Festival season is drawing near. Lineups get better and better, to the point where choosing which events to attend has the potential to make me dizzy. Finances, time, lineup, logistics…. these all go into my decision-making formula. In addition, I, just like the events I attend, am continuously growing, in lots of aspects. What did it for me; what tickled my pickle ten years ago, or even a few years ago- style of music, choice of libations, etc. is not quite the same as what floats my boat today. One determining factor in my choice of which festivals to attend how much of a good time I have had at an event the year before. This hinges upon the environment in which the event takes place and the people I meet while I am there. A festival in a beautiful place where swimming is allowed? Yes… this is the right idea. Add a ton of awesome people who are nearly ALL expert-partiers, great conversationalists, and movers & shakers? Perfect. Multiple stages for music that go 24-hours so me and my friends, old and new, can dance til we fall down? Yeah. Allow me to bring in my expensive tequila and cheap prosecco because you know that I’m gonna share it ’til it’s empty and take care of it afterward? These are now the qualities of a festival that I do not expect to see, but have grown to really appreciate. And when I am so lucky as to stumble upon these little slices of heaven, I hold my time and the people I meet there especially dear to my heart.
My favorite festival that I attended last year was The Big Bounce, which this year is called The Bounce Festival. Held in June in at a family-owned resort called Belden Town, festival goers get to enjoy mountain views while swimming in the Feather River at this A-list artist event. Beats Antique, Sub Swara, Eskmo, Kraddy, Mimosa, Marty Party (played twice), Vibesquad, An-Ten-Nae, Heyoka, Lynx & Janover, along with tons of other artists. Seriously talented artists. I extra-enjoyed the sets from DJ Laura, Mace&DingDong from Brass Tax, Lafa Taylor & the Bounce Brigade with Russ Liquid and Auditory Canvas. Random Rab’s sunrise set was magical… I remember a couple getting engaged during that. There was also a duet on the stage one night doing live house vocals, which was really unique- I never caught their name. And Neighbour, an artist from Canada, tore it up on guitar live to accompany his stuff that has a sound like Tipper’s but stands completely on its own. Speaking of Tipper… he is playing this year, along with a ridiculous lineup of lots of artists from last year and tons more new ones, including Justin Martin, Eprom, David Starfire, Stephan Jacobs, Love & Light, Gladkill, Ill-esha, and the list goes on…
You know when there are so many great artists on a lineup that you don’t know which to see if some are playing at the same time? Well, that happened here, but from the main stage to the “Beach Stage”, it was a 72-second walk down a slightly-inclined large path. My ears are sort of picky and have attention issues, and I like having space, so being able to jet back and forth was ideal. The setting down at the Beach Stage during the day was sort of a Shangri-La to say the least. There were tons of tubes to sit on in the river, and to prevent people from floating away, they were tied to a rope that went from one side of the river to the other. Dancing under the sun with awesome people or simply chatting it up on the shore, taking a dip to cool off- I’m sure everyone who was there is grateful for the moments they spent upon that sand. I know I am.
Another festival that stands out is PEX’s Summerfest. PEX (The Philadelphia Experiment) is a Burning Man group based in Philly. Last year was their 2nd annual Summerfest festival, which takes place for 4 days during 4th of July Weekend. Held at a resort an hour or so south of Philly (3 hours south of NYC), this was simply a grand ole time. It’s sort of like a tiny, much more comfortable version of Burning Man- there are alot of art installations, multiple stages, workshops throughout the day and evening on tons of things like aerial silk performance, yoga, spiritual stuff, sex-postive/alt lifestyle, etc. I tell my friends who want to go to Burning Man but may not be able to make it all the way out to Nevada that they should come to this festival. Especially since it is so fucking comfortable. There are cabins (which are popular; they sold out the first day tickets went on sale), camping, woods, shade, grass, sunshine, indoor and outdoor stages that are all within a five minute walk of each other, and best of all- a pool with tons of room and a DJ and dancefloor next to it. During the day there’s a raging pool party and at night the music and party continue with fire spinning, light art installations, and the very coordinated burning (by professionals) of an intricate sculpture done on the bank of a small river that runs along the property’s edge.
Talented, friendly adults who share a common respect for each other, the environment, and creating. A congregation of brilliant minds, celebrating life in a beautiful place… this is what I love. So- when picking and choosing which festivals you will be attending this season, just think of the elements that have made you happy at events in the past. Take it one step further and help foster an open, positive, environment for those elements to flourish. Be nice, be true, and as we say here at LiS- RAGE Responsibly; Use Your Head!