Photos By Andrew J Murillo, Rukes & OHDAGYO
September 1st 2017
It was a warm day in west Texas as myself and my videographer pulled into the city of El Paso. Bordering Juarez, Mexico, the city is almost a continuation of the latter. Dust flares up and spins with the wind as a sense of excitement for the weekend to come fills the air in the small city; Sun City Music Festival is tomorrow. As Andrew Murillo, my videographer, and I unpack, we start making phone calls to find out where the SCMF Pre-parties are. I get ahold of a good TRILLVO friend and El Paso resident known to most as Riot Ten and he informs me the tiny city of El Paso doesn’t really have any EDM venues and doesn’t host any SCMF Pre-Parties… I’ve never heard of a city not capitalizing on a music festival, but whatever.
Riot connects me with CYBRPNK, another TRILLVO homie, and we meet him at a bar called Gringo Theory. Gringo Theory is like a beer garden with all the flare and eclectic design of a Hipster bar. Christmas lights and lowrider bikes adorned the walls and ceiling of the building and pool tables occupied the floor of the back room. A casual melting pot of a hangout spot. If you’re ever in El Paso I highly recommend you check this place out! The drinks were insanely cheap, the crowd was diverse and ranged in so many different cultures and backgrounds along with having arcade games and multiple genres of music being spun all night.
September 2nd 2017
Andrew & I woke up early today, not sure if it was nerves or pure excitement but we were up and working by 8am. We decided to go explore the city and get a better feel for the location hosting this incredible festival.
El Paso is a cultural gold mine! 10 minutes after we drove into downtown El Paso and we stumbled upon some of the most amazing art blanketing the walls we had ever seen. We stopped to take pictures by a boarded up building called The Mansion and as we did, an incredibly interesting old man popped up out of nowhere like something out of The Wizard Of Oz. He told us the area we were in used to be a bustling old town with art galleries, bars and the place we were in front of used to be a Brothel; who would’ve known? He told us the area was scheduled to be ripped down and a stadium built in its place. A sad thought to see history removed from the city.
SCMF, as its known to all its fans, is an incredibly well put together festival. The lines were plentiful and easy to get through. Thankful to our media pass, we could skim right by them but noticed they moved quickly for festival goers. We were able to explore the grounds before any of the festival goers entered the grounds which made it easy to map out the layout. Bandannas were a MUST for anyone attending as dust was at an all-time high!
As soon as you walk in you were greeted by a large orange and blue tent in the middle of the festival, perfect for festival goers to chill out under or meet up with their squads. Walking into the festival the Mainstage was to the left, the Beatport stage was to the far right around a corner and the Midnight Oasis stage was in the middle but towards the right. If you walked straight as soon as you entered, you found yourself in an aisle full of a variety of vendor booths. If you took a slight right turn you found yourself at the first aid station and the free water station. I counted 4 bars for convenience and they were nicely distributed throughout the venue! They had a free phone charging station and a photo booth as well! I counted 2 restrooms, each on opposite sides of the venue and a total of two medical stations.
The vendors aisle available to festival goers was full of amazing things for everyone. there was a photobooth for squads to take family photos. The Electric Family was there in full force and the Houston Based, ‘We Rave Hard’ booth was nestled in right next to it.
The VIP experience offered not only their own private restrooms, but their own private vendors such as the 360 beauty bar.
Something most festival Goers will never get to see is the Artist lounge so we want to tell you a bit about that. The artist Lounge had so many amazing features for artists which we love because most of these artists spend so much of their time on plane after plane and then from show to show and hardly ever get a break or even a chance to chill besides when at backstage lounges such as these. The artist Lounge featured games and activities for artists along with their own private bar and their own vendors! The artist lounge had their own personal barber so artists on the go could get fresh before their set and even a masseuse!
Food & Drink
Beer and cocktails were spread out very evenly around the festival along with free water stations. They had a fireball whiskey shot bar and a fireball shot bike that rode around the festival, my favorite; guests never had to leave the party. There was even a Topo chico stand for everyone’s favorite sparkling water.
As far as non-alcoholic drinks, they offered snow cones, fruit smoothies, and even a mexican favorite… horchata. YUM!
The food was incredible! For a small festival they offered so many choices when it came to food! They had brisket, wings, pizza, chicken, gourmet hot dogs, tacos, nachos and turkey legs.
