PHOTOS: Portola Music Festival 2023 Returns

The Portola Music Festival returned this year with an outstanding lineup of artists and a few changes that made for a unique experience. The festivals updated layout provided more sitting and eating areas and walking around the grounds was stimulating at many points that included modifications to where some of the stages were located. The new layout was inspired by feedback of last year’s attendees and observations, as well as to accommodate for noise bleeding and bounce to the nearby neighbors. The headliners of Skrillex and Eric Prydz exceeded expectations with sets that were very complementary regarding the visual and audio experience. Where Skrillex had the arsenal of a catalog filled with bangers accompanied by a spectacular light show, Eric Prydz brought his renowned HOLO show comprised of 3D-like visuals throughout his set. The anticipation and hype surrounding Nelly Furtado was very warranted and then some. With her first Bay Area performance in nearly 16 years, Furtado showed to be a true performer, dancing, singing and engaging with the audience frequently. Her catalog of classics like “I’m Like a Bird”, “Promiscuous”, “Maneater” and “Say It Right” Furtado had the audience singing and dancing right along with her. Other highlights included The Dare, whose indie sleaze was a perfect complement to other acts like Dom Dolla. Yeule was a highly anticipated artist to see by many, as the UK artist had just released her debut album just a couple of days prior. Her set was atmospheric and her stage presence was captivating such that gave a glimpse of the potential for the type of artistic show she’d put on for future sets. Stalwarts Little Dragon and Flying Lotus drew huge audiences with the latter inspiring a literal non-stop dance party in various factions of the crowd. Emerging producers Azzecca and Yung Singh brought some special mixes to the event that had a growing crowd checking them out as their sets progressed. The weather was typical San Francisco for the weekend with warm days that allowed people to feature their colorful and dance-inspired attire, and cooler nights that inspired a lot of neon with the warmer gear. This year’s iteration of Portola felt like an event that zeroed in on the audience’s taste perfectly as the curators were able to bring both the exciting new acts merged with the veterans who laid the groundwork and inspiration for many.