As their site describes: “BUKU IS A NEW ORLEANS PLAYGROUND. THE LINES BETWEEN FAN AND PERFORMER ARE BLURRED. AM I LOOKING AT ART OR SITTING ON IT?”
And I couldn’t think of a better description.
Buku Music & Art Festival has made its mark as a stand out music festival, with constant delivery of huge musical acts, traditional Louisiana cuisine, and culture, Buku expanded in venue space and attendees. BUKU also boasted a sold-out attendance with its signature delivery of hip-hop, electronica, dubstep, pop and more.
This year was the 8th consecutive year of the Louisiana based festival. Specifically, New Orleans which is known for its round-the-clock nightlife, vibrant and diverse music scene, cajun and seafood based cuisine and laidback life style, earning it the nickname the “Big Easy”. The festival even embodied the festive spirit of Mardi Gras, that took place a couple weeks before. More than 60 artists performed across the 6 stages spread out on the property, including huge acts such as ASAP Rocky, Lana Del Ray, Dog Blood, and Playboi Carti.
Day one could not have had better weather. It was 75 degrees and sunny, and you could tell the sunshine was casting a happy vibe over everyone. Fans witnessed performances from Lana Del Rey, Kevin Gates, Toro Y Moi, Playboi Carti, Excision, Mayday Parade, Dounia and many more
The music flourished across multiple stages; The Power Plant stage, The Ballroom, The Float Den, The Wharf and The Switch Yard. You even had to cross the train tracks to get to the other side of the festival. The Float Den contained all of the floats from MardiGras, on display right behind the stage. There were hints of Mardi Gras all over the festival, including a metallic tree with beads hanging off of them. People from all over the country traveled to experience BUKU, letting creativity run free in self-expression in a safe, accepting, harassment-free environment. BUKU even created a “safe space” for attendees could go for “support, an escape or even a hug!”
High volume and many different music genres surged throughout the weekend. One unique thing to be noted about this festival. The acts ranged from old school emo rock like Mayday Parade to intense electronica like TOKiMONSTA.
Day one we ended the night with Slander & NGHTMRE, with thousands of fans dancing and head banging in unison to crazy drops and intense bass. Then immediately after the angelic Lana Del Ray serenaded us before we finally ended the night by walking to the closest pizza shop and ordering basically everything off the menu.
Day two had equally beautiful weather, and the crowd was just as energetic. The first day I surprisingly didn’t find myself hungry but the second day I decided to try some of the food. To my surprise, BUKU attendees were spoiled with so many choices. Food stands lined the outskirts of the Power Plant stage and the walkway alongside the river. The festival boasted food that was on another level in the realm of festival food. Gyros, wonton tacos, jambalaya, crawfish beignets, mac and cheese and vegetarian smart dogs were some of the many, many options.
Day two we were also able to catch a greater range of acts, from rapper Earl Sweatshirt, to indie rocker Roy Blair, metalcore band We Came As Romans, and Rnb singer Ella Mai.
Day Two we also got to check out more of the art that BUKU had to offer. Throughout the festival there were different installations (like I mentioned earlier) that showcased NOLA and Mardi Gras culture. But Buku also showcased Local artists who did live painting and spray painting by the main stage. A local dance crew also entertained attendees in between acts and stages.
Noticeable closing acts were A$AP Rocky who entertained fans with visuals very similar to his ‘Injured Generation Tour’Skrillex and Boys Noize took to the stage once again for BUKU 2019 to perform as Dog Blood. The rare appearance of the musical duo did not go unappreciated by the festival attendees, who flocked to the set in the thousands. Their set was over 80 minutes and the fans never stopped dancing along with them.
Overall it was a great weekend full of a range of experiences, moods and music. New Orleans lived up to its hype and we already can’t wait to go back.
Stay tuned for Highlark’s recap video and take on the festival.