Unlike the similarly inclined Springfestival, Elevate hasn't tried to expand past the strange and wonderful venue. Considering that some of the three rooms weren't even full on a Friday evening—most notably the Tunnel, which featured Space Dimension Controller starting his set to less than ten onlookers—this seems like a wise choice. Things heated up eventually, but because you had a little bit less than a thousand people and three rooms to choose from, they never really got out of control either. Friday was instead typified by the aptly named Crazy Bitch in a Cave and Planningtorock helming the main stage, while Acid Mothers Temple played psych rock in the cave-like room that was only accessible via an ultra-modern looking elevator that took 20 seconds to get to its destination high into the hill.
On Saturday, the cave was home to various shades of broken beats, most notably the hyperactive drum & bass of Rockwell and the abstract dubstep of Raz Mesinai. My attention was drawn more towards the Tunnel, however, where Boddika, Loefah and Pearson Sound further revealed that bass music's peanut butter is getting stuck in house and techno's jelly. It was a far cry from Chez Damier, whose set was so well-mixed that you could rarely tell the previous anonymous tech house roller from the next.
Much has been made of Elevate's cultural affairs programming. During the day, there are panel discussions, film screenings and workshops on topics like "Queer Pop Politics" and "Capitalism in the 21st century." I'm not sure how much crossover there is between both audiences. I walked into Dom Im Berg on Sunday night to prepare for a discussion about the "Future of Electronic Music"—spoiler alert: it's great, there are no problems at all and we're definitely on the right track, congrats to all involved—and saw about 200 people leaving a film screening. About 30 people showed up for our talk an hour later. It's certainly not a seamless transition, but then again I don't think it has to be. Whether it's a rave in a hill or a philosophical debate on the future of mankind in a hill, Elevate is something worth seeing at least once.