Porter Robinson’s Second Sky 2021: a starry-eyed return to festival life

Photo of Porter Robinson at the Second Sky Music Festival
Vanessa Lim/Senior Staff

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Porter Robinson is trying to feel alive. With his Second Sky Music Festival, he effectively reminded everyone of a simple, gratifying truth: everything we need is already here. On Sept. 18-19, the parking lot of the otherwise ordinary Oakland Arena was transformed into an ethereal dreamscape exploring the mystical worlds of the North Carolinian DJ and producer’s music. Robinson returned for the second time with his latest iteration of Second Sky, along with a uniquely diverse lineup of supporting acts including Madeon, Toro Y Moi, Jon Hopkins, Jai Wolf and more.

This year’s Second Sky took on an especially meaningful role marking the return of major music festivals to the heart of the Bay Area. Both days were nearly identical, like a beautiful, idyllic dream on repeat; it was clear from the performances on display that no artist involved took this opportunity for granted. Read on for The Daily Californian’s coverage recapping the weekend’s unforgettable events.

— Vincent Tran

Second Sky 2021: The openers (Air to Earth, Wavedash, Knower)

Ready to greet the flocking masses, Robinson kicked things off by unveiling his latest side-project, a live-exclusive DJ set billed as Air to Earth.


Second Sky 2021: The midday acts (Jacob Collier, Jon Hopkins, Toro Y Moi)

The sun now overhead, the festival’s midday acts offered an incredible range of genres and styles. 


Second Sky 2021: The crowd favorites (Jai Wolf, Madeon)

As Second Sky made its way into the evening, the heavy-hitters of the festival commanded the attention of nearly everybody present at the Oakland Arena grounds.


Second Sky 2021: The main event (Porter Robinson)

Robinson’s live set translated the new music into one of the most cathartic, uplifting EDM experiences of recent memory.

Vincent Tran is the arts & entertainment editor. Contact him at [email protected].