Lucky 2014 was something of an anomaly of USC festival experiences. The last Resolution had Above & Beyond and Knife Party booked as headliners. FreakNight 2013 had Hardwell, Calvin Harris, Nicky Romero, and Destroid. Even last year’s Lucky had Pretty Lights, R3hab, and Arty. This year’s lineup, despite the first ever occurence of Diplo & DJ Snake going B2B, wasn’t quite so star-studded. And in all honesty, it didn’t matter one bit.
As frequent concertgoers, it’s easy to catch a serious case of lineup-itis. Big names attract big crowds: It’s the simple formula that’s driven the industry since festivals first came into existence. But what we so often forget is that there’s so much more out there beyond just seeing the “big names.” Too often do we equate the amount of Facebook fans an artist has with their actual talent, when in reality true talent stands independent of the number of people who, in the words of deadmau5, “clicked (a) button.” At Lucky 2014, we saw this firsthand.
During the first hour of non-locals taking over, we got the keytar-laden genius of Kill Paris on the bass stage, trance mainstay Juventa at the “End Of The Rainbow,” and legend of the industry DJ Dan over in the main room. None of these artists will be headlining the mainstage at Ultra, and all of them by all reports delivered sets worthy of such an honor anyway. The night continued on in a similar fashion, from Darude bringing the heat early on for the Seattle trance family, to GRiZ closing out Lucky with what many people are describing as hands-down the best set of the night.
Lucky 2014 was a night comprised of small moments, all of which came together to provide a complete experience. Anyone looking to take a break was more than happy to relax in the Clover Park and play with the gigantic Lite Brite while they regained their energy. Conscious Crew members received glowing reviews from everyone they came across, making it so everyone raved safe and had the best possible time. Diplo & DJ Snake’s B2B set created a twerk-wall that anyone would have to see to believe. All that being so, there was no single moment that neatly defined everything in a neat little package. Rather, it was a collection of individual experiences and interactions that came together to paint a greater picture of a city’s scene that’s simply incapable of not having fun.
The real indicator of this became clear not during Lucky itself, but the morning after. Artists and fans alike flooded Facebook and Twitter with stories about their unforgettable experiences. The outpouring of love and appreciation was stunning, with even the night’s entertainment proving that Seattle crowds are second to none in pure, unadulterated enthusiasm.
Awesome couple of days in Seattle!! Thanks @uscevents for the amazing hospitality and for having me, hope to be back soon 🙂
— Jordin Post (@jordinpost) March 16, 2014
Seattle was the absolute best yet!!!!! South Padre it's on!
— DJ SNAKE (@djsnake) March 15, 2014
Seattle without the technical difficulties… Tonight was awesome!!! Such great energy!!! #LUCKYSEA
— GORDO (@djcarnage) March 15, 2014
— Kill Paris (@killparis) March 16, 2014
— Firebeatz (@Firebeatz) March 15, 2014
The cherry on top of what was already an incredible 6-8 hours of music, dancing, friends, and so much more, was the end-of-night announcement of Paradiso 2014’s four headliners: Bassnectar, Above & Beyond, Zedd, and Krewella. What was already a Lucky that had everyone leaving with a smile became a celebration beyond compare. There were the usual complaints the day after, but in the end lineups are never going to please everyone, an idea that really falls back in line with the entire thesis of that night.
When the full lineup for Lucky 2014 was announced, two questions were asked: 1) Was it the lineup you wanted? The answer, more so than any USC massive in recent memory, was less than enthusiastic. But the second question was far more important. 2) Will you have fun anyway? The answer was of course a resounding “yes.” We as fans can get far too entangled in the idea that every festival requires the artist with millions of fans on Facebook, gigantic followings on Twitter, and a Beatport presence consistently in the top 100. We forget that the full experience extends past the artists on the mainstage, and on to the times we share with our friends and the stories we carry with us the rest of our lives.
Stay tuned the rest of this week for interviews with Lucky artists Darude, Kill Paris, and Candyland!
(Photo credit for cover photo: Amanda Porter)
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