It's been another amazing year for festivals: from Tomorrowland to DGTL and Primavera Sound, there's been some incredible highlights from 2016.
And nowhere are these high points showcased better than in the official aftermovie: a beacon of cinematography that can cure even the most acute case of post-festival blues.
The best thing about festival aftermovies is there are no steadfast rules as to what they should be. Sure you have to throw in some shots of people lost in euphoria and it never hurts to show some of the lineup highlights mid set, but beyond that, festivals are free to take their movies in any direction they please.
The goal is to capture the essence of a given festival and induce a strong sense of fomo. And just like there are a lot of ways to put on a music festival, there are a lot of ways to do this too.
In 2016, festivals chose to give their videos characters and plots, abstract concepts, shoot their videos in black and white, mess with the aspect ratio... you name it, it happened. At this rate, the Oscars will have to add a festival aftermovie category.
So as we begin to look ahead to 2017, we decided we'd take one last look back on 2016, reminiscing fondly over the year's best festival aftermovies. Just one last time...
As is standard with all Primavera Sound aftermovies, this latest one oozes coolness. Its elegant opening, indie-popping centre and distortion-overloaded climax already has us looking forward to next summer. This is just a classic, short and sweet festival aftermovie done well.
When & where: 31 May - 4 June 2017, Barcelona, Spain
DGTL Festival Barcelona
Clocking in at just under 9 minutes, DGTL Barcelona's aftermovie uses a concept to build cohesion and intrigue. Explaining sonic frequencies throughout, DGTL expertly draws the viewer in while conveying the festival's progressive nature, its welcoming atmosphere, and above all, its love of electronic music.
When & where: August 2017, Barcelona, Spain
Anyone who follows these things know there's nothing quite like the Tomorrowland aftermovie. Regularly clocking in at over 20 minutes, the Belgian EDM giant is the master of using plot to set themselves apart. This year's edition is no different and does a great job conveying the magnitude of the festival's scope. An epic story for an epic festival.
When & where: 21-30 July 2017, Boom, Belgium
An outside the box festival requires an outside the box aftermovie. This one is a prime example of how many directions you can take these movies in. Featuring interviews with noticeably amped DJs talking about their sets at Dekmantel, this aftermovie clearly conveys the creative freedom artists are afforded at this experimental gem of a festival.
When & where: August 2017, Amsterdam, Netherlands
This one grabs your attention immediately with its black and white filming and narrow aspect ratio. The artistic approach doesn't end here though as the entire aftermovie has an abstract air that keeps your eyes glues to the screen. Using a lot of closeup shots that almost fill the entire frame, you feel like you're in the middle of something awesome that you can't quite explain. Maybe you should go to Nuits Sonores to figure it out?
When & where: 24-28 May 2017, Lyon, France
Newcomer festival Junction 2's aftermovie is a great amalgamation of a lot of the elements we've seen already. The camera's viewpoint combines with sound effects to imply the viewer is happening upon some mysterious, perhaps otherworldly event. Or perhaps it is the viewer who is otherworldly, and seeing this world for the first time. This ambiguity instills intrigue and adds to the payoff when the beat hits and the party starts.
When & where: 10 June 2017, London, UK
Hellfest Open Air
Welcome to a world of fire, pain and suffering. Society has broken down and "fear is all you know." At least that's the world presented in Hellfest's appropriately dark aftermovie. Europe's biggest metal and extreme music festival doesn't do anything lightly, so why would their aftermovie be any different?
When & where: 16-18 June 2017 Clisson, France
The aftermovie for Asia's biggest rock and pop festival does a great job showing what its site has to offer. Shots of the beautifully lush forest that surrounds the site and of attendees cooling off in a nearby river combine with slow moving, serene cinematography to portray Fuji Rock's fairy tale atmosphere.
When & where: July 2017, Niigata Pref., Japan
Every year Secret Solstice puts out a great aftermovie. It's not exactly a level playing field though when your festival is set in Iceland. But kudos to them for taking advantage of what makes them unique. Opening in a beautiful and dramatic Icelandic landscape, this video takes you on an epic journey through the countryside before landing right in the middle of the party. Not a bad way to enter a festival.
When & where: 16-18 June 2017 Reykjavík, Iceland
Into the Valley
Shot in vibrant widescreen, this aftermovie expertly merges sight and sound to present Into the Valley as music festival nirvana. And really, after watching it, who could disagree? Slow moving cinematography highlights the festival's unparalleled setting, while the widescreen highlights the state of the art visuals that accompany each set. If you're ever stressed, just watch this.
When & where: 29 June - 1 July 2017 Rummu, Estonia