Last year we visited the fifth edition of Euphoria Music Festival right outside of Austin, TX. It was an emotional experience for all involved. Not only was it a mind blowing experience music and production wise, but myself and my friend who did photography for us were grieving the loss of his brother, who had passed away days earlier from a drug overdose. Euphoria helped us heal, grow and learn more about ourselves than we could have ever imagined. In those few days we knew that we would be back for years to come. Euphoria invited us and weaved it’s spirit throughout us. When I heard that I had an opportunity to talk to Mitch Morales, the mind behind the festival, about this year’s installment of Euphoria I jumped on the opportunity.
I try to steal a moment here and there to go out and see who has returned, along with meet some of the new faces.
I spoke with Mitch just before last year’s festival and he mentioned that he thought the moment where everything would hit him in terms of what he had created in 5 small years would come during Above & Beyond’s set on the last night of the festival. I revisited this question and had to know what that moment was like. To watch something you have loved and nurtured for so many years grow to into an experience that was so incredible and beautiful for thousands.
“In a word, life-changing. Even if you put aside the months, if not years, of prep that went into the 5th Anniversary…the countless hours of collaboration with our team- it still could be defined as life-changing. It was a culmination of all my passions, both personal (I asked my longtime girlfriend Tyler to marry me, during the A&B set) and professional. And I think our fans… our family felt it too. It is going to be hard to top that moment, but that’s why I love doing what I do.”
What has made Euphoria so successful year after year is the ability of it’s creators to continually give the festival upgrades. These come in the form of expanded and more impressive line ups, larger scale productions, and small changes around the grounds. Euphoria knows how to stay successful in a market that grows ever more competitive. The Texas festival market is one that specifically is always growing. It requires a forward thinking attitude to continue to curate the most progressive events for an ever demanding audience. So with that being said…what is new for 2017?
“First on this list should be Ecophoria. While it was introduced last year we are expanding on those initiatives and making it something our fans will take back with them. Sustainability an important issue for Euphoria, which puts us on a path that is not only important for the planet and community, but will also separate us from the crowd in terms of values and engagement.
Another cool element that we are including and ties back to my own personal situation, is that Euphoria is offering weddings. We are still finalizing the particulars on what people can expect, but we will be tapping local Austin businesses to help make each union special. We have already had an amazing response, so if you know anyone that is interested they can sign up at euphoriafest.com/weddings.”
So with all of these changes planned, the question stands as how do you know what to change each year to continue to make the experience as memorable as possible. Mitch might be a seasoned festival and experience creator…but he certainly isn’t a mind reader. Having the opportunity to pick the brain of the person who has created one of the best festivals I have ever attended gave me the chance to see exactly what happens behind the scenes at the event, and during the off season to make sure each year is better than the last. So what is it that they look for?
“The reaction of our fans. There were a few concerns with some of the changes we had made from year four to five, many of which were valid. And at the end of the day while you will never make everyone happy, if you do not listen and make edits to those things you can change… positive change… you compromise the overall experience. In our case, I think we started making moves before Euphoria Denali even happened. So, there’s that.”
Yeah…you read that last line correctly. Euphoria Denali. As in Denali, Alaska. The Euphoria crew went to the ends of the earth and brought their legendary vibes along. While Alaska Denali was obviously a much smaller scale event than the main event held in Austin, it is beyond cool to see brands pushing themselves to new frontiers.
“Will Krause was the driving force behind Euphoria Denali and did an amazing job. It was more intimate than the Austin vision, but the Euphoria culture was still very much present. We use these opportunities to not only help extend the brand, but our mission.”
Mitch is a busy man during the weekend of the festival. He is running around, making sure everything is running smoothly and that when hiccups do arise, they are taken care of quickly and in the correct manner. Still even though Euphoria will be more work than play for him, each year must bring some special memories. So just like I asked last year, I had to see what he is most excited for during the 2017 edition.
“Welcoming everyone back to the ranch. This is the fourth year that we’ve been at Carson Creek and with each year it feels more and more like home. I try to steal a moment here and there to go out and see who has returned, along with meet some of the new faces. Euphoria has become such a community bringing everyone back each April means a lot.”
We are so grateful for Mitch Morales, the entire Euphoria team and Caren West PR for making this interview possible. We really cannot wait to return to the grounds for the 6th installment of Euphoria. Tickets are still available and you can grab them here!