BUKU Music + Arts Project Makes a Triumphant Return to New Orleans

The BUKU Music + Arts Project Makes a Triumphant Return to New Orleans

THE MAGIC OF NEW ORLEANS IS PALPABLE. There’s distinct and unapologetic energy to this city, one that felt dim and just out of reach during the pandemic. But when the doors to the BUKU Music + Arts Project 2022 opened on Friday, March 25th, the city came back to life.

BUKU was the unofficial festival kick-off to New Orleans’ reopening after COVID-19. Days before the festival, it was announced that no masks or vaccine checks were necessary for entry. Australian producer Alison Wonderland said it perfectly on day two: “it feels so amazing to be dancing together again.” 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by BUKU Music + Art Project (@thebukuproject)

Headlined by Tame Impala, Tyler The Creator, & Glass Animals, BUKU 2022 was a weekend of amazing weather, awesome music, vibrant art, and colorful fans. In their belated 10-year anniversary celebration, BUKU definitely brought the party.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by BUKU Music + Art Project (@thebukuproject)

In their two-year hiatus, the BUKU team reworked the entire festival grounds. It was a fairly streamlined and accessible layout. The main “Skyline” stage welcomed you in, and as you wandered past the BUKU Bazaar and the deep bass of the Wharf Stage, you could relax along the Mississippi River at the Riverside stage, or indulge all your underground warehouse fantasies in the Ballroom. Many locals and BUKU alumni mourned the loss of the iconic Float Den this year. Set in a massive hangar and flanked by Mardi Gras floats, the Float Den was iconically New Orleans. But in spite of the loss, the new festival layout seemed to be a progressive step for the fest.

One notable victory for BUKU was the inclusivity featured on their 2022 lineup. Over 30% of the featured artists were female, and nearly 50% were artists of color. Prominent LGBT+ creators were also featured. Celebrating all kinds of voices is so important, especially in a city as vibrant and diverse as New Orleans. 

Ever since the unexpected cancellation of BUKU in 2020, EDM and festival lovers across the south have been waiting for its return. And while a two-year build-up of expectations may have set high standards – BUKU definitely crushed them. 

featured image via BUKU Music + Arts Project

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