All photos taken by Inna Shnayder
The first annual Further Future festival just finished wrapping up last weekend and I still find myself trying to process all that for which I experienced. The festival, of course, is the the brain child of one of the most respected Burning Man camps, Robot Heart. The idea they had was to use their ever evolving and expanding network of movers and shakers and create their own festival that perhaps borrowed ideals from other similar festivals while still staying completely authentic and original with their execution.
[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/143827337" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]
The festival maintained a level of exclusivity, by making the event invite only, which made it much more about the community and those that truly wanted to be present, in the future. But, even before the festival started, there were major hiccups that had to be overcome. Two weeks before the start of the festival, the festival organizers had to scramble to find a brand new location for the estimated 5,000 people that would attend because the original location, and old mining site, was rejected by local authorities. This type of set back would could potentially derail other organizations but luckily the organizers, with burning man experience, were well equipped to handle an ever evolving and complex situation change.
So, with all of these things out the way, the only thing left was to embark on this journey into the future and enjoy the festival which, for the most part, I would consider a success. I arrived to the festival around dusk on Friday to find out that that much of the festival lineup had changed from the original times listed on the iPhone app and that also, one of the main stages was still getting some finishing touches applied to it's structural setup. This wasn’t much of a shock as there were plenty of activities and sights to occupy our time as well as getting acquainted at camping area. As well as preparing for the various speakers Further Further shipped in including the CEOs of SoundCloud as well as Evernote.
The festival's overall vibe could best be described as not as polished as Coachella but also not so chaotically intense as Burning Man as Further Future provided things like free water as well as other high end amenities like food trucks, fancy sit down dinners, and an on premise spa/yoga treatment area. And, when it came to music, the headlining acts usually didn’t even get started until well after Midnight, which caters to those of us that tend to party later than average.
The first night consisted of musical acts such as Actress, FaltyDL, Warpaint and ZHU. ZHU was an extremely welcomed addition to a somewhat slow start of a day and set the tone for what was to come for the rest of the festival. I should also highlight how good the sound system was on the main stage even though the stage design itself never truly got all of its design completed. Most of festival setup had an accidental “post apocalyptic” feel to it but ultimately this only added to the “Future” aesthetic. But, there definitely were many more non-accidents such as the surprise morning set, by Tycho, which showed the sheer effort that the Further Future crew put into this intimate affair.
[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/137936343" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]
The second day of music really found Further Future hitting its stride with acts getting closer to starting on time. Saturday also seemed to be when the overall vibe of the festival started turning more optimistic as everyone was making the best of a situation that seemed as though we were all ultimately beta testing a festival that has so much potential. The stand out acts for Saturday consisted of an amazing opening set, by Hundred Waters and Damian Lazarus followed by a highly experimental dance set provided by Lone. And this was all topped off by the highlight show of the night with a hair raising performance featuring Rhye and their beautifully hypnotic asexual vocals. Even the organizers of the event found themselves within the bosom of the audience as every person in earshot was captivated, by the music and our somewhat foreign but homely surroundings. We were all feeling as though we were becoming part of the same tribe.
[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/96399359" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]
[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/35335557" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]
Sunday found everyone in a state of blissful zen as we had all been through this journey together and, although some aspects of the festival were slightly disorganized, we all knew that this was coming to an end yet we weren’t quite done with the experience. Duo Bob Moses provided one of the best sunset DJ sets that i’ve ever experienced. With near perfect execution, they were able to simultaneously encapsulate the overall energy of the past two days, as well as capture and guide the current mood of all the attendees looking to wind down smoothly.
Now, there were many other premiere performances that are missing from this article due to timing issues, exhaustion and just the somewhat ephemeral nature this festival carried. The narrative is more about the festival as a whole considering this is the first such event of its kind. And, ultimately, if you weigh its short givings against the fact that this is the first time this event has taken place; you really have to say that the potential for the "future" of this event is astronomical. There were times during the festival where it did seem as though things were about to fall apart but the "burner" mentality of the attendees and organizers kept it from going that route. Not to mention the stellar lineup that was weaved together that included underground experimental electronic and synth-pop and everything in between. Further Future came to the galactic table with high aspirations for a well curated and cultivated forward thinking event, and they may of fallen somewhat short of expectations, overall, the future looks very promising.
All photos taken by Inna Shnayder