03. Day for Night
Previously No. 3: Glastonbury
Whether or not you want to call it “peak” festival season, the fact is that in 2016, music festivals have become extremely commonplace. If you live in a sizeable city in the US, you’re likely not far from at least one or two festivals in a given year, or five times that number if you live in Chicago or Austin. As more and more pop up, it’s becoming increasingly aware that to thrive as a new festival in this climate, you have to contain a distinct, defining vision and offer a lineup unlike any other. Enter Houston’s Day for Night, a combination of music and visual art installations that, after a tremendous debut year in 2015, truly threw down the gauntlet in 2016.
In his first US appearance in eight years, the one and only Aphex Twin will be playing, a booking feat so awesome that we’re still trying to figure out how they pulled it off. Bjork will be delivering the US debut of Bjork Digital, her new five-room combination of music and art. Texas experimental rock pioneers Butthole Surfers are reuniting for their first show in over five years. Both Arca and frequent collaborator Jesse Kanda will be appearing. Blood Orange, Squarepusher, Blonde Redhead, The Jesus and Mary Chain, John Carpenter, Mykki Blanco, S U R V I V E, and Matmos are all making rare appearances in Texas. On the other side, Houston itself is present throughout the lineup from Travis Scott at the top to the “Welcome to Houston” event that features Bun B, Slim Thug, Mike Jones, Lil Flip, and Paul Wall among many other local heroes. A cutting-edge assembly of intriguing acts has Day for Night swiftly making the leap into the top tier of American festivals. –David Sackllah