The Monster Energy Up And Up Festival just announced its 24th headliner: DISCO LINES! I had the pleasure of attending both SJSU and UCSC dates of the Fall 2023 run featuring none other than the Bay Area favorite Dr. Fresch. To say the least, I can’t wait to see what the fest has planned for the college crowd in the Spring of 2024.
Since beginning their journey in 2016 featuring CashCash at Washington State University, Up And Up has collected a star studded rap sheet across many colleges. With headliners like Subtronics, Sullivan King, and DomDolla, the brand has created a festival produced entirely by the student bodies of their 100+ participating colleges. Aiming to empower the student community and drive competition through innovation, they have cultivated a sense of ownership among the students producing this event; “For the students, by the students”. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this festival is the ticketing system that allows 48 hours for the students and nearby residents of participating colleges to take part in a presale event. The results of this presale competition determine the handful of colleges that will be granted a live show in the given semester. If and only when their college is chosen, the presale ticket buyers will be charged for their tickets. This system fosters a sense of competition that demands the student body to crowdsource and work collectively to make their festival dreams come true. With backing from Monster Energy and the collective effort and enthusiasm of the student community, Up And Up has featured the following headliners since 2016:
Their most impressive overtaking yet was the Fall 2020 virtual festival hosted by the Heavy Metal EDM Angel himself, Sullivan King. During the recent global pandemic of 2020, the team continued to work with college students going through an especially difficult time in their academic lives. This YouTube event hosted on The Monster Energy channel, was received with feral excitement from the community. The next best thing to the incredible physical environment cultivated by the community, proved to be bringing the environment home. The resilience of Up And Up’s team of ambassadors and creators shows exactly the kind of dedicated and passionate drive the festival aims to establish.
I discovered Up And Up through Dr. Fresch and soon after they announced the winning colleges of 2023. I was ecstatic to see that SJSU and UCSC had earned a spot on the leaderboards. Following his win of the 2013 Discovery Project Contest by Insomniac, Tony launched his “Dr. Fresch” project. His unique sound combining hip-hop and upbeat house, with mind boggling bass, is universally appealing across genres. Fresch is a good time no matter what and the continuously impressive and inventive tracks he masterfully composes engrave his impact on the “Up” and coming generation of musical creators. His House Call Recs., which features a mix of unreleased IDs and demos submitted by artists as well as remixes by the Doc, drives creativity in the scene. Often, creativity can be intimidating. The competitive music world can discourage those trying to catch their break in the industry. Dr. Fresch is the embodiment of the spirit Up And Up hopes to cultivate amongst the college youth. Tony’s innovative mind and nurturing spirit towards the community is an inspiration to the young creators beginning their journey of producing the music of the future.
Thadeus Labuszewski aka Disco Lines will be headlining the spring run of the Up And Up festival. His introduction to electronic music was the fresh inspiration he was in search of. It started a fire in him that pushed him to develop his own genre-blending, high energy sound inspired by the unique melodies in electronic music. His modern and innovative sound is euphoric and addictively catchy; its pop, techno and retro tones are elevated with Thadeus’ mastery of house music. His earliest works quickly gained traction on social media and he began selling out venues across the country. One of his most well known tracks is “Baby Girl” which came out in April of 2022 and took over social media becoming a staple background audio for endless varieties of aesthetic, compilation, storytime or comedy videos. Recently he played an afternoon set at Outside Lands 2023. His midday set had the crowd dancing crazy and eager for more and the stage couldn’t handle the traction from hundreds of ravers. He was forced to take a break mid set and ask the crowd to vacate the area in order for the festival to repair the damages. His music connects with the younger crowd on a different level. With his unique reach through social media, Disco Lines will bring an audience with many, many different backgrounds. His music not only caters to edm listeners who frequent progressive and upbeat house events, but also an entire new crowd of people who are introduced to electronic music by discovering his music through social media trends. This is the kind of well thought out exposure and traction Up And Up employs in order to attract fresh eyes and new minds to the industry.
College student or not, this festival appeals to all event goers. Up And Up’s spring headliner Disco Lines will be bringing this spirit to colleges across the country. If you’re already in love and wanting to get involved, you can apply to be an ambassador or get in touch directly with the festival through the Up And Up Festival website. The 48-hour presale competition will begin on February 20th. Mark it in your calendars and participate in the presale event to bring this enriching experience to a college near you!