Buku hits New Orleans


Tycho performs at the Power Plant stage. Tycho played songs from their 2016 album Epoch, among others. Photo credit: Caleb Beck

Caleb Beck

Known for its diverse lineup, unique stages and vibrant street performers, audiences reported a noticeable spin on the traditional New Orleans Carnival culture at the Buku Music and Art Project.

On March 10 and 11, nearly 30,000 neon-clad music fans found their way to Mardi Gras World on the Mississippi River to partake in one of the South’s largest electronic music events.

Fortunately,the projected rain for the weekend never arrived, and the vast majority of the over 60 performers went ahead as scheduled, in contrast with the rained-out Jazz Fest and Voodoo Fest days of previous years.

Dave Thomas, business junior, was one of many Loyola and Tulane students exhilarated by this Buku, citing the range of performers
as impressive.

“Between the venue, the vibe and the artists, Buku has become one of my favorite music festivals. Big Wild, Cashmere Cat and Zhu stole the show for me,” Thomas said.

Making the pilgrimage from stage to stage, attendees witnessed all manner of street violinists, break dancers, graffiti artists and acrobats, playing into the circus-esque theme of the festival.

Jaimie Villar, music industry junior, found that the crowd and attention to detail at Buku are what gives it distinction from other festivals she’s visited.

“I think what separates Buku from other festivals is the culture and lifestyle behind it. Each and every aspect of the festival is carefully thought out and exemplifies what these events are all about,”
Villar said.

Taran Cornejo, street team manager and marketing assistant for Winter Circle Productions, said watching Buku culminate was very rewarding for her and her team.

“Seeing Buku come to an end has been bittersweet. We have put so much time and energy into making Buku happen, and now it’s over, so I’m a little sad. It feels good knowing all the hard work paid off,”
Cornejo said.

While neither night sold out this year, attendees reported that thousands of fans flocked to standout shows at the outdoor power plant stage all the way to the warehouse “Float Den” venue, with performances from the likes of Run the Jewels, Tycho, Vince Staples
and others.

Cornejo reflected that this Buku felt like a standout year for the project, the collaborators and all the attendees who were able to
enjoy themselves.

“There was something special about this year and I can’t quite put my finger on it but if you were there, you felt it. From artists, to fans, to the staff, everyone felt the magic that was in the air this year and that’s something I am really proud of — it’s all I could ask for. The production, the vibes, the talent, everything felt perfect in the moment,” Cornejo said.