Breakaway Music Festival 2016: Day 1

We were in a current of people that seemed like an endless ocean. Then, we were at the welcome gateway and security check. As we approached the Ohio Expo Center, my anticipation quickly began to build with the volume of the music. Rae Sremmurd reminded us to “Look Alive” as we finally made it to will call. After another ten minutes of checking in with security, it was game time.

Walking into Breakaway Music Festival was like entering a concrete jungle. The vibes were high, and there was an overwhelming amount of activity. Festival classics ranged from the flavorful food vendors; rowdy bar tents; the more spontaneous excitement like taking hot air balloon rides in the festival; or watching two absolutely plastered girls crying and getting an abridged scared straight program from the cops. (Don’t do drugs kids!)

We had no time to waste before making our way into the joyful madness. While we were only able to enjoy half of Rae Sremmurd’s set, they did an amazing job of getting the crowd excited. Hyping up the crowd with party classics like “Look Alive”, “Come Get Her”, and “This Could Be Us”, there wasn’t a fan in sight that could help themselves from getting into the music.

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Dillon Francis

The excitement intensified as Rae Sremmurd’s set came to an end and it was time for Dillon Francis. Playing crowd pleasers like “Bounce” with exhilarating new drops, his set made everyone dance. We must admit, however, that seeing the legend Dillon Francis in person was an underwhelming experience. There’s no debating his unbelievable talent. Millions of fans worldwide wouldn’t listen to his music if that was the case, both of us included. The vibes were high, the beats were tight, but I found myself zoning out more often than usual during his set. A necessary skill for a performer is to be able to capture and keep the attention of the full audience. I can say that I wasn’t captivated by much else other than his visual effects at times. Regardless of how I felt about his performance, there is an immense amount of respect for Dillon Francis. He has an ear for distortion and is rightly tenured.

Chance The Rapper made his way on stage and the crowd went wild. Chance was more than ready to deliver an experience unparalleled by other artists. With outstanding visual effects coupled with his trademarked vocals and instrumentals, the crowd was more than happy to bounce and jump with Chance as he danced around the stage. He seemed to enjoy his own set at times as much as the audience. Chance was into us, and we were into his performance.

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Chance The Rapper

His set included favorites from Coloring Book like “Mixtape,” “Blessings,” and “All Night.” But the party really amped up when he  showcased everyone’s favorite Retro-Chance, throwing the festival back to the good days of his debut album, 10 Day. He even performed classics from his hit debut follow-up album, Acid Rap, like “Juice” and “Cocoa Butter Kisses.”

There was not a second during his set when I wasn’t jumping with my arms straight above me until Chance walked off the stage.

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Waka Flocka Flame

After Chance, many people called it a night. However we took to the Prime Stage for the giant party that was Wocka Flocka Flame. Going harder than ever, his set was absurdly lit. The highlight was when he dropped his go-to party anthem, “Rooster in my ‘Rari.” When that happened, he had every soul in that warehouse structure trying to jump through the ceiling.

Overall, Breakaway Music Festival’s Day 1 did more than live up to the hype. It surpassed expectations and went above and beyond with interactive entertainment. They had big-name sponsor booths and even a silent disco. Stay tuned for our review of Day 2!