Spring break is a time when many college students take a vacation from projects, term papers and tests. They try to melt away all the previous stress by dozing off on the beach or raging at a stranger’s house in Gulf Shores.
However, some are spending their SBK2015 a bit differently — with graffiti, flashing lights and electronic dance music.
Formally known as BUKU Music + Art Project since 2012, the New Orleans music fest will offer diverse music and an intimate experience for festivalgoers.
Located on the Port of New Orleans at Mardi Gras World, the eclectic scene provides attendees with big-name artists, NOLA’s underground arts community, graffiti artists and local food vendors.
On March 13 and 14, BUKU will headline some of the biggest up-and-coming artists, such as A$AP Rocky, Passion Pit, Bassnectar and Empire of the Sun. In the past, it hosted other well-known artists, including the Flaming Lips, David Guetta, Ellie Goulding and Zedd.
Students all over the South, including students at The University of Southern Mississippi, will attend the music celebration.
“I am super excited to see Bassnectar for the first time,” said Mamie Longo, a junior French major who will attend BUKU for a third time. “I am also looking forward to (seeing) Zella Day.”
For junior marketing major Jess Rhodes, she is a BUKU first-timer and she said the festival location is ideal.
“I’ve always been interested in going mainly because the type of music artists they bring,” Rhodes said. “It’s mainly an EDM-based festival, which really draws me in because that’s my favorite genre of music. A lot of people around here aren’t into that type of music or don’t know much about it.”
Another BUKU first-timer is senior business major Frank Powell. He said he is excited about seeing Passion Pit and Bassnectar again, while also pumped about watching bands he has not seen before like Odesza and Empire of the Sun.
Many may wonder how the BUKU crew decides which artists perform at the festival, even though most of these artists are placed into the indie-rock, EDM and hip-hop genres.
“What we are going for is trying to keep it relevant with what’s popular as well as what we think our fans would like,” said Andrew Clements, event coordinator for Winter Circle Productions, which is the company that produces the festival every year.
To put this into perspective, popular EDM artist Bassnectar has over 7 million plays on Spotify for its popular hit, “Bass Head.” However, more unknown bands such as In the Valley Below, which was featured on the ‘Endless Love’ soundtrack, offer a great sound and indie vibe, but are not as popular in mainstream music.
At BUKU’s location, fans will discover six different stages including the Float Den, which is described as a warehouse dance party. Not only are there performances and raging crowds, but one can also experience the BUKulture tent, which features pop-up performances from street performers.
Clements said he enjoys the Back Alley stage, which is smaller than the other stages, and where one can see up-and-coming DJs.
Although most people come for the main headliners, BUKU is also an “art project,” which supports local graffiti artists and avant-garde art with an industrial touch.
“BUKU is a much more intimate situation,” Clements said. “It’s a boutique festival (in size), but we are bringing national acts that you would see at a larger festival.”
Clements said for him, it is about the whole experience at BUKU, not just one artist.
Longo said she loves the good vibes that she gets from everyone around her at the festival.
“It’s the perfect vacation and I love being surrounded by people all have the same intention and that it have a good time. It just keeps getting better each year,” Longo said.
Tickets for general admission are sold out, but select VIP tickets are still available for purchase. For more information, visit thebukuproject.com/tickets.
The Student Printz will cover the two-day event and provide special coverage on social media and in the March 16 print edition.