Tag - the widdler

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

Finding Euphoria 2017

Earlier this month, about 50,000 music enthusiasts gathered at Carson Creek Ranch for the 6th annual Euphoria Music Festival, held from April 6-9, 2017. Tucked away along the Colorado River and on the outskirts of Austin, this year’s event included a diverse lineup of live music, DJs, and hip-hop artists, including artists like Alesso, Chromeo, Zeds Dead, Pretty Lights Live, The Floozies, Oliver Heldens, Moby, Papadosio, Yotto, Wiz Khalifa, and a slew of other musical talent. In addition to the music, Euphoria continued its successful Ecophoria initiative: a comprehensive program that aims to preserve Carson Creek Ranch and its surroundings. The Ecophoria initiative tackles some of the issues that affect music festivals by setting up donation bins drop-offs (to keep campers from leaving unwanted items behind), encouraging carpooling and recycling, setting up water stations for filling up reusable containers, employing a Green Team to manage waste and encourage mindful participation, organizing river cleanups, and more.

With the venue being so close to Austin, one might wonder how Euphoria could serve as a traditional escape from the mundane and normal life that many attendants tend to look for in a music festival, but upon arriving at Carson Creek Ranch, all doubts would be washed away upon seeing the musical sanctuary that hosts Euphoria. The festival features three stages, the largest of which is aptly named Euphoria, sporting pyrotechnics, fireworks, and a traditional array of lights and lasers to complement the musical performances. Due to unfortunate circumstances with flights, The Knocks were left grounded in Atlanta, with The Disco Biscuits filling in on Friday. In addition to the two sets of The Disco Biscuits, Pretty Lights Live closed out the main stage on Friday, putting on a display of live music, lights, and lasers—a relaxed way to kick-off an eventful weekend.

Pretty Lights Euphoria 2017

Pretty Lights closing out the main stage Friday night at Euphoria 2017

The weekend kicked it up a notch at the main stage on Saturday evening. Poolside put on a show that was naturally appropriate for an early pool party vibe. Towards the end of their set, the percussionist jumped out into the crowd to join the dancing fans and to preach a message of love and friendship. Artists Bakermat and Bob Moses continued the trend of live instruments mixed together with DJing as Bakermat incorporated a live saxophonist, while Bob Moses performed with a live guitar, drums, and keyboard. The tempo increased later in the night as Oliver Heldens and Alesso played the last two dance-heavy sets of the main stage. Meanwhile, Chromeo’s Sunday performance felt retro with their Nu Disco style.

The Elements Stage displays a large colored cutout of a coyote’s head, with lights projecting onto the cutout, and illuminated eyes that scan the crowds at night—watchful eyes overlooking the dancing madness of the weekend. Friday night, Chet Porter put on a sunset performance, which was followed up by heavier acts like SPAG HEDDY, Minnesota, Mija, and Knife Party. Saturday night saw a mixture of dance music like CID and Alan Walker, mixed in with some hip-hop and rap like Post Malone and Young Thug. Sunday’s Elements Stage worked its way through some crunchier sounds, with artists like BREDE, The Widdler, and ill-esha, giving way to more dance-centric artists like The Funk Hunters, Lost Kings, and the legendary Moby. Zeds Dead closed out the main stage Sunday night with a grimey dubstep set that had the whole crowd going wild.

Zeds Dead Euphoria @017

Z’s up for Zeds Dead, closing out the Elements Stage on the last night of Euphoria 2017

The Dragonfly Stage sits adjacent to the Colorado River, with crowds facing the river. At night, projected lights bounce around the amphitheater and onto the river behind the stage, setting the tone for an immersive musical experience. FKJ (short for French Kiwi Juice) took full advantage of the Dragonfly ambience, getting the whole place groovy on Friday night. Meanwhile, Prince Fox incorporated his signature style of remixing old pop tracks into contemporary dance tunes. Later in the night, Yotto took the crowd on a musical journey through trance and house music.

Yotto at Euphoria 2017

Yotto at the Dragonfly Stage at Euphoria 2017

With a weekend full of musical diversity, taking place on sprawling fields and along the Colorado River, we found our euphoria at Euphoria Music Festival. Did you find yours?

Euphoria Music Festival 2017 Artist Preview

Euphoria Music Festival takes place in just over a week at Carson Creek Ranch, outside of Austin, Texas, April 6-9, 2017. If you haven’t purchased tickets yet, a variety of options are still available. As you gear up for Euphoria, take a look at our list of artists we’re excited to see.

Moby

Moby is widely considered one of the most important and influential figures in dance music of the 1990s. He helped bring dance music to the mainstream in the UK and in the United States. His appearances at music festivals are relatively sparse these days, so we’re particularly excited to see this veteran perform Sunday at Euphoria.

FKJ

FKJ, short for French Kiwi Juice, unsurprisingly hails from France. His signature funky and mellow sound gets the crowds groovin’, especially in a live environment. His smooth style will leave you wondering at the end of the show where all the time went. FKJ will be performing Friday.

The Funk Hunters

This duo from Vancouver have a dynamic style, capable of mixing and producing heavier styles of bass and glitch, as well as sounds reminiscent of funk and soul. Their versatility should make for a great performance on Sunday at Euphoria.

The Widdler

Alright dubheads, this one is for you. The Widdler is known for his slow and methodic low frequency sub bass. His style is much more reminiscent of UK Dubstep from the mid-2000s. If you like low frequency bass vibrating through your body, you won’t want to miss The Widdler on Sunday at Euphoria.

Poolside

This disco duo aptly hail from Los Angeles, which you might have guessed based on their style of music, which they label on Soundcloud as “Daytime Disco.” Check them out on Saturday for a feel-good disco-dancing session.

Full Lineup