MP3 TAKES: The FriendShip Festival Takes Over Meow Wolf’s Immersive Danceportation Event (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.
Each year, Meow Wolf’s Convergence Station in Denver, Colorado takes their interactive creative concept to new heights during their special Danceportation concert events. These events, which happen on a quarterly basis, represent the most enchanting concert experience in the country, only challenged by massive artistic showcases like elrow.
Traditionally, these Danceportation events function as a showcase for the hottest labels in electronic music, including Dirty Bird and Monstercat. But, last weekend, Meow Wolf took a slightly different approach, hosting a massive pre-party for next month’s FriendShip Festival — a floating musical extravaganza accompanied by a caribbean cruising experience.
If Danceportation was any indication of what we’re in store for on The FriendShip Festival, we’re in for a treat. Here’s three reasons Danceportation was one of Denver’s best concert experiences of 2023.
Convergence Station Transformed Into a Musical Playground
Meow Wolf’s Convergence Station is no stranger to hosting concerts; they have a venue attached to the main exhibit that includes a stage with a massive castle display and projection mapping across the three walls. But Danceportation opens the floodgates, sporting four main stages across the art exhibit’s main attractions.
The entire exhibit transformed into a musical maze guided by a handful of DJs curating a dance music soundtrack to get lost in. This free-flowing environment meant making the journey from one stage to the next as fun as hearing the music itself, and created a completely immersive experience that never felt dull or without purpose.
One moment, Nitepunk was dropping explosive bass tracks at the Numina stage, surrounded by a psychedelic forest filled with strange creatures and countless side quests; the next moment, QRTR was spinning house bangers from the second story bridge in C Street, watching fans wonder in from various tunnels, the back of a bus, and a long-lost library. Every time you turned a corner, there was something new to see, whether there was music playing there or not.
Nitepunk Brought the BASS
Nitepunk was arguably the heaviest bass act of the night (aside from 1788-L). The break dancer-turned-rave fanatic explored all types of music throughout his performance at Danceportation, although his set leaned heavily on dubstep and trap aesthetics, which worked together to create monstrous energy that rang throughout Numina’s enchanting forest for the entirety of his set.
When we say explosive, we mean it. Nitepunk was loud and proud, stringing trap bangers together with a healthy mix of dubstep, breakbeats, and aggressive rave music. The result was a set that honored rave culture through-and-through, and took pride in experimenting with a much heavier vibe than many of the other acts on the lineup. And the crowd loved every second.
Generations of Ravers Come Together
Danceportation’s crowd was as eclectic as it gets. The show was 21+, but we saw attendees that could have been grandparents too. It was beautiful to see multiple generations of ravers and music fans come together under one roof to witness long-time industry staples like Destructo — who was the driving force behind the event and The Friendship Festival as a whole — and new age stars like QRTR with an open heart and mind to whatever music was thrown at them.
Regardless of age, Danceportation attendees came to party. Everyone danced their hearts out; drinks were definitely flowing, and smiles were abundant. The venue acted as a safe space to “let your freak flag fly,” as the saying goes, and people embraced their wild side in full. Thankfully, everyone kept their head on straight and there wasn’t any unreasonably rowdy behavior. People were there to have fun and dance with their friends, and that mentality created a carefree, friendly atmosphere that kept the energy high until the doors closed at 2:00 AM.
You Just Can’t Beat the Danceportation
From start to finish, The FriendShip Festival takeover at Meow Wolf’s Danceportation was a high-energy dance party that embraced a multi-generational rave community with open arms. Who else turns a world-renowned art exhibit into a massive dancefloor? Meow Wolf truly is in a lane of their own. As great as the music was, what made this event special was the environment in which the music took place. It’s immersive; it’s psychedelic; it’s a damn good time.
Don’t miss Meow Wolf’s next Danceportation event, taking place March 2, 2024. Purchase tickets at https://tickets.meowwolf.com/events/denver/danceportation302/