We recently caught up with co-founder Brett Herman to chat about this year’s highly anticipated Elements Music & Arts Festival. Following part I of our interview and the release of this year’s all-star lineup, including artists like Diple, Bonobo, TOKiMONSTA, Bob Moses, Four Tet, Claude VonStroke, Gramatik, Fleetmac Wood, and the Desert Hearts crew, check out part II of our conversation. Read about the benefits a large-scale festival experiences by partnering with Tixr, the wildest experiences from years past in the forest, and what fans can expect at the fourth annual Elements festival.
Elements Music & Arts Festival will take place Friday, May 22, 2020 – Monday, May 25, 2020. Order tickets here!
Q: How did the Elements Music & Arts Festival start?
A: Elements originally started as a waterfront New York festival in 2013. We were doing warehouse parties but wanted to do something in the day time that encompassed a broader variety of acts and experiences.
The theme is meant to be all-encompassing. Each stage is themed after an element: earth, air, water, and fire. We encourage paramount creative expression in terms of dress and art. If there’s any overarching theme, it’s be your best self, express your best self.
Q: How did you choose the Lakewood, PA location?
A: We toured over 150 sites to find something that had a magical quality and was also functional for large amounts of people. Lakewood has offered us room to expand in the wooded areas so that we can continue building the festival year after year. It has a large availability in cabin space, and the site is just plain beautiful. You can swim in the lake and catch your favorite act while watching the sunset.
Q: Sustainability plays a significant role in the festival. Can you speak to that?
A: I don’t think of sustainability as a feature, I think it’s necessary for any business that aims to endure for the coming decade. We have the opportunity and responsibility to lead culture by example, by reducing single-use plastic, cutting down on fossil fuels, encouraging bus transport rather than private vehicles, and recycling as much as possible. We strive to be a leave-no-trace-behind festival. We encourage guests to pitch in as it makes a much nicer experience for everybody, beyond being environmentally friendly.
Q: What is a typical day at the festival?
A: It depends on what your tastes are. We offer a menu, to which one person cannot possibly do everything in one festival. Whether you want to hit all the stages and catch all the headline acts, or take it easy in the wellness areas, or just chill by the lake or explore the forest..we aim to overstimulate.
Q: How has the festival grown over the years?
A: In addition to increasing capacity and the breadth of musical acts, we designed two new stages in the forest and will continue to keep expanding the art installations. Last year was about 5k and we’re expecting 6-8k this year.
Q: How has Tixr’s role in providing automated ticketing benefitted the festival?
A: The payment plans have been a huge hit. Rewards have been getting great traction as well. It’s useful to have a way for fans to cross-promote the event to their friends and be incentivized to do so through the rewards. There are different levels of rewards, but it can be as simple as a complimentary ticket after a certain amount of referrals, all the way up to themed experiences.
We have a complicated festival in that there are different types of accommodations, from cabins to glamping to camping, and so to be able to have that laid out in a way that makes sense to new guests has been very valuable.
Q: How did you find out about Tixr?
A: I was invited to a tightrope walk over Times Square by the CEO. Although, I think I was first aware of Tixr after attending Oregon Eclipse. [Get Tickets to the Global Eclipse Patagonia Gathering in December 2020 here.]
Q: What motivates you to improve the event year after year?
A: First and foremost is the guest experience. Our entire festival is designed to deliver a year’s worth of memories in three days. As friends and extended family of guests grow and keep coming back, that’s been tremendously inspiring.
I married two people personally the last two years because I’m an ordained minister. The first proposal was at sunrise on the lake and I happened to be within earshot and offered my services. 20 or 30 hours later a procession, ceremony, and reception was all planned. All were welcome. All dressed in white.
If anybody is interested in getting married at Elements, please feel free to reach out.
Getting married or just interested in a music and arts filled weekend in the forest? Buy your tickets to Elements Music & Arts Festival here!