As the summer of 2015 approaches, festival season is in full swing. From South by Southwest in Texas to Coachella in the southern California desert, the past few months have been full of opportunities to experience music and art in a vibrant outdoor setting. But if you couldn’t make it to Austin or Indio, don’t worry – there’s still a chance to enjoy the full festival experience right here on campus. This Saturday, Stanford is hosting the Frost Music and Arts Festival, a five-hour outdoor production featuring world-famous musical groups alongside performances and visual art exhibitions staged by talented students. With a strong lineup featuring Flume, Kaytranada, AlunaGeorge and Stanford’s own Siberian Front, aspiring festival-goers need look no further than Palo Alto for a high-quality concert experience.
Perhaps the most hotly anticipated act to take the stage this weekend is Flume, an Australian instrumentalist, DJ and producer. Born Harley Streten, he’s known for his atmospheric, dreamy blend of electronica and trip hop. From heavily syncopated, sample-heavy hits like “Holdin On” to haunting, introspective collaborations like “Drop the Game” (featuring Chet Faker), Flume’s music is ideal festival fare – equally conducive to dancing as it is to chilling out in the company of good friends. For those who are only familiar with a few of his songs, the performance should be a great introduction to lesser-known cuts that are just as complex and captivating as hits like “Sleepless” and “This Song Is Not About A Girl.”
Though his performance is sure to be a highlight, there’s more to Frost than Flume. He’ll be accompanied by Kaytranada, an up-and-coming electronica artist born in Haiti and raised in Canada. Also known as Louis Celestin, he started DJing at the age of 14 and quickly rose to prominence as his spacy, fragmented remixes took Soundcloud by storm. Listen for his original tracks as well – “Drive Me Crazy”, featuring rapper Vic Mensa, is a spare, swaggering standout. British duo AlunaGeorge – composed, not surprisingly, of vocalist Aluna Francis and producer George Reid – is also set to perform. Fresh from their hit single “You Know You Like It,” a successful collaboration with electronic powerhouse DJ Snake, the group should add a refreshing pop aesthetic to a lineup that leans heavily towards the atmospheric and experimental.
In addition to these acts, Frost will feature a solid sampling of some of Stanford’s finest visual and musical artists. After prevailing over a number of other student groups in a battle of bands staged earlier this month at the Sprung Music Festival, alt-rock outfit Siberian Front will bring its energy and talent to the Frost Amphitheater. Throughout the course of the year, their spirited live performances have consistently yielded positive reviews, and their set Saturday should be no different. The festival will also feature 14 unique art installations created by students in ME289 (Interactive Art and Performance Design). Between these performances and exhibitions, Stanford’s own musicians and artists should give the headliners a run for their money.
Over the past few decades, the Frost Amphitheater has hosted high-quality artists from across styles and genres. The Grateful Dead, Joan Baez and Eric Clapton have all performed on the grassy stage, and in recent years, alternative favorites Modest Mouse and MGMT have made appearances. Though time passes and musical tastes evolve, this year’s festival should be just as memorable as those of the past. So if you couldn’t make it to Coachella, don’t stress. This weekend, Frost presents an opportunity to enjoy a world-class music and arts festival right outside your door.
Contact Clare Flanagan at ckflan ‘at’ stanford.edu.