Shaun White’s Air + Style Gives Music Lovers A Festival Alternative REVIEW+PHOTOS: AIR + STYLE 2018
LOS ANGELES, CA- In what was almost a celebratory party for Shaun White’s triumphant outing at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Air + Style returned to Los Angeles for a weekend filled with music, snowboards and skateboards. The two-day festival, which Shaun brought to Los Angeles in 2015 from Austria, combines music, snowboarding and now skateboarding to create a truly unique experience that appeals to both music fans and extreme sports lovers.
It has been a couple years since I’ve attended Air + Style, but the overall atmosphere and vibes were familiar. Air + Style has a noticeably different air about it as compared to some other mainstream festivals I’ve attended (i.e. Coachella, FYF Fest and Camp Flog Gnaw) in that the crowd is much more family oriented and congenial. There were parents aplenty with children on their shoulders in the crowd watching musical acts and sporting events. Whether it was Shaun’s own congenial spirit, or the spirit of fun athletic competition amongst friends, Air + Style’s laid-back and chill vibes was a refreshing change of music festival pace.
There were also some noticeable differences at this year’s outing from the year that I went. Gone was the huge snowboard jump. It was replaced with a tricked-out street-style snowboarding course where skilled boarders could exhibit their agile dexterity by sliding, gliding and even flipping down the course. While perhaps not as death-defying as the huge-air jumps from past Air + Styles, it still gave snow sports enthusiasts something to be enthralled with.
On the other end of the park ground, a skate park was built from the ground up to serve as the stage for a fast-paced skateboard trick competition. I spent way too much time at this venue as I couldn’t get enough of watching these athletes perform tricks that I used to dream of executing when I was a kid.
Another truly ingenious change to the Air + Style format was the addition of combining certain sporting competitions with live music. During the “Best Trick” events for each sport, a hard hitting rock or punk band would provide a visceral soundtrack for the exhilarating thrills. Those bands included Ex-Cult, Surfbort, The Birth Defects and The Paranoyds. I actually opted to check out those bands than catch some of the main and second stage acts that performed during the same time.
Of course, the musical line-up was the main draw for those in attendance. Though Air + Style was competing against both The Oscars telecast and the electronic dance music festival CRSSD in San Diego on this particular weekend, sizable crowds were dancing along to the music provided by artists like Phoenix, Zedd, Phantogram and Tinashe, some even dancing in the rain during Cut Copy when it briefly poured for a handful of minutes (be sure to check out individual music performance posts below!).
And whether you came to Air + Style for the snowboarding, the skateboarding, the music, or even just for the chance to meet Shaun White or other celebrity (just ask me about my Chloe Kim story), the weekend provided a wide range of entertainment which ensured that there wouldn’t be a moment where you be found wanting for anything.
BELOW ARE LINKS TO THE MUSICAL ACTS WE WERE ABLE TO CATCH AT AIR + STYLE 2018. CLICK ON THROUGH TO CHECK IT ALL OUT!
March 3, 2018
Cut Copy [Thoughts and Photos Coming Soon!!!]
Cashmere Cat [Thoughts and Photos Coming Soon!!!]
DRAM [Thoughts and Photos Coming Soon!!!]
Zedd [Thoughts and Photos Coming Soon!!!]
March 4, 2018
Phantogram [Thoughts and Photos Coming Soon!!!]
The Birth Defects [Thoughts and Photos Coming Soon!!!]
Griz [Thoughts and Photos Coming Soon!!!]
The Paranoyds [Thoughts and Photos Coming Soon!!!]
Phoenix [Thoughts and Photos Coming Soon!!!]
Derrick K. Lee is a music attorney, blogger, concert photographer and co-owner of Blurred Culture. He goes to a lot of shows and sometimes he writes good. Music is his boo.
All photos are edited with iPhoto. Lightroom edits can be made upon request. For prints and/or approvals for special uses of any photo taken by Derrick, please contact him directly.