Happy Nightmare

Image from: https://nightmare-festival.com/album/

Christina Hershey

Nightmare music festival made its return to Camp Ramblewood in Darlington, MD on October 28th, 2016. Badass Raves’ seventh annual Halloween gathering was a weekend to remember for some and a weekend that some are still trying very hard TO remember. More than anything, it appeared to be a weekend that, without a doubt, left every fan craving the next big EDM festival like Zombies for Brains.

This event has made a name for it self as one of the biggest Halloween festivals on the east coast.  License plates ranged from as far south as Georgia to as far north as Maine, which honestly doesn’t even begin to summarize the diversity of the crowd observed this passed weekend.

“I always meet so many amazing people at these festivals, but they always live so far away from me,” a fellow raver who called himself the ‘Salamander’ said as he expressed his disappointment and heartache as he had met the love of his life just “fifteen minutes ago” but due to an unfortunate alignment of the stars, she lives in Tokyo, Japan.

With all the production value of a big festival and the crowd quality of small local venue, fans really do get the best of both worlds. Trent Pagan, a die-hard bass-head and frequent festival attendee, put it into perspective for me, “My life is all about balance, festival’s are my counterweight to reality.”

Two oversized Farmhouse barns and a smaller outdoor stage raged from noon each day to five in the morning every morning. The crowds danced and hooped and moshed with fervor that is unparalleled.

Badass never ceases to amaze fans with a stellar line up. One name that is still ringing in everyone’s ears is Figure. This was the final show that Figure would be performing “Terrorvision” this year. This is the name for his project that mixes and mash ups sound bites and clips from horror movie classics. Figure brought the grimy bass while simultaneously spooking and chilling every single bass-head to the bone.

SQUNTO was another notable performance. He is an artist steady on the rise, consistently bending the genre of dub step to his will. He has managed to blur the lines between metal and electronic dance music. His set was monstrous and filled with high energy complete with a wall of death featuring several successful (and unsuccessful) back flips. SQUNTO is completely competent and unique with his fresh outlook on music and live mixes, which is much more than what can be said for some of the other “talent” out there.

No one can talk about “Badass” without talking about the lasers. Lights cascaded from the ceilings of the barn houses, bathing fans in every color of the rainbow. Hired performers and dancers mesmerized attendees with liquid dance moves and individual lightshows. In addition to Glovers and Poi, various performance artists were in the crowd showcasing talents like live fire twirling, spinning, blowing, and eating.

There has been a lot of speculation over the past couple of years as the small town of Darlington has become concerned with the amount of noise created at this event, as well as other events that Badass showcases at Camp Ramblewood. There are other concerns as well, such as safety and pollution though the event promotes a “leave no trace” attitude to those in attendance.

The future for "Nightmare" is unclear as far as venues go, but fear not fellow bass-heads it is certainly not the end. According to the Nightmare Festival website, plans are already in order for Nightmare 2017. Happy Nightmare!

*Articles reflect the views of the author and or those quoted and do not necessarily represent the views of CCBC or the CCBC Connection.


  1. Rodney Barnett 8 October, 2017 at 13:38 Reply

    Ive personally went to Nightmare that year and it was a blast. The music and the lights were awesome but the people there really made the experience. Everyone there all have the same vibe and is there to listen to good music and have a good time. To anyone who is interested in this or think they might be, i would advise you to go one year.

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