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This immersive NYC music festival will take you out of your element

By Allison DiBarba
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This past weekend marked the fourth edition of one of our favorite summer events, Elements Music and Art Festival. Run by beloved party throwers BangOn!NYC, Elements took over a massive industrial space on the Bronx waterfront for two full days of music, dance performances, interactive art and all kinds of weirdness.

For this Lower East Side resident, the stellar musical lineup—that included the Knocks, Kerri Chandler, GRiZ, Flying Lotus and Zeds Dead—convinced me to brave the nearly 1.5 hour commute to the festival’s location in the South Bronx. Upon arriving it was easy to see Elements fest was so much more than just your typical music festival. Tucked in Hunts Point in an area filled with abandoned factories and silos, there was a vast green space dubbed the Healing Garden, in which one could lounge amongst hammocks and art installations while taking in gorgeous waterfront views. Tents were set up offering everything from massages and yoga classes to ecstatic dance workshops and intimate musical performances. To my own surprise, I found myself wandering away from the packed stages and into the Healing Garden more than once during the weekend—the good vibes created there seemed to permeate the entire festival grounds.

The folks at BangOn!NYC are all about cramming unexpected surprises into their festivals, and my favorite element (see what I did there) was that there was always another layer to be explored. If walking through the deserted grain silos wasn’t awesome enough, one could come across a hidden roller rink or a multi-room interactive theater experience called the Center for Elemental Findings. Successfully completing activities could land you a much sought after gold coin that granted you entry to a secret club on the property. (Unfortunately, this editor’s skills did not suffice.)

Stand-out musical performances from Flying Lotus, Zeds Dead, Justin Martin, Bakermat and Damian Lazarus brought the weekend full circle for me, with a special shoutout to Flying Lotus’s breathtaking visuals. I could probably write for days if I wanted to call out all the incredible hidden art, performances and music I uncovered this weekend, but what’s the fun in that? You’ll just have wait until next year and venture out yourself. I promise, it’ll be worth it.

Take a peek at these photos for a taste of what went down.

Photograph: Julian Cassady

Photograph: Julian Cassady

Photograph: Julian Cassady

A post shared by Ashley K. (@ashxxy) on

Photograph: Julian Cassady

Photograph: Julian Cassady

Photograph: Julian Cassady

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