About This Festival
A Dance Utopia
For most of the year, visitors to the Midwest's riverfront parks enjoy serene moments at the shore of the Missouri River. The surrounding plains are flat and subdued and are the perfect environment for contemplation; they're a place to take it easy, spend time with family, and keep it low key. However, one weekend every year, serenity is replaced with bliss, families are ditched for squads and Dancefestopians do what they do best – dance nonstop for four days and three nights.
This boutique camping festival has made its home along the Missouri River, although its location has changed over the years due to rapid growth. Known for its bass-heavy electronic lineup and hot headliners, Dancefestopia (DFT) calls all music lovers from the Midwest and even attracts attendees from as far as the two coasts. A major draw to DFT is the waterfront property, which for a lucky few, turns into prime camping real estate during the festival weekend.
The event is produced by Borda Productions, an events company known for its social events in Kansas City (fun fact: half of Kansas City is in Kansas and the other half is in Missouri). DFT takes place near Kansas City and the suburb of Independence so plenty of hotel options are within driving distance for locals and visitors alike. However, doing Dancefestopia without camping wouldn't be doing it right – campers get access to DFT the Thursday before the festival starts and the pre-party festivities are known to melt faces and facilitate lifelong festival friendships via campsite shenanigans and late-night pizza parties.
More Than Music
The Missouri River is the longest river in North America, running through seven states for 2,300 miles. The body of water is home to hundreds of aquatic creatures and provides life-giving resources for land animals such as minks, river otters, muskrats, and Dancefestopians once a year. In all seriousness, though, in regards to the natural landscape of the United States, this area's plains and rivers are regarded worldwide. Dancefestopia is not just an experience of top-tier electronic music but a magical weekend in the heart of America's frontier.
Attendees are encouraged to camp and campers can arrive a day early. Showers are available onsite and camping includes forest and riverfront options. There is also a riverside hiking trail, perfect for cupcaking and early morning mini-decompressions before the festivities kick off for the day. The campgrounds aren't just for sleeping, either. Your inner child is encouraged to make an appearance at the community activities and games, with slacklining and giant parachutes among them.
There are plenty of natural stimuli to keep your mind content and heart full, but the man-made enhancements are not to be overlooked. Dancefestopia comes complete with firework displays, forest lighting, and a lit main stage. As the festival grows, the organizers' emphasis on public art and attractions increases as well. Art installations and carnival rides abound the festival grounds for the merriment of attendees between sets.
But Yeah, The Music
One of Dancefestopia's greatest features is typical of any music festival: the lineup. Considering the location of the festival, the acts presented at this festival are quite an accomplishment. Aside from Lollapalooza and Pitchfork Music Festival, the festival representation in the Midwest, and especially in the Kansas City area, is scarce. Dancefestopia is putting Missouri on the music hot spot map, especially for the EDM community that thrives on the coasts and has gradually made its way across the continental U.S. (and the world) thanks to events like DFT.
2016's lineup alone boasted top acts such as Adventure Club, Griz, Gramatik, and RL Grime while 2015 was topped with Bassnectar, Porter Robinson, Datsik and Brillz. With two stages (and soon to be more?), attendees don't have to worry about their attention being too divided at DFT. In this way, the weekend is more of a curated experience where most of your time is spent at the main stage with the river on the horizon, intense visuals and amazing Missouri sunsets.