The three-day fest hosted by SVDDEN DEATH has completed its second year at The Caverns in Tennessee.
The underground is alive and well.
And no, we're not just saying that because of the rowdy renegade stage. Or because of the satisfying cave sets. Or because of the fiery mainstage production.
We're saying that because SVDDEN DEATH and his team just pulled off what we are considering one of the most fun riddim and dubstep festivals in the world.
For those of us who are deep in the bass music scene, it's easy to hold these artists and brands on a pedestal — and for good reason. We see a cult following of people rocking SVDDEN DEATH x GHOST HARDWARE merch, we're constantly gifted a flow of new IDs from each performance, and we freak out when we see our favorite artists on lineups.
However, just because the scene is somewhat small compared to the larger music industry doesn't mean these artists haven't worked their assess off to get here.
The 2023 Summoning of the Eclipse lineup featured 74 artists from around the world (not including the renegade and silent disco stages). All of these artists earned their spots on the festival, and we can truly say that they outperformed our expectations.
This recap is an effort for us to cement the experience that made up our first Summoning of the Eclipse. A time capsule, if you will, that showcases why we need more events like this. An ode to the artists, production, crew, staff and security who created one of the best experiences of our lives.
It's time to dive in.
Pre-party in a cave?
It wasn't until late last Thursday night that your favorite FBI agents (Chrissendit and Yesendit) arrived on the scene at Tennessee's The Caverns venue. And while it was about an hour's drive from Nashville International Airport, we gladly raced to the pre-party to catch the end of INFEKT and the beginning of the mega b2b in the cave.
Upon arriving on site, it was an immediate family reunion. Curated, niche dubstep events like these remind us why we love the scene so much. It's close-knit, and you can't go anywhere without running into someone you know.
While we only got to enjoy the last few hours of Thursday's pre-party, it set a stage that left us craving for more.
Day 1: Citations, campsite sets and caves
Before we go any further, our good friends at DubHub and Submersiv should be applauded. What they did for the underground scene at this festival was truly something special. They curated a series of renegades and silent discos featuring over 50 rising artists, all who earned a chance to show the world what they've got.
As we arrived on-site at 5pm, we ventured over to the campsite to check out the renegade stage setup. The high knees were out and people were ready to get feral. There were special guests all weekend long at these stages, including homies like Lash Miller.
After curing our campsite cravings, we walked up to the mainstage for UBUR b2b Phiso b2b Syzy. This was the b3b that we didn't know we needed. The sun had just set and those Friday night vibes were hitting; we raged in the crowd with artists like Chibs and were left in awe of the powerful speaker system.
We even had to issue someone a citation for sitting down during their set because that is straight-up illegal.
The three boys fed us with a rare Savceboys edit that triggered buried memories from year's of dubstep's past.
As one can imagine, it was straight debauchery. HAMRO was caught red-handed with a brown dildo, and we even arrested Reverend for trying to arrest us. It was all fun and games until 9pm hit. HAMSPVCE (or BLVNKRO) put on what some were calling a "clinic in the cave." It was bouncy and the pits were going off for the full hour.
Soon after that, the world debut of Masterhand was upon us. The project featuring SVDDEN DEATH b2b Space Laces b2b Eptic did not disappoint — it featured fireworks, pyro, lasers and classic drops from all three artists. They played Phone Tap, in addition to many IDs that helped showcase what this new project is all about.
And while the music was surely illegal, we had several criminals to detain in the crowd. (Y'all know who you are.)
SQISHI was cited and detained for eating his own boogers.
The afters went late into the night and featured sets from DEADROOM (SVDDEN DEATH's house alias), Chee and Lyny.
Day 2's Sanzu b2b VKTM renegade set took the cake, alongside performances from YAKZ b2b Chibs, Hedex (U.S. Festival Debut), Space Laces and SLANDER
Among frequent festival-goers, we've heard that day 2 is always the best. This is something that we can confirm by experience, and our time at Summoning was no different.
This festival was stacked with unique b2b sets, including the Phonon b2b MAD DUBZ mainstage performance at 3pm on Saturday. We went from that to the campsite renegade stage to see what all the buzz was about for the upcoming Sanzu b2b VKTM set.
Holy sh*t, y'all. This set was INSANE. Not only were there nearly 500 people packed out in front of the VOID sound system, but the pits were going off! The energy during this set was so high that we have chills writing about it.
