Breakaway Columbus has always held a special place in our heart; being a Columbus built festival really strikes a chord with us. We have been to Breakaway so many times, and have PSG to thank for those good memories. This year, we have PSG and Breakaway Columbus to thank for one of the greatest memories of our company and our individual souls. Breakaway Columbus 2019 is the first festival WTV has officially been given media access! This moment was the payoff and affirmation of all the hard work we have put in the last year. Beyond that it felt like a complete dream; the experience provided us so many opportunities and content to bring to you (in this post and some to come). So a huge thank you to PSG and Breakaway for this amazing weekend, that we are bringing to you now!
MAPFRE stadium housed the Columbus installment of Breakaway yet again. The set-up was very similar to last year, using the outskirts of the stadium and parking lot as focal points. The two main stages, the sandy Corona Electric Beach and larger mainstage on the pavement, were located perpendicular to each other, each on separate sides of the stadium. The locations of each gave a large space for some unique vendors, while also assuring there was no sound clashing from stage to stage. The consciousness of sound pollution is so crucial to a great experience, and it is good to see Breakaway continue to be aware of that.
In addition to the two main stages, there was a huge Silent Disco. The area always seemed to be packed, siphoning a giant volume of talent onto the three channels. The Silent Disco is to the left of the mainstage, and right under the stadium. The placement again fits perfectly.
Aside from the stages, Breakaway brought so much more than music for 2019. There was so much visible growth and knowledge of the festival culture brought to life for Breakaway 2019. There were very commercial tents like Four Loko and Playstation, but also small vendors of rave gear and local business which built a variety of exposure. Something important for us to note about the commercial vendors is their very generous offers. Many times it is just a ploy for them to get you to spend a lot of money, but almost every tent there gave way more than they asked for. It was very refreshing and made the experience very positive. Other than promotional and “souvenir” vending, there was no shortage of food or drink either. A bar or eatery was always a short walk away. This is made possible by the utilization of the MAPFRE Stadium included vendors and the pop-up tents that bordered the venue. There were so many options for everything that you come to the festival looking for or in need of.
The main stage area also had a couple non-vendor areas that are worth commenting on. First are the little canopy areas that are very artistic, while also provide sitting areas. These are one of those signs that Breakaway is paying attention to festival trends because these are popping up a lot of places. They provide a nice eye-draw as well as give shade and a relief to the feet, on the hard pavement. The other area of interest does not give the same relief to the feet; it rather put your feet on wheels. There was a featured “Disco Roller Rink”, which was a free feature to all Breakaway fans. In addition to providing skates, they also had socks to assure everyone had the opportunity. A roller rink is nothing we would have expected, which made it ring out as so unique.
In addition to the GA experience, we were also lucky enough to get a taste of the VIP benefits. The VIP area offered a really close mainstage viewing experience as well as an upper deck view, some spaceship-like port-o-potties, a personal bar, some free-to-play pool tables, and a backdrop, with camera to provide an awesome photo opportunity. Breakaway made sure to give VIP more for the money they spend.
The artists, as always with Breakaway, seem to divide into hip-hop and electronic. No matter what you were there for, the lineup was stacked. We, of course, spent the entirety of our days at the stages that featured electronic artists, but it is important to note the two experiences Breakaway provides. There is such an opportunity for exposure to other music, during the weekend. This is a sound business model as well, making sure to draw the different crowds of Columbus.
Pinwheel: Opening our day with a solid set from an artist new to us. The set rang us with a groovy start to everyone’s day. He was having fun in the beating sun and really set the ‘electric’ theme to the Coronas stage. He and his team really brought a great show and were great to network with. As Pinwheel joined the fam, soon after the weekend.
Mersiv: This set was different from what we have seen from Mersiv, but there was no shortage of bass. His sat rang as more emotional and lyrical, but it still brought the headbanging. Mersiv draws a crowd and it was cool to seem him bring something new to the Breakaway Corona stage. This set was also the first we got backstage and started to experience media. It was awesome to snap some really great shots, during such a strong set.
