Tag - sonic bloom

Tipper, CharlestheFirst, Lettuce at Sonic Bloom 2020

Sonic Bloom Festival is returning to Hummingbird Ranch, Colorado, this June 18-21, 2020 with some familiar faces, as well as Sonic Bloom first-timers. Tipper will headline with two sets, joined by artists like CharlestheFirst, Lettuce, Sunsquabi, Ott., Desert Dwellers, Dirtwire, Shlump, Eoto, Break Science Live, and a host of other artists. As this is the phase 1 announcement, expect to see a few more names added to the bill in the coming months.

Tickets are on sale for this all-ages events, which include a variety of options ranging from payment plans to General Admission, VIP, Car Camping, and a variety of other festival upgrades.

Moontricks Talk Bluegrass & Bass Music at Sonic Bloom

(Photo by Matt Love)

Among the many talented acts at Sonic Bloom, the unique sound of one duo specifically stood out. Hailing from Western Canada, Moontricks brought on a high-energy performance to the Hummingbird Stage. Sean Rodman and Nathan Gurley specialize in the creative combination of bluegrass and bass music. They were kind enough to take a few moments to sit down with me to discuss their art. For clarification, my questions will be italicized.

Thank you both so much for sitting down with me; so, tell me a little bit about how Moontricks got started.

Nathan: I started a long time ago, just with the intent of combining electronic music with acoustic music… guitars and harmonicas and things. I’ve always kind of been into both. Sean started playing with me about five years ago.

Sean: I had started playing the banjo, which is such a random instrument (laughing)… it seemed to be a good fit.

You guys have a really interesting sound. To me, it’s a perfect example of how electronic music is able to seamlessly combine two seemingly unlike genres of music. You’ve got bluegrass and bass music. Who are some of your influences from either side of that spectrum?

Sean: I’m going to say Bob Dylan…

Nathan: Maybe like, the Grateful Dead? Bunch of stuff like that…

Sean: Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles…

Nathan: I guess anyone who’s kind of combining electronic music and acoustic music. We’re always trying to pay attention to what’s going on with our peers and our friends.

How did you two meet in the first place?

Nathan: We have known each other for quite a few years.

Sean: Small town, basically. Nate grew up in a small town, I ended up there.

Nathan: I knew his ex-girlfriend (laughing) in Canada there’s only so many people.

Sean: Yeah, it was just like, “you play music, I play music….”

Nathan: That’s really what it was though! I found out he played music and he was really good. I was like “sick!” Someone to collab with!

Speaking of collaborations, I especially love the track you guys make with Dirtwire. Who are some other artists that you hope to collaborate with one day?

Sean:….Bob Dylan

Nathan: (Laughing) Yup! That’s it! Nobody else!

I’d love to see you guys work with someone like CloZee

Sean: Oh yeah that would be sweet

Nathan: I agree! But I don’t know, you guys tell us! We love hearing back from our fans.

You guys have played some of the coolest music festivals. Lightning in a Bottle, Shambhala… they’ve been on my bucket list for years. What is it like getting to perform at such cool places?

Sean: Lightning in a Bottle was just last month, and it was phenomenal.

Nathan: First time there, it was awesome. And we actually live right around the corner from Shambhala, so that’s kind of like our hometown festival. We’ve been there many, many years.

So what can your fans expect to see from you guys in the next year?

Nathan: Well, we’ve got a bunch of releases coming out. Undetermined when, but we’re working on a lot of music, a lot of videos and different things. I can’t really give specifics, but there will be lots of surprises. Hopefully touring more and traveling to new places.

With your music really being split down the middle between bluegrass and bass music, what is your fanbase like?

Sean: Well, I guess it’s like, tonight we’re playing Sonic Bloom and tomorrow we’re going to a folk festival in Edmonton.

Nathan: It’s a mixed bunch.

Sean: We can kind of get away with a little bit of both. It’s awesome.

How does it feel to be here in beautiful Colorado?

Sean: It’s awesome! The sunset, the mountains, it’s been great. Getting to hang out with our agent, Matt, it’s been really fun. I love Colorado.