This set is going down in riddim history. It started out with mosh pits underneath a massive, colored parachute (you know, the ones they used to give us during recess in elementary school) and ended with the crowd plowing down the makeshift rail. SweetTooth himself was jumping in the pits.
We also ran into the homie who runs the Riddim NYC page and helps keep the underground scene alive. Go follow him if you're not already!
The mosh pits for this b2b were absolutely feral; the Pit Ref was blowing whistles, girls were pushing guys and people were losing their minds. The boys even dropped our favorite Hurtbox x Shiverz - ID, which had us transported back to the insane moment at Lost Lands when we first heard this tune.
And then... it came time for one of the most highly anticipated sets of the weekend: HEDEX. The UK artist brought his own style of jump-up drum n bass and opened with "My Home Is The Rave." As the drop was building up, everyone was chanting, "Semi-Automatic, blah blah blah..." and lots of pyro followed throughout the entire set.
We'd have to say that this was definitely one of our top 5 sets of the weekend. We also got a snap of a Nokia ringtone remix that he dropped and all the riddim kids started moshing.
Next up, we caught the legend himself Space Laces who threw a completely illegal set as expected. He had the crowd going crazy for his Dominate VIP and his unreleased collab with Skrillex. As the night wore on, the rain decided to join the party right when it was time for Slander to take the stage. What's a Slander set without rain?
Slander came out swinging with an insane intro that had us all fall to our knees. We were able to confirm from a few sources that the intro is an unreleased Vastive & Slander collab — we've never wanted an ID more than now.
Given that this was more of a riddim/underground festival, we can tell that Slander catered to the crowd since they didn't play their usual melodic tracks like Love Is Gone and Superhuman.
Closing out the night was SQISHI's legendary silent disco set, hosted by DubHub. It was as one would expect: Completely unhinged. He brought out HAMRO and BLVNKSPVCE and they all went b4b early into the morning.
Day 3: Fire breathing, hardstyle and lots of high knees
After raging for the last two days, day three was finally upon us and we were feeling drained, but excited for the lineup ahead. We kicked off the day with Zubah's insane set at 2pm in the cave and he pulled such a big crowd, even VUlllGUR imposters appeared.
We then ran over to the Eclipse Stage to catch one of our favorites, SweetTooth, at 3pm. Even though it was cold and raining, everyone showed out. The Rave Ref was controlling the larger than life moshpit and Festival Finesser was also found on site capturing the debauchery.
SweetTooth also brought out special guests like Cromatik, VKTM, NRVE, Odesho and we challenged him to double every single track. Unfortunately, there were three tracks that he did not double so we had to issue him a citation.
If you're not following the Grocery Boiz already, you better now or we will arrest you.
AFK B2B Sisto laid it all out on the table and had the pits going the entire set. They even dropped a crazy Mind Pluck edit which was, indeed, a mind pluck. Emorfik, who has been unstopabble all year, played such a disgusting set that even people were commenting that they broke their necks.
Let's not forget one of the more unforgettable sets of day 3: CHANGO B2B stayns. This set went so crazy that the staff had to close entry to the cave due to it reaching capacity and it being the wildest crowd of the weekend.
Extra security and law enforcement were called into the cave as well to be on standby as the crowd was moshing like no other and doing high knees.
We had to catch our breath after this crazy B2B so when we went off to grab some food, the rain started to pick up really badly which caused us to miss Dubloadz set. Yes, we know what you're thinking, we deserve to be arrested for this. Catch us if you can!
If you know us personally, you'll know that we love hardstyle, so why would we miss Waterspirit? We were well aware that Waterspirit's set conflicted with Automhate b2b Oolacile, but there was no way we were going to miss both, so we split between both sets and got our fill.
It turns out, we had no idea just how many riddim fans were secretly hardstyle lovers. The cave was packed with everyone gabbering and jumping around like a school of hyperactive flying squirrels! MUST DIE! even made a special appearance to play out their collab, IN MY HEAD, and a new collab.
Closing out day 3 was an absolutely gremlin VOYD set at mainstage. It was an A+ from our perspective, simply because the production, crowd energy and songs were all on-point. We were left in awe of the curated moment SVDDEN DEATH had delivered.
Late-night afters went early into the morning, and we're still trying to comprehend sets from VYLE and Spass in the cave. Of course, our work never ends, and we were able to cite and detain a few criminals (you know who you are) for being too drunk.
Yeah, it's safe to say that Summoning was a feature film. And while there are not many more details we'd like to disclose, we highly recommend you experience this festival for yourself next time it comes around.
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