Last week, thousands of fans gathered in Oakland, California’s Middleshore Harbor Park and had their lives made. It was one of the most beautiful experiences. A weekend of pure magic. Porter Robinson’s Second Sky Music Festival.
An event planned and curated by Porter himself. His goal: to showcase some of his favorite artists. He played too, of course, but it was never really supposed to be about him. And Porter reminded us of that throughout the weekend.
It was so important to him, that the other artists received the attention, that he opened his own festival with his side project, Virtual Self. That’s more than a bit unheard of. But he knew that he was the draw for most people. And it worked. There was a sizeable crowd there right at 11:30 AM when the gates opened up. They dutifully stayed there after Virtual Self played, cheering and dancing for all of the acts.
The acts themselves were all impressive in their own right. They were at their best on that stage, and it really showed that they cared about this festival just as much as Porter did. They truly seemed to appreciate the space they had been given and wanted fans to feel that gratitude as well.
And it wasn’t just about the music. It was also about charity. Specifically the Robinson Malawi Fund. A charity started by Porter in honor of his younger brother, Mark, who was diagnosed with a rare cancer a few years ago. This fund’s goal is to aid in medical treatment for the children of Malawi who suffer from the same cancer that Mark did, Burkitt’s Lymphoma. The initial goal was to raise $50k, with Porter matching everything made at the festival. With Porter’s match, a total of $154k was raised, which is amazing.
Second Sky was not without its flaws. But that is to be expected, it was the first year, there were bound to be kinks to work out. It all had to do with the massive amount of people and how best to handle them. Specifically with the merch line and the shuttles at the end of the night. But honestly, by the time Sunday rolled around, most of the issues were better managed. As the festival continues on, it’ll just get better and better.
Words fail to describe the feelings of being at this festival. As cheesy as it sounds, attending really felt like coming home. Like this was where we were all meant to be this entire time. And that’s a special sort of feeling that only someone like Porter Robinson could achieve.
So thank you Porter and we’ll see you next year.
Artist reviews to follow soon.