Amsterdam's Mysteryland (slide show)

The long-running Mysteryland festival comes to Woodstock in 2014.

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Photograph: Jaimy Gail de Gier
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Now thata bit of time has passed since the tragedies of the recent Electric Zoo on Randall’s Island, we figured we’d tell you about another recent electronic-dance-music event—one that ended on a much happier note, Amsterdam’s Mysteryland festival. TONY had the pleasure of attending the one-day throwdown, run by events producer ID&T (the same crew behind Sensation and Tomorrowland) and held August 24 on a hilly, semi-wooded, semi-marshy and totally beautiful site a few miles outside of town. The fest has now been running for a full 20 years, and it’s easy to see why: It was simply one of the best shindigs of this sort that we’ve ever been at.

The lineup included the usual big-name EDM jocks (a big chunk of the Dirty Dutch crew, Steve Aoki, Steve Angelo and Fedde Le Grand were just a few of the stars on hand) and a Q-dance stage for the hard-dance kids—but there were a bevy of beats for the underground heads as well, with Shed, Eats Everything, a tag-teaming Cassy and Steve Rachmad, Speedy J, Dinky and the entire Visionquest gang among the many artists doing their left-of-center things. The day flowed seamlessly, and the security—to the extent there was any visible—was much more helpful than heavy-handed, which is always nice. But it was the attention to detail which sealed the deal: On top of the imaginative, near-mind-blowing stage design, lighting and fireworks (yes, full-on fireworks!), there were weird little touches at every corner—an old-timey retro area here, a Mad Hatter’s tea party there, and over yonder, a bit of Day of the Dead action—supplied by local crazies, er, creative types.

All well and good, but why should New Yorkers care? Well, you could always book a trip to the 21st edition of Mysteryland, coming up at the end of August 2014. Or how about a trip to Mysteryland Chile for a three-day shindig in the Andean foothills, running from December 20–22? But here’s the most exciting news: ID&T will be teaming up with Bethel Woods Center for the Arts to bring Mysteryland to the original spot of the 1969 Woodstock jamboree for a three-day megafest over Memorial Day weekend 2014, the first time that any multiday festival has been held on the hallowed site since, well, 1969. We’re not sure what Jerry Garcia would think of Aoki, et. al.…but for festival fans who don’t mind the risk of getting a bit muddy, it could be one of the best parties of the year. Watch this space for more info.

Mysteryland will be held at Bethnal Woods on Memorial Day weekend 2014, May 23–26.

Follow Bruce Tantum on Twitter: @BruceTantum

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