Cover Photo Image taken by Yoder. All other images, unless noted otherwise in caption, were taken by Andrew Murillo (Hover over photos to see caption if not displayed)
10:03 a.m. at the Orlando Airport, me and my photographer hop off the plane to a humid and muggy atmosphere; we are on vacation for Rare Orlando! Our writer CiCi, who lives in Florida, picked us up and took us to get a legendary Publix sub!
Lake Eola park is GORGEOUS and full of something I’ve never seen up close… white and black swans! We walked the park until we found the perfect place to sit and eat. WARNING: Do. Not. Feed. The. Birds. We got Swarmed; it was scary the amount of birds that came to join us as we ate our meal. One of them made an impressive attempt to grab my videographers sub out of his hand.
After we ate, CiCi decided to take us somewhere very special; Pulse Nightclub. On June 12, 2016, a man who doesn’t even deserve to be named in my opinion, entered Pulse, a Gay nightclub, and opened fire. This man killed 49 people and wounded 58 making this the deadliest act of violence against the LGBT community to ever happen on U.S. soil.
You don’t come to a place like this and leave the same… we spend countless days of our lives at EDM festivals, something that promotes unity and acceptance for everyone, regardless of where they come from or whom they choose to love. Walking the brightly colored rainbow gates of the forever closed monument to the victims gave us chills. A rush of emotions instantly makes you feel the necessity to read each and every word on those walls. You can pull up to Pulse Nightclub having an idea of what hate in this world really looks like, but you realize you had no clue until you’re staring at the victims of this hateful act in the face – the last place they ever smiled.
You don’t leave this place the same…
After a moving experience we headed to our airbnb to get some rest and champagne before our homies played at the Ritz Ybor in Tampa that evening.
“We took a trip to Tampa so that I could show Andrew & RayTrill the venue I work for, The Ritz Ybor. It was their Pound Friday’s 6th anniversary filled with some of the best local DJs Florida has to offer including D3V & Blunts & Blondes. The sets were incredible there was even a surprise set & B2B from the Homie Kflum, aka Drinkurwater. We had a blast and I’m so glad they were able to see the best EDM attractions in my city.” – CiCi
The Ritz was a HUGE venue. It had a bar with pool tables in a red room that started the night off! With two huge stages, they were able to have artists like INTOXIIC rocking the red room while the main room, closed until the venue became full. The main dance hall was trippy! CO2 blasts right onto the rail and solid festival quality lasers illuminated the room. They allowed flowtoys and had their own GoGo’s dancing the night away. No mosh pits were allowed, but that didn’t stop me from trying. ;]
D3V gave a special shout out to TRILLVO on the Mic, ending the night for us on a super high note. The Florida crews were incredibly hospitable to us and we will be back very soon.
We woke up the morning of October 7th with a sense of excitement
It’s Rare time.
The Layout & Goodies
We strolled up to the venue at around 1p.m. The fairground is a nicely set up area of land with parking on either side of the entrance driveway and a very convenient uber/lyft drop off area. When you walk up to the driveway to the entrance, to your right is an assortment of buildings and convention areas including where the artist lounge and sneaker convention were located.
The sneaker convention was a very welcoming surprise. I’ve never seen a festival with a sneaker convention attached to it, and given the wide variety in genres, (including a multitude of hip hop artists) it created the perfect audience for such a treat.
Inside the fairgrounds, to your left was an amphitheatre style lawn with the mainstage nestled at the bottom of an incline. I adore incline lawned stages, no matter where you stand you have a great view of the stage. To the left of the entrance was the Heavyweight Stage, named for Carnage’s new record label. Inbetween the stages were food trucks and bars. There were two rides, including a giant slip-n-slide and a spinning zero gravity ride.
Needless to say, near the zero gravity ride is where everyone was throwing up.
