Did GRiZ Finally Bring Daft Punk to Burning Man?
Since the release of their 2013 studio offering Random Access Memories, Daft Punk have been quite the experts at hiding while their fans go seeking for new music, upcoming tours, appearances -- anything really. And the myth that "Daft Punk is playing at the trash fence" is an enduring urban legend at Burning Man.
So it's no surprise that a cryptic tweet from Detroit producer GriZ would heighten the speculation surrounding the robot duo's whereabouts causing fans to question if Daft Punk actually appeared with GriZ at Burning Man as his tweet stated.
That time i played sax with Daft Punk at burning man... https://t.co/KXkl5NtXgw— GRiZ (@mynameisGRiZ) September 7, 2016
Was Daft Punk really at Burning Man? If so, how does someone actually pull off bringing Thomas and Guy out of hiding? "When we put the lineup out we just said 'special guest'...once we put 'special guest' on the lineup, after GriZ and before Thomas Jack, everyone wanted to know -- the buzz was already there", Tucker Gumber AKA The Festival Guy, who founded FestEvo and is one of the founding members of the Ego Trip camp at Burning Man 2016, told Billboard exclusively.
After watching a Daft Punk set at Burning Man last year along with "40 other people", Gumber wasn't quite convinced he had actually seen the infamous dance duo but the enjoyed the effort nonetheless. He wanted people to feel the same way he felt during the faux Daft Punk experience and set out to do something bigger and better and did so with his Camp Ego Trip at Burning Man 2016.
To pull the stunt off, Gumber searched for helmets on Etsy, raised money to back his idea and eventually searched for someone worthy enough to pull of a faux Daft Punk set. To assist him in carrying out his plans, Gumber recruited Canadian duo The Funk Hunters and it was an opportunity they could not resist.
"We gotta do it!", Nick Middleton, 1/2 of The Funk Hunters told Billboard via email. Once GriZ's set ended, the crowd roared with anticipation as they awaited Daft Punk's arrival. "We hit the lights and suddenly Daft Punk was on stage at Ego Trip and everyone just screamed," Tucker recalls. The FestEvo founder and Vancouver natives kept the crowd's energy and hopes high as The Funk Hunters -- dressed as Daft Punk of course -- took the stage to deliver an hour-long set filled with chart-topping Daft Punk hits. "This has been Tucker's dream forever and as a massive Daft Punk fan I couldn't think of anything cooler than actually getting to BE daft punk for an hour!"
Was it enough to hold fans over until the real Daft Punk makes their return to the scene? Probably not, but until then listen to the exclusive mix from the night's set below.