach, like it was in Tulum, I definitely felt like the venue still had a lot to offer. They definitely put a lot of thought into how they lit it up because all of the string lights over the pathways definitely made a difference when the sets started later and later as the weekend went on. Since the location was within El Ganzo Sculpture Club, there were several installations that were accessible or at least viewable, one of the first ones being a large metal cube that followed the rock gardens, set up with a bunch of lighting rods in a way that was reminiscent of RÜFÜS DU SOL’s Joshua Tree performance. There were more metal rectangles further into the venue, towards the back right of the stage, and next to a crane that held rotating propellers onto which designs were displayed. There was a good amount to explore throughout the venue and plenty of spots to lay down if you wanted to take a bit of a break.

As far as performances go, I can’t really say which one was the best of the batch because there were so many amazing performances that spanned the house soundscape. Obviously, an RDS live set is always enjoyable, but the DJ set thoughhhh. The live set was definitely an amazing way to close out the first night, but the DJ set was much needed to get us through the early hours of the final night (or should I say morning if it went until 3:30 AM). There were plenty of tropical house vibes, which definitely is fitting given the ocean-adjacent venue, and I appreciated how many of the artists played into that. I’m so happy I got to see a live set from WhoMadeWho – that was definitely on the top of my list going into the weekend. I had previously seen SOHMI, Colyn, Bedouin, Cassian, and Dixon at other festivals and I still was incredibly impressed by the new energy they all brought to stage. Jonas Rathsman, Jimi Jules, and Yulia Niko were all new finds from the weekend and I’ll definitely be listening to more of them.

Let’s talk about that final set on Saturday night / Sunday morning! With an original cut-off time of 5:30 AM, I personally was surprised I even made it until 7:30 and then even more surprised when I heard they continued until 8 or so. I had heard whispers of that happening during the first weekend, but I would have never anticipated that I would have made it as long as I did, but it was so hard to leave the set. While DJ Tennis and Carlita originally took to the decks, set against an insanely packed stage, they were joined by RDS and Cassian for the final stretch, making an unforgettable b4b sunrise experience. Every single time I felt ready to leave, I was quickly drawn back into the music and felt my energy levels rise again. It got bright out.

All in all, 10000/10 weekend. Sure, there were fewer people at the closing weekend, but I’m pretty grateful for that because it meant shorter lines for everything (bars, bathroom) and way more room to dance. I still met a lot of really fun people and can’t possibly imagine a better way to have spent the weekend. So many memories were made and, honestly, what a wonderful way to kick off the summer festival season.

Elena Lin Administrator
I am a concert/festival photographer based in St. Louis. I’m always eager to travel for new music and experiences and to meet new faces!
Elena Lin Administrator
I am a concert/festival photographer based in St. Louis. I’m always eager to travel for new music and experiences and to meet new faces!

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