Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride: A Must-See Guide For All Things BUKU 2016

Buku Music & Art Project 2016
The sun sets behind main stage at The Buku Project 2016. Photo via Facebook/The Buku Music & Art Project

Headed to the Big Easy for the post-Mardi Gras madness that is BUKU Music and Art Project? Struggling to get your crew and last minute arrangements together? You’re not alone, but here at ThatDrop, we’ve got your back.

We know navigating festivals can be a difficult chore, and nobody’s got time to use a map not powered by Google anymore, so we’ve taken on the role of tour guide to ensure you don’t miss a thing. All memorable trips have a balance of hype and under-rated, unexpectedly brilliant suggestions, so here’s our guide to ten must-see acts playing at this year’s Buku Project.

Consider us the newest member of your BUKREW, and in the words of the late Hunter S. Thompson,

Buy the ticket, Take the ride;

Or scroll through our extensive coverage of anticipated Buku highlights.

Buku Music Project 2016
Buy the ticket. Take the ride.

FIRST STOP: Thugfucker

The same way it’s easy to drive by a questionable-looking hole in the wall off the beaten Louisiana path, thus missing the best gumbo of your life, a name like Thugfucker is a true testament to never judging a book by its cover. The duo, characterized by their ability to make exceptional tracks that cross an impressive spectrum of genres, is a guaranteed good time.

The light-hearted pair delivers intricate dance beats, has a reputation for exceeding expectations, and creates a unique musical experience not to be missed.

NEXT UP: Anderson .Paak and the Free Nationals

This year, Buku has an impressive and diverse hip-hop line-up, with big names like Future and promise of #TBT moments (If you don’t know who Mystikal is, you’re too young for festivals, bro) but Anderson .Paak might be the most noteworthy.

In the last year, he has stolen the spotlight with his multiple features on Dr. Dre’s well-received “Compton” album and signed with Aftermath records just days ago. The California native possesses a nostalgia-inducing sound, smooth flow, and has developed a reputation for consistently delivering. For proof beyond the Dr. Dre co-sign, check out “Malibu,” which just dropped in January of this year.

A KODAK MOMENT: Mystikal b2b Juvenile b2b Fly Boi Keno

You know that one spot in every town where you cannot see a thing beyond the sea of selfie-sticks and crowds of smiling faces, let alone the actual mark? Call it Bourbon Street if you will. Or call it Mystikal b2b Juvenile b2b Fly Boi Keno. The resurfacing of artists we haven’t heard since NOW!

5 promises to be a trend in 2016, but nobody can resist a good #TBT moment, and this one promises to be a massive collaboration of 90’s questionable awesomeness.

buku 2015 preview
The crowd gets into it during Buku 2015.

ELECTRIFYING SIGHTS: Cashmere Cat b2b Trippy Turtle

A meeting of the minds, this set can’t be missed if you’re into the chill trap sound. Lido, performing under his alias Trippy Turtle, has made a name for himself with his intricate style of mixing eclectic samples with upbeat instrumentals, and Cashmere Cat is no different.

As a combined force, they cannot be stopped. Together, they deliver incredible, energy-filled sets, making them one of Buku’s most anticipated acts this year.

SUNSET VIEWS: Jai Wolf

Futuristic sound takes human form with Jai Wolf, who seamlessly combines hip-hop’s sounds with pop and dance music in a way that sets him apart from the rest. The 23-year-old artist has been praised for his versatility, playing anything from chill sounds to upbeat tracks worthy of main stage takeover.

His love of remixing lyrically strong tracks guarantees you’ll lose your voice for a good cause. Worth it? We think so.

NO DESTINATION EXPLORATION: Purity Ring

With the highly anticipated album, Another Eternity, dropping just days before Buku kicks off, we can only expect the unexpected from this electronic duo—but one thing’s certain: Megan’s soothing, hypnotic vocals alongside the genre-bending future-pop sounds we know and love Purity ring for, leave no room for disappointment.

Their dark, explorative sound is the perfect addition to this year’s Buku bill, and fits perfectly with the mysterious, New Orleans vibe.

VIP VIEWS: Louis the Child

In life, there will always be experiences reserved exclusively for those who know a friend of a friend, or, in this case, were lucky enough to cop VIP tickets to this year’s BUKU project. The Chi-town duo, who aptly describes their sound as “Music that make you happy,” has repeatedly been named among electronic artists to watch out for in 2016, and it’s obvious why.

Their diverse taste in tracks sets them apart from most electronic artists who tend to remix within a single genre. This year. The duo will head out for their first headlining tour, making a pit stop at Buku to lay down some dirty remixes and secure their place in the electronic music world.

TRUE NOLA EXPERIENCE: Pretty Lights with live band

Nothing captures the quintessential spirit of New Orleans quite like a live band.

Since he first graced the stage with his live band circa 2013, Derek Vincent Smith and co. have raised the bar for the live electronic experience, delivering an awe-inspiring performance combining Pretty Lights’ token, unique sound with a slew of live, upbeat instrumentals—and you can’t forget the face-melting lightshow that is a staple component at Pretty Lights shows.

Buku 2015 preview
ODESZA performs during The Buku Project 2015.

INVITATION TO THE UNDERGROUND: Lee Foss

A rising talent and respected, strong presence in today’s underground house scene, Lee Foss has made a name for himself in the past few years. Though Lee is among a handful of established names in the underground scene, his electrifying sound and innovative production have secured him this spot among the greats.

With making music, co-founding the esteemed Hot Creations label alongside a king of the underground house scene, Jamie Jones himself, and gracing the line-ups of multiple electronic festivals in 2016, we’re just thrilled to have the opportunity to watch Lee Foss throw down in NoLa.

ONE FINAL STOP: GRiZ

Though this list is un-ranked, it wouldn’t be inappropriate to suggest we may have saved the best for last. The king of future funk, GRiZ’ signature sound encompasses jazzy instrumentals and live sax, heavy-hitting bass drops, and carefully produced track lists spanning a diverse array of genres from hip-hop to old-school soul vibes.

Since the release of his debut album 5 years ago, GRiZ has torn up endless festival stages, dropping mind-blowing remixes throughout his live sets, but he remains true to his feel-good funky vibe. In short, GRiZ embodies fun.

Buku 2016 preview
Break dancers tear up the turf during Buku 2015.

Though the tour must end here, these 10 acts are a diversified sampling of BUKU Project’s stacked bill this year, and along with countless others worthy of mention, these acts are must-sees if you want a taste of all that the festival has to offer. In addition to a creative, eclectic lineup of musical talent, the artistic aspect of the festival is worthy of note.

Capitalizing on the industrial setting housing the festival, local and visiting talent alike will be leaving their creative mark over the two days, collectively beautifying the industrial surroundings with an ever-changing array of art, and creating an interactive playground of sorts—a designated chill area for relaxation-seeking festival go-ers.

Buku 2016 preview
Creativity extends way beyond the music at The Buku Music & Art Project 2016.

Buku is unique in their aim to highlight and celebrate non-traditional creativity in its many forms. From surprise performers to cooking competitions, the best way to prepare for March 11th and 12th is to simply sit back, relax, and when the time comes, enjoy the ride.

Tickets for The Buku Music & Art Project 2016 are now on sale and can be purchased by clicking here.

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