Mysteryland USA Returns to Bethel Woods
06 May 2015

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A Preview for Mysteryland USA

May 22nd – 25th, 2015

Bethel Woods, NY

Written by Alex Kratzert

This Memorial Day weekend, Mysteryland USA will return to the Woodstock ’69 grounds in Bethel, NY with another lineup of raving madness. If you are familiar with this event, you know that it is a step into an outlandish realm where DJs do what they do and spectators let their minds fly. If you are not familiar with this event, here are some features that will help you to better understand the experience…

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Photo by Pearcey Proper for Mysteryland USA

Wild Stages

Much like TomorrowWorld and Tomorrowland, Mysteryland is known for its fantastical stage displays that guide the viewer far from the rigidity of life and into the realm of a dream. Last year, the inaugural Mysteryland USA brought such bizarre, stupendous structures to the holy ground of Bethel Woods with great splendor, transforming the historical land into a scene that only the means and minds of these times could bring. The main stage (the main attraction for some) was a towering house of cards with a clock that only pointed to “Now,” booming hypnotic light and sound displays over a vast, active crowd. According to the lineup you can expect to see the return of The Boat, which will host acts like Bro Safari and ILoveMakonnen. This year’s stages will be curated by Verboten Nightclub, Webster Hall, Adam Beyer’s Drumcode, Matthew Dear‘s Subversions, French Express, BangOn! NYC, Q-dance and more. As to exactly what ships and obelisks will appear – it’s a mystery.

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The Boat | Photo by Whitmore Studios for Mysterland USA

Music in Many Forms

This festival is mainly a DJ event with acts like Dillon FrancisDiplo and Kygo, but that doesn’t mean that the music is exclusive to samples and laptops. Some acts choose to include live instruments in their performances, which may be seen at GRiZ, Gramatik and Goldfish, all of whom will be commandeering The Boat. Also appearing on The Boat this year will be Beats Antique, a psychedelic group that mixes dubby beats with eerie tones, banjo licks that carry the essence of a sitar, and smooth, responsive interpretive dance from the beautiful Zoe Jakes. Each of these acts will put on a show full of energy and psychedelic fun, and you would do well not to miss them. Click here for the full lineup.

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Q-Dance | Photo by Heidie Duteweert | heidiefocuss for Mysteryland USA

The Holy Ground

Bethel Woods is a special place and May is a fine time for a festival. There is an ethereal calm as you walk down and along the steeps and crests of those rolling emerald hills, the hint of a cool Spring breeze still intermittent with the heat of the rising sunlight. And then, as night falls and the spectacle amplifies, you marvel at what it all is, what it all used to be and where it all goes, and no matter what your thoughts are on the subject, it is an assuring reminder that it is a damn good thing to be here in it. There will be a new museum exhibit at Bethel Center for the Arts called, “Peace, Love, Unity, Respect: The Rise of Electronic Music Culture in America,” which will undoubtedly hold interesting contrast with the powerful history of the permanent Woodstock exhibit. Be sure to visit while you’re there in it.

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Deep House Yoga | Photo by Menbar for VerbotenNewYork.com

Deep House Yoga

It is always promising when a festival promotes wellness, and with that in mind you will be able to enjoy a Saturday yoga session by the soothing sounds of deep house music. Deep House Yoga is brought to you by Verboten, hosts of weekly Deep House Yoga sessions in Brooklyn, NY. Mysteryland will also be bringing back the Healing Garden to this years event – a place to let the mind and body unwind and catch a breath from all of the noise. The festival continues to focus on sustainability and wellness, and I am confident that you can expect the Mysteryland team to leave Bethel Woods in fine form when all is said and done.  But that’s not to say they couldn’t use your help.

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The Healing Garden | Photo by Andrew Rauner for Mysteryland USA

Smorgasburg Food Fest

If you like to dance on a full stomach you will be happy to know that Mysteryland USA has once again teamed up with Smorgasburg NYC in bringing the Smorgasburg Food Festival back to Bethel. There will be a wide variety of delicious food vendors including Chickpea and Olive, Belle Aroma Pizza and El Gato Nacho, with gluten-free and vegan options available. If you prefer to dance on an empty stomach, well, the smokey aroma of barbecue sauce and the sizzle of vegan patties might change that.

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Passes for Saturday and Sunday with Holy Ground Camping admission are currently available at $309, with other options available here. There is a Friday pre-party from 2 pm – 2 am as well, but it will require at least the Nomad Weekend and Holy Ground Camping pass. Holy Ground Camping is approximately 90% sold out, but if you miss the ticket there are other camping options available in the area, including at Lander’s River Trips. The festival will once again be “Cashless,” in that you can top up your account and make purchases by scanning your wristband to avoid carrying easily-lost cash. Shuttles will be available from several different locations, and all other festival info can be found here. And if you would like to know more about the experience of the festival, the best way is to go and see it live. Happy trips, everyone.

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Photo by Andrew Rauner for Mysteryland USA

Cover photo by Pearcey Proper for Mysteryland USA

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