Does this mean I’m going to get to hear ‘Mountains’ tonight?

Sean: We’re in the mountains! We have to play ‘Mountains’!

I love that! I’m so excited. Thanks so much for sitting down with me, I hope you guys enjoy your weekend!

No Such Thing as a Stranger at Sonic Bloom 2019

Wow! What a weekend… Sonic Bloom returned to Hummingbird Ranch for yet another year of absolutely fantastic music, beautiful art installations, and probably one of the kindest groups of festival-goers I have ever witnessed. From start to finish, the entire event ran like a well-oiled machine, utilizing all 300 staff leaders who have been meeting for months to make sure Sonic Bloom maintained the standard of excellence they have achieved year after year.

Driving up to the event, about three hours south of Denver, CO, I realized that Bloom, while absolutely a staple in the underground music scene, was kept a hidden gem from the outside world. There weren’t any massive signs pointing us towards the event, there weren’t speed traps and police officers crowding the surrounding area, there wasn’t even traffic. The only hint that we were getting close was the familiar sight of the Spanish Peaks and the beautiful grassy hills surrounding them.

Fans pose at Sonic Bloom 2019 with the Spanish Peaks Mountains as a backdrop
Fans pose at Sonic Bloom 2019 with the Spanish Peaks Mountains as a backdrop

Looking at the absolutely stacked lineup featuring Gramatik, Opiuo, Emancipator Ensemble, Russ Liquid Test, Yheti, Jade Cicada, Detox Unit, The Widdler, The Librarian, and Funkstatik (just to name a few), it completely shocked me to find out that final attendance for this festival was about 5,000 people. For me, getting the chance to see Gramatik with only a few thousand people was a memory I’ll never forget.

Not included in that number are the performance artists, yoga instructors, VJs, workshop leaders, stage managers and artists who made Sonic Bloom a true gallery of art in all mediums. It seemed as though each person there, whether staff or attendee, had something special to bring to the table. The food vendors carried a wide variety of different flavors from all over the world (I personally enjoyed ‘Umami Mobile Eatery,’ where I ordered a pork and rice bowl filled with veggies and covered in a Thai-inspired peanut sauce). The painters set up shop right next to a stage so people could enjoy live-painting while listening to their favorite artists. The dancers, hoopers, aerial artists, and flow artists were absolutely everywhere all weekend, creating a circus-like feel to the event. And most importantly, the musicians each had something truly wonderful to say about Sonic Bloom, claiming it to be one of their favorite events to play music for.

While all the acts were fantastic, one really surprised me.

Aaron Holstein, of VibeSquad (typically of the new age electronic dance music), got up on stage during the afternoon sunshine and played a stunning set comprised of classical piano music. Besides a few flow artists dancing gracefully to the sound, the entire crowd was sitting down silently or laying quietly in the surrounding hammocks completely in awe at the sounds they were hearing. The set became even more special when Holstein got on the mic towards the end of his set and announced happily and teary-eyed that it was his birthday. After his set ended with a large cake, party hats and a beautiful group photo, I had a moment to greet Holstein, wish him a ‘happy birthday’ and thank him for his set. He revealed to me that while he had been making music like that at home for years, he had never gotten a chance to perform it for anyone live, and that he thought Sonic Bloom was the absolute perfect place to debut this music that he has held so closely to his heart.

It wouldn’t be a Colorado music festival without a completely random and unpredictable change in weather. Throughout most of the weekend, it was sunny, windy, and (be warned) very, very dusty, but come Saturday afternoon, nothing surprised us more than a massive 30-minute hail storm overthrowing the entire festival and covering camps and cars with ice the size of golf balls. After the storm, I emerged from my car expecting to see people packing up and leaving but was surprised to enter the festival grounds to a nearly full event of festival-goers wearing ponchos and dancing like nothing could stop them.

