Every stage felt like a MainStage. Oh, and there was even a secret cave room where Excision went b2b with special guests.
Dubstep Disneyland. Dubstep Reunion. Dubstep SuperBowl. Dubstep Catalina Wine Mixer.
They're all great terms for the festival we've come to know and love: Lost Lands.
The 2023 edition featured five straight nights of unbelievable talent and unearthly production that took place from Wednesday, Sept. 20 through Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023.
It wasn't until last Monday that me, your lead FBI agent, decided to make the last-minute decision to attend Lost Lands. There were no regrets; in fact, this year has completely blown previous years out of the water.
It's worth noting that a festival of this scale is not easy to put on. It takes countless weeks, months (and probably years) for Excision and his staff to plan. We see them working insane hours behind the scenes.
We'd also like to make a point of thanking Excision for providing a space where upcoming artists can showcase their music. It makes our scene thrive when even the small artists (several with less than 10k followers) can play their IDs and get their name out there. This reason alone is a major draw for my team and I to continue attending year-in and year-out.
We also want to give a quick shoutout to the photographers, videographers, creators and live stream teams who successfully accomplished one of the toughest, but most important, jobs in the industry: Preserving these moments in time.
Campsite and pre-party madness, new MainStage design debuted
While I only arrived on Thursday afternoon, I sprinted to the Grove and Village Stages to see Dr. Ushūu and IVORY (playing his U.S. debut). The Grove stage is new this year and is located all the way in the back of the GA campgrounds. Leotrix and Ghost In Real Life also performed early that evening in the campsites before MainStage doors opened at 6 p.m.
One key reason that makes Lost Lands unique is the highly anticipated b2b2b2b2b2b set that takes place every year the Thursday before the main festival opens.
This is the time when upcoming artists can play to thousands of people. It's also the reason so many fans make the trek a day early out to Ohio.
We love seeing the stage packed with artists, shoulder-to shoulder, waiting for their turn to play. Artists who performed on stage included BERNZIKIAL, Francis Derelle & CRaymak, DEUCEZ, Bainbridge, LAYZ, MADGRRL, VLCN, Ray Volpe, Wooli b2b Kompany and more.
Day 1 featured movie-like sets from Samplifire, PhaseOne b2b Funtcase, VLCN, Excision, AlienPark, Perry Wayne
We arrived just before 5 p.m. at the shady Subsidia Stage to catch Samplifire's Lost Lands debut. It was packed both on- and off-stage with fun energy; we even jumped in the pit for a little and IVORY got brought out twice.
While there were quite a few set conflicts on Friday afternoon, we made it over to MainStage to catch some of the legendary PhaseOne b2b Funtcase set. They dropped a MVRDA ID, among others, and the decks even glitched out for a brief minute as they were laying down doubles. This honestly just proves how hard they went.
LAYZ and Jessica Audiffred had a crazy set with pits and pyro over at Wompy.
VLCN went on back over at Subsidia and played a heavy set, including his highly anticipated collaboration with ANTIHERO. We were pretty shocked by Wooli's performance at Wompy Woods. It seemed like every drop had pyro and he laid down a Lockdown x Mind Pluck double that had the crowd losing their mind.
In what is always the most anticipated set for us, Excision took the MainStage for his two-hour performance. The first ten minutes were just straight-up fireworks coming from all angles of the dual pterodactyl stage.
Excision played songs like his new ID with Illenium and Wooli, along with Menticide by Samplifire and YAKZ and our favorite song called Black Hole by SCAREXX, NGHTKLR and Soul Valient that was recently released on Subsidia.
LOUIEJAYXX kicked off the sound camps just after midnight on the incredibly redesigned Wompy Woods stage. We also went over to the Subsidia Stage for AlienPark's world debut set, which was something special. We first discovered him back in 2020 when he did a Riot Control Radio 016 guest mix; so this performance has been a long time coming and we couldn't be happier that he has his U.S. visa.
