Published on September 3rd, 2013 | by gatsbyadmin0
Arise and Shine
Colorado is home to one of the fastest-growing and most diverse cultural scenes in the country. With a voracious audience, breath-taking venues and an ever-expanding pool of talent, Colorado is a new capital of arts, music, and spiritual transformation. Every year more and more events pop up in this vein, and this summer Arise Music Festival was amongst the most exciting. A first year festival, Arise was a successful gathering that shows lots of potential for growth. Clearly a heart-centered event, Arise had a great community vibe that was felt everywhere from the dance floor to the yoga mat.
Held at Sunrise Ranch, the property that is home to the intentional community of the Emissaries of Divine Light, Arise utilized the beauty and energy of the land to invigorate the gathering. Beautiful red cliffs bordered the site, ever a reminder of Colorado’s blessings. While camping was unshaded, the large area assured it was not crowded. Water stations could certainly be more plentiful in the future, but the port-a-potties were some of the cleanest and best equipped we’ve ever seen. We also loved the variety of intentional spaces designed for everything from bodywork to workshops to just plain cuddling. The fire pit was a welcoming space as well, inviting intimate moments and reverent ceremony. A well-curated Art Gallery was another gem, populated by a balanced mix of up and coming local artists and master visionary artists. Art went beyond the gallery though, with installations bedecking the entire ranch. Bruce Campbell’s massive metal heads and the gates and stages built from reclaimed materials were beautiful examples of ingenuity and creativity.
The musical offerings at Arise were diverse, up-lifting and inspiring. Feel-good guru Michael Franti put on amazing headliner set on Saturday night, traipsing through the crowd and bringing kids on stage. Xavier Rudd put on a similarly heart-driven performance, and a variety of performance troupes such Quixotic and Lunar Fire wowed audiences with dance and musical fusion. Chali 2Na held down the hip-hop vibes and brought out the young Earth Guardians to impress the crowd with skills and messaging. The Syntonic Stage, hosted by Family Moons, was the home base of the electronic music community for the weekend. We loved the yummy set by Sauce and the stunning sunrise sets from Desert Dwellers and Random Rab. Rab interrupted his set at one point to display a make-shift contraption of wood and PVC. “I asked for a mic stand and they said they didn’t have one…but they brought me this…..this is the best festival ever!” Friday night saw a west-coast flavored throw-down at Syntonic. Bay Area to Denver transplant Lotus Drops brought the rumbly bass, then Nico Luminous got the crowd low and loose, followed by Lafa Taylor, who inspired a twerk-out session mid-dancefloor. If you enjoyed this stage at Arise, make sure to check out Family Moons’ Syntonic Festival September 14-16.
Arise also featured a great variety of workshops, speakers and healing opportunities. Morning meditation and kirtan ushered in days filled with yoga, dance and capoeira. Beyond movement there were also workshops on healing modalities such a neurosculpting, participatory activities for kids, and amazing speakers. Julia Butterfly Hill, Daryl Hannah and the Earth Guardians all spoke the importance of sustainability, while Jaime Janover presented the Unifired Field Theory…and many many more.
With a beautiful bounty of art, music and community Arise managed to make its mark as a successful first-year festival. We’ve already heard about plans for Arise 2014, so be sure to stay tuned for info on next year’s event. In the meantime, check out KBS Photography‘s highlights of the event below