Text by Wade Wallerstein and Joseph Gregory
Photography by Kat Kuo
You look around. For a moment you forget where you are. Governor’s Island feels like a world unto itself, but then you look over and catch the top of the Freedom Tower and other pieces of the New York City skyline above the rolling hills that encompass Full Moon Festival. A boutique music festival in its seventh year on Governor’s Island, Full Moon brought together a unique group of music enthusiasts who were dressed to impress and ready to dance all day and all night—or at least until the last ferry back to Manhattan.
Saturday was an ideal festival day; sunny, breezy, and crisp. Well-curated, well-decorated, and not too crowded, Full Moon Fest brought together all the best elements that festival-goers expect (craft food vendors, art installations, and well-kept facilities) without the hassle that normally comes with festival territory (think: dirty campgrounds and insane crowds).
On one side of the festival grounds, the Solaar stage featured house, disco, and techno music all day. Under a geodesic dome complete with massive disco ball, DJ Harvey, Axel Boman, Jeremy Underground, and Awesome Tapes From Africa kept the good vibes rolling. Just a short distance away, at the Kitsuné stage, partiers bopped to Clara 3000, Zimmer, and Pat Lok. The coolest part? This stage was on top of a sandy baseball diamond, instantly transporting the crowd to a beach party.
The main attraction, however, was Full Moon main stage. Here, the headliners slayed the crowd with insane performances. Abra started the day off on a lighthearted note, her purple ponytail bobbing in the breeze as she danced around the stage to her darkwave pop/R&B anthems. Literally, this girl is too cute. Later on in the day, Larry Heard (aka Mr. Fingers—you know his music as the sample from Kanye West’s “Fade”), who didn’t stop smiling for the entirety of his set, dropped his signature, impossibly infectious beats.
R&B/Soul singer Kelela was up next. Her set changed the tone and brought an undiluted emotional power that cut to the core of everyone in the crowd. Wearing an absolutely killer Telfar Global look, complete with next season’s cut out jeans (which have already sold out in pre-orders), Kelela poured her heart out on the Full Moon stage. Kelela’s set seemed to be an impossible act to follow, but Vic Mensa somehow pulled it off. The rapper closed out the night with a slamming set.
If you missed this one-of-a-kind festival experience, we’ve got you. Check out all of DRØME’s exclusive photos above. See you next year!
In the making of DRØME we hope to showcase a community of doers and nourish an attitude of empathy in a world that teaches us to pass judgment rather than practice kindness. The stories, images, and people shared in this magazine are an amalgamation of perspectives often overlooked or explicitly excluded from art and media worlds. The dearth of diverse identities and viewpoints within the arts is harrowing, especially for a young generation that is fighting its hardest to overcome conservative notions of order ultimately practiced as acts of discrimination against the very people and things we find most inspiring. In DRØME, the featured creators and creations encourage us to never shy away from who we are and what we want. Each artist, in sharing their story, embodies their own definition of agency. Against a mainstream ideology that indoctrinates patriarchal, capitalist, and hateful theories turned into policy, the artists in our first issue represent the ways in which art can take power back from society's denigrating control.