The Highly-Anticipated Return of BUKU Music + Art Project Exceeded All Expectations – Full Photo Album Available!
The BUKU Music + Art Project was an electrifying and triumphant return to Mardi Gras World after three years. Everything went off without a hitch, and the event coordinators, artists, and employees all deserve their kudos for an amazing weekend. The action was non-stop from 2 PM til 11 PM Friday and Saturday, followed up with great after-party lineups. The diversity of artists on the lineup, which has been a huge area of pride for the festival since its inception, stage production, and overall attention to detail, made BUKU 2022 a complete and total success.
The first day of the festival was centered more around house music and EDM, while the second day was a rap heavy lineup, and indie acts were scattered across both days. The unofficial “theme” of the day allowed for festival-goers to have two different days of artists and vibes all in one festival. The time of sets and proximity of the stages allowed for people to jump from stage to stage effortlessly, and see an impressively large number of artists.
BUKU highlighted an impressive and refreshing diversity of artists including women, gender-fluid individuals, and people of color. A Hundred Drums, Alison Wonderland, and Flo Milli held it down on the main Skyline Stage, and women from all genres filled the lineup across all of the stages throughout the weekend. Wreckno recently came out as gender-fluid and spoke about how the electronic music scene has fully embraced his true self and shown nothing but support. He showed love to all the fans and stuck around the festival both days, doing a surprise performance with sfam at the Wharf Stage on the second day. In our upcoming interview, Tsu Nami highlighted how happy she is for people, and especially women, of color to have the platform and opportunity that BUKU provided and upheld.
The overall stage production, lighting rigs, and visual effects on every stage were top tier, and unveiled the next era of on-stage technology. The hiatus in live music and festivals gave plenty of time for acquiring and implementing new stage effects that led to absolutely insane visuals. From lasers that created hologram-like shapes, to a giant rotating light ring, BUKU did not hold back on production. The Skyline Stage and the Wharf stage had the largest production, and as the nights grew later, the lights grew brighter. The three screens on both stages were hilariously gigantic, allowing anyone in attendance to see the performers, and create a intricate, colorful visual display. Clozee, Tame Impala, and Lane 8 highlighted the all-encompassing stage production put on by BUKU and its amazing lighting, stage, and construction teams.
The attention to detail truly elevated BUKU and the weekend as a whole. Each stage had its own vibe, and the artist scheduling reflected that. The Wharf Stage was largely heavy electronic music for most of the day, the Ballroom was an underground club and house vibes, and the Bridge Stage was mostly rap. Being the main stage, the Skyline Stage was multi-genre and brought the larger headliners. The Ballroom Stage highlighted the detailed scheduling the most: each day, it started with mellow dance and house vibes, and as the crowd grew bigger and it got later, the party amped up with every artist. John Summit had an unreal set with happy and hype house vibes, followed up immediately by slightly deeper house from Dom Dolla. Shy Girl, a versatile artist with electronic music and rap vibes, played right before Tierra Whack.
The progression of the artists’ scheduled sets was curated and elevated the vibe as the day went similar to a well-curated playlist or DJ set. Flo Milli into Vince Staples into Baby Keem is another example of linking sets together perfectly, even between stages, giving rap fans a seamless transition from set to set. Maxo Kream and Kali Uchis both played right before Tyler, The Creator, and with both artists having songs with Tyler, this added to the hype and anticipation for Tyler’s headlining set.
Overall, The BUKU Project raised the bar as live music and festivals continue to return this year. The grounds and infrastructure were accessible, crowds were energetic and courteous, and the artists matched and elevated the overall energy of the weekend. BUKU ,without a doubt, has firmly established itself as a premiere weekend of music and art upon its return to Mardi Gras World. Next year’s edition cannot come soon enough!
Photo Credit: Elena Lin / @elenashoots
The full photo album is available on Facebook.