ARISE Festival Preview: In Search of the Perfect Festival

Once upon a Summer I traveled the world in search of the “perfect festival”. Each weekend, I found myself in yet another swirl of wilderness and wildness on dance floors tucked in fairy forests and woodland hills. Evolving into a professional of traversing festival psychedelia culture, I roamed through alleyways of vendors whom had become my friends, twirled through dance floors with performance artists and lost sight of any reality not completely enveloped in this wonderland I considered home. The summer, like all the years before, ended, and the fall leaves vibrantly change the landscape of these summer dwellings with frost covered fields, but my search for the “perfect festival” never ended. Four years later, it takes more than a stage in the woods to entice me out of my summer dwellings, my search has become more concise, more deliberate, more dedicated to the specifics of what it takes to house and contain the extravagance of energies that align when a group of empowered individuals come together with a conscious, open and creatively inclined intention. ARISE Festival has been one of those few that has sparked my interest. I have been watching its development over the years since it began in 2013. The Arise community has remained consistently dedicated to high quality speakers, and musicians, while maintaining an emphasis on positive, regenerative and sustainable living and festival culture. In its 3rd year, the Arise team is painting yet another elaborate canvas for exploring the depths of opportunity in the festival environment.

Located on an organic farm with over 100 acres of festival grounds, the Sunrise Ranch will host over 100 artists on 6 different stages. The festival grounds will be maintained by Zero Hero waste management, who will be offering sustainable waste practices to the festival attendees. Adhering to the new leave-a-trace ethos many festivals are beginning to partake in Arise, in collaboration with Fort Collins based non-profit Trees, Water & People, will be planting a tree for every ticket sold to the festival.


Photo by Jedediah Liddell

Arise is kicking off one day early on August 6th with a Permaculture Action Day. The Ambasstronauts of The Polish Ambassador’s Pushing through the Pavement Tour that happened last fall, will be reuniting. Ayla Nereo, Ryan Rising, Jasmine Fuego and the Polish Ambassador will be leading an action day to bring permaculture to the community of Loveland. The group will also be hosting a Change Catalyst Panel about the work they have been doing in North and Central America with permaculture as their guide to social and environmental change.


Photo by Zac Fabian

Along with creative and positive social action The Polish Ambassador and Ayla Nereo will both be playing seperately, and showcasing their talents on stage with their collaboration project Wildlight.


Over 6 stages Arise festival highlights a number of musicians that’s variety will keep you stage hoping through the weekend. From electronic to folk, from funk to blues, here are a few sneak previews for your listening pleasure.



Rising Appalachia

Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds

The Haunted Windchimes

Gipsy Moon (yes!)

If you’re able to drift away from the musical sounds, you’ll find tucked away in the Big Sunrise Dome a more intimate way of experiencing some of the festivals best. Musicians, artists, inspirational speakers and films will be giving insight to the artistic process, social change, and environmental issues in the Arise Festival Playshop Sessions and Arise Dialogues.


Photo by Desdemona Dallas

Women of the musical world share their talents and experience in the Playshop Series. The Shook Twins along side Bridget and Bonnie from Elephant Revival host Song Stories: From Inspiration to Delivery. Lyricists and musical loop pedal aficionados Ayla Nereo and United Kingdom based Xerephine Explore Truth Through Song Writing and Looping.

Other talks, discussions and panels will be hosted in the Big Sunrise Dome, stimulate a variety of visionary voices. Some talks not to be missed will be: The Art of ActionDo Well by Doing Good: Why Social Entrepreneurship Matters, and Social Change through Music.

The collective and creative caliber of artists, alongside the open dialogue, discussions, and inspirational containers, have enticed me like a dark chocolate piece of cake out of my mountain hibernation into the summer sun to continue the search for the “perfect festival”.


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