Day For Night is a two-day festival that combines music, digital art, and technology through expertly curated lineups featuring tastemaking visual artists and musical performers. By creating a stunning and immersive audiovisual realm meant to engage attendees’ five senses, Day For Night expands the concept of a music festival far beyond its previously known boundaries. Day For Night is for the A-list innovators, the creators, the playlist curators, and the aspiring visionaries.
Founded in 2015 and held in Houston, Texas, Day For Night intends to help shift the city’s stereotype as a honky tonk Texas town to a universal hub of artists, technologists, and musicians. Free Press Houston, a Houston-based music, arts, and political publication most notably known for Free Press Summer Festival, joined forces with New York-based creative agency Work-Order to create Day For Night from the ground up. Day For Night enlisted the help of Randall Jamail, music industry master and owner of Justice Record Company, to cultivate the festival into an internationally recognized event focused on arts and culture rather than just music.
Day for Night began on Silver Street Studios’ six acres of concrete and makeshift carpeted floors, with art-filled warehouses dividing the three stages. After one year, Day For Night moved locations and transformed the deserted Barbara Jordan Post Office from a hulking, empty space to a digital art daydream filled with music to further push the boundaries of what it could offer.
The Marriage of Light and Sound
Since its inception, Day for Night’s co-founder and Visual Arts curator Alex Czetwertynski has assembled a truly compelling slate of international artists, which has only grown in size year on year. Here, light creates visual masterpieces, and Day For Night engages its attendees at every step in every corner. Wander from room to room and you’ll see lasers going nutso, infinity mirrors galore, reflected and refracted light, experimental sound recordings, or quiet, meditative compositions – all from the world’s top light and mixed media artists. A favorite installation in 2016 entitled “Outlines” by Russian art collective Tundra involved tons of programmed lasers bouncing around the dark warehouse walls with vigor. 2016 also hosted the first Stateside reveal of Bjork’s buzzy “Bjork Digital,” a five-room VR installation exploration that highlighted the visual side of her 2015 sonic release Vulnicura. These immersive and interactive digital art installations stand between stages, offering a new sense of wonder amidst the music, allowing attendees to explore new dimensions their eyes can only imagine. Each year, a handful of these visual artists also perform live alongside the musical acts, creating spontaneous and dazzling light effects for enraptured audiences.
Such visual symphonies of light, holography, and sculpture are not to be outdone by Day For Night’s musical component. Since its inaugural year in 2015, it has offered eclectic lineups featuring champion performers, cult favorites, emerging artists, and musical legends from myriad genres. The likes of Dillon Francis, Aphex Twin, Odesza, Cardi B, Kendrick Lamar, and Nine Inch Nails have all made the cut. The festival’s organizers choose superstar and forward-thinking artists to not only grow their festival, but make a mark in the civic, art, musical and cultural realm as well. Even legendary piano composer Philip Glass appeared in 2015, showcasing hits from his long and illustrious career.
Many of the musicians who come to play Day For Night also provide their own stunning visuals. Each musical performance is doused in visual imagery and radical light displays, from Solange’s sultry, red performances, to Justice’s looming light spectacles, Kaskade’s vibrant strobes, and Pretty Lights’, well, pretty lights.
A Historic Space
Day For Night’s unique venue began life as Houston’s Grand Central Station in 1936. It then became a post office named after late Texas congresswoman, Barbara Jordan; however, budget cuts forced its doors to shut in 2015. The renovated building has since been reopened under a new name, Post HTX. Lovett Commercial owns the property and has plans to turn the massive, industrial space into a multipurpose building without compromising the historical architecture. Until these future plans begin to roll out within the next five to eight years, Day For Night gets to use the expansive lot to produce their digital utopia inside and out.
With the help of world-renowned artists and veteran festival producers and staff, Day For Night uses every inch of the 1.5 million-square-foot property to its advantage. Larger-than-life light installations and four unique, color-coded stages (Red, Blue, Green, and Yellow, in reference to the ROYGBIV sequence of hues) flow seamlessly in and out of the gargantuan venue.