A week before Day For Night took place, I took the plunge and decided to purchase a ticket. While the lineup itself was not enough to persuade me to attend all three days, I had heard great reviews about the art installations and therefore, chose to buy a single day pass for Saturday.
It was the best decision I’ve ever made. As far as the art installations go, Day For Night exceeded my expectations. With a theme of the collision of light and sound, Day For Night provided its attendees with an extremely immersive and highly sensorial experience. Of all of the art installations, the one that stood out to me the most was a group of pillars that lit up in sync to music. Here are a couple videos of this art installation:
While the art installations were amazing, and the music performances were great too, the highlight of Day for Night, and what made it the most incredible festival I’ve ever attended, was its underlying, almost hidden theme of a dystopian world.
Day For Night took place at the Barbara Jordan Post Office in downtown Houston, Texas. Although the festival’s website describes the location as historic, it’s really just an abandoned piece of property with a sizable empty building located on it. Two stages were placed outside the building and two inside on the first floor, with the art installations being dispersed throughout. The second floor of the building, where the majority of the art installations were located, was dark and musty, and very difficult to navigate. There were flickering ceiling lights in the bathrooms, dusty water fountains that didn’t work, and warning and danger signs located on various objects. Furthermore, inside one of the bathrooms there was a door that led to a locker room. The locker room had a pile of broken tiles in the center, an air vent hanging from the ceiling, and lockers that were filled with everything from old janitorial training materials to a mixtape.
As I spent more and more time at Day for Night, specifically inside and upstairs, it became clear that every aspect of the festival, including the decrepit and broken parts, was done on purpose. Day For Night took an old, run-down location and instead of grinding to make it presentable, embraced it for what it was, and even added to it. For example, while sitting and taking a break in one of the corners of the upstairs, my friends and I noticed a maintenance woman perched on a ladder fixing a broken light. Upon further examination, we realized that she was not actually fixing anything just pretending to do so.
As expected, we were very confused, but then it donned on us. Day For Night wanted us to be confused. They wanted us to question everything that was going on. They wanted us to be uncomfortable and on edge, because that’s the world that they were trying to create. Although the festival’s official theme was the collision of light and sound, the real theme was that of a dystopian world. Overall, Day For Night was the most bewildering and disorienting festival I’ve ever been to and I loved every second of it.