That was the first thing I thought upon entering the venue at Dino Hills Disc Golf Farm for a Rock/EDM camping festival called Emergence. See, I love disc golf and never expected a music festival to be hosted at a course but this was the perfect spot. The venue is a sprawling set of fields separated by lines of trees and old wooden buildings that stir up nostalgic memories for anybody from small town Texas and it's all surrounded by the Chalk Mountains. The GA camping area was perfectly nestled amongst a grove of trees making plenty of room for hammocks and tents and fire pits for night time jam sessions. The walk from the camping to the stage and vendor area was short, well lit, and mostly flat so no huffing and puffing to get around all day. There were plenty of restrooms and you could play a round of disc golf and still be out of the way of the fest which was a pleasant surprise.
This is not the first festival put on by Metta Productions but it was the first Emergence and the line-up was amazing. I, honestly, had not heard of any of the acts before but that has never stopped me from going to a show. Actually, I prefer to not listen to the recorded stuff before I hear a new artist live. This gives me the most real and honest take on any new music because you can always tell how talented someone really is when you hear them live. I am so glad to have been introduced to so many great new sounds! It started out with DMTree (great name), a newly formed band from Stephenville with a driving dark sound and beautiful, melancholy melodies sang by Georgie Jonez. They remind me a bit of one of my favorite bands ever, Tool, but with a female lead. Cosmic Cowboys brought the funk to town! I just couldn't stop moving and those outfits were on point. Every band that played was fantastic and I would be stoked to see any one of them live again but my personal favorite band of the day had to be Heavy Daze. I have never heard a band that could play with the tempo of a single song so well. They could speed up and slow down on a whim and it still somehow all flowed beautifully. The push and pull that this created was alluring and surprising and I found my jaw on the floor several times.
Almametta was the first DJ set and she killed it. She was a great transition between the different style acts and set the tone for the night to come and then the sun went down and oh man! Once it was dark, the visual performers busted out the fire and lights and started flowing. In a mesmerizing display of dance and light more than a dozen different performers took turns doing what they do best. I have seen plenty of spinning in my day and this group of artists were collectively masters of this ancient craft. The laser and lights that Liquid Skies Entertainment brought out were also top notch. I found myself staring at the trees behind the crowd, watching the beams of lights dance among the leaves and hillsides and caught more than one attendee doing the same.
Every single DJ brought another level of interaction with the crowd. Kyx put out the chill vibes and gave us the breath we needed to make it through the rest of the night. There was even a surprise artist that wasn't on the bill. Nick, one-half of the duo group Vanilla Guerrillas from Dallas, made it out and turned up the party instantly. Uggz is probably one of the best mixers I have ever heard and TarXan's ways with tone and time could make you wobble right out of your pants. The EDM portion of this festival was just as good as some of the biggest festivals I have been to and I'm sure that you will catch these artists soon at festivals everywhere.
Overall I would give this fest a 3.5 out of 5. The only reason being is it was it's first year so of course there are things to improve. More vendors would be nice especially for food and there also could have been some more art installations and interactive things to do for the attendees. However, I would come back for the music alone. It is clear that Metta Productions knows the who's who and how to book great acts and they know how to throw a good party. The visual performances, lights, venue, camping, and the people who attended were all amazing. I can only imagine what they have in store for the next event and cannot wait to attend again. This festival is definitely going on my list of "must attend" for 2023.