Elements Music & Arts Festival 2022: Comeback Festival of the Season
It isn’t Burning Man. It isn’t Electric Forest. It isn’t Bushwick. It isn’t Berlin. It’s described as a mix of any combination of them all. So many eyes were on Elements Music and Arts Festival last weekend when it unfolded at the Pocono Raceway woodlands, a venue five times bigger than its previous site in Pennsylvania.
There was no unreasonable wait to get into the grounds this time, the weather was nearly perfect, and the lineup was the festival’s most stacked yet. More than 8,000 revelers gathered daily from 24 countries and 34 states for the 72-hour boutique camping festival with more than 100 musical acts and countless interactive experiences. It was, as Festival Director Sig Greenebaum described it, “kind of like a video game” advancing level after level.
“My number one goal coming into this year was to ensure confidence every step of the fan journey; from toll booths to escorting patrons to their campsites, blocking out their sites in advance, clear signage, convenient placement of restrooms and showers, the flow to and from stage,” said Greenebaum. “I might be biased, but if there is an award for comeback festival of the year, I'm pretty certain Elements should be in the conversation.”
The highly-anticipated return was indeed a successful one. We gathered some top moments to relive or persuade you that Elements must be on your next festival destination list.
Elements offered an impressive lineup elevated with several surprise back-to-back sets. It started early on Friday afternoon when Gene Farris stayed on past his two-hour set for a b2b with Sacha Robotti, who stuck around after headlining Thursday’s pre-party. The two grooved on the Water stage as attendees danced away on a larger-than-life lifeguard chair, a pirate’s ship, and other art cars.
Attendees were disappointed that Fisher could not make it, but Sonny Fodera and Chapter & Verse stepped in for an exciting set. Chapter & Verse said that Elements was “definitely worth the effort” of making a 30-hour trip from the U.K.
”I didn’t quite know what to expect with this one but absolutely loved the vibe here. Organization was really on point and the crowd were absolutely sick. Definitely a new experience for me after playing a lot of commercial festivals but I loved every minute,” he said. “Lost Village U.K. meets Electric Forest meets Burning Man!”
Kaskade’s Redux sunset set on the Fire stage
The icon Kaskade’s deeper sets are a fan favorite, and there was something special about seeing him throw one down in the relative intimacy of the Fire stage. Shaped like a multi-armed goddess, the stage spewed flames at the perfect moments of classic tracks like "Eyes," "It’s You, It’s Me," and "I Remember." It was 90 minutes of seeing Kaskade in what looked like a massive but was just a crowd of a few thousand people with the best vibes.
“This is my first experience at Elements, it was amazing!” said Kaskade. “I traveled all day to get here and I think that’s part of the uniqueness – we’re out here in the middle of the forest, trees all around us, incredible stage, what a vibe! Nothing quite like it.”
Those who did not know who Golden Pony was going into Elements knew who he was after seeing him. He’s Tim Monkiewicz, one of the founders of Brooklyn-based production company BangOn!NYC, the founders of Elements. In the earlier part of Sunday night, Golden Pony played a high-energy, infectious set that captivated the crowd. At the end, he attempted to invite everyone who helped put the festival together on a stage not big enough to hold everyone who put a bit of their heart into it.
“It was so amazing to see my Fire stage goddess come to life!” said Monkiewicz. “From a napkin sketch I did five years ago to today, there have been so many who collaborated to bring this beauty to life, and I am so grateful for all their creative input and help!”
Closers and dancing in the rain
The weather at Elements this year was the opposite of Hurricane Ida's unfortunate effects on the festival in 2021. Rain in the forecast kept getting delayed – until the last couple of hours of the glorious weekend. That’s when Big Gigantic took the Earth Stage. They brought a heavy set with tons of new music.
“We’re bringing on the craziness and it’s gonna be fun!” Dominic Lalli and Jeremy Salken said.
It began misting in the second half of their set, and by the last track, it was a downpour. But, even for those who don’t like rain, it was an epic end to an explosive set.
“We love the new spot. It's beautiful out here and it's a great vibe, so it's cool to be back,” they said.
Those who stayed for the final act, Zeds Dead at the Fire stage, saw Elements close out on a high note.
“That’s what’s up Elements! We love ya’ll. Through the rain and the shine – it’s been a real pleasure – peace out!” the duo said.