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Dancefestopia 2023 was one for the books… again. As multi-year attendees of Dancefestopia, we’ve said a lot about this festival on our platform. But we think this is worth repeating: if this independent, midwestern festival is not on your list, you should consider adding it… near the top.

While it’s hard not to have fun at a festival surrounded by homies and eating Spicy Pie, the DFT team truly focuses on fan experience and leveling up with each new year.

If you’re already planning your 2024, Dancefestopia launches sales on November 24 at 12:00 pm. 3-Day passes start at $139 with a payment plan available! 

New to Dancefestopia 2023: A Lot

This year, Dancefestopia improved production with a brand new Emerald Castle design for their main stage in partnership with Antic Studio. The second stage, the Lollipop Stage, was moved to a new location on a beautiful peninsula. This not only allowed for the beloved tent to return but also improved scheduling. Additionally, they added a third stage, the Forest Stage, in the campgrounds for programming and a silent disco throughout the event.

In 2023, Dancefestopia was yet another amazing experience. But, rather than recapping EVERYTHING you missed out on, we thought we would take a look back at the history of the festival. We asked Charlie Greene, Marketing and Operations Manager, some questions about Dancefest and how it has evolved over the years.

  • Dancefestopia 2022 lineup
  • Dancefestopia 2021 lineup
  • Dancefestopia 2016 lineup
  • 2014 lineup
  • 2013 lineup

One of the most important things for you to know about Dancefestopia: it is one of the lone remaining independent and family-owned/operated festivals in the country. This means that they are not backed by a larger company and own 100% of the brand, allowing Dancefestopia to adapt and change as it sees fit to create a better experience for the attendees versus earning a profit or appeasing a parent company.

Additionally, since Dancefestopia’s inception in 2011, they have placed significant importance on the baseline operations that make or break festival experiences.

“We value long-term relationships with our staff and support crews – many of whom have been with us since day 1. For example, our Box Office, Parking, and Grounds crews have been with us since the first festival.

Dancefestopia’s core medical team is a leading provider of medical services at live music events around the world. They happen to be based here locally and have been with us from day one. Their guidance undoubtedly makes Dancefest a safer place.“

Charlie Greene, Dancefestopia Marketing and Operations Director
Dancefestopia stage photo
Photo Credit: Shutterklick

Dancefestopia occurs on one of my favorite festival grounds.

After two venue changes, there is no place like home: Wildwood Outdoor Education Center.

Wildwood Outdoor Education Center is big enough to never feel crowded and small enough to not ruin your feet while walking. Tent camping is beautifully shaded in a well-maintained forest. Music goes on all day and all night – with quiet hours in the campsites, so sleeping isn’t impossible.

Even more importantly, Wildwood Outdoor Education Center hosts non-profit children’s camps. Greene shared that “the festival raises over $100k annually for the camps for them to improve the facilities, hire staff, and to host more underprivileged children at summer camp.”

Not only does your ticket to DFT provide you with a phenomenal experience… you also help provide phenomenal camp experiences to children in need.

Another welcomed reoccurring piece of the festival is the Rekinection Experience. While this year was a little different in location, I appreciated the focus on a space to relax, learn, and play. Rekinection facilitates workshops and activities throughout the now seven-day event. In 2023, they also hosted a live yoga class on the main stage during a Dixon’s Violin set and maintained the Zen Den – a space for resting, chilling, and debriefing for festival attendees.

Other than Rekinection, Dancefestopia has other brand partnerships that change year to year, but all are selected with the utmost intention for attendee experience:

“We are very particular with what brands are involved with Dancefestopia. We look for brands we share a synergy with and engage with our attendees to improve their experience.”

Dancefest has humble beginnings, much like many independent music festivals.

“We’ve largely relied on fan word-of-mouth to grow over the last 11-12 years. We lean heavily on a post-festival questionnaire to know what areas fans want to see improve and which artists fans want to see live. After years of listening to our fans, that word-of-mouth has caught on and organically grown our attendance numbers.

Dancefest is known as an extremely ‘homey’ and friendly festival. Our fans are incredibly thoughtful and improve the experience for others – especially first-time festival goers. It’s important to us to organize a comfortable, ‘easy’ festival experience that fans appreciate and look forward to all year long.”

– Charlie Greene

Finally, we asked what was most important to the Dancefestopia team – what they considered a “W” and how they strive to improve from year to year. Greene responded: “We love that fans can come to Dancefest and be anyone or anything they want. It’s complete freedom when you’re at Dancefest. We’ll always fight to keep that true. Aside from setting the appropriate atmosphere at the festival, we listen to fans and act on who/what they want to see at Dancefestopia. It’s our goal to be a true reflection of our attendee’s desires.”

“Dancefestopia was created out of a love for the music & creating an experience that gives people the space to be themselves. We are thankful for the continued support and we strive every year to make it an experience that the attendees will remember forever.“

Charlie Greene, Dancefestopia Marketing and Operations Director

If you want to have a part in the lineup and experience at Dancefestopia 2024, you should fill out this survey. Mark your calendars for September 2-8, 2024, and do NOT miss another Dancefestopia!

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Looking for new music? Keep up with our weekly Spotify Playlist, Fresh Hunts. Updated every Friday with all the latest releases. Whether it’s the newest drops from artists you want at Dancefestopia, all your favorite artists, some old-school, or underground…we just want you to hear it.

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