Fantasy worlds come alive at Rockdale night festival

Yvonne Marquez

Once darkness falls, the celebration will begin with a total sensory experience of sights and sounds. Four eccentric fantasy worlds will be filled with a myriad of lights, artwork, performers in extravagant costumes, electronic music and a highly charged crowd to set the mood for Nocturnal Festival in Rockdale this weekend. For two nights, theatrics and dance music will envelop Apache Pass Events Center.

There are four different stages called Labyrinth, Upside Down Room, Sunken Garden and The Queens Grounds where more than 50 DJs and various artists will perform at the festival. Insomniac promoters, the people who brought the Electric Daisy Carnival to Dallas in the summer, are celebrating their 16th anniversary of Nocturnal Festival in California. However, this is the first time Insomniac will bring the festival to Texas.

Mashup artist Girl Talk will be performing on Saturday at Labyrinth. He delivered a high-energy performance at UT Forty Acres Fest last spring where thousands of UT students came to watch. Many are looking forward to Kid Cudi’s appearance, who is scheduled to perform on Sunday night in Labyrinth.

In addition to the DJs, other varied groups with their own electronic-influenced sound will perform at the festival. Instrumental rock band Lotus and New Orleans swamp-tech group Quintron & Miss Pussycat will also perform Sunday night in Labyrinth. Neither band is new to the Austin area, however; they’ve both performed at various venues downtown including Emo’s and Stubb’s.

Lotus’ bass player Jesse Miller said that their music spreads across a wide range that is rooted in different dance styles but still has a very melodic element to it. Even though they are electronically influenced, he said they are still very much a rock band.

“This is one of the festivals that has traditionally been an electronic, dance-oriented festival that is now starting to bring in some bands like Lotus,” Miller said. “I think that it’s really interesting when those two scenes are brought together because there is definitely some crossover, but there are some fans that are on one side or the other.”

Quintron & Miss Pussycat say that their music is hard to describe.

“It’s hard, fast electronic dance music with a lot of noise and screaming,” Quintron said. “I play all the music one-man-band style with no pre-programming or laptops involved at all. It’s live and direct and very simple, like a punk band but filtered through really weird stuff.”

Quintron said Miss Pussycat, a professional puppeteer, has a puppet show right before they play.

“Her shows are very psychedelic and colorful,” Quintron said. “The puppets are relatively small for such a large outdoor stage. This is not a puppet show for young children, so leave them at home or in the car with the windows rolled down.”

Quintron admits that he is nervous about performing this weekend.

“I am always nervous about playing such large venues because I am sitting behind an organ and I can’t get up and jump around to hype up the crowd like a normal front man,” he said.

However, he believes it will go well.

“Ozzy [Osbourne] once said that he started wearing fringe on his sleeves when he began performing in arenas so that the fans in the back could see him,” Quintron said. “Miss Pussycat will be wearing fringe on her sleeves, actually, so maybe everything will be fine. Thank you, Ozzy.”