Best Festival Attributes:
The restrooms were AWESOME! Towards the front of the festival, close to the entrance, were brick fairgrounds restrooms that were clean and fully stocked with toilet paper and napkins! A festival goer’s dream come true. Also, The layout placement was very nice and convenient. We had no trouble finding anything or getting to where we were going. The Lineup was one of the best I’ve ever seen and the venue itself was amazing! The inclined mainstage viewing was Clutch.
Biggest Improvements Needed:
There was a definite lack of cooldown tents… or just shaded areas in general. This MUST be improved on next time. It’s hot and people are jumping around, sweating and being being burned by the sun. These people need places to escape from the sweltering sun or people could get seriously overheated. At one point we saw people escaping past the fences to the lake to grab a small amount of shade from a tree.
No Super Duper Kyle & No Freestyle Motocross. 😥 I’m sure these things were out of the festival’s control but they were advertised.
Interview With Nitti Gritti
We arrived as soon as doors opened and headed straight back to the Heavyweights stage to catch Nitti Gritti’s set. Shortly after we headed back to the pavilion where a gorgeous lake set behind us to Interview our good Friend Ricky, aka Young Nitti.
Food & Drinks
Every festival has a variety of food and drinks and it’s usually the luck of the draw picking the best from whichever food truck you end up at, but when I heard My writer CiCi yell, “Hibachi!” I knew what I wanted. Thank God… it was INCREDIBLE. I didn’t try any of the rest of the food from the food trucks at Rare but the food I had was a complete win! 10/10 would try to find that food truck again.
There were a multitude of bars scattered around the festival so getting drinks was never an issue. During the hottest part of the day, my team and I spotted a frozen drink stand, The frozen drink stand was the most clutch alcoholic beverage spot we found at the festival. It cooled us down and for 2 dollars extra, the drink became a double; definitely a steal!
Biggest Food Disappointment:
The artist lounge food. It was South American which I usually love, but the plantains were really the only tasty thing offered. We are aware guests never get to see or taste the artist lounge food but we always like to offer them a peak into a world they never get to see and we couldn’t really do that with this festival due to the subpar artist lounge, or lack thereof, and food. Our only suggestion here is to put a little more care into the area where industry professionals like to network and cool down.
The Artists Performances
First Place: 12th planet B2B Funtcase B2B Cookie Monsta – This set was utter and complete madness from start to finish… one of the hardest hitting, high energy sets I have ever seen in my life. As someone who doesn’t pick dubstep and riddim as my first choice in genres… I would go see this set, over and over again forever. The energy was unreal.. at one point, the sun and heat gave way to a sudden rainstorm that poured on top of the crowd during this set and only succeeded in making the crowd turn up even more. I definitely broke my neck.
Second Place: Skellism B2B Junkie Kid – Seperate, these are 2 of my favorite artists already.. together, it’s like a super powered artist. It’s like combining tacos and elotes, the perfect combination. During the Skellism boy’s top hit, ‘In The Pit’, a super pit formed that I was lucky enough to participate in. There was a variety of tracks from both artists like ‘Love Is Dead’ & ‘Miraj’ from Junkie Kid along with a CRAZY remix of ‘In The Pit’ by Junkie. They also dropped songs playing tribute to their hispanic heritage like Bad Bunny’s ‘Krippy Kush’.
Third Place: Travis Scott – Presented us with a masterpiece of a show. Carnage closed the other stage during Travis’s headlining performance so of course, Travis was the only one playing at this time meaning all 15,000 people that attended rare were right here at this stage. Travis has been known for his INSANE live shows and this one was no different. At one point he called a man up from the crowd to stage dive, this person missed… twice [laughs] at which point another man rushed the stage and was tackled by security, Travis gave this brave stage rusher the opportunity to stage dive himself and he made it, crowd surfing into the night. Hits like Goosebumps, Antidote, Upper Echelon and 3500 won the crowd over. OH & he brought out Smokepurpp!
