Budweiser’s invitation-only event BUDLAND kicked off Friday, July 14, nestled in a hidden alleyway between a colony of warehouses and a recycling plant five minutes north of Downtown LA. After handing over your ID for close inspection by security, you were instantly greeted by a host of Red Star and beer bottle shaped piñatas, and a glossy, neon BUDLAND sign mounted above the outdoor stage. Guests were free to grab complimentary cans of Budweiser from the patio-side bar or walk up to the infinity-circle bar inside the warehouse. There, a large art installation of an oversized classic Budweiser beer can and a second stage was set up for DJ sets to carry on the party until the wee hours of the morning.
Before Buddy kicked off the evening’s live acts at the outdoor main stage, guests circled the supersize beer box sculpture in the warehouse, snapping photos and selfies in front of the Bud-worthy sculptures, or chilled out on the patio with an ice cold beer.
The festivities truly began when Buddy hit the stage just after sunset, and a crowd started to fill up the intimate space surrounding the outdoor stage. The Compton rapper stormed through his set, hyping up the crowd with his breezy, effortless bars. It isn’t any wonder Buddy has caught the eye of Pharrell Williams – he’s a rising star in the making, and the crowd was eating his honest, vibrant energy out of the palm of his hand.
Next up, Syd of The Internet (and OFWGKTA) stepped on stage for one of her first, rare solo performances. Swaddled in a black beanie on a sticky, Angeleno summer night, an even bigger crowd started to filter over to the stage from the patio bar area. Fans filed their way to the front barrier, lauding high praises for Syd as she shared intimate anecdotes behind her lyrics between songs.
A surprise guest was lined up for the final outdoor stage act for the evening. As the stagehands started to run through sound check, a posse rolling at least 20 deep were quickly escorted to the backstage area. Moments before the lights turned on for the surprise guest, it was announced Ty Dolla $ign was the first surprise guest. Drenched in red lighting, Ty mumbled his way through his thick catalogue of radio hits, leaving most of the effort to the crowd to fill in the blanks. Two songs into his set, he asked for his bottle of gin to crack open and proceeded to guzzle a few shots before chugging through another song in his set. The crowd perked up some more once Ty stripped off his shirt and a few blunts were passed out from his on stage.
Night one of BUDLAND capped out in the warehouse for a solid few more hours of music DJed by Drewbyrd and Sean G, aka Shabbaaaaaa. The duo brought their monthly showcase from the usual sticky, tiled floors of Los Globos in Silverlake, and rinsed the hottest dancehall tracks for the rest of the night.