Sunset Music Festival (Day 1)

Over to Tampa for the first day of Sunset Music Festival. This is a first visit for us over to SMF so my mind was always filled with comparisons to the much-more familiar Electric Daisy Carnival – Orlando.
The gates opened at 3PM but there was no shortage of early arrivals in the queue outside.
Picking up my wristband at the Media window first meant I had to go to the back of that line, lol.
First comparison, as you know, EDC takes place beside Camping World Stadium in Orlando. Meanwhile, SMF takes place beside Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. One of those stadiums is home to a Super Bowl champion NFL team. One isn’t.
While the long line wrapped around two sides of the stadium, it really moved quickly once the gates opened.
Very efficiently, the line spread into multiple entry queues with a first stop for ID checks.
And then a security search plaza followed by electronic “ticket” scan plaza. All patrons are issued either a 1-day or 2-day cloth wristband with an embedded transponder which makes verification of validity instantaneously. So the queues move fast and you’re suddenly inside the festival!
I could see the Sunset Main Stage from outside but it’s not until you’re inside that you realize how massive it is!
And the DJ booth is what brings scale to the view. Opening set from Tampa homie Sam Dobkin dba DJ Trivecta (USA). The main stage was devoted to Dubstep and Heavy Bass all day.
Towards the rear of the SMF grounds, two other stages including this one called the Eclipse Stage.
Over here we heard a Heavy Bass set from DJ Lizzy Jane (USA). For Day 1, two of the three stages were devoted to the hard stuff.
Crowd began to build. Lizzy Jane’s drops had the heads banging!
This cover under the hot Florida sun made this stage a popular respite. A lot of people don’t remember this but the very first EDC-Orlando in 2011 was on Memorial Day weekend. After the first one, EDC moved it to early November and then Sunset Music Festival took over the holiday weekend in May beginning in 2012, initially as a 1-day event.
At the third stage aka “Horizon Stage“, we caught the tail-end of a House set from DJ Hunter Reid (USA). We hadn’t seen him since 2019 at Elixir.
Used to air-conditioned VIP bathrooms? Had to use one of these GA bathrooms yesterday. While it was 95° outside, it was like 150° inside these babies! Oh the humanity, lol. But they did have nice sinks.
Lots of food trucks and booths, all generally congregated in one area. The SMF grounds are smaller than the EDCO grounds overall.
EDC has never had free french fires!
Actually ran into someone I know: Bucky & Lynn
Of course the main stage would get amazing after dark.
Back to the Eclipse Stage for some Heavy Bass from DJ Bawldy (USA).
For Day 2 today, the festival skews more towards the House side compared to Day 1. 12th Planet (USA) is the headliner at this stage tonight.
The Horizon Stage is the place to be for us House heads, anchored later today by amazing DJ’s such as VNSSA (USA), Shiba San (F) and Green Velvet (USA). If you’re going to hang-out here, arrive early to grab a front spot because those numerous pillars block some of the views.
The sign says Pitter Patter but the lineup card says DJ Petey Clicks (USA) and Tombz (USA). Regardless, it was a great House set.
And it was getting crowded.
That metallic netting overhead created some coolness too.
Back over to the Sunset Stage one more time!
Such an impressive stage! DJ Rezz (CDN) headlines this stage tonight.
DJ Softest Hard (VN/USA).
People streaming onto the grounds. I had a previous commitment back in Orlando so was only able to stay at SMF for a few hours. Single day tickets are available today and the show opens at 3PM with most of the big names playing later. Grab your tickets here.
The world’s largest shiny disco ball at SMF? Perhaps. A good time was had by all. Thanks to Sunset Music Productions and Magnum PR for the professional courtesies.