With a name like “What the Festival” it’s clear that the event producers are not afraid to break the standard festival mold. After spending four days at this year’s event, my jaw was left sore from dropping so much. WTF does so many things their own way that it has solidified itself as a leader in the industry, and is a can’t miss event going forward.
The first thing that has to be discussed is the Splash Stage because it is the best day stage in all of the music (in my opinion). As the name conveys, the Splash Stage is a knee deep pool with filtered water and with a full deck surrounding it. Fans can dance in the water, on the deck, or even on the sand that is brought in around the pool. WTF brings the right kind of artists in to create party vibes, like The Funk Hunters, Classix, and Hotel Guruda which makes your time spent there some of your favorite hours of the year.
The next part that sets WTF out ahead of other festivals is the amount of art for everyone to explore. WTF has the most art per attendee ratio in all festivals. Art keeps the festival fresh and makes every walk an adventure for you and all of your friends to take in as you head from stage to stage.
WTF has also managed to fix one of my biggest annoyances in festivals…VIP. Just because you purchased a more expensive ticket does not mean you are important. The mere name seems so backwards to me that it turns me off to the entire idea. WTF does not have VIP, but they do have OMG though! OMG pass holders are welcomed to preferred viewing areas, drink tickets, happy hours, and shower passes. OMG that is awesome, and they didn’t have to pretend that the people with this pass were more important than anyone else.
Keeping with their forward festival thinking vibe, WTF partnered with me to launch a festival initiative called Leave No Trace+1. By handing out stickers and putting a Leave No Trace+1 slide on the main stage video screen, WTF showed fans that it was their responsibility to pick up after themselves and the message was well received, as WTF was spotless for everyone to enjoy all weekend.
The sum of all of these parts created an environment that fans could not get enough of. People stayed up late at all of the after-hours stages, but then got up early to hit the pool and workshops. WTF is what a festival should be and it is clear that the producers work their asses off to create a festival that they would want to attend. Mission accomplished. This is a festival I can’t imagine ever not going to. Put it on the list for next year, bring your friends, and get ready for the best four days of your life.