Photek, RJD2, Nero Raise the Roof at Together Festival

The weeklong Together festival took another step forward with a dizzying week of concerts, parties, workshops and film showings that drew an estimated 20,000 fans to dozens of venues across Boston and Cambridge.

With an impressive lineup that included Photek, Dubfire, Nero, Starkey, Poirier and RJD2 (pictured above), to name a few, the festival — now in its third year — forged several new partnerships with top EDM labels that bodes well for the event moving forward. Tastemaking labels !K7 and Ninja Tune threw showcases while Astralwerks used the festival for its New England premier of The Chemical Brothers’ acclaimed new concert film, Don’t Think.

“Execution, attendance and affiliations (with labels) put us at a whole new level in the pantheon of music festivals,” organizer David Day said. “We’re starting to reach a Sonor or Mutek and we want to be in that conversation of great city festivals. We want to pride ourselves on doing really innovative stuff. We want to be an international festival and we’re a year away from that.”

Organizers estimate that more than 12,000 fans attended parties and concerts at more than 30 venues, while thousands streamed in and out of the Together headquarters all week to attend technology panels, participate in workshops, grab free swag and watch more than 70 local, national and international DJs spinning sets that were livestreamed globally.

Together also shifted its headquarters across the Charles River to Central Square in Boston’s sister city of Cambridge, where officials welcomed the event with open arms and pledged even broader support next year.

Among the highlights were Kill the Noise and Feed Me at Royale, Joe Nice and Kahn at ThinkTank, Poirier and Mala at Good Life, New Orleans’ Big Freedia at Brighton Music Hall and Photek at Machine.

“Hearing his incredible breadth of knowledge in the mix was awesome,” Day said of Photek, whose set was completely packed. “He dropped a couple classics, dropped some brand, new bass music stuff and kind of got it on. That was a great night.”

The Together Center was open for 10 days and the event wrapped up Sunday with a closing party headlined by RJD2. After catching up on some sleep, Day said he’s already thinking about ideas to expand for next year.

“We’re really excited to keep going,” he said.

Image by MGMphoto

Third Annual Together Festival Kicks Off with Impressive Lineup

When it comes to U.S. cities, Detroit, New York, Chicago and Miami are the first that come to mind when it comes to dance music.

But Boston – known primarily for its rock glitterati like Aerosmith, the Pixies, The Cars and, well, um, Boston – has quietly built its own solid EDM scene over the past couple decades, thanks to stalwarts like Steve Porter, Hot Pink Delorean, Passion Pit and Soul Clap, among others.

With one of the nation’s largest college populations, Boston’s dance scene has exploded in recent years and has become a key stop for international stars and underground icons alike – whether its Deadmau5 selling out four straight nights at House of Blues, Deathface invading goth club Machine, Legowelt spinning the renowned Make It New parties at Middlesex Lounge or Tiësto quietly slipping into the intimate Bijou, as he did last week.

This week, the third annual Together festival kicks off with another impressive lineup that includes Dubfire, Starkey, Nero, Poirier, Todd Edwards, Dillon Francis, Photek, Feed Me, Kill the Noise and RJD2, among many others. In addition to more than 40 parties and concerts, the week-long festival also includes panel discussions, film showings, art exhibits and workshops.

This year, the festival is based in Central Square in Boston’s sister city, Cambridge, while events are spread over both cities. With a great mix of large rave-type parties, cozy lounge sets and industry mixers, it’s become a nice addition to the U.S. festival calendar that falls conveniently after the mayhem of South by Southwest in Austin and Miami’s massive Winter Music Conference and Ultra Music Festival.

Check out live DJs spinning from the Together Center here: or get the entire lineup, travel and hotel info and free downloads on Together’s web site.