As I loaded my car and headed down to Hummingbird Ranch in Rye, Colorado for Sonic Bloom 2018 I felt both excited and nervous. This would be my very first Sonic Bloom, and also, the first festival I’ve ever gone to completely on my own. I was only familiar with a few of the artists on the line up, however, I was intrigued by the variety in genre that this festival offered and I was excited to be taking this leap-of-faith in hopes that this festival would live up to all the wonderful things I had heard.
When I first arrived to Hummingbird Ranch I was greeted with smiles and high fives by the volunteers, hugs from strangers while I waited in line for my pass, and a lot of dust and wind. The positive vibes and great attitudes from strangers were infectious and immediately set the tone for what was about to be a fantastic weekend.
As mentioned, I traveled by myself, only knowing a handful of people that would be at the festival. I already made the decision that whomever I was meant to find would find me. I was leaving my fate in the hands of the festival gods and I had brought along my pineapple son Alex on the way to help me break the ice with strangers, and give everyone a good laugh.
As I finished settling in, I decided to walk around and explore the festival grounds before they opened the gates to everyone. I saw a pretty little hippie girl with blonde dreadlocks and a steam-punk styled hat that I hollered at so I could ask to take her picture. She turned around and looked at me and said “Dianna?” recognizing me from Facebook, where we had been online friends for two years but hadn’t ever met until that moment. Within the first 15 minutes at Sonic Bloom, I had already run into an immediate friend, someone I could trust to have a good time with.
We decided to wander together as people were putting the final touches on art installations, setting up the artist pathway, and while vendors were preparing their shops for the weekend. There was art everywhere and I couldn’t wait to see this place lit up at night. I immediately resonated with the Electric Forest type of vibes, but in a much more intimate setting.
We came upon what looked like a spider web made of para cords across several trees. Later in the weekend, we would end up spending many hours in that man-made spider web, lounging, cuddling, enjoying the sights and sounds of the Hummingbird Stage along with other soon to be friends. The spider-web was the creation of a Colorado native, @treenetwilly. I had the opportunity to talk with Will about his passion for not only life in the trees, but for creating a relaxing place for people to stop and enjoy the festival. Will’s tree-net was one of Sonic Bloom’s best interactive creations. I found myself traveling back to those trees repeatedly throughout the festival, and every time I found myself there, I was surrounded by new friends, hilarious conversations, and plenty of space to lay out and relax.
As the day progressed, we made our way back to the campsite. We were lucky enough to be situated in artist camping, right behind the Bloom Stage. I met my neighbor Karlyle here, also known to the music industry as Krushendo, a Denver-based artist who describes his style as melodic future bass and heavy dubstep. As a basshead/headbanger at a festival that was not musically based around headbanging, I was beyond excited to go to his set at the Hummingbird Stage to see what he had to offer. Krushendo, a play on the word crescendo (a gradual increase in loudness in a piece of music), lived up to his name, in both crushing it, gradually building his mix from melodic to heavy, throwing in a variety like Michael Jackson, Illenium, Riot Ten, and Bassnectar; it was just what I needed.
Checkout a recording of his full set on Soundcloud.
The highlight of Sonic Bloom wasn’t the number of artists I had to opportunity to see, nor was it the amazing production value put into the entire event. It was the intimacy the festival fostered. Sonic Bloom is unique because of the degree of artist immersion within the culture of the event. From late night walks through the forest, while I watched painters actively creating beautiful works of art, the incredible performing artists and flow artists that blew stunned with their talents, the lifelong friendships I formed with complete strangers, and the amount of good energy around every corner. For those attendees that appreciate beautiful festivals in an intimate environment, Sonic Bloom is the place to be.
For more photos from Sonic Bloom 2018, check out Sonic Bloom Facebook album.