BUKU Music and Arts Project is back in a big way after a three-year hiatus — with headliners Tyler the Creator and Tame Impala celebrating the festival’s 10-year anniversary.
Set against the backdrop of Nola’s Market Street power plant hugging the banks of the Mississippi — BUKU gives off more of an underground warehouse party vibe than your tent and field festival.
Expect to see industrial equipment turned art installations with stages made of water containers bathed in neon lights.
BUKU’s lineup has people buzzing — Tyler the Creator holds the main Saturday spot while Tame Impala will be headlining Friday night. Millennials reminiscing on their emo days will be delighted to hear that Taking back Sunday has a Friday slot while Alison Wonderland will be performing one of her innovative DJ sets.
Packed with DJs, hip-hop artists, alt-pop bands and so much more, the full lineup does not disappoint.
As if the music wasn’t enough to persuade you that BUKU is the place to be this March, the entire site is essentially a live art piece — lookout for live graffiti mural paintings and other live art performances.
Revellers won’t want to miss out on Lagniappe (lan-yap) — which, in French Creole, means ‘a lil extra.’ Look for break-dancers, twerkers, costumed performers and other pop-up live artists throughout the festival.
What really sets BUKU apart is its commitment to sustainability and social justice. Since the festival began in 2012 organisers have paired with Upbeat Academy — an organisation that empowers New Orleans youth through a modern approach to music education.
Every year BUKU donates a significant portion of the academy’s budget through ticket sales, guest list donations, graffiti auctions and more.
BUKU even gives Academy students the chance to perform on stage with some of their favourite artists — in the past, this has included Kendrick Lamar, Nas and Chance the Rapper as well as others.
The festival is also committed to environmental sustainability. The organisers have pledged to reduce the festival’s environmental impact and adapt their operations to keep with science-based sustainability.
Finally, BUKU promises to be a safe space for everyone. The organisers have said that they stand for acceptance, compassion, encouragement and love — that there is no room for discrimination of any kind at the festival.
All of this makes for a progressive, expressive open space where people can enjoy community-driven art and music.
Joining the BUKREWE for the weekend will set you back $240 for a standard 2-day admission. Gates open at 1 pm and close at 11 pm daily — although there are sure to be plenty of after-parties.
Hotels in the heart of New Orleans can be booked through BUKU’s website as well as VIP passes.
BUKU once again promises to be so much more than a music festival, but a community-driven project which offers — Beaucoup — a lot.