EDM Life had the pleasure of attending the 2nd Further Future event held 45 minutes outside of Las Vegas at the Moapa River Indian Reservation. The venue while in close proximity to the 15 Freeway, was far enough removed where the undeveloped desert landscape quickly took over.  We arrived at the event just after 1am Friday evening. After sorting our passes and parking we headed straight into the event and made our way to the Robot Heart ‘stage’ to see &Me drop his trademark house sound.  Unfortunately starting around 3am the rains began, which was a sign of things to come for the next 14+ hours or so. With the rain putting a damper on things, literally, we headed to one of the tents to take a break and get some rest before Dixon’s early morning set.  The rain picked up enough to the point in which Dixon’s 6am set began not at the Robot Heart stage but rather at a small neighboring covered tent. As the rain let up, the German dj moved over to the Robot Heart stage without missing a beat… literally. (An audio cable was stretched between the Void Village tent and the Robot Heart stage, allowing Dixon to literally move from one to the other without a break in the music!).  Having gotten some rest and avoiding the overnight rain, we made it out around 7:30 am to see the Innervisions boss man himself do what he does best – move the crowd to some of the best underground music around. After catching a few hours of Dixon, we returned to our sleeping area to catch some zzzs before the rest of the day would begin to unfold in earnest.

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Photo Credit: Greg Wasik

Our Saturday afternoon began with a media mixer at the mainstage aka the Mothership. Making it a unique experience was hearing famous British dance music group Leftfield do their soundcheck while drinking some tasty mimosas! Soon enough though the weather took a turn for the worse with a very intense thunderstorm starting at 3pm that lasted several hours. High winds, hail and some minor flooding accompanied the storm but luckily that was the end of the rain (at least for our time at the event).

Once things started drying out it was time to check out some of the speakers. “Requim for a Dream” director Darren Aronofsky was scheduled to speak during the event as part of the Speaker Series however for unknown reasons his session was cancelled. However picking up the slack and definitely the most well attended session of all of Further Future was Google Alphabet vice-president Erick Schmidt. Expounding primarily of the future of technology and taking thoughtful questions of the crowd, the pre-sunset talk was a highlight of the entire weekend. Its not a secret that Schmidt attends Burning Man and is friends with the Robot Heart crew, hence his appearance at FF, however it was still neat to see him enjoy himself while wearing a top hat and event-appropriate clothing.

As we did not have an RV at this event to stay in, much of our food intake came from the vendor village. The food was generally found to be very good with a special shout-out to the taco booth which had possibly the best fried fish tacos we have ever tasted!!  One minor complaint was tied to the cashless payment systems. The event ran out of the RFID bracelets on Saturday at some point so some attendees received paper bracelets and had to use credit cards to purchase drinks and food rather than just being able to show their bracelets. In addition, a few vendors took it upon themselves to auto-grat themselves tips on each order, having the gall to say it was for our ‘convenience’.

Moving on to Saturday night’s entertainment which began with the classing LA-based rap group the Pharcyde performing a solid set of their hits and other songs (presumably their own). After the rap group (playing with a guitarist and drummer no less) finished it was on to Nicolas Jaar. While we have heard Jaar before and from a music standpoint appreciate his music, his songs tend to run at lower BPMs that make it a bit harder to find yourself dancing rather it was more a nice listening party. Definitely a quality set but in our opinion not one structured to get the crowd moving. Following Jaar was the legendary British group Leftfield, creator of several of dance music’s greatest hits including “Phat Planet”, “Release the Pressure” and “Africa Shox”. The group was founded by Neil Barnes and Paul Daley in 1989 – it should be noted that the current incarnation of the group does not include Daley. Dropping an energetic set on the Mothership main stage, the group rocked it especially with the charistmatic singer controlling the stage and crowd.

After Leftfield, we decided to get some rest before doing our 2nd sunrise set of the weekend with Lee Burridge. Unlike the morning before with the overcast skies at daybreak, Sunday morning was greeted with bright sunshine and rapidly warming temperatures. As expected Burridge dropped a very enjoyable set – there is a reason his All Day I Dream parties are sellouts around the world! We also caught a bit of a nice progressive house set by Pedro Aguiar on the Booba Cosmica stage. After this we took it as our cue to get a bit more rest before departing the festival right before lunchtime.

Credit: Greg Wasik

Lee Burridge!!!!  Photo credit: Greg Wasik

Overall we would say the experience was a great one. The unexpected rainstorm on Saturday did cause some minor issues though its hard to see how the organizers could have done much different in regards to handling the rain. There were some minor organization glitches such as the aforementioned running out bracelets. Also we were told the shuttle service to the Vegas hotels did not always run smoothly with some confusion and missed pickups.

The music curation was definitely a highlight of the event with the eclectic mix of rap, house, techno and more.

Of course we would be remiss if we did not bring up comparisons to Burning Man as there are many similarities (desert location, crazy outfits worn by the attendees, wellness and interesting speakers, etc.). The main difference of course is primarily Burning Man’s sharing ‘economy’ where nothing is sold (other than ice) versus at Further Future you encountered $12 drinks,  $250 pop up dinners and luxury tents and camping options that ran into the thousands of dollars. While some attendees did say that they felt that special sort of community you find at Burning Man, we did not quite see that level of interaction. Our take is the festival is a great option for those looking for a fun weekend in the desert listening to some great music and having food, drinks and more right at your fingertips. We can definitely recommend the event and plan to be back in 2017!

To get some idea of the location and event, check out the official recap video below!