Throwing a successful music festival is no easy task. Gaining the popularity and capital to become a financially sustainable one-a-year event that can support itself and occur again and again is nearly impossible. Many festivals spend their first several years in the red, relying on hard work, good will, and hope to carry them to their next iteration.
As you read on, please enjoy our playlist featuring artists from this year’s lineup!
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Some festivals feel forced to make big changes to their vision and execution in order to appeal to the masses and gain the attendance that will make the party a fiscal success. Often this is viewed as “selling out”. Those that don’t may fail.
Yet there are some young festivals that manage to remain true their vision, evolving carefully and intentionally, making the small changes necessary to continue growing the dream.
Enchanted Forest Gathering is one of those remarkable festivals. Tiny and intimate, with the mindful, inclusive, heart-warming vibes that are endogenous to west coast transformational festivals, yet boasting an all-star eclectic musical lineup and diverse programming throughout the weekend, Enchanted Forest is a shining example of what can be accomplished when hardworking individuals put their heads together to manifest a dream. Now in its fifth year, with a reputation for some of the best stage design, most interactive dance floors, and silliest shenanigans in Northern California, there is no doubt that Enchanted Forest is a success. This year the festival will change locations, moving to Black Oak Ranch, in order to accommodate a larger community. Despite the growth in attendance, it seems that Enchanted Forest will maintain its special vibe and remain true to its roots.
The festival is unique in a number of ways. First and foremost, it is noteworthy for the high level of production it offers compared to a relatively small population. The lineup features musical artists from around the globe, with a focus on bass music but including genres that span jazz, funk, jam, soul, and those that defy classification.
Many of you fans probably know many of the headliners and major names at the top of the lineup, so we thought it would be most useful to point out some exceptional artist that otherwise could potentially miss your radar:
Dogon Lights – These bay area natives are self-described as “Afro-Galactic Hip Hop” and we’re not even going to try and top that. Drawing from traditional music from Africa and other eastern lands as well as using an array of instruments from these distance regions, Dogon Lights mange to make the foreign familiar by blending cultures and styles.
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Intellitard – Pushing a sound that combines the upbeat gangster feel of futuristic 808 music with the complex intricacies and mutant basslines of glitch-hop, Intellitard music is filled with a diverse array of off-kilter noises and unconventional structures. Fans may also know him as a promoter, founder, and resident at Wormhole Wednesdays in Oakland, CA. Get a taste before the dance floor with this exclusive track fresh out of the lab!
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Deya Dova – This ground breaking female vocalist and producer from Australia is certainly “enchanting” and in such is a perfect fit for this festival. Deya has collaborated with many of the sacred bass producers from around the world such as Kalya Scintilla, Whitebear, An-Ten-Nae, and Desert Dwellers just to name a few. Her set is sure to be a unique tribal and mystical experience.
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TEMPI – Transform – Elevate – Multiply – Prosper – Inspire. There are many ways to transmit a message, interpret a concept, and spread positivity. This west coast native has made it his mission to transform his essence into sonic form to share with the world. From light to dark, for the mind, body and spirit… a TEMPI set is a multidimensional experience.
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Symbolico – Hailing from the land of Israel, Symbolico is sure to give you the sonic guidance your spirit is seeking. Blending genres from the higher tempo psytrance that is so prevalent outside of the US to the deep sacred bass styles more common to our neck of the woods, Symbolico is a true warrior of light – helping to spread the positivity of the downtempo pschedelic realm in places where it is not so prevalent. We hope you will welcome him and show some love!
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Fine Cut Bodies – If there is one thing to take away from listening to Fine Cut Bodies, it has to be the sound design. This is an artist that has been on the scene for years, lurking in the background, studying and mastering all the styles prevalent in the scene as they come and go. This is one set not to be missed.
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There will also be a number of visionary artists showing their works in multiple spaces at the festival and live painting during sets. Movement workshops include contact improv dance, holistic twerking, simple meditation, yoga, and a mini flow fest with performances and instruction.
One of Enchanted Forest’s most cherished offerings is their repertoire of speaker workshops that take place throughout the day on Mind, Spirit, Sexuality, and Earthing and Ancestral Arts. Topics include interpersonal communication,the Divine within us, our deepest sensual truths, permaculture, and mushrooming. Men’s and Women’s Circles will be held throughout the weekend by Enchanted Forest Sacred Elders to cultivate ceremony within in the community. The festival offers an array of spaces to host these workshops, provide shade, and create intimate environments in which participants can connect and create. Other amenities include a sauna and shower spa, and an enviable day care for kids (who can attend the festival for free).
Perhaps one of the most notable features of the festival is its commitment to being an alcohol-free event. While the policy is in no way intended to be a judgment on individuals’ personal choices, the festival has found that the exclusion of alcohol helps to create a magical, intentional atmosphere that is unlike any other party environment.
With so much focus on the sacred and mindful, one might think that Enchanted Forest is a festival that takes itself perhaps a bit too seriously. Yet that is far from the truth. The whole theme of the festival encourages attendees to participate in the creation of a magical fantasy world, where creative costumes unleash the spirit animal within, entire theme camps of friends play out secret fantasies, and every interaction with a stranger is a moment of playful connection. At the heart of the festival and in the hearts of its attendees is a love for exploration, a love for life, a love for love. The festival’s motto sums all of its incredible attributes up perfectly: “Keeping it sacred, sexy, silly, and saucy since 2011.” And hopefully for many years to come.
Don’t miss out on this year’s Enchanted Forest Gathering!