PHOTOS: Electronic artist GRiZ hosts ‘pop-up’ set on Figure Eight Island

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A DJ and electronic producer on a two-show stop in Wilmington performed a “pop-up” electronic dance music set on Figure Eight Island today. It was one of two island parties hopping in Wrightsville Beach on Saturday afternoon, as Palm Tree Island also hosted a large party.

“GRiZ,” the stage name for Detroit-based DJ Grant Kwiecinski, performed the set in front of a hundred or more people, most who crossed Masons Inlet in boats to reach the shore. Boaters in the area said the low-tide renegade DJ set could be staged there since the area below the high-tide line was open to the public.

The DJ mixed songs of several eras together, even throwing in Michael Jackson, and drew a diverse crowd of onlookers from boaters in the area, while Wrightsville Beach police and lifeguards watched the event from across the inlet.

GRiZ, who finishes a two-night engagement at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater tonight, had promoted the event on his social media accounts, but said he wasn’t sure how many people would actually come. The “pop-up” set was part of “GRiZmas in July,” the DJ’s theme for the weekend.

“I didn’t know if I’d be playing to just five people, but people figured it out and got here,” GRiZ said. “This is all about building communities and that’s what we made here today, a micro-community filled with beautiful people bringing great energy.”

With just one canopy set up behind him for supporters, GRiZ and his two-turntable electronic DJ system were out in the sun and up close with his fans, who hovered over him as his played.

After concluding his set, the DJ jumped into the inlet, mobbed by fans. He signed autographs and took photos with scores of fans.

“This was a rare opportunity to give back and create good vibes for a great group of fans,” he said.

Several of the fans that came had seen GRiZ the prior night at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater, with several saying they were planning to see him again tonight. Through word of mouth and social media, details for the pop-up show on Figure Eight emerged over the day.

”I heard about it on his Facebook page,” said Brian Coules of Wilmington. “I thought there was no way this would happen. It was amazing.”

Some fans traveled to Wilmington to see his set, including Foster Boerman from Charleston, S.C., who brought a flag with the DJ’s logo.  

“All of these people are die hard fans,” Boerman said. “He does something like this once a year, but it’s never been like this.”

“You love to see this,” chimed in Killian Burke, also from Charleston. “It was wild, this is one of the craziest things I’ve done.”

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