Along with Lost Lands and Bass Canyon, Forbidden Kingdom is one of the few bass-centered electronic music festivals in the United States.
Held at the Orlando Amphitheater at the Central Florida Fairgrounds in Orlando, Florida, Forbidden Kingdom has what Bass Canyon and Lost Lands do not: heat. Both days of the festivals were around ninety degrees with clear blue skies, combated by Insomniac East with plenty of water stations and places to rest in the shade.
With five different stages, the set options—and conflicts—were not lacking. Though primarily filled with the nasty snarls of dubstep and riddim, patrons could add a little…spice to their schedule with artists such as Sodown, Griz, Deathpact, and more.
The lineup was truly art this year with spectacular artists big and small making their way onto the roster. Seven Lions and Excision closed out the larger stages day one after attendees got to enjoy a plethora of solo acts and phenomenal B2Bs like those featuring Getter and Space Laces or Buku and G-Rex.
Day two started off strong with up and coming talent such as Muerte. The day didn’t slow down as artist upon artist brought the heat—particularly, Svdden Death who said “goodbye” to his moose mask and “hello” to fire breathing in Voyd 2: Into the Inferno—until the final acts featuring Subtronics and Rezz, who both ended their individual sets with their track together, “Puzzle Box.” Was this planned? We may never know.
The festival grounds themselves were just the right size of being large enough for attendees to not be crowded, but small enough that you didn’t need to spend fifteen minutes trying to get to another stage. There were plenty of places for photo ops with setups featuring castles, dragons, and more.
VIP was a special experience providing its own special photo locations, a swing set, kandi and glitter bars, flushable toilets, bars and food trucks, and spray sunscreen and deodorant for those who forgot theirs. At night, the VIP concierge placed out wearable glow sticks and LED necklaces. The jewel of the VIP section was hands down the area carved out of the pit so VIPers could walk right up to the rail and dance close to the stage without being over crowded.
The festival’s theme of an enchanted medieval kingdom inspired many guests to dress up as dragons, and it’s color scheme was reflected by black and red portrayed time and time again. There were several dragons spotted roaming through the grounds
If you are into the heavy wubs, Forbidden Kingdom should most certainly have a place on your Festival Bucket List. From its fire lineup to a theme everyone could play a part of, FK is a festival I would be happy to attend year after year. Thank you, Insomniac East, for putting together a weekend that allowed for countless happy memories to be made for myself and so many others. Until next time.