MP3 TAKES: Cascade Equinox Debuts As a Top-Tier Festival (REVIEW)
Introducing MP3 TAKES, our event review series where we dive deep into the exhilarating world of music festivals and live performances. In an era teeming with music events worldwide, our aim is to help you navigate through the noise and uncover the most captivating experiences. Join us on this adventure to highlight the backstage stories, memorable moments, and unique elements that make each event one-of-a-kind.
First year festivals can either be a wonderful experience for all, with fresh new ideas flowing and attendees not knowing what to expect, or they can end up a total nightmare. Luckily, the Cascade Equinox Festival did not disappoint. From the start of day one, vibes were on point letting us know this would be an event to remember. Here are our top four reasons why we loved Cascade and can’t wait to be back.
An Organized and Intentional Festival
From the moment we rolled up to the gates at cascade you can tell that, even though this was a first year festival, the people behind it — who also run the Gem and Jam festival in Arizona — have done this before.
Friendly staff was there every step of the way to make sure a long line of cars quickly and safely got to where they needed to be so people could start setting up camping and partaking in festival life. We were very impressed to find that once arriving at the front gate, every single car was handed a trash bag, encouraging campers to be more conscious and to leave no trace.
Most festivals admittedly are nothing more than a safe space to party with some loud music. But Cascade WAS something more — this festival was intentional and felt as if it had purpose.
During the main stage opening ceremonies, native americans were invited to take the mic and speak with us. The speaker wanted to welcome us to their tribe’s sacred land, and remind us that yes we are here to party, but also to be conscious in how we behave and how we treat ourselves, eachother, and the planet.
Their speech was very heavy on the importance of consent, and being better to our sisters. This was very refreshing to hear coming from a music festival. We then came together in a beautiful prayer that welcomed all walks of life from atheist to christian and anyone or anything in between.
Always Something for Everyone
Every last detail of the festival felt distinctly thought out, and there was always something for everyone in the family.
Equinox is a family friendly, all-ages event that truly did have things for the whole family to enjoy. Early in the day there was even a day care center where parents could drop off the kiddos and go boogie for a bit.
With music ranging from jam bands to whompy electronic acts, the whole squad always had something to enjoy. If you were all danced out, there were lots of cool down areas that at night would have cozy campfires for everyone to cuddle around.
While walking from stage to stage you came across art installations galore, making all the miles you’re walking so enjoyable. When you needed to rest, finding shade was not an issue with plenty of canopies installed and even free water stations.
A Carefully Crafted Lineup
With acts raging from Pretty Lights, Of The Trees, Maddy O’neal, Opio, An-Ten-Nea, and Jaenga, you might think this is just for the bass heads. But actually, this festival had a very balanced line up that ramped up the energy each day, and peaked on day two letting us cool down as day three commenced.
It was very cool to experience, and you could tell the scheduling was intentional. The energy every day would start chill and build as the day went on. Additionally, this energy ramp spanned the 3 days of the festival starting off groovy and fun on day one with acts like Emancipator, Phantogram and Big Wild, Then ending in bass bosses like Opio and Jaenga.
Still riding that high from day one, the energy on day two continues to build as finally the moment we all have been waiting for, Pretty Lights takes the stage. Then the power cut off one song in. The crowd remained calm and the issue was resolved quickly, then we continued to boogie our booties off late into the night.
Day three it was raining, but no one seemed to mind. The music kicked off with more great and acts like Goose and Trevor hall hitting us right in the feels. Then we cooled down but still danced the night away with house music acts such as, LP Giobbi and Mz Worthy.
Immaculate Food and Drinks
Cascade hosted a large selection of local food vendors and even sold beer from local micro breweries. We have all been to festivals where it felt like staying alive cost you two arms and a leg, and if you wanted an alcoholic beverage, that also included your soul.
Cascade was not like this, with craft brews and cocktails being around $14 and the most expensive being $18. We heard one complaint about the $18 dollar drink, but really it’s a festival if that’s the most expensive thing, big deal. Food ranged from $5 to in the $20 range, which, again, at a music festival is not bad at all. These days you spend that in most restaurants.
We had choices like the usual pizza, but we were surprised to find Thai food, Italian options, creative dim sum, fried rice, smash burgers, and so much more. We didn’t have time to try everything but the loaded tots were the perfect pre nap recovery meal on day two.
Cascade totally nailed it in their first year, and we can’t wait to be back.
All photography shot by Jesse Edelman