NOIZU: Back to house, as NOIZU brought a Gucci bag full of rhythm. This set was smooth and really well suited for building energy, for the night ahead. His flow seemed so effortless in sound and stage presence.
AC Slater: The Night Bass captain brought all the fun to the stage. He was all smiles and happy house as the sun went down. No sand was left unturned, as everyone had dancing feet. He had a very excited presence and polished talent.
Felix Jaehn: We had the opportunity to meet Felix Jaehn and his team extensively before the set, which we will be talking about soon. But his set was all the energy that we needed. The last set to hit the Corona stage was just the perfect close to our night. It was full of feel-good drops, laughs, and energetic stage presence.
Fear & Lowe: The local duo of house dudes, broke in the Corona stage on Saturday. The two have a great understanding of each other and the genre they are immersed in. They brought a lot of disco grooves mixed with house breaks. The set was all the feels of summer, with the music the sand and the sun. If you missed the set, you can actually catch it on their Soundcloud.
Wax Motiff: More house in the sand, Wax Motiff brought a strong synthesis of his brand to the house that everyone loves and knows. His stage presence and his flow were smooth, cool, and unbothered. Being backstage taking pictures really allowed us to see the way the whole crowd was feeling the music.
Troyboi: A divergence from a lot of the house we had seen during the weekend. Troyboi hit us with an amazing trap set. The set really stuck out, because it was a different sound which we hadn’t hear through the weekend. The energy was there, the bass was there, and even the confetti was there. He was a sweet electronic act to hit mainstage.
Louis the Child: This set was quite the shift for Louis the Child. The set was leaning towards very bass-heavy and even trap sounds. They did incorporate the blissful tunes they are known for, but the set, in general, had a disconnect from that. It was not what we came expecting, but it did seem to fit in with the Troyboi, Nectar, hip-hop feel of the weekend.
Bassnectar: Nectar brings the show everywhere he goes, and Breakaway was another on the list. Lasers painted the stadium and reached to the city, while bass rumbled the pavement we stood on. He was bringing a set that was harder and less trippy. He knew the crowd he was playing to, and he gave them what they wanted- even the confetti.
In addition to all these sets, we spent a lot of time in the Silent Disco. We saw so many artists, with such amazing talent and such different sounds. Some that drew us in and let us experience so many DJs were: Reckless, Yami, DJ Hex, and Paige Selzer. Not only did we get the chance to support, photograph, and experience those sets; we also got to experience other DJs completely new to us.
Done Wells Needs Work
The set-up, the vendor and non-music experience variety, and lineup ring out as big successes. You can experience this the moment that you walk into the gate. Other smaller attributes that really enhanced our experience as well. An amazing security team, the kind nature of all the staff, and even the ease of access to access everything at the festival. The festival packed so much variety into two days of music.
The only issues come as understandable evils to Breakaway. The first though is the sand at Corona stage. The whole dance floor being sandy was unique, but also sort of a pain. Clearing your shoes every night after spending the day dancing away was not a huge plus. Again it adds to the experience, but it also brought some discomfort or reservation to be in the middle of the dancefloor. The other issue comes from the variety. Having two days of rap and electronic mixed is great, but also seems to create issues. The two different crowds do not always mesh well between the two fan bases, and there is not always a draw for both crowds all day. Breakaway does a good job to combat downtime by providing so many different non-music extras. We do understand the more variety the more people there every day, but it is unfortunate that energy for both crowds is not always able to be maintained all day.
Breakaway Columbus was possibly the greatest moment of our company thus far. It gave so much music, happiness, networking opportunity, artist meet-ups, free beer, and just such a surreal experience. The photos and memories are priceless. This has been such a launching point for us, and we look to continue to move up. Thank you to the PSG staff, event security/staff, artists, fan bases, and our friends for making this so unforgettable. All of the experiences provided by all of you will keep us moving along. We look to hopefully continue working with Breakaway, because it has been such a great experience. Look out later this week for some more from this Breakaway weekend to come to our page. It is another milestone for sure!
Until next time.