BUKU Music + Art Project in New Orleans is one of the dopest festivals of the year for multiple reasons. Most importantly, it’s one of the most diverse, yet smartly curated festivals in the South. Nowhere else will you find SZA and Migos slaying the Main Stage, right before acts like Rezz and A Day To Remember and Little Dragon all take the stage elsewhere. This year’s line-up included MGMT, Bishop Briggs, Rich The Kid, Lil Xan, Elohim, Rezz, Flatbush Zombies, and so so many more. No genre was left untouched.
This year’s festival also saw a much expanded footprint. The Power Plant stage was moved across the tracks and into a huge field, allowing for more fans to experience the main stage acts. The new Wharf Stage was perhaps my favorite setting at BUKU. The set up was grungy and felt so intimate, yet freeing as it was set up literally 10 feet away from the Mississippi River. This was the stage you came to when you wanted to truly escape and get lost in the vibes. Shout out to Snakehips, Soulection’s Sango & Esta, and Honey Dijon, who brought sick house, and electronic-soul beats to NOLA.
Despite a few mishaps with rap acts (Lil Uzi Vert cancelling last minute, etc.), the rappers who DID show up to the fest did not come to play around. Princess Nokia took to the new Wharf stage and demolished her Saturday night set. New Orleans native Jay Electronica brought legendary vibes to the Ballroom. Acts like Smino, Noname and Isaiah Rashad delighted their cult followings, while easily picking up thousands of new fans in the process.
One of the dopest things about BUKU is that it’s not just a music festival. They really allow graffiti artists and other niche creators come and showcase their skills. The Front Yard this year was home to some sick murals and performances from collectives like Freewater, The Pink Room Project and Upbeat Academy.
Check out our photos from the festival below: