ODESZA, Photograph by Julian Bajsel

I drove from Chicago to Houston, partly to attend Day for Night (and partly to spend time with friends and family). It took me two days of driving to get to my home city, and I’m happy to report that Day for Night delivered. It was well worth the drive. And I’m not the only one that thinks so. Music Festival fans and Art Enthusiasts from all over the United States were in attendance.

“Our intention is to bring together talents that fearlessly cross over multiple fields and blur the lines between media. From our more established artists, such as UVA and Bjork digital, who are both presenting works never seen before in the US, to our youngest artist, the twenty-year-old Ezra Miller, we want our audience to experience art at a scale that is almost impossible to see elsewhere, and in a grouping that would be hard to pull off in more traditional environments,” says Alex Czetwertynski, co-founder of the festival.

Day for Night Crowd, Photograph by Daemaine Hines

The two-day festival was held in the previously abandoned United States Postal Building. The two-story federal building was mostly dark with the only lights coming from the Blue Stage or an installation nearby. The music festival fan’s eyes were forced to adjust to the darkened environment and create a map in their mind. (Most important of which might have been to remember which staircase was up and which was down.) The musical line-up was packed with heavy-hitters like Bjork, Kaskade, Thundercat, ODESZA, Nick Murphy, Aphex Twin, and Banks. Notable artists included John Carpenter, who you know from movies like Halloween and TV Shows like Stranger Things.

Throughout the weekend, I took little notes to myself about my experience. Here are five things I learned at Day for Night.

1. Houstonians Are Still Surprised When People Visit

Houston wasn’t the only city to show up in numbers to Day for Night. People flew and drove in from all over the US. But, what stood out to me the most was the shocked comments I overheard from Houstonians. “Woah! You flew in for this?” Houston is known for being a bit secretive about what actually happens down here. We don’t mind you coming, but we are kind of shocked when you figure out how to get there. And, I heard that over and over all weekend. So, Houston, it’s time to stop being so shocked. People are figuring out that we got a good thing goin’ on down here. Time to help show them around the town.

Photograph by Julian Bajsel

2. Pop-Up Museums Leave You Wanting

One of the most compelling reasons to attend Day for Night is, of course, the incredible line-up of artists that were bringing installations with them instead of music. Sixteen artists set up awe-inspiring installations that ranged from fully immersive, an absolute photo shoot opp, a do-not-touch museum-esque vibe and entrance lines that ran the length of the enormous former Unites States Postal Service building. The building was a perfect mix of eerie, abandoned, wide-open spaces and the thrill of exploration. I was so excited for the art piece of the festival, but didn’t realize how much of a hole it would leave behind when I woke up Monday morning knowing I couldn’t see those installations again, and that there were no more sets to rush off to hear. Day for Night brought a high-brow museum feel to a killer music festival lineup and merged the two in a beautiful, addictive way. I can’t wait for next year, and every year after that, y’all!

Photograph by Julian Bajsel

3. Bjork Is an Acquired Taste

So. Bjork. Let’s get it out there. A lot of you hated her set. And a lot of you thought it was the new frontier for DJs. I have to admit, though; it was pretty funny listening to the furious outbursts that went like this: “FYI. We’re still just looking at trees. TREES y’all.” or “WHAT THE HELL ARE WE LISTENING TO?” or “This is BULLSHIT.” Houston, y’all are funny. And your outbursts kept me laughing all weekend. I have to say. Personally, I was a little confused myself. But, the music was really cool. I was a little surprised that there was nothing broadcasting on the giant screens to the right and left of the stage. But, then again, y’all. It’s Bjork. So, anything goes.

Bjork, Photograph by Roger Ho Sun

4. Y’all are Creative AF

A game I started on Saturday turned out, thanks to you, to be pretty hard to keep up with. The game was simple. When we pass someone we think is the best-dressed at the fest, point him or her out to the group. I snapped shots of a few of you, and I’ve got to give it up to everyone that came dressed as their favorite character, fun expressive creation or participated in Onesie Day (aka Sunday). Y’all are creative AF. (And you have a lot of winter gear, considering you’re from Houston.)

Damien Echols, Photograph by Daemaine Hines Sun

5. The Igloo Has a New Home

Remember the bubble dome aka igloo that was outside on Saturday? It blew away. Like, flew off. My curiosity is peaking as I’m imagining it flying down 45, through downtown, or bouncing into someone’s back yard. Some lucky person has that dome, and I want to know who! Let’s throw a party in that thing!

Photograph by Roger Ho

The organizers of Day for Night really put together a stellar festival and chose a venue to match. Congrats to everyone involved in putting together the 2nd annual Day for Night festival!

Missed out on the fest this year? Well, there’s always next year! In the meantime, connect with Day for Night on Spotify, Facebook, and Instagram. Featured image is of Limb, the photograph is by Ismael Quintanilla. 

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