The SCMF Team
I’m not sure who the costume designer was for the dancers and performers but they ROCKED it. The ladies costumes were so amazing, I want to copy them piece by piece for a Halloween costume. Every details of their performances were that of skill. There were even performers on stilts and fire dancers!
We got a chance to chat with the Mixed Motionz Crew, a break dancing dance crew that has performed at countless festivals including this one! They’ve been dancing together for 12 years and have performed at festivals like EDC Vegas, Japan, Sunset and Something Wicked.
One amazing feature of the festival was the LIVE graffiti artists. We got caught up watching them paint for a good 20 minutes before we snapped ourselves out of it to explore the rest of the festival.
You can follow the artists on Instagram
The team hired by SCMF was on top of it! From security to the EMT’s, everyone was great at their job and they were all in great spirits. Security behind the rails even passed out water bottles to everyone in the front of the crowd!
Squads & Totems
One thing I never tire of is checking out all the dope totems people spend their time making. We saw some really great ones at Sun City, tons of them related to the artists playing. The Rick and Morty totems are always hilarious and in site by the dozen, we even saw somebody with a giant inflatable pickle! We wanted to dedicate an area of this review to the squads and totems that have become such a prevalent part of festival culture.
The Artist’s Sets
Now for the Pièce De Résistance, the thing we all came for, the music!
The Beatport stage was rocking all night with funky techno, trance & house from the Likes of artists such as Latmun, Guy J & Legends like Sasha & John Digweed on day one and Dosem, Sam Paganini and Nicole Moudaber on day two. I will let you know before we start, we did not spend much time at this stage so our review is based off the other two stages but we did take the time to vibe to the legendary Sasha & John Digweed.
The Midnight Oasis Stage, aka the bass stage, was our home away from home this weekend with a STACKED Lineup on both days, Favorites from this stage were Bonnie X Clyde, SayMyName, G Jones, Herobust & Seven Lions on day one and Drezo, Rezz, Illenium, Snails and Borgore on day two.
The mainstage boasted a variety of amazing producers and DJ’s on day two as well, our favorites were Zaxx, Joyryde, Louis the Child and NGHTMRE on day one and Dirty Audio, Malaa and Tchami on day two.
Loosid kicked off things at the Bass stage with some funky house vibes, one thing I loved about these guys was the live drumming, a very noteworthy feature of their performance.
Zaxx was so amazing at the Main stage, he played one hell of a set with melodic, chill trap & future bass. His range was so broad as he easily transitioned from DJ Snake – Here comes the night to Mura Masa, closing out his set with some dirty riddim! 10/10 would see again.
Most Fun Set: Bonnie X Clyde
One of our absolute favorite sets was by our friends Daniel & Paige, AKA Bonnie X Clyde! They came out so strong and had so much fun rocking the crowd! Dropping classics like Flosstradamus’s Original Don, and Dillon Francis’s Say Less. They played their own edit of El Sonidito and runners by Trampa, then Paige sang live for some of their own tracks with such an incredible voice. They played tons of underground trap and plenty of IDs.
Watch our slide show of shots taken of the duo by Andrew J Murillo below.
Myself and Andrew ventured back to the mainstage to catch a bit of Timmy Trumpet. He played the trumpet live which got the fans going crazy and when he dropped his track “Freaks” the entire crowd was dancing and shouting along.
As we headed back to catch the rest of BXC’s set, we noticed something incredible… a giant X of clouds was in the sky right over the bass stage that Bonnie X Clyde were playing at. Any fan knows the X is their brand, it was quite stunning to see, almost as if it had been planned.
Buku took the stage next and performed a dope mix of genres including trap and dubstep along with some his own tracks such as, Align.
Our Favorite Set: SayMyName
SayMyName was our favorite set of the night! He always kills its but tonight he sent a very special shout out to Houston and all the victims of Hurricane Harvey and it just seemed to us like the passion in that dedication translated into the set. From an epic transition from elbows to his propaganda remix, the crowd lost their minds and didn’t quiet down for the entire set! The energy for SMN was the highest I saw it the entire night.
G Jones was mind blowing, he used an ipad during his set to control his own visuals, that’s next level as fuck! His heavy bass vibrated the night air of the festival.
If you havent seen Herobust yet, you’re only cheating yourself. Epic hybrid sounds and incredible energy. So many unreleased tracks from himself and his friends filled the El Paso air as head bangers broke the rail.
