The circus that the Jetsons would have thrown is coming to town with lasers blazing.
It is a more focused, more intense electronica experience than last year’s, with more performance artists, music and eye candy, along with a few more rules to keep things as PG as possible.
This year’s MASSV is an all-ages event that will take place Friday, July 5, and Saturday, July 6, from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. each day at the base of River Run at Bald Mountain with plenty to see and hear.
By day, there will be food trucks, exhibitors that include go-go dancers, art cars, art installations, dances, circus-style acts and movers with glowing hula-hoops.
At sunset, a laser show will light up like an alien invasion across multiple stages, including a dome, along with spectacular visuals from multiple LED walls as well as from a giant robot with laser guns, LED balloons and even hang gliders.
The MASSV lineup includes Krewella, Gramatik, Mimosa, G-Eazy, Chali 2na + House of Vibe and much more.
In addition to the many musical acts, the festival will present performance art from Remote Kontrol, featuring Marquese Scott—one of the most in-demand dub step dancers in the world today—KaZüm, A-WOL, the MASSV BoomBot, ELEMent, Celestial Dance, Jake Peterson who will also lead a Parkour class for kids, and plenty of other performers never seen before in the Wood River Valley.
For a MASSV Galactic “VIP” Experience, take advantage of a Warp Speed Entrance and the Galaxy Lounge, which will blast you to another level at the Starship Bar with BoomBot Service and plenty of space as well other amenities in a swank tent with comfy seating and posh décor as well as some special solar surprises. VIP passes are available online for $129.
Two-day passes are for sale for locals at $69 until July 4 at Atkinsons’ Markets in Ketchum and Hailey, and the Board Bin and Whiskey Jacques’ in Ketchum.
General admission limited-quantity two-day wristbands are on sale for $89 at www.massvmusicfestival.com/tickets. Single-day passes may be available on-site for $49 on Friday, $59 on Saturday if the event is not sold out. Children under 6 are free and must be accompanied by an adult.
On-site camping will be available 100 yards from the festival grounds starting Thursday, July 4, at 4 p.m. through Sunday, July 7, at 4 p.m. Camping passes are available for $40 per spot for the weekend (while available) online at www.massvmusicfestival.com/tickets/.
This time last year, Brent Russell had gone from overnights in the ER and moonlighting as DJ Alien Doc Rock and angel investor in a fledgling weekend called MASSV, or Music & Arts Showcase Sun Valley to running the festival. With the sudden death of founder Zack Peterson and his wife, CJ, in a car accident, Russell was faced with running the show or cutting his losses.
Friends and family of Peterson, a Boise resident, encouraged Russell to forge ahead in his memory. He did, the result being a wildly successful, somewhat deranged, perilously close-to-implosion three-day event in downtown Ketchum.
Hailed by most everyone afterward, despite the injuries sustained by security guard Corey
Weatherly when someone who was likely intoxicated fell on him from a downtown building, leaving him with permanent injuries, Russell vowed to either make it work more seamlessly this year or let it go.
“I want to be a positive force in this community,” he said in a booth at Perry’s where he had shared lunch with his wife, Missy, and their 10-year-old boy, Jacob, and was now running the festival from his laptop. “I want people to feel good about it. Last year, I came out of left field, and some things needed to have been handled better, but still, people were really positive about it.”
And Weatherly has not been forgotten; in addition to several fundraising efforts since last July’s incident, a portion of the ticket sales is going to a fund for him. Weatherly’s company is also handling all the security.
“We were overwhelmed last year,” Russell admitted. “We had no idea how popular, how big it was truly going to be.”
He expects to break expectations again, but feels better prepared.
“I’ve personally spoken with each of the acts and told them to bring their PG show. There were some things presented last year that didn’t align with my personal beliefs, but I hope we have taken care of that.”
But while a contract can bind a performer, audiences are a bit trickier to control. To help that this year, the site is contained to River Run, with camping adjacent. The days are limited to two nights, from early evening until 2 a.m., and no one will be allowed to leave and return to the grounds after 10 p.m.
“If the community really wants this, then I hope they will respect what we’re trying to do and act accordingly,” he said. “I want this to be as family-friendly as possible. We will have some more rules, but parents are going to have to decide what that means for themselves.
“We’re not trying to promote debauchery. We’re trying to share some unbelievable performers with this valley.