My favorite art installation from the weekend was ‘The Complimentary Bar,’ which was a small booth set up between stages where patrons would “friendly heckle” people walking by. I met one of the owners of The Complimentary Bar, Heather Stiver, and stood with her for a half an hour shouting things like, “I love your outfit!”, “Your smile is contagious!”, and “I’m so happy you’re at Sonic Bloom!” The reactions from the people that passed us made my entire weekend. It reminded me that sometimes going out of your way to tell someone something positive can turn the entire day around (for you and for them!). It’s one memory from the festival I have packed in my suitcase and taken home with me.

The Complimentary Bar at Sonic Bloom 2019
A fan posing in front of The Complimentary Bar at Sonic Bloom 2019

Overall, Sonic Bloom reminded me of the feeling I got from my first music festival; it reminded me that there’s no such thing as a stranger, that sometimes the best part of your weekend will be someone else’s smile, and the importance of being kind to our planet as well as being kind to ourselves. Sonic Bloom will certainly be a festival that I return to for years to come.

Sonic Bloom Returns to Colorado June 20-23 2019

Sonic Bloom, Colorado’s premiere electronic music festival, is celebrating its 14th edition this year with a bold nod to the thoughtful and diverse musical curation that has catapulted this boutique festival into worldwide recognition. The lineup is nothing short of incredible, including artists ranging from Of The Trees, Yheti and Detox Unit to Opiuo, Gramatik and Emancipator Ensemble (featuring Jamie Shields from The New Deal and Michael Travis and Jason Hann from String Cheese Incident). The intimate music festival brings a large variety of underground artists, giving festival-goers a chance to experience their sound far before the general population of mainstream festivals.

Sonic Bloom is an ideal festival for those looking for something different. With short lines, respectful community and plenty of room to dance, camp and be, this weekend in paradise is a step away from the day to day. Thought provoking workshops hosted by internationally acclaimed speakers, a diverse range of yoga and movement workshops, overflowing visual art and unique vendors provide a little something for everyone.

Hosted once again on the stunning Hummingbird Ranch, riverside camping is easily available, children and families are welcomed end encouraged and a hand is always outstretched to join in, contribute and participate.

Sonic Bloom remains an event for the true individual; a welcoming, creative community encouraging the exploration human potential, the next wave of art and music and the possibility of a more beautiful and just world. We come together June 20-23 to celebrate a global community that believes in the power of art, music and innovation to inspire a future worth believing in.

Early-Bloomer 4-Day GA Passes are on sale NOW :: June 20-23, 2019 :: VIP Early Bloomers 4-Day Passes, parking passes, car camping passes and RV passes are also now on sale, available from the ticketing website. For more information on SONIC BLOOM, please visit the official website: sonicbloomfestival.com.

SONIC BLOOM’S Network Links:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sonicbloom
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sonic_bloom_
Twitter: http://twitter.com/sonic_bloom
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/sonicbloomfestival
SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/sonicbloomfestival

Intimate Beauty at Sonic Bloom 2018

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.

Alex the Pineapple at Sonic Bloom 2018

Alex the Pineapple at Sonic Bloom 2018

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.

Flow artists at Sonic Bloom 2018

Flow artists at Sonic Bloom 2018

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.

 

treenetwilly's at Sonic Bloom

Hanging in treenetwilly’s installation at Sonic Bloom

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.

Artists perform at Sonic Bloom 2018

Artists perform at Sonic Bloom 2018

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.

 

Sonic Bloom Releases 2018 Lineup

Sonic Bloom has released their full lineup for Sonic Bloom 2018, taking place this June 14-17, 2018, featuring a funky mix of live electronic bands and DJs, like Shpongle (Simon Posford DJ Set ft. Live Visuals by Android Jones), Keys N Krates, Nightmares on Wax Live Band, Liquid Stranger, Eoto, Break Science, Desert Dwellers, and more.

Sonic Bloom is a four-day camping festival at Hummingbird Ranch in Spanish Peaks Country, Colorado. Tier 2 GA tickets are currently on sale for $199, not including taxes or fees. Car camping is an extra $99, while parking is $44, and to enter early on June 13, an additional $40 ticket is required. Tier 2 VIP tickets are on sale for $440, which includes early entry on June 13, and a reserved car camping spot.