Most Disappointing Set: Getter
I hate to say this… I was the most excited to see Getter… and he disappointed me more than you can even imagine. He was stiff and un-energetic and displayed an air of basically, not wanting to be there. He seemed noticeably depressed and projected that vibe to the crowd. The happiest I saw him was when he got on the mic and rapped his Terror Reid tracks. The highlight of his performance was when he dropped the XXX track, Fucked Up. Not sure whats going on with Getter, but the fans that love him and skip everyone else to see him deserve better than what he gave them.
Seven Lions blew my mind… with emotion filled and stunning tracks from the new album dropped along with some of the most incredible hybrid trap sounds I have ever heard.. I knew he would be good but he gave us GREAT. His visuals were stunning on the big screens of the Midnight Oasis stage.
My favorite set of the night came from Joyryde! Throughout the set, he kept his “Swerve House” sound and included some of his infamous songs, such as I Ware House & New Breed. Don’t take my word for it. I had two guys approach me about what stage they should go see and I directed them towards Joyryde, who had already been playing for about 30 minutes. They came back after his set was done and told me that they had such a great time and thanked me for introducing them to a new artist. We had some new Ryderz at SCMF (: -Stephanie
Louis The Child is a young duo emerging with speed on to the scene! They play sets that leave you feelings happy and carefree. Their future bass and pop-like sounds create an individual vibe to their performances that make you want so much more. Their set was uplifting and joyful.
Ookay is usually hit or miss with me, it’s all subjective but I’m a huge fan of his filthy dubstep sets over his more poppy, future-bass sets. I’m aware he has came out saying this is the sound he likes and he’s finally found his own style so I was very happy with his set at SCMF which was a very nice mix of dubstep and the latter! He’s one of the most energetic performers on the stage and you can’t help but turn up with him as he dances around!
NGHTMRE is just a god of music and if you ever have a chance to catch his set.. do it. He could basically play out his entire discography and it would be welcomed by all. Of course, he did play most of his own tracks but he gave us so much unreleased gold and tracks/remixes from other incredible producers.
Marshmello closed the mainstage and I don’t care what anyone says, that man kills his sets. He brought out Khalid to perform ‘Silence’, I don’t think anyone saw that coming!
The bass stage on day 2 was full of huge names, but a couple sets really made an impression on my team.
Drezo rocked the crowd with some groovy bass house that had everyone smiling and moving, shuffling and bobbin’. His house style blends trap and hip hop and the genre has been coined G house, it’s quickly gaining widespread popularity!
Rezz is THAT B* right now, and we mean that in the highest form of a compliment! She has been blazing up the EDM and bass scene with a style and sound that is so completely unique and totally her own! She is a fan favorite for her deep dark bass sounds and rocked SCMF like she does every other stage.
Illenium and Snails were both so amazing in their own ways.. if you have ever seen either one of these guys then you know they throw down every time. Snails has got to be one of my favorite DJ’s not only because of the way he spins but his contagious energy and party vibe! Be careful around him if he has a bottle in his hand if you’re trying not to drink because he’s the life of the party!
Borgore Closed out the Bass stage in typical Borgore fashion, filthy bass and twerk enticing music.
Dirty Audio was a joy to listen to, Dirty Audio is such an incredible producer and it translates into his sets as well. A great mix of trap, Hybrid sounds and dubstep.
Grooviest Set: Malaa
Malaa… god I could go on and on about this man. He’s phenomenal. Since the first time I saw him at Ultra 2016 to all the countless times I’ve seen him since then, he never ceases to amaze. Something about the ski-masked persona and the gangster style of house he spins just makes you feel like a bad ass. I’ve never been at a Malaa show and had anything but a great time and the same goes for his set at SCMF. He spins a dark form of techno combined with G & Bass house into an utterly enticing and groovy set.
Tchami was spectacular with his deep house and emotional house vibes, fans familiar with him were eager to hear tracks like Promesses and Missing You, they were not disappointed. His incredibly captivating set owned the mainstage crowd.
Closing out the mainstage on the final day, Above and beyond. The perfect way to end the festival is with a worldwide legendary name like Above and Beyond. Their music, a combination of house, trance and big room, is welcome by all… young and old. As hopeful fans held totems in hopes to be picked to go up on stage and push the button, others in the crowd soaked up the final moments of this magnificent festival.
SCMF was a very well put together festival with amazing vibes. The Disco Donnie team did a great job mapping out the layout, picking the artists to adorn the lineup and organizing everything in between. Little touches made it stand out in our memory, attention to detail really showed the attendees that DDP cared.
We can’t wait to go back next year and we hope you join us!