“For the love of dance music, we come together in nature”, was the motto and the reason for leaving the city life in New York and venturing 2 hours upstate to Monticello during Memorial Day Weekend. Since 2014, Teksupport has brought new life to New York City’s nightlife by bringing incredible talent from all over the world to large scale underground dance events in Brooklyn. To celebrate their 5 year anniversary, Teksupport has thrown the inaugural edition of their first festival, Gather Outdoors.
Thoughts on how a massive techno event would be executed in the small town of Monticello definitely grew some speculation among attendees. The festival took place on Holiday Mountain for two days and offered a wide array of accommodation options from onsite regular camping, glamping, RV, and off-site hotel options which was the route I took. The idyllic forested location served as the backdrop to Gather’s first year which featured 4 stages and showcased sounds from some of the industry’s most innovative selectors.
With weather predictions forecasting scattered showers both Saturday and Sunday, booking a hotel that was an 8 minute drive from the festival seemed like the best idea. Ubers and Lyfts were very limited however, after two 30 minutes wait times and cancellations, we booked a taxi to and from the festival for the next day as well. Concerns were apparent for campers who felt the disorganization and lack of transparency about the shuttle times as well as confusion around the details of when camping would start. The camping section was a stone throw away from the Hemlock Stage (stage 1). Not closing out the camping area made for a really open, inclusive, and festive environment and truly “gathered” everyone.
Day 1 saw performances from David Berrie, Marco Faraone, Butch, Matador, Floorplan, Francesca Lombardo, Victor Calderone, Paco Osuna and a very special 4 hour set from the Desert Hearts Crew. Day 2 brought out Agoria, Doc Martin, MK, Mr. G, Danny Tenaglia, Maya Jane Coles, Art Department, Stacey Pullen, Fjaak, Jamie XX, and Amelie Lens.
The stages were carefully spread out amongst the venue and were conveniently located if you were at the bottom of the mountain and came to see the artists only playing at the first two stages, Hemlock and Beech. Both stages were a 2 minute walk apart yet did not experience any noise bleeding from either. Stage 3 was a mission to get to as it was located at the top of the mountain on a very steep incline. The chair lift was operating during the earlier sets but was turned off at around 10pm so if there was an artist playing at the Oak-Members stage you had to decide whether to commit and start the trek. As it rained, the slope became a mudslide and we saw some people take a tumble.
The sound system was incredible, the views were refreshing, and the vibe was eclectic. Aside from the few hiccups that are common for a first year festival, Gather Outdoors was an absolute hit. Once we got over the hurdles, it was nothing but the best vibes with the friendliest people. I have seen most of the names on the lineup in a packed, sold out setting in Brooklyn and it was almost hard to believe that I saw big time heavy hitters like MK with a crowd of 50 people and techno titan Amelie Lens in a crowd of 70 people. Picture the same exact electric Brooklyn vibe but with all of the space in the world to just DANCE. People walked in and out of camping with solo cups and made it feel like a backyard party with your closest friends rather than being at a festival. I don’t know if I’ll ever have that opportunity again.
I commend Teksupport for their hard work and dedication that definitely did not go unnoticed. Just a week after the festival, they announced their return for 2020 and I cannot wait to be back. See you next year!
Photos: Off Brand Project