Perry Wayne also crushed his Subsidia Stage performance, laying down the heaviest tearout sounds that quite literally shook the entire stage. We were head banging with everyone until nearly 4 a.m. at Wompy for Jkyl & Hyde.
Day 2 featured sets from Vastive & Stoned Level, and legendary sound camp performances by Ace Aura & Chibs
With an insanely stacked lineup to open up the festival at Wompy Woods, RZRKT, Vastive and Stoned Level all played right after each other. We decided to park ourselves in the pit for the rest of the afternoon.
Vastive brought out so many special guests, including AlienPark for their unreleased collab, LAYZ, Sullivan King and Benda. People were losing their minds at this point, and someone even went so hard they had blood all over their face in the pit.
Stoned Level took the stage to a rowdy crowd as people kicked up dirt all over. He had a wild double of Solar Plexus by Kompany (with some other song) that we won't soon forget. We are officially issuing citations to Vastive and Stoned Level for the madness.
Bear Grillz b2b Riot Ten performed one of the night's headline sets at Wompy Woods, bringing out special guests Vastive, Perry Wayne and Emorfik. They also played the FelMax and ANTIHERO bootleg of SLANDER's Love Is Gone; a drop of the night.
Recent Lost Lands have featured hard dance during the sound camps. On day 2, Lil Texas slammed the Artifact Stage and rinsed out songs like Starships, his take on a Nikki Minaj classic.
We were left in shock after Ace Aura's boiler room-style set where the entire Rushdown Records family was on stage around him. Subsidia was packed for this performance and we have chills watching the videos where he brought out Phocust.
After leaving that stage on a high note, we weren't sure if things could get any better. Well — they did.
Chibs pulled out a legendary performance at Wompy Woods at 3 a.m. It was another boiler room-style set where the entire riddim industry was on stage with him — and guess what? That's just the way we like it. The crowd went bonkers; most of our videos have girls screaming their lungs out while doing high knees.
Chibs was probably the best set of the weekend for us.
Not only did he have special guests like HAMRO who he brought out, but he went back-to-back with fellow Aussie, Getorix, to close the night.
One of the most legendary parts of the weekend was the super secret "Red Room" stage. While I personally didn't go in there, some of my agents reported back with videos of Excision going b2b with Sullivan King, HOL!, Samplifire and Emorfik, dropping riddim while Excision held a fan to the crowd.
Day 3 closes out the best Lost Lands yet
Several of you have already tried to give me a citation for missing day 3 in person.
I ended up catching a morning flight back to Denver and streaming the last day on Twitch. Huge shoutout to the Lost Lands team for the incredible live stream video quality this year — at one point, we saw over 14,000 people watching.
Infekt stole the show early-on at MainStage, getting on the mic to announce he had obtained a very rare Skrillex riddim ID (you can watch it here). Videos of this ID have been circulating around the internet from the second he dropped it.
We also tuned in for the Excision b2b Dion Timmer set, where they laid down some heavy drops, including Firestorm by Samplifire, a couple AlienPark songs and Breaking Through, the title track from their collab EP that dropped way back in 2019. Full tracklist is linked here by our friends at 1001Tracklists.com.
The live stream fed our cravings with SVDDEN DEATH's MainStage set, where 13 out of his first 20 songs were IDs.
After he got off stage, the highly anticipated Excision Detox b2b Liquid Stranger set began with a slew of fireworks. This was essentially the closing ceremony to an incredible weekend. The b2b began with a SVDDEN DEATH Rise mashup to open, which was probably a nod to Svdden Death who left the stage seconds earlier.
The festival went on with sets later that night from Versa and VUlllGUR, two riddim acts that people have been drooling over lately. LAYZ and her house alias, SABRITAZ, played the Forest Stage at 1 a.m., which turned into a surprise b3b with ACRAZE and Nostalgix.
All in all, I really don't have much more to say. If you missed Lost Lands this year, I feel bad for you.
Tag us in any legendary videos you have from the weekend. Stay safe getting back home and rest up good because Summoning Fest is in about three weeks.
Dubstep FBI CEO & Co-Founder ccmichelle can be found on socials.
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