What is Fort AQUA?

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AQUA is coming to Newport on Friday, July 3 to kick off the first annual Fort AQUA.

In case you haven’t seen all of the posters around town, there’s going to be an EDM fest at Fort Adams to kick off the Fourth of July weekend—if you’re not particularly sure what a “revolutionary water celebration” looks like, then you should probably check out AQUA’s photos on Instagram or their videos on Facebook

 AQUA co-founder Patrick Brown answers a few questions about what AQUA actually is and what you can expect at one of Newport’s most exciting events of the summer:

What inspired you to create AQUA’s EDM experience? 

I threw two outdoor concerts at URI when I was the president of the URI’s surf club and they both got rained out. Then I thought, what if a show couldn’t get rained out? I ran upstairs and told my friend (soon to become partner) Luca Rietti and immediately AQUA was born.

AQUA’s partnership with Water is Life is amazing—every ticket sold to the AQUA experience brings 36.5 days of clean water to a person in a Ghanian village. Was “giving back” always in the plan? How did you choose Water is Life?

We always have wanted to make an impact from doing mission trips when we were younger. Luca and I came across their #firstworldproblems videos and their “4 year old bucket list” video and were really touched by them. We reached out for over a year and finally heard back from Water is Life. After some discussion we became partners and started giving back to their organization. It’s our goal within 15 years to cure the Northern Ghanian water crisis. Fort AQUA alone has already donated over 30,000 days of clean water. We might not be able to change the world, but we are going to give it our best shot.

Aside from the philanthropic aspect of AQUA, what sets it apart from other EDM festivals?

AQUA brands a production—nearly every show out there uses the same production. Our show is created entirely by water. We layer sheets of water with fountains and mist in combination with lights lasers and projection to create water holograms that float around the artist.

Fort AQUA is different, however, because it uses only up and coming local artists and gives them a huge stage to play on. Our dream is we are able to sell our festival on AQUA’s brand and next level production alone so we can give amazing unknown artists huge crowds to play for.

In spring 2014, AQUA toured with Hardwell all over from the House of Blues in Boston, MA to Epic in Minneapolis, MN—why did you choose Newport, RI to host FORT AQUA this summer?

I am from Little Compton, RI and have always dream of hosting my own festival at Fort Adams ever since I went to Newport Folk Fest for the first time. I have emailed Fort Adams every couple of months for the past four years trying host a festival. I didn’t think it would happen this fast!

FORT AQUA will have a beer garden and outdoor lawn games, as well as local food vendors and “a TON of other surprises all day long”—would you be able to name drop a few local food vendors and let us in on what sort of surprises people should be ready for?

I went to all of my favorite restaurants in Rhode Island and invited them to come. The two big ones I’m excited about are Flat Waves Restaurant, which is all Hawaiian cuisine, and Matunuck Oyster Bar. My partner and I will drive from NYC to eat dinner at these restaurants. On top of that, we have tons of amazing local desert vendors there. On the beer side of things, my favorite American beer company: Bud Light called us up to sponsor Fort AQUA. Needless to say, we are excited.

For the rest of the surprises, you’ll have to go and see.

Since there is going to be water everywhere, how should people dress for FORT AQUA?

Dress American. If someone comes dressed as Abe Lincoln, they are getting free drinks: fact.

For those who are on the fence about going to FORT AQUA, why should they go?

What’s a more American place to spend your Independence Day weekend than in the nation’s largest coastal fort?

Buy tickets online before they sell out!