We recently had a conversation with Joseph DeAntonio and Mike Rabito, co-founders of Luna Light Music and Arts Festival, regarding the 2nd installment of the rapidly ascending event taking place in a new space in Darlington, MD.
1. Luna Light will take place on a new site in Maryland this year. What excites you about the new digs?
Mike Rabito: The new property is beautiful! The infrastructure on the property, from the cabins to the pond and bon fire area. The whole thing is filled with hidden gems.
Joseph DeAntonio: Our new property is BEAUTIFUL! We really listened to our fans and their concerns with our 2014 event and took that into consideration when choosing our new home. We’ve grown with more room and 200 acres, indoor staging for uninterrupted late nights, on site parking are a few things that will pop out as huge improvements to the land. My favorite part about this new space is the rich history. Before it was a festival property and even before it was a camp grounds, the farm was one of the last stops on the underground rail road. Located only 1,000 feet from the Susquehanna river, it’s the perfect place for freedom. Some of the structures even still remain from the 1870’s including one of our late night party barns. The vibe is strong with this one!
2. This year’s lineup is stacked, can you tell us about how you came to choose these acts for your event? Should we expect any surprises?
Joe: We’ve worked really hard to build a lineup that makes us and the people around us proud. A lot of coffee fueled late nights on the phone discussing our plans! We like to choose bands that we are huge fans of, its a big plus that they also have strong followings and attract an amazing crowd. Rich, surprises are best left untold! But I will say that there are a lot of secret DJ Sets for our VIP’s and amazing “Artists At Large” who will be sitting in and giving our fans sets that they will see no where else.
Rabito: The line up comes together through a process of reaching out to artists that we love, seeing who is available and keeping it stylistically balanced. We love to work with artists who play shows with our band Manifested and help foster the community we find through those friendships and bring back to the festival.
3. What musical act are you most excited to see at Luna Light and why?
Joe: Not an easy question! We’re fans of all these acts over here, choosing one would be too difficult… so I’ll choose them all.
Rabito: I love them all but am most excited to see Tauk, Dopapod, Ozric Tentacles and Papadosio. And of course the two Manifested sets!
4. More and more festivals are integrating continuing education, health sciences and live art into their content. Why do you think this is and in what ways will Luna Light support this movement?
Joe: Co-creation is a large part of LLF. We always send out feelers to our social media and ask people to partake in every way whether it’s being a volunteer or running a workshop, we want the involvement of everyone. In many ways, just being there is enough to help co-create! For those of us who need that interaction, we’ve hidden interactive installations throughout the festival grounds for our attendee’s to find and express themselves with! Expression is, to us, a freedom that only comes naturally.
Rabito: The people that are attracted to music festivals like ours are individuals who usually want to make themselves and the world around them better. The music promotes these notions and motivates people to engage with ways to improve and build a planetary community. They simply fall in love with life all over again and naturally become more receptive to ways where they can pass a better world to future generations.
5. In that same vein, co-creation is a powerful buzz word today in the festival community. Will Luna Light attendees have opportunities to create the experience along with the staff and featured artists?
Joe: The festival is really all about the experience everyone there creates for each other. Attendees will be able to visually co-create by decorating the amazing cabins we have available and whomever does the best job gets a cabin for next year! They have showers and tempurpedic beds by the way.
6. What inspired you to invest your life in the festival community?
Joe: This is an extremely hard question to answer without writing a book… but I’ll try. I’ve had the amazing ability to travel the world and experience cultures and life beyond the US boarder. Through those travels I’ve always ended up meeting someone who was in the music industry whether it was a club promoter on the streets of Rome or the island Hip Hop star from West Indies or even some management from the String Cheese Incident at an island bar in Belize. These interactions never phased me until I received a birthday gift for a Sensory Deprivation Float where my mind put these all interactions in place for me. I left the tank knowing what I needed to do with my life and ironically ran into Chris Mario, later to be a major promoter for LLF. He walked up to me and said, “I think you should manage my band.” My response was, “I think I should too.” After, being introduced to Manifested’s guitarist, Mike Rabito, everything else has lead to the present.
Rabito: The scene that we are a part of is something that has kept me curious and been a part of a path of discovery. I believe many of the people who are involved with this community help each other progress in life and create a space where progressive art and ideas can grow.
7. For those who may only be able to attend one more festival this year, why should they be at Luna Light on October 1st?
Joe: Luna Light will be for most, the last “hoorah” for everyone’s festival season. We’ve been deemed the “homie fest” and although our attendance will be larger, that’s not changing this year around. Our stacked lineup should speak for itself but if it didn’t exist, we have so much more to offer. Our live artists bring an amazing aspect to LLF 2015 (which the lineup will drop within the coming weeks). The property is unlike any other! Rustic, homey, comforting, with a great vibe; I always manage to find an excuse to stay a few extra hours when ever I visit. If we’re talking music, LLF is a place where all the organizers plan an event where rare and interesting sets are taking place. Whether it’s an Ozric Tentacles Late Night, Michal Menert & The Pretty Fantastics, Pink Talking Fish’s “Dark Side Of The Luna” Set, or secret sit in’s with amazing artists to create a “Super Band”, (not to mention Papadosio’s new album drops October 1st) Luna Light is the place to be!