North Texas Daily

Breakaway Festival had bands, lacked fans

Breakaway Festival had bands, lacked fans

Breakaway Festival had bands, lacked fans
September 24
16:56 2013

Hasan Waheedi / Intern 

Fluorescent lights shining down on stage, rowdy beats thumping in the background and a funky sax solo shimmies down to the neon-lit crowd on the dance floor.  Two-man act Big Gigantic epitomized the musically-diverse Breakaway Music Festival.

Saturday, fans of electronic dance music, hip-hop and rock all came together for the first Breakaway Festival at FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco. Acts included headliners Empire of the Sun, legendary hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan and indie rock duo Matt & Kim. But it was Colorado natives Big Gigantic, who combine organic instruments such as the saxophone and drums with computer-programmed beats, who attracted the biggest crowd.

“It was the best set of the night, a whole new level,” attendee George Chow said. “It was like jazz-fusion meets EDM.”

Empire of the Sun put on a Las Vegas-like performance with its catchy disco-pop tunes, orchestrated dancers and space-age uniforms.

Other notable acts such as dubstep performers Grizzly and Danny Avila attracted the rave community while Juicy J and Wu-Tang Clan captivated hip-hop enthusiasts.

“I’m glad there are different styles of music,” Guyer Denton high school student Hunter Napier said. “You get to meet all kinds of people and be exposed to new music.”

Although the festival consisted of the young and the old, the event was sparsely attended. Attendance was roughly around 4,000 in a 20,000 capacity stadium. The sister-show with a slightly altered lineup in Columbus, Ohio, was a week earlier and also had a low turnout. Many who attended believed this was due to bad marketing by promoters Prime Social Group.

“I only heard about it last week through my friend who’s working the show,” Denton photographer Shane McCormick said. “Even the logo is misleading. Is it a soccer game or a music festival?”

First main act Lil Twist was scheduled to play at 11:30 a.m., but was moved to later on in the evening due to only a handful of people being present.

Indie rock band Ra Ra Riot performed in front of about 30 people, but that did not stop them from rocking out with fans to hits like “Too Dramatic” and “Beta Love.”

“It doesn’t matter the size of the venue you play, just as long as you make a connection with people,” Ra Ra Riot frontman Wes Miles said.

Renowned Denton DJ Yeahdef, who played to a packed audience at 35 Denton last year, had his own set on the Observer stage, where local artists performed. However, the stage only gathered a small crowd.

“It was tucked away,” Yeahdef said. “But I’m just glad my parents got to see me because they don’t come often.”

In contrast, the Silent Disco stage did well. The stage had three DJ’s playing simultaneously while wireless headphones with a three-channel switch were provided to fans to toggle between disc jockeys.

“All you hear is the music,” said Charlie Vu, a silent disco fanatic. “You have total control.”

Kim Schifino of the band Matt & Kim crowd-surfs during the Breakaway Music Festival in Frisco on Saturday, Sept. 21. -Feature photo by James Coreas / Contributing Photographer 

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