The first annual installment of Cayuga Sound saw both X Ambassadors and The Roots headline. But while this past year has certainly been a busy one for X Ambassadors — as the band has been hard at work on their second major record which Sam Harris, X Ambassadors frontman, described to me as constantly in flux but “expected to be completed sometime in 2019” — they have grown their festival to include a second night of action in Stewart Park.
This year’s ticket includes acts such as Young the Giant, who rose to stardom through singles like “My Body” and “Cough Syrup,” Talib Kweli, Towkio and dance duo Matt and Kim. Harris described the process in curating this year’s festival in a recent interview with The Sun:
“Honestly, we really just kind of reached out to [this year’s] artists blindly. We didn’t really have any prior relationship with any of them. And we were lucky enough to have a lot of them say yes.”
Harris told us how he only recently met Young The Giant, Friday night’s headliner, when they happened to be recording at the same studio. But Harris emphasizes that he is excited to work with these artists.
François Comtois of Young the Giant told The Sun that his group had “played a few festivals with X Ambassadors before, but that we only got to meet the group after signing onto the ticket at Cayuga.” Comtois further cited that the guys of X Ambassadors “are really cool” and that he hopes Young the Giant “will be able to host something similar [to Cayuga Sound] in the future.”
In an interview with Matt Johnson from Matt and Kim, The Sun learned that Matt and Kim had a slightly different path to Cayuga Sound.
“We were playing a warm-up show for our tour at The Haunt, and we were still figuring a lot of songs out — we wanted to come back, so we reached out to one of the festival organizers as we felt that not everyone who wanted to see our show got the chance to see it . . . I guess we both kind of swiped right on each other,” responded Johnson when asked how his band was booked on the festival ticket.
Johnson further stressed how the audience should expect them to bring their usual Matt and Kim flare to the festival — self-described as “balloons, confetti . . . and lots of booty shaking.” Matt and Kim expect to end their tour on a high note at Cayuga Sound and mesh nicely with the vibe. When asked about his feelings on festivals, Johnson discussed how he feels “festivals are where we belong as we perform more of a DJ set where even if you have never heard a Matt and Kim song, you are able to still have a great time at one of [their] shows.
Cayuga Sound has evolved in just a year to become a contender for the title of best festival in the region. The work the X Ambassadors and the Cayuga Sound team have done is certainly impressive. Don’t miss the second annual Cayuga Sound this weekend in Stewart Park.
Peter Buonanno is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences. He can be reached at [email protected].