On December 17th and 18th, music fans from hundreds of cities around the world unite in Houston, Texas for the 2nd annual Day for Night music festival. With a “new” location (abandoned Barbara Jordan Post Office) brings an abundance of amazing visual artists as well as musicians that will make any music nerd’s jaw drop. The festival boasts an eclectic variety of acts new and old, and more impressively; rare.
Headliner and ambient pioneer Aphex Twin makes his triumphant return to Texas for the first time in 20 years. An event that describes itself as a “music festival inside of an art installation” is one of the few celebrations that could entice a musical recluse such as Aphex Twin out of hiding to put on a performance of a lifetime.
If an icon of music such as Aphex Twin wasn’t enough, the lineup also boasts Bjork’s own visual art and music experience titled “Bjork Digital.” Day for Night has given Bjork and visual collaborators 5 separate rooms for her one of a kind, virtual reality based performance. The immersive experience includes Bjork’s film Black Lake (commissioned by New York’s Museum of Modern Art) as well as Bjork’s music that she has curated for the festival. Bjork will also take part in the official Day for Night pre-party hosted by Killer Mike, along with a DJ performance by Arcade Fire’s Win Butler.
At first glance, Day for Night might be construed as an “electronic based” festival, but this lineup offers so much more. Texas rockers Butthole Surfers return to the Lone Star state after a 5 year hiatus to bring their brand of decadent and deafening rock and roll to the masses. Lighting Bolt, a noise rock duo from Rhode Island, compliments the harder, more rock and roll oriented aspect of the lineup with “guerrilla” style performances; often setting up on the floor or in obscure locations such as kitchens, bathrooms, and sidewalks. According to festival organizers, Day for Night are working with Lighting Bolt to do “something special” during their performance, making their set a must see.
Electronic music and rock are not the only genres represented of course. Hip Hop powerhouse Run the Jewels will be making an appearance, as well as the unique R&B artist Dev Hynes, better known as Blood Orange. Jazz is also represented, with saxophonist, composer, and producer Kamasi Washington; who brings sounds from the critically acclaimed album The Epic to Houston.
One of the more unique bookings of this festival is the iconic film maker and composer John Carpenter. Best known for his films Halloween and The Thing, Carpenter’s compositions are legendary and can be confused with no other. Carpenter’s performance will be highly anticipated by horror and music fans alike.
Not to be outdone by the music, Day for Night curator and co-founder Alex Czetwertynski brings an eclectic group of visual artists from around the globe to bring festival goers a unique experience that’s rarely rivaled: “Our intention is to bring together talents that fearlessly cross over multiple fields and blur the lines between media. From our more established artists, such as UVA and Bjork digital, who are both presenting works never seen before in the US, to our youngest artist, the twenty-year-old Ezra Miller, we want our audience to experience art at a scale that is almost impossible to see elsewhere, and in a grouping that would be hard to pull off in more traditional environments,” says Czetwertynski.
The amount of passion, dedication, and knowledge put into this festival is outstanding. Day for Night gives music fans a breath of fresh air in an oversaturated festival market. Unlike a lot of current festivals, Day for Night curators long to give their attendees an experience of a lifetime. Aural and visual bliss.
See you in Houston.
Writer: Matthew Johnson