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Brooklyn’s BangOn!NYC throws 3-day music festival in the Pennsylvania woods

June 16, 2017 By Scott Enman Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The BangOn!NYC crew celebrates on the last day of the festival at the Fire Stage by Incendia. Shown: Brett Herman (second from left), Kelly Smith (third from left) and Timothy Monkiewicz (center). Photo: Julian Cassady
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From the warehouses of Williamsburg to the pastures of Pennsylvania, BangOn!NYC has established itself as a staple of the Brooklyn music scene, having thrown many legendary parties.

The event production company prides itself on not only bringing in a stellar lineup of artists, but also on creating an immersive, interactive and innovative experience for its guests. 

Brooklynites have always known that the company is capable of throwing a remarkable warehouse party, but a three-day festival in the boondocks of Pennsylvania? 

That was a tall task, but one that BangOn!NYC passed with flying colors. 

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

On a beautiful Memorial Day weekend, thousands of revelers gathered in the woods of The Keystone State to attend Elements Lakewood, BangOn!NYC’s inaugural three-day camping festival.

The debauchery-filled celebration, which took place just miles away from the original site of Woodstock, boasted four stages, large-scale art installations, fire breathers and the world’s top DJs. 

Partygoers decked themselves out in elaborate costumes and were treated to lively beats and over-the-top performances.

Meandering throughout the grounds, festival-goers encountered sculptures, light shows, art cars, rides, circus performances and exotic vendors.

In a market overly saturated with pop-up parties, BangOn!NYC is a breath of fresh air. The company’s parties consistently push boundaries and are reminiscent of Burning Man.

“We like to think of Elements as a reflection of the melting pot that is New York City, and have a combination of many different forms of entertainment and art that you won’t find in a single place,” BangOn!NYC Co-Founder Brett Herman told the Brooklyn Eagle.

The company’s slogan is “Performance art and booze bacchanalias like you’ve never seen before.” 

The Elements brand is uniquely Brooklyn grown and independently run, and its curators are consistently striving to incorporate local artists and vendors. 

“BangOn!NYC has grown from 300-person rooftop events to 5,000-person warehouse parties in Brooklyn, and most of our friends and collaborators live here and create various forms of art in this awesome community,” said BangOn!NYC Co-Founder Timothy Monkiewicz. 

Driving to the festival, people from Brooklyn and beyond carpooled and rode up in hippie buses reminiscent of Woodstock.

The festival featured four stages, each themed with a different element.

The Fire Stage was a musical inferno complete with fire breathers, fireworks and huts with blazes burning from the roof.

The Water Stage, located on a lake, was adorned with buoys, fishing nets and oars and featured a pirate ship roaming the waters with a cast of dancing buccaneers. 

The Earth Stage, ornamented with two wolf heads howling at the moon was placed in a verdant meadow.

The Air Stage, located in the woods, featured neon art installations and warm lighting. Revelers grooved on a muddy dance floor under the trees surrounded by a cool dampness. In the corner of the forest was a cocktail bar with tree stumps for seats. 

Speaking about what makes Elements Lakewood unique from other parties, BangOn!NYC’s Director of Operations Kelly Smith cited the festival’s collaborative element. 

“Very early on, we encouraged people to come up with something, encouraging that type of creativity and that type of participation,” Kelly told the Eagle. “There were just so many people who brought so much to the festival. 

“Whether it was live painting, body painting or theme camps offering Elements pins, there was just so many different things and I think everyone gave it their all.” 

BangOn!NYC will host its annual Elements Music and Arts Festival in August, which was held outside of the abandoned Red Hook Grain Terminal the previous two years. The location for this year’s edition has yet to be announced.


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