By Lynn Do
American Pride comes with decades of remarkable and memorable culture. There were the tragic ones that will ink our hearts forever, while drawing millions of people of various different backgrounds closer in sympathy. Then there were the happy ones that equally changes the course of our lives and then placed in a memory box to be tucked away. One being Woodstock ’69. Why bring up such a prolific and profound event surrounding music, art, and peace? In May 2014, the grounds that held the largest gathering of humans beings in one place in history (another Woodstock ’69 fun fact) opened up their gates for the very first time since Woodstock ’69 to another legendary festival. This festival is called Mysteryland.
Mysteryland is one of the longest running festival, spreading electronic dance music (EDM) and love internationally since 1993. It debuted in the States this year at the most appropriate locations. Unlike other popular EDM concerts, Mysteryland USA attendees can choose a camping package or a regular one and local art installations surround acres and acres of land along with the six music stages. Their theme is ethereal, organic, and a host all things love and peace. Waking up every morning along with thousands of other strangers in the camping grounds, also known as “holy ground” felt strangely enchanting. Rain lured down in periodic torrents but the spirits never flickered. I had the opportunity to meet people from different parts of the States as well as different parts of the world. It was refreshing, especially coming from New York City, to prance through fields of green. All six stages played music continuously from early evening to 2am. The main stage housed big names, like Nicky Romero, Steve Aoki, Kaskade, and Moby, while other stages played specific genres of EDM, like trap, trance. The art installation, including the a whimsical Wishing Tree and a Chapel where Jessica and Steve Arthur got married the first night, made us question – “Is this reality?” Surely, we did not want this fantasy to end. Besides the art that was installed, attendees came in with their own art, but on their body. Costumes came in all sizes, shapes, and forms. From fairies, clowns, and robots to Mario and Luigi, the beloved video game characters. Mysteryland drew upon the artistic value of America, produced by the festival and cultivated by the go-ers. American flags flew above the crowd while hands were thrown in the air in fits. Woodstock ’69 may have drew upon love through psychedelic and folk-rock musical notes, Mysteryland drew upon the same spirit through electronic music. Afterall, “ravers” are the hippies of our generation.