Summer Set Music Festival Review – Jared Winkel (The Hypist)
Summer Set Music Festival returned to Wisconsin for it’s 5th year anniversary, and brought the heat with
it this year. With an absolutely stacked lineup, and it’s always amazing location in the rolling hills of
Somerset, it was no secret that this year was going to be one of its best.
While many of the attendees camp out, either in the official sites, or in the campsites alongside the river
across from the venue, there were also plenty of hotel options available. With intermittent rain covering
the festival on Friday, the hotel seemed like the right choice. As I rode the shuttle, I could feel the
excitement radiating from the revelers at each hotel stop. I talked to a couple lovely girls that had flown
in from across the country for their first festival, and I assured them that they had made the right choice.
As we pulled up to the festival gates, they immediately knew why. A light drizzle couldn’t dampen
anyone’s excitement as Flux Pavilion took the main stage and threw down an amazing bass onslaught
that set the tone for the entire weekend. Summer Set 2016 had finally begun.
Summer Set’s lineup always strikes a beautiful balance between hip-hop, live electronic, and DJs, but
this year was particularly bass-heavy, and nobody seemed to mind. With standout performances coming
from artists like Jauz, Bassnectar, Mija, and NGHTMRE, the best moments of the festival involved a
significant amount of bass pumping through your body. The incredible production complemented the
DJs perfectly, and by the time the music ended, if you weren’t exhausted from dancing, you were doing
something wrong. Whether you trudged back to your tent or slept on the shuttle ride back to the hotel,
everyone was experience the same feeling: beautiful exhaustion.
Summer Set wasn’t just all about the music either. Daytime tubing trips down the river provided relief
from the hot weather, and there was even a DJ throwing down riverside once you got to the end of the
trip, where everyone just partied in the river until it was time to head back to the venue. Once inside,
there were merch and food vendors galore, and even carnival rides if you were feeling brave enough
after the amount of booze most people had already consumed by mid-afternoon. There was even a
giant sculpture near the back of The Grove that breathed fire when you pulled on the chains. There was
no shortage of things to see and explore at Summer Set.
Every day had its highlight moments. Friday, Flux Pavilion’s rainy main stage set got everyone ready for
the weekend, and led into Zhu’s hauntingly beautiful afterparty performance that went until the sun
was peeking out. Saturday, everyone threw down, from Alison Wonderland’s amazing daytime set to
absolutely crushing performances at night from Grimes, Bassnectar, and the star of the weekend, Jauz.
Sunday, if you had any energy left, Rufus Du Sol played a beautiful set under the sun at The Grove, and
NGHTMRE and Skrillex closed things out at their respective stages with more bass than your ragged
bodies could probably handle. From start to finish, the music was amazing.
Overall, Summer Set’s fifth anniversary was a massive success. Whether you had to drive hungover for
nine hours like I did, or if you were the lucky ones that went from your hotel to the airport or your home
without having to lift a finger, everyone left feeling tired, sore, and incredibly happy. It’s a unique blend
of a city and camping festival, allowing you to do whatever you feel comfortable with, and experience
pure euphoria for one wild weekend. See you next year.