Published on June 22nd, 2013 | by gatsbyadmin


Sonic Bloom 2013

Welcoming friends and our nomadic creative family to the beautiful environment we call home, Sonic Bloom called together the tribe from near and far for a sort of family reunion this past weekend.  The four day festival was filled with an immense and beautiful expression of creative vision. Ultimately the ups and downs of this weekend will be carried forward as lessons in this evolving and growing community.

Grimey Gatsby calls Colorado home, and our correspondents on site at Sonic Bloom felt the vibe of a family reunion up at Shadows Ranch all weekend.  It was hard to move more than 10 or 20 feet without encountering a friend or collaborator or just someone we wanted to hug.  Old connections were strengthened, as the nomadic festival tribe gathered again to dance, create, celebrate and dream.  New connections were forged, collaborations borne of the moment and new projects conceptualized.   Many attendees remarked on how they felt a serious pull throughout the festival that allowed everything to fall into place….dots connecting.

The fantastic efforts of an entire sea of creatives made this year’s Sonic Bloom an even more impressive offering than in previous years.  While the musical line-up did not blow other festivals out of the water, the quality of production of this transfromational gathering, and the intention behind it, are what made it so impactful.  Everything from the thoughtful, creative and intuitive decor  (color coded lights leading to different camping areas? ingenious!)  to the multi-media spectaculars that captivated audiences at the main stage.    Musical and performance acts were punctuated with aerialists, fire spinners, all notion of movement expressionists.  Add to this enormous LED displays, plus lights, and live digital painting, and you have spell-binding works of art.  This year’s visuals were a marked step up from previous years, so kudos to all the amazing artists behind the scenes!  Performers like Akara and The Lucent Dossier Experience awed with incredibly elaborate presentations, and headliners like Minnesota, PhuturePrimitive , and the Grouch and Eligh wowed the crowd with banging lights and beats.

Props also goes out big time to the Colorado forces of nature behind the two other stages….The CO Dome, produced by Sub.Mission was literally held down by this crew in the face of massive winds and all variety of obstacles…and played host to some of the most epic late-night dance-floot romps and transcendent sunrise sets. We loved sets by iLL.Gates, ill-esha, Lotus Drops, Lafa Taylor, Ilya,  and saQi, among many others.  On the other side of the lake,  Elevated Arts and Entertainment‘s Hummingbird Stage was a work of art in and of itself.  The stage design, featuring local lumber and two massive laser-cut hummingbirds, was a beautiful setting for some intimate and innovative sets, including a night run by Denver local crew Family Moons, a super special Rab and friends set, and an out-of-this world adventure from Boulder artist bioLuMigen. Big shout outs to Crystal Wiggins and Nicole Caccivillano, the powerhouse ladies behind the scenes at these stages.   Once you get a glimpse of the work it takes to make these things fire on point, it is humbling to watch people make it happen!

On the visual spectrum, the Tribe 13 Gallery offered an incredible display of visionary artwork, in addition to all of the live painters who adorned the grounds with their works in progress.   Speaking of live art, another  group that deserves gratitude for their space and creation is The Colorado Project. This crew fed and hosted us in fine fashion  and spent the weekend  creating incredible art (including a 5 foot 3 way hookah blown on site and left in a common area for use!)

This bloom was bigger than last year. It was noticeable in the cramped camping, but also in the expansion of offerings. The visuals were next level, as was the food.  Behind the scenes and in the vending area, veggie options, smoothies, kombucha, healthy snacks were offered, as was filtered water.  Donated  by Kleen Kanteen, sustainable water fill stations (which use coconut shell filtration), were available for filling reusable bottles (the only type of water bottle available for purchase at the festival).  We also loved the Veggie Garden, a new food vendor that provided lots of veggie and vegan options for all the participants.

These kinds of gatherings also offer loads more in terms of learning opportunities and workshop offerings. One morning we found ourselves at a workshop entitled “A Call to Bloom:  Alchemy of Yoga” with Michelle Weldon  featuring Amani Friend. What a physical and emotional blessing to practice sacred movement in a beautiful natural environment with music specially created to facilitate opening, growth and love.  We followed with a Guided Meditation with Nature Dreamweaver, which focused on the meditative act of getting in touch with your environment, and building your sacred connection with the natural world.  We picked up our 4Pieces while tending to Nature’s Nest, and contributed to it’s care.  Little did we realize how well that space would later serve its purpose.

We spent the dawn of Sunday morning at the Church of Rab.  With an epically beautiful sunrise, we ushered in the day with 5 and 1/2 hours of groovy and liberating melodies, channeled through an incredible array of musicians and dancers.  An entire safari of partiers dispersed and we wandered the camp grounds with friends, giddy and silly from hours of dancing.  Shortly thereafter we encountered a wall of fear an anxiety up by the main gate, where police and ambulances blocked the flow of people.  Word soon passed….One amongst us had passed.  Together we gathered, at 2:22 PM, the word spreading through our village and uniting our community in love and healing.  An incredible gathering allowed us to offer prayer and expression of our grief, and a massive embrace and the fitting song “Aloha Ke Akua” allowed release and healing.

The lessons learned are powerful:  we must honor and celebrate life, care for ourselves and those around us, and bring this thing foward together. The lessons didn’t stop there. Later in the day powerful winds knocked over a production trailer and carried a pop-up tent into power-lines. These winds threatened to lift the CO Dome and tore through the entire site.  Only a few staff members incurred injuries, but this intense weather compounded the already challenging day. An incident with police, detailed by the Westword HERE, also caused unrest amongst the community.

Grimey Gatsby has even more coverage of Sonic Bloom.  Check out our feature “The Grounds of Sonic Bloom” being published tomorrow, with a special look at the festival grounds, decor, and installation art.  You can also find full photo albums of the event from KBS Photography and Dream Au Revoir Photography on SmugMug.


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