Continuing the perfect start to festival season, Prime Social Group along with Four Loko brought the energy to Red Hat Amphitheater, located in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Transitioning to a two-day format, the festival continued the excitement from last year by adding more to the table. Headliners, RL Grime and Gryffin, capped off the event with support by electronic powerhouses, Chris Lake, Bonnie x Clyde, Two Friends, Phantoms and SoDown, along with the sole hip hop artist Bryce Vine.
After an eventful first year with headliner Zeds Dead, the production quickly moved to the more sought after multiple-day event. In such a location like Red Hat, it was the perfect way to keep the party going while also taking time to look at the stars (or edit photos between sets in my case) in the stadium seating at the back of the venue. The partnership with Four Loko catered towards a college audience with accessory giveaways and Polaroid photos on top of the Four Loko Gold throne, while the price per can at $14 kept the potential craziness to a minimum.
Going into day one, I was in for a surprise as most supporting were unfamiliar with me. I was treated with loads of rising talent that may go unnoticed elsewhere. Artist, SoDown, brought the funky vibes to a new wave of arriving fans coming in early to discover someone new. An energy filled set with multiple saxophone melodies gave the extra push towards the ideal, live EDM performance many are looking for.
Power duo, Bonnie x Clyde, took the stage with a USB filled with original tracks, upcoming IDs and live vocals that brought rowdiness to the next level. From past experience seeing them live, they’ve improved their set and production tremendously and their interaction with the crowd is unmatched.
Just in time to cool everyone down on a 95° day, tech house, DJ Chris Lake, was behind the decks to change the pace of the event for the eager arrival of RL Grime. Known for producing massive hits in almost every genre, he brought a mix of house, mid-tempo and trap for the perfect close to day one. Tracks like “UCLA,” “Pressure,” and “Core” have been favorites of mine for a while and to hear them live for a second time gave me the energy I needed to push through the rest of the night.
I started off the second day with a DJ set from duo Phantoms, bringing the house vibes yet again for a hot start to the day. Taking the stage after was the college party masters, Two Friends. This duo knew exactly how to engage with the demographic of this event and gave the crowd one of the best sets of the weekend. Playing hits from all eras and throwing many t-shirts into the crowd, the duo gave everything they had.
As an overall change in pace for the event, Bryce Vine took the stage with the mission to deliver all of his emotion through music, and it was evident. University of South Carolina students may be familiar with this artist after the Spring Fest performance on Greene Street. After seeing multiple Gamecock jerseys in the crowd, there is a big chance they came for more of his music.
His stage presence was unmatched as he did not hesitate to climb on the subwoofers or dance on the stage. His smaller hits may have gone unnoticed by his fan base; however, they began to sing “Drew Barrymore” during multiple different songs when they were handed the microphone.
Closing off the festival was the live electronic-performance king, Gryffin. Just a week after seeing him at Shaky Beats, I knew exactly what to expect and he delivered. Even on a smaller stage, his passion for music was unchanged and he delivered a wonderful performance, including his hit with Daya, “Feel Good.”
Overall, Prime Festival has improved dramatically and I do not expect this to slow down. Considering the talent Prime Social Group has been booking for the events, next year’s installment should be even more packed.
Keep up with Prime Social Group on Instagram and Twitter at @PrimeSocial and with the festival at @primefestival.