The third annual BUKU Music + Arts Project – which went down on March 21st and 22nd in New Orleans – delivered the same electric and eclectic experience the festival always promises. Crowds gathered from far and wide to appreciate a power-packed line-up of musical guests, while also enjoying BUKU’s signature graffiti wall, and an array delicious local foods that encapsulated the rich culture of New Orleans. The killer lineup included a range of artists – like electronic acts Lotus and Gravity A, Djs, Griz and The Glitch Mob; hip-hop legends Nas, Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony, Pusha-T; and up-and-coming rappers Schoolboy Q, Danny Brown, and Tyler the Creator.
As usual, Beats Antique put on a jaw-dropping, trance-inducing show featuring the phenomenal Zoe Jakes – belly dancer and producer for the band (girl-crush alert!). Their incredible performance showed that anyone anywhere can vibe to their own totally unique and innovative sound. Sleigh Bells was a personal highlight for me; the power pop duo totally rocked the house. Lead vocalist Alexis Krauss is another badass chick with a strong stage presence and an alternative vocal range that slides effortlessly between melodic sweetness and hardcore rocking. Needless to say, it was awesome. The Flaming Lips performance was also pretty out of this world; Wayne Coyne sat atop an altar of neon lights like some sort of chromatic-psychedelic preacher – and I mean that in the best way possible.
Big Freedia and her back up dancer killed it.
It's difficult to play favorites at a venue with so much to offer, but if I had to choose, the performance given by Big Freedia A.K.A. the Queen Diva of New Orleans Bounce was truly unforgettable. The superstar and her team brought so much energy to the stage it was unavoidably infectious. Their concert was fabulously interactive and empowering, full of ass-shaking and booty-popping -- a must see if you haven't had the chance. Big Freedia reminds us all to unabashedly shake what our mammas gave us; her performance style promotes personal freedom, self-expression, and a leave-your-problems-at-home kind of mentality...which is all at the heart of a festival like BUKU.
Honestly, any day is a good one to hang out in the Crescent City if you ask me, but definitely keep your calendars marked for this one next year. BUKU encompasses all of the best attributes of a music festival with ease, and what better city than New Orleans to host such a relaxing, joyful good time?
- Text by Olive Henzel
Images via http://thebukuproject.com/