Written By: Jake Stevenson
Electronic music seems commonplace in some areas like LA, Phoenix and New York, but in other areas like, say, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, EDM is almost nonexistent. If you want any headbanging or shuffling in your life, Pennsylvania people have to travel to Philly to get their electronic fix. So it was with surprise that I heard of a first-year electronic music festival opening in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, called Electric Luna Music Festival.
On October 12, 2019, Electric Luna debuted in the Lancaster Convention Center with over 13 hours of music, hosted by Mikey P and Kailah Casillas, featuring artists like Lolo Mayhem, Saucy, Shizz-Lo, and Thomas Gold. I was there for its entirety, and Electric Luna has real promise of becoming deservedly big in the coming years.
I got to meet a number of the artists, and was able to interview Mikey P, Kailah Casillas, the festival’s creator Harry, and one of the artists Jasko. For Mikey, the festival was only a matter of time:
“I knew the people that were involved with the festival, I knew the people throwing the festival, and I know that they’re very involved in the music scene in their own rights, and I think they’ve been wanting to do this for a long time. It’s just a matter of having the resources and the funding to do it. I think they finally came together, got a budget, and said, ‘Hey, let’s take a risk,’ and they got some big names on it. I mean, Robbie Rivera and Thomas Gold, they’re no slouches, they’ve been involved in the music industry for years and years. I mean, taking it back to 2013, that’s when Thomas Gold had his giant hit, and Robbie Rivera down in the Jersey Shore, I remember listening to him non-stop in all those clubs. I think it’s really cool and I’m happy that they’re able to execute it.”
Jasko early on in the day brought lots of energy to Electric Luna and really helped elevate the festival early on. For him, Electric Luna being in Lancaster helped to bring it a sense of importance:
“We were talking about this like a year ago, it’s like, ‘oh, we wanna do a festival in Lancaster,” and, y’know, people don’t like EDM out here. But it’s actually the biggest thing that Lancaster ever receives…you have artists, important ones, that come here and use the recording studios. Ariana Grande was just here a couple months ago using the studios.”
DJ Ronnie D was fun and made his set unique, Terrence Powers killed it early on, Lolo Mayhem energized the night and looked great doing it, Saucy brought some bass into the mix and made for possibly my favorite set of the night, and Shizz-Lo left everyone wanting more of both his awesome sets and more ice cream sandwiches. Everyone felt like they belonged, everyone merged together into the festival’s whole seamlessly, and everyone looked like they were having fun.
It’s a great achievement that the credit seems to be spread across multiple people and problem-solvers, everyone contributed and facilitated this breakthrough festival. Mikey P credits artist manager and Electric Luna DJ Tommy Capretto for the festival’s start:
“Tommy’s like the glue to this whole festival. Tommy Capretto is the glue. You can quote me on that. “Tommy Capretto is the glue to the festival.” But Harry and Anna are the means that made it happen.”
Harry, meanwhile, credits local production company Stray, based out of Rock Lititz:
“I’m really happy with the production company that put everything together and my artist manager played a huge role in getting everything together, getting the business from the artists, and actually creating the lineup and what works together, cause you have a lot of different genres going on, which makes it interesting…It’s really great, the production company that we have here, they’re based out of Rock Lititz, Stray Productions produces all the major artists and acts and concert tours, Lady Gaga, deadmau5. This is the epicenter of production, so why not bring different genres of music in? There’s a lot of rock and roll and a lot of country, there’s nothing around here that plays strictly EDM. So they’ve been very good about what they do.”
The fact that this is all happening in Lancaster of all places is not lost on anyone. Kailah remarked, “It’s my first time here in Lancaster, I did not know what to expect whatsoever. When I was tweeting about it and talking about it on social media, everyone was telling me that it was Amish country, and I just expected fields for days, but it’s such a cute town, and I think it’s such a fun little space.”
Then again, that fact of electronic music coming to Lancaster is not only what sets Electric Luna apart from the rest, but what elevates it and makes it unique. It really does have its own standing power in the coming years, and hopefully people will come around to it. Pennsylvania ravers, your time has come: keep an eye out for Electric Luna Music Festival year 2 sometime in October 2020, follow @electriclunafestival on Instagram, and never stop looking ahead to the wonders of tomorrow and the possibilities of the future, because that’s how the next Lost Lands, the next Moonrise, or the next Electric Luna can happen. Never stop the positivity.