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Its been three years since the last Moonrise Festival happened in Baltimore, Maryland. Once the first promo advertisement appeared, the dance community was beyond ecstatic. It's known as one of the longest-running festivals in the area. It was seven years ago when I attended my first Moonrise. The festival was very unorganized, although it did bring an incredible lineup. However, the stages were much smaller, and it was difficult to hear most of the sets due to poor sound production. A few sets did stand out, and I made terrific friends that weekend that I still keep in touch with. This year with the rebranding, it will be a sensory experience like no other that will transform the famous harbor city. What to expect was unknown as a new branded festival under the ownership of Insomniac Events and Club Glow. This wasn’t the first time the flagship events company revamped an existing music festival. All expectations were at the highest peak of performances in all realms. The planets and stars aligned accordingly in the Universe as time led up to the weekend of the Moonrise Festival.

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It was the Opening Weekend of The Brooklyn Mirage 2022 season. Before the doors even opened, photos began to surface of the revamp of the venue. The hype was even more exciting for all ticket holders for the weekend. When doors officially opened people flooded the entry at full speed. People couldn’t wait to see the new stage. Their status catapulted them to a world-class entertainment palace of groundbreaking production and engineering. The new video wall stands a 200-foot wide by a 100-foot custom-built stage roof. As a result, the echoes of screaming fans range to an even bigger velocity. Word has to spread across the country and globe, and almost every DJ is eager to perform at The Brooklyn Mirage. From social media photos and epic sets, this will bring a new crowd and offer a wider range of variety. Alesso, Cityfox Rengerate, and the 25th-anniversary celebration of Body & Soul opened this year’s summer season. I attended the Cityfox Regenerate event, and it had more of a variety of dance music vs. one or two artists. A new year, a new summer, a brand new redesigned dance haven.

It was a vibe for twelve hours of the dark and melodic techno and fifteen artists. However, the weather could have been a whole lot better. This has been my fifth year covering a Cityfox event, and it was the first year with awful weather. The festival-like experience expanded to four stages, including the Great Hall and Kings Hall, which means being warm and dry through the cold and rainy night. I arrived by the end of Connie’s performance. Her rich set was a perfect transition to the next act. It was exciting first to see her name on the ballot. She is a significant contributor to New York’s underground scene. I look forward to her performing again in the near future. Closing out the Great Hall were the Bronx duo, the Martinez Brothers. They played a fun and colorful set for a solid four hours. It was packed wall to wall with techno and house heads. Their rhythm and beats had everyone dancing to every track with popular tracks and underground IDs. From the VIP section, it looked like the crowd was dancing at the same it was so massive. It was a vibe for both the artists and party-goers. 

Over at the main stage was Drumdcode’s techno Queen, Ida Engberg. Last time I saw her was at Cityfox Halloween. It was one of the darkest performances I had ever heard. Her Cityfox Regenerate set was a completely different sound. However, it was an excellent performance. It was obscure was a hint of vibrant flairs. It is always a pleasure to see the mastermind Stephan Bodzin perform live. His mixing talent is the artistry of a high-definition performance. The new sound system and video wall were a sight to see and hear. The gorgeous, trippy visuals combined with his set were a different experience. Stephan Bodzin has performed for many seasons with Cityfox. It was his best performance at The Brooklyn Mirage. Mainly because of the visuals with the new video wall. He played many popular hits, such as ‘Singularity,’ ‘Strand.’  and his remix to ‘Sleepless.’ Closing out the Cityfox event was Innervisions creator Dixon. He alone is one of the best producers in the scene today. His talented way of mixing up several different tracks and creating a new style of dance music is true art. The beginning of his set was mysterious and monotonous, but it was easy to forget the awful weather. It stopped raining by the time Dixon took over the stage, it was still very frigid out. The other stages closed at 5 am which gave the techno pioneer all the time to close out till sunrise. Bringing everyone who was still able to endure the weather to enjoy the morning daylight hours. 

Photo Credit: @Bryan.Kwon.Photos

There were many new changes to the Brooklyn Mirage besides the video wall. A new entrance was added to the mezzanine and extra balcony levels. This gives access to more views of the stage and more space to dance. New rules have been added to the mezzanine, you cannot go to the back at the decks anymore. There are no more back bleachers instead, there is another staircase for the new mezzanine entrance. I highly advise next ticket purchase should be VIP or even table service. Attendees are much closer to the stage with a bigger area for tables and room to dance. Reservation tables expand from both the left and right sides of the video wall. Giving attendees an enhanced feeling of partying. More food options have been added, including the Wild Card, a new stand featuring a rotating menu. With Mister Melt which offers uniquely-crafted grilled cheese sandwiches. A new food truck will be on the premiums, El Zorro which will provide Mexican-inspired cuisine and vegan options. Also launching, Smooth Operator features a variety of smoothies, açaí bowls, fresh press juices, and matcha. That will keep the body pumping with energy till dawn. 

A unique experience that will only lead to more massive events and wild times. It's a brand new year with a whole brand new look. The news was completely kept under the radar until days leading up, it’s a mystery how it was kept on the down-low. Each year The Brooklyn Mirage has always made a few minor changes. This year is the next level, setting the bar to its highest standard. Returning party brands will be more memorable with all the new changes that will enhance this season.  New party brands will be exciting about what’s more to come. The Brookly Mirage continues to remain at the forefront of New York City’s nightlife and entertainment. 

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