When Blurry Vision Fest dropped their lineup, we were sold just on a few artists playing. Then we noticed the headliners. Then we realized it was a BRAND NEW fest in Oakland, taking place at a stunning new location. We were sold, and so so so excited.

Blurry Vision handpicked the best up and coming new artists, local favorites, upcoming trailblazers, and fan favorite headliners to achieve an incredibly unique festival. Their audience was far and away the most respectful, hip, relaxed and progressive group we’d ever seen at a large scale event, the vendors and sponsors represented actual companies that use their power to make a change, or support local communities, and the overall vibe of Blurry Vision proved to us that young artists and music fans can actually make a difference.

We wrote at length about how cool the crowd was for Blurry Vision on day 1 of the fest, which you can read about here, but we’ll launch into it again. The festival seemed less like a place where you get your selfies and likes, and more like a gathering place for likeminded individuals who really wanted to make a change. Statement shirts were everywhere, people wore their politics on their sleeves, and young like-minded fans had a place to express their love rather than anger or hate. Blurry Vision just curated the perfect fest for an incredible crowd. It could be the fact that the Bay Area has a hip and global mindset, it could be that Oakland is just the spot to be, it could be the fact that all these young artists are actually making waves with their tolerant and peaceful music, but whatever it was, it was a winning combination of fans, artists and talent.

Portrait of an artist: Our photographer, Hannah Hylton at Blurry Vision

Now let’s move on to the music.

Migos by Hannah Hylton

Sza is incredible. Migos are so poppin, it’s almost impossible to see them live. They both headlined. They were both incredible. Oh, also, you had some of the best artists in the game of up and coming young talent like Temporex, Clairo, Alina Baraz, Rejjie Snow, and more. You can check our recap of day 2 to get all the details, but believe us when we say Blurry Vision assembled some of the best and buzziest artists around.

Alina Baraz by Hannah Hylton

We can’t even guess who they could have up their sleeve next year…

Finally, we can’t say enough about how cool the vendors and sponsors were for a first year fest. Organizations like Headcount for example make a huge difference when it comes to getting the youth engaged in politics, and offer a place to enlist and get active in campaigns they care about. Companies like Amobea are crucial to the local community and offer concerts, signings, and meet and greets with artists and a way for fans in the area to connect with artists they love. Lastly, BART even partnered with the event to ensure attendees got to the event safely and on time. When was the last time you saw a transportation agency arm of the government that concerned with music festivals and the wellbeing of its audience?

Blurry Vision really seemed to care deeply not only about their lineup, but the audience, the local community, and the festival atmosphere at large. For these reasons, it was easy to name it our favorite new fest of 2018.

An emphasis on rising talent and a young, diverse, local lineup mixed well with excellent headliners, smart, ethical partnerships, and a strong foundation of progressive fans to form the perfect festival. We can’t wait for next year.

Photos by Hannah Hylton
Words Phillip Gutgesell/Hannah Hylton