Below you can watch the FULL Travis Scott performance, captured by my good friend Michael. (Not shot for TRILLVO, we own no rights to this video)
Fourth Place: Lil Pump – You know that feeling when you have been waiting to see an artist forever and then you see them finally, and they EXCEED your expectations… that was Lil Pump for me. Coming out onto the stage to Gucci Gang, the crowd erupted with energy! After playing a few songs off the new album most people weren’t as familiar with, being the good performer he is, he noticed the energy drop and yelled to his DJ, “Fuck that shit! Drop DROSE!” the crowd ROARED with energy as the beat dropped, everyone came back to life and did not let up for one second until the very end of the show, through Boss & Molly and the rest of his many hits.
Fifth Place: ZHU – Zhu played a DJ set, these win me over a little less than his live performances which are GODLY, but nevertheless when ZHU plays music… it’s art. ZHU was such a welcome calm between all the hype sets on the lineup. His carefully constructed set and combination of out of this world visuals and production takes you on a journey many artists would love to be able to reproduce. His voice soothes you into relaxation.
Other Notable Performances
Smokepurpp – Legendary. From Audi to OK! to every other hype ass track he played off Deadstar. Purpp was insane.
Graves – The super producer known for working with RL Grimes and countless others was everything we hoped he’d be.
Carnage – You have to go hard at your own festival and go hard he did. Carnage knows how to turn the fuck up, his song selection is always on point. High energy and he brought out Skellism, 2 of my favorite people.
Lil Dicky – Lil Dicky was cool. In my opinion, his songs are better for car rides and chill sessions but he did put on an interesting performance besides repeatedly talking about his dick and random outbursts. When he dropped Pillow Talking the entire crowd rapped along.
Cesqeaux – High energy and tons of fun!
Nitti Gritti – If you don’t see this trap and future bass god when he comes to your city, what is you doing?
Blunts & Blondes – Bass heaven. This is my 3rd time seeing him and I’ll go back for more when given the chance!
Bezz Believe – This was my first time seeing this rapper, but my team and I want to find out much more about him after hearing him perform. It was Lit!
The Rare Orlando 2017 lineup was one of my favorite curated lineups I have ever seen. Almost everyone on the lineup, I would consider some of my favorite musical artists. With only minimal improvements to the festival needed, Carnage and his team knocked another Rare out of the park with flying colors. Homerun performances from artists like Skellism, Travis Scott and Lil Pump will remain some of my favorite memories for the rest of my life.
After Parties & Brunches
After the festival were the after parties. There 2 options, Carnage was playing at one of them and Skellism was playing with Funtcase & Cookie Monsta at Gilt. Skellism are not only one of my favorite artists but homies so the choice was easy for me thought I heard the other after party was insane!
Their club set was even better than their B2B festival set! This was my 3rd time seeing the boys in one weekend. (Lucky my right?) Every set I saw them play was different but this one.. it was the best. At one point a friend turned to me and said, “I have officially fallen in love with Skellism!” After their set, we told each other bye as they headed to the hotel to get much needed sleep!
Afterwards, myself and the crew headed upstairs to watch Funtcase & Cookie Monsta from the balcony. Wow… these guys just don’t know how to play a bad set. Felt bad AF for hushing someone who tried to talk to me over their set. Hopefully I have the opportunity to catch them B2Bing again soon!
The next morning, Cici took us to brunch before our flight. If you are EVER in Orlando and looking for a brunch spot… White Wolf Cafe IS THE MOVE. I fully Recommend, my face says it all.
Thank you Orlando, Thank you to all the artists and my team, Thank you Rare & Carnage.
We had an amazing time and can’t wait to attend the next Rare. Special shout out to everyone in Florida that showed so much hospitality to my team & I. Huge shout out to NU Management. Thank you to Carnage for continuing the push the mold for festivals, we foresee incredible growth with Rare in the future. Thank you to Alliance events for the hospitality at the after party and thank you to YOU for reading.