Festival Preview – What the Festival 2017

Aaron Sharpsteen / June 14, 2017
Sunset at What the Festival. All images provided by What the Festival.

The summer music festival season is officially underway, and this year’s edition of What the Festival promises to be a great way to get into the groove of music, art, and camping. An eclectic mix of electronica, R+B, hip/hop, and other styles as well as several classes and art installations means that there will be something for art lovers of all kinds out at Wolf Run Ranch.

Getting Around

The first suggestion is to get acclimated by looking at a map. The basic layout is an east to west map, with the festival grounds surrounded by parking on the east and west sides. The east side of the event contains the main daytime stages, The Equinox stage and the Splash Pool and Stage, both of which have impressive lineups each day. The crowds and action will then move west for the afternoon and evening, with the two main evening stages, the Effin and WTF stages, on opposite sides of a field, with the Silent Disco in between. From there, the sound moves to the north and central and into more forested areas for the late night activities at several different stages, including the Equinox stage, The Easy Speak stage, The Dragon stage, the Groove Qube, and the Shinto stage.

Pool Party_Flamingos

Breaking the Days Up

A quick look at some online schedules will show that the days at What the Festival are broken down into Day, Night, and Late Night stages. This organization is how the our recommendations will follow as well. These recommendations are meant to provide a skeletal guide to the weekend, as there are numerous classes and talks to go to and art installations to visit throughout every single day. There is also a silent disco every night from midnight until 4 in the morning, and late night karaoke for the adventurous as well.

Dragon Stage


There are only night shows on Thursday, meant for those with early entry passes. If you are one of those lucky people, be sure not to miss Doc Riz ( Equinox, 8-9 p.m.), Subduktion (Groove Qube, 9-10 p.m.) and Haywyre (Equinox, 1-2 a.m.)

Friday Daytime Recommendations:

Chet Porter (Spash Stage, 4-5 p.m.)

Yak Attack (Equinox Stage, 4:30-5:45 p.m.)

Friday Night Recommendations:

Pressha ( Effin Stage, 7-8 p.m.)

The Last Artful Dodgr (WTF Stage, 8-9 p.m.)

Gramatik (WTF Stage, 10:45 – midnight)

Friday Late Night Recommendations:

Tiger Fresh (Groove Qube, 11-midnight)

Ott (Dragon Stage, 2 – 4 a.m.)

Backdoor Karaoke  – Yes, music festival karaoke. (Woodlands Stage, 2 – 5 a.m.)


Saturday Daytime Recommendations

Diablo (Splash, 11-noon)

Manoj (Splash, 1 – 2 p.m.)

Funk Hunters (Splash, 3 – 4 p.m.)

Asher Fulero Band (Equinox, 4:30 – 5:45 p.m.)

Saturday Night Recommendations

Yak Attack (WTF, 6 – 7:15 p.m.)

N.O.X ( Effin, 7 -8 p.m)

Zhu ( WTF

Saturday Late Night Recommendations

High Step Society ( Easy Speak , 11 – midnight)

Drumspyder (Shinto, 2:30-4 a.m.)


Sunday Daytime Recommendations

Mr. Wu (Splash, noon – 1 p.m.)

Classixx DJ Set ( 3:45 – 5:00 p.m.)

Sunday Night Recommendations

Area 54 (Effin 6 – 7 p.m.)

Reva Devito (WTF, 7:45 – 8:45 p.m.)

Cut Copy (WTF, 10:45 – midnight)

Sunday Late Night Recommendations

Tyler Tastemaker (Equinox, 11 11:45 p.m.)

Eastghost (Equinox, 1:15 – 2 a.m.)


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