It has been a few months since the original announcement of Middlelands, the newest music festival in the greater Houston area and a joint production of industry giants Insomniac (Electric Daisy Carnival) and C3 (Austin City Limits Music Festival, Lollapalooza).
A lot of mystery continues to surround the festival, which has thus far released tidbits of information only sporadically. What is known publicly, right now, is that the festival will be held on the grounds of the Texas Renaissance Festival, in Todd Mission, between May 5 and May 7, 2017. The festival will also include four days of camping and — even though organizers haven't yet announced a lineup — is shaping up to be one of the best EDM festivals between Las Vegas and Orlando.
The production of the event will be second to none in the region; Middlelands' tagline promises that it will be “an adventure for the ages." However, that should not be confused for an adventure for all ages. Festival-goers must be age 18 or older, a demographic that will automatically be older than that of ACL Fest or Free Press Summer Fest.
Recently, the Houston Press was invited to tag along during the filming of the festival trailer, which stars Kristian Nairn, talented DJ and "Hodor" of Game of Thrones fame. During that time, Matt Kotch, marketing director at Insomniac, provided some insight into the origins, vision and direction of the new festival.
It started when Insomniac was seeking to put on an event in Texas, Kotch explained. The idea for Middlelands started to take hold when a Live Nation employee and longtime Ren Fair fan suggested looking at the site in Todd Mission. Pasqualle Rotella, head of Insomniac and an "experience creator," visited the grounds with his family to take in the sights, and came away very impressed with the festival grounds. It appeared to be a perfect fit, considering the facilities are utilized for only eight weeks out of the year.
Not many music festivals are held on established sites, meaning that there are already permanent structures for the build-on. The crew is excited to put on this first offering and possibly add some permanent fixtures to the already established structures on the RenFest grounds for future years.
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When asked about the biggest concern with the festival, Kotch said that it's always seeing to it that the headliners have a great experience, including safe travel to and from the festival grounds, and ensuring the overall health of attendees. But we are happy to report no worries about Middlelands' eventual success after observing the way Kotch and crew managed the filming of the trailer. They had everything under control, whether working in and around the RenFest attendees or seeking a massive cheeseburger or era-appropriate size-17 footwear for Nairn.
A couple of drawbacks for local electronic music fans are having a finite amount of cash and the age restriction. Decisions will need to be made over what festival to attend over a short time period as Euphoria (April 6-9) and Something Wonderful (April 22-23) are being held outside of Austin and in Dallas, respectively, within a month of each other. But youredm.com states that Middlelands should fill the void left by the massive Tomorrowworld in Atlanta; this is shaping up to be the festival to attend if a choice has to be made. Early-bird tickets have now sold out, but the general release will be at noon on Tuesday, December 6, at middlelands.com. (Three-day GA passes will run $185.)
Kotch said that some artists are currently booked for the festival but was unable to elaborate on those. Insomniac reps stated that the lineup should be released in the coming weeks. Even after we hung out with the crew for the day, there are many more questions yet to be answered about Middlelands.
See more information at middlelands.com.