The inaugural Portola Music Festival in San Francisco over the weekend of 9/24-25 proved that not only is the strength of electronic music alive and well, but that it is bubbling with amazing talent that could propel it back into the mainstream. Headliners Flume and Chemical Brothers showed their continued relevance amongst recent breakout artists like Fred Again, L’Impératrice, Yves Tumor, Shygirl and Pinkpantheress. The obvious news from the event was the massive crowds that had difficulties getting into the stage for Fred Again and Charli XCX, so much so that attendees climbed over fences and railings just to get in. Despite the problems getting in, fans were surprised at the amount of space that was actually available to accommodate the crowd. The performances by the aforementioned Fred Again and Charli XCX were outstanding and left fans wanting more with the former showing why 2022 is his year. Fred Again was engaging, switched off between his keyboard and live electronic drumming with tunes that set the tone for such an exciting event. Charli XCX was accompanied by dancers and a slick look while performing “Good Ones”, “Party 4 U” and other familiar songs. L’Impératrice had the huge Sunday crowd vibing and dancing with their disco-laden songs that had the band smiling throughout their set. Familiar faces like Jamie XX and Four Tet put on outstanding sets that were captivating and just as immersive with the lasers and dim lighting. Shygirl and Pinkpantheress were engaging with overflowing crowds during their sets that were streamlined to keep the focus on them as they sang and danced. While the space of the event on Pier 80 was quite large, there was plenty of space for attendees to spread out and rest between sets. With the warm weather that usually accompanies September in San Francisco, it was a great weekend of music that promoters Goldenvoice will be encouraged by and will look to build on if the event comes back next year.
Check out photos of some of the highlights!