Excision proved once and for all why he is the undeniable God of Bass at his first-ever Lost Lands music festival at Legend Valley Concert Venue in Thornville, OH. Jeff Abel, better known by the stage name Excision, personally oversaw every single detail to create a truly one-of-a-kind festival for his fans. For years Jeff has been listening very closely to what people have been asking for from a festival. So he decided to create the perfect festival based on what the festival attendees wanted. From the bathroom filtration system in the campgrounds to the detail of each and every dinosaur, every minor detail was meticulously thought out. On top of that, Excision brought the filthiest dubstep lineup of any festival to date. For four days Excision and his friends played some the heaviest bass music I have ever heard in my life!
It all kicked off on Thursday afternoon for the early arrival campers as they rolled in and started to set up camp. The camping spaces were sadly smaller than most other camping festivals I have attended with barely enough room for your vehicle, one e-z up shade structure, one tent, and a couple of chairs. That night they had a special pre-party with a surprise b2b set located in the campgrounds at The Grove. Excision got together with Crizzly, Datsik, Dion Timmer, Downlink, FIGURE, Protohype, SPACE LACES, TERRAVITA, and Wooli for a very special massive b2b set. What made it even more special was that he brought back an old fan favorite, The Executioner Stage!
Day one everyone could barely contain their excitement as to what Excision had planned for them, but nobody was prepared for they walked into that first day. As soon as you walk through the gates you are greeted by a life-sized animatronic T-Rex roaring at you. It felt like you had stepped back in time to the prehistoric ages with cave people, erupting volcanos, and life-sized dinosaurs everywhere you looked! Even the fences, trees, posts, literally everything was covered in ivy. As you continue to explore, you run into more and more dinosaurs (45 just in the GA areas!) with the largest standing over 80 foot tall and weighing over 18,000 pounds!!! Each dinosaur was specially crafted in China using a steel skeleton and a special foam polymer that is soft and extremely realistic to the touch. Each dinosaur was then freighted to Ohio along with a team of Chinese engineers to help assemble them all.
They went above and beyond the promised 500,000 watts of bass and brought in every last bit of PK Sound equipment available in North America to bring us a staggering 750,000 watts of pure bass! You have to give it up to the entire crew with PK Sound. They really know what they are doing and they have their art down to a science. No matter where you were at either stage, you could hear the sound with perfect clarity without it ever bleeding through to the other stage. There were times where I could feel my entire body vibrating from the bass, but it never once hurt my ears or made them ring like other festivals I have attended. Thankfully the Excision team had staff members at the gates handing out more than 32,000 sets of quality earbuds to everybody as they walked into the festival.
As you walk up towards the Paradox Stage you notice two giant volcanos shooting fire into the sky. Standing right next to each volcano is another life-sized carnivore. It was quite a sight to see with all the lasers, pyrotechnics, and even the dinosaurs breathing smoke at the crowd. There were many great sets at this stage with some of the most notable being Datsik b2b Excision, DESTROID, Excision’s unique Detox set, Ghastly, Herobust, Illenium, JPhelpz, Kill The Noise, REZZ, Seven Lions, Snails, SPACE LACES, and Zeds Dead just to name a few. The people headbanging on the rail during Snails set on Saturday were going so hard that they broke a 1” thick piece of the rail right in half! Then shortly after that happened one of the volcanos caught fire during DESTROID’s set! Thankfully the firefighters that were on standby at the festival were able to get it put out quickly and nobody was injured. Zeds Dead was even able to play after everything was verified to be safe by the fire marshal. DESTROID literally DESTROYED the stage that night! This is the second time in less than a year and a half that I have seen Excision set a stage on fire with the first being EDC’s bassPOD in 2016.
The secondary stage, The Cave of Souls, was a giant megastructure set up with world-class sound and lights everywhere. At nighttime, you could see a variety of images projected onto the outside of the structure as well as the inside. Once you walked inside you were taken into a whirlpool of lights and lasers bouncing off of the fog billowing within. It was very easy to get lost in the moment while you were in the crowd at this stage. Some of my favorite sets of the weekend were at the Cave of Souls including Protohype, Trampa, and Boogie T’s closing set on Sunday night. It was here that Ganja White Knight played a secret set that got so packed the fire marshal was forced to close the stage and refused to let anyone else into the megastructure!
It was a weekend filled with adventure, fun, and love around every corner. There three proposals over the weekend that this author knows about. The first proposal happened on Friday night when Chase Cornette asked Katie Morrison to marry him during Herobust. Then there was the guy who got with Slander’s agent and proposed to his girlfriend on stage during their set. The final engagement happened on Sunday evening during the Datsik b2b Excision set when Alex Johnson asked Alyssa Prado to be his wife in front of their friends and family. I am happy to announce that all three ladies said yes!
Jeff and his team handled everything with precision and absolute professionalism at every turn. Their artist and media relations were unlike anything that I have ever seen before. Throughout the weekend I got to know many of the DJs while hanging out in the artist lounge, and all of them had nothing but good things to say about Jeff and his entire team. Funtcase told me that in 12 years of being in the industry, he has never had better artist relations at a festival. He told me that it was an absolute joy to play at Lost Lands and one of his favorite festivals to perform at so far. Indeed that was the same story I heard from every other artist I spoke with that weekend.
Lost Lands was Excision’s first festival to ever throw, and he gave all the large, big-name production companies a run for their money. He out-performed some production companies that have been in business for nearly two decades! What is the cause of his success? It comes from the fact that he listened to his fans and built the entire festival around their suggestions instead of focusing on the end profit margins. Several sources throughout the weekend told me that when it came down to Jeff’s vision or money, his vision won every time no matter how much it cost. When it comes to taking care of his fans Excision has always set the bar high, but Lost Lands took it to a whole new level.
The only constructive criticism I can give the Excision team for next year is to make the camping spaces a little bit bigger but still keep the late arrival camping. I loved the concept of the late arrival camping check-in they introduced, there just wasn’t enough space for your late arrival friends to set up a tent next to you. They could also add more bathrooms and shower units, as well as extending the shower hours to keep the lines down. More water stations are definitely needed in the festival grounds and a couple more in the campgrounds would be nice too. Some of the campers suggested more taxi pick up points or even some sort of shuttle system for the campgrounds. Many of the people I spoke with who purchased VIP and Dino Den camping said that the VIP amenities could have been better.
I would like to personally thank Jeff for sharing his vision with all of us and creating a festival unlike any other. In all my time I have never met an artist who genuinely cared about his fans as much as Excision. I would also like to give a big round of applause to the entire build team and Excision crew for all their hard work and dedication in making a festival of this magnitude possible in such a short time. Due to Resonance Music & Arts Festival being the weekend before, at the same venue, the Excision team had to work tirelessly day and night to finish a 3-week build in only 4 days! Anytime that there was a valid complaint on social media against any security, staff member, or anyone else causing problems for the attendees, the Excision team was right on it taking care of everything in a very timely and professional manner. For Jeff, this entire festival was a way to give back to his fans for their years of dedication and loyalty. Amongst his fans Excision will always be the Bass God for these and many other reasons.
This festival was definitely one for the record books with many people saying that it was their favorite festival ever. Excision is already working on next year’s installment of Lost Lands and one thing is for sure… It will be even bigger and better than this year’s festival was! So be sure to get your tickets as soon as they go on pre-sale because Lost Lands round 2 is sure to sell out quick!
Enjoy some of our favorite moments from Lost Lands 2017!!!
Photo Credits: Sam O’Shay