Even a Hurricane Couldn't Stop the Something Wicked Afterparty

Thousands of people were understandably disappointed as the cancellation announcement was made for the first day of Something Wicked, and the official afterparty became the hottest event of the weekend. Fans scrambled to come up with other plans as Saturday's afterparty quickly sold out; social media was crammed with people scalping tickets for a major profit, and rumors flew about DIY parties at homes, hotels and lake houses.

The extreme EDM fans who braved the remnants of Hurricane Patricia to throw down until the early hours of the morning and those lucky enough to gain entrance to Stereo Live were #blessed, and energy was high as the sellout crowd had been itching to rage for several hours. From the word go, the crowd was ready to rage as if they already knew that the second day of the festival was going to be canceled and this was their only time to get out their frustrations since they couldn’t attend the much anticipated festival, arguably Houston's best of the lot.

The venue was packed by 10:30 p.m. as guest artist Claptone was in the middle of his set. The German DJ was not listed on the original bill, so it was a great surprise when his golden-long beaked mask, white gloves and magician-type hat began moving onstage with no video visuals. The fans showed their love with shouts and applause as he closed his set.

At the stroke of midnight, the much-gossiped-about story of the day came to be true as Above & Beyond stepped to the equipment. The multiple video boards came to life, as words began to appear on the screen and a beat slowly started to build. “This morning we woke up in Miami and heard about the rain here," they said. "Thanks for the therapy, Houston.” Over the trio's nearly two-hour set, positive messages were displayed as beautiful melodies mixed with heavy bass pumped out of the speakers and through the dancing and blissful crowd. For many fans on this early Sunday morning, it was a spiritual event, and A&B closed out their set with the message that is so true, “Life Is Made From the Small Moments Like This.”

The seamless switch from the progressive trance icons to bass master Seven Lions happened around 1:45 a.m. In a set much different from the surprise guests', the beautiful and serene videos were replaced with more Halloween-like horror scenes and pictures of nefarious beings were flashing on screen at a seizure-inducing pace. The huge buildup and massive bass drops matched the artist’s flowing mane as it moved up and down with the bangers he punched out; the crowd ate it all up and wanted more. Then it all stopped. He was told to shut it down as a fire was reported on the outside patio of the venue. And just like that, the night was over.

Disco Donnie Presents, Nightculture, Stereo Live and everyone else involved in the production of Something Wicked wanted the event to happen. They even reportedly tried to secure Minute Maid Park, but were not able to gather enough staff to adequately man the major-league ballpark.

I was a firsthand witness of the problems that occurred with TomorrowWorld this year and dealt with the mud and transportation issues at the site in Georgia's Chattahoochee Hills. Trust me, after viewing the flooded festival grounds on Sunday morning, it was easy to understand the decisions made to cancel it. It would have been extremely unsafe and irresponsible for the promoters to move forward. Had the festival been allowed to proceed in the field's current conditions, it would have been a failure of epic proportions.

The Bass Crypt stage viewing area was completely submerged. It would have produced some great Internet memes involving the mythical underwater city of Atlantis, but not of fans having a great time. The dangers involved with standing water are huge, especially when combined with the electricity necessary to run the shows and the trash produced by thousands of dancing people. It would have become an electric cesspool of glitter and glowsticks. Think what would have happened once the portapotties started to slowly drift toward Borgore.

I was a bit sad as I sopped along the saturated field just thinking about what could have been and the huge wasted effort on the part of the production crew, stagehands and everyone else who attempted to make the festival a reality. Hopefully, next year Something Wicked will be flooded with great times had by all.

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Jackson is a freelance photographer and writer covering a variety of music and sporting events in the Houston area. He has contributed to the Houston Press since 2013.
Contact: Jack Gorman