Walking into The Great Saltair for the first time in a few years, I can’t help but reminisce as past memories come back to life. For many of us, including myself, the beachfront venue and its subsequent providers, V2 Presents, were a gateway to the music world in our younger years. For myself, Das Energi Festival was the first large-scale music event I ever went to. I had just graduated high school and went with a friend—the same friend attending festivals with me today—to the event that would spark my initial interest in the music industry. It’s hard to believe that four short years have marked such a drastic change in personal growth, but looking around at the venue on its first day I could tell that this is a shared feeling among everyone that contributed to making Das Energi possible.
One of the most common misconceptions that people from elsewhere seem to have about Utah is that it’s lacking in a proper music scene. “It’s the opposite of what you would think,” I find myself responding to each surprised response to my social media posts. In the last year, especially, I’ve seen phenomenal growth in our little city as new event companies, artists and shows seem to pop up every day and, though I can’t speak for everyone, it all seems to tie into the inspiration that larger events like Das Energi have sparked among our up-and-coming local artists. Though Das Energi represents the tip of the iceberg in terms of what the world of electronic music has to offer—as it provides top-notch production quality, world-class artists and draws over ten thousand through its doors each day—it’s the type of event that inspires a new generation of artists to create and pursue their dreams.
Das Energi Festival kicked off on Friday to a massive crowd for Tiesto and a B2B from Caspa & Rusko, the headliners for that day, while Marshmello, Henry Fong, Gareth Emery and Dillon Francis closed the festival on Saturday. Though the headlining acts showed that Utah is capable of being a destination for large-scale electronic festivals, where it really shined was in its ability to showcase our local talent as being worthy of main stage and festival-grade production. As world-class artists took the Temple of Boom and Synergy Station stages at Das Energi Festival, the art village and Galactic Field beach stage was littered with local art and music brought to us by local companies like New World, Smoke Siignals and The Hive Collective. Live painters brought the landscape to life in real-time, while local artists like Samir Suthar and Chad Wing brought cutting-edge technology with pieces like the Auric Heart that accompanied sets from Pookiie, Turtleboy, Nate Lowpass, Nosay, Eprom and Z&Z. Again, the truly remarkable thing to remember here is that just a few years ago, many of these artists were, like myself, in the crowd as spectators at this very festival.
For being in its fifth year (and only first year as a two-day festival), Das Energi Festival shows that V2 Presents has always and will continue to inspire artists in our community to do great things. Beyond that, their efforts to provide music events for the local community do not go unnoticed as thousands of people continue to express loyalty to each and every show the company brings to Salt Lake. This year’s Das Energi Festival clearly represented, for many, a definitive mark of personal and professional growth—and I can’t wait to see what it will inspire in the future as our community grows together. –Julia Sachs