Sonic Bloom, back for it’s 9th year (June 19-22, 2014), has slightly changed the formula but surely kept it classy. For a festival that has called residence to many places, now feels as though The American Safari Ranch is a place to actually call home! – but one can never be 100% certain as towns, contracts and other official business can often times damper future plans). Large space for expansion and more attendees automatically provides Sonic Bloom with some future stability. Although it was a wind and dust storm within a central Colorado valley, when is it any different up there? (Up there being at 10,000 feet above sea-level in the often unforgiving Colorado Rocky Mountains).
After a few mishaps last year, most probably due to overcrowding which caused tense vibes, everything returned for a successful and jovial 2014. Once again seeking solace for the Summer Solstice, the Sonic Bloom experience is literally what each individual makes it. You can spend your time at workshops and doing yoga, raging late nights and sleeping all day, checking out the daytime activities and what that has to offer, mingling with artists and exploring art. More than most small festivals, Sonic Bloom caters to a large variety of peoples interests… The biggest aspect being self exploration through dancing, meeting new people (gaining new perspectives), toughing out the geographic hindrances, mind expansion, bass massages, and thought provoking words from the likes of Jamie Janover & Co. just to name a few.
This year provided the most vendors and food options I have seen, which made the entire experience more positive and less self reliant. Fans took their reactions to Facebook after the event, all to favorable outcomes. Out of staters were slightly shocked by the cold but withstood it for a refreshing escapade in a day and age where the best festivals are closing shop and giving way to the monstrosities of Bonnaroo, Coachella, and Ultra. Also important and vital to the Bloom experience were the incredible sound systems brought in for this year. There has always been something important to the electronic music culture and Bloom in particular. However, this year was pure perfection. Not one problem or harsh sound emitted from any speakers on any stage. It was bass massage at it’s finest, no matter where you stood. Being able to speak to your friends while being a mere two feet from the stage with a vibrating rib cage is something every music lover needs to experience. It will change your entire outlook to the see the likes of Kalya Scintilla,Mr. Bill, and/or Birds of Paradise on a Funktion-ONE state of the art system. Improvements (not to say that many were needed) will obviously take shape over time, but the Sonic Bloom masterminds have already started looking at what could be better.
The Oasis Shower was a big hit, however most people may not want to lug all of their hygiene products from the campgrounds into the staging area. So next year the Oasis Showers will (most probably) be outside of the main festival gates and very accessible to the campgrounds. A catastrophe to speak of, are 3,000 people trying to load a set of buses with all of their camp gear through one entrance/exit and setup. Now with more camping options, including car camping, convenience is appreciated. Next year brings even more promise as it is the 10th year anniversary, and a blowout will most likely ensue with the same epic lineup that us Coloradans have become spoiled but accustomed to seeing.
PHOTO GALLERY (click to scroll)
What has previously been known as a “Zilla Family Campout”, has expanded to so much more. People completely unfamiliar with Zilla (in and out of staters) are attendees. Burners, hippies, and electronic music lovers alike can unite and let loose for a stellar and unwinding four days! Post festival Monday’s can bring the blues, but nothing like starting your next week on Tuesday and taking Monday to reflect and rest.
Facebook Photo Albums (Fabian Productions):
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
SONIC BLOOM LIVE VIDEO PLAYLIST (5 videos of Shpongle & Ott):
It’s funny how many festivals highlight the nighttime rage culture as the primary reflection of the community. The music by night is a call for the people to come together but the true connection and advancements, where the real progression happens is by day. This is when the festival and its intention is truly illuminated. That is when we look into the eyes of the person we met last night, whether it be in a workshop, at a vendors booth, in a tea house or even in your very own tent and we see them. That is when we look around and see the structures that compose our mini worlds. We see the trash on the ground or the lack there of from the night before. We nourish our bodies, wash last night’s magick off or just simply rub it in. There’s so much good music happening – it’s easy to dance until sunrise and dream the day away.
To get the entire experience is the challenge. Sure morning yoga may not be your thing (you should definitely reconsider – sunrise kundalini yoga is where it’s at!), but this is your time to try things that you normally may say “oh hell no” to. It’s your time to choose your own path. Transformational festivals like Sonic Bloom offer us a container for free expression and internal/external growth. We have the opportunity to create our days in ways that we may not have thought possible before because of a plethora of workshops and events going down. The messages contained in the conscious councils happening throughout the days are a great place to share in discussion with the panels on the direction our consciousness is taking. Your favorite artist may be guiding people through how they find their inspiration, how to work this crazy little thing called Ableton, or it may just be a beautiful soul you’ve never heard of talking about some beautiful stuff you’ve never heard of, and you find your life’s calling in that very moment. You never know until you crawl out the tent and go! There are a few very powerful conversations that were circulating around the ears and hearts of attendees at Sonic Bloom. One that stick out is the dialogue brought up in many of our interviews with the artists that seems to be bleeding through into the collective more than ever right now. Where are we going? Not only where, but how will we get there? Specifically, what do we envision the future of festival culture to look like?
It’s a true blessing to live in these times in which these gatherings are providing us with the opportunity to “be the change” more than ever. It is us, every participant in every form, that are creating the world we want to live in, that reach past the constructs placed on us by society and allow us to truly build our own from the ground up. We are the architects of the possibilities. The resounding win goes for moving closer to a sustainable community that doesn’t merely exist on summer weekends and then dissipate back into the rigamarole unchanged.
The goal is to bring the inspiration back to your daily life, to let it change you, to be with your truth beyond the container. Strong ideas are beginning to reveal themselves through the canvas as we shed the layers that no longer serve us and paint on the ones that do. Artists and visionaries are coming together in ways that we no longer wish to be temporary. The idea is to buy the land that we love to party on.
It could be developed on and inhabited throughout the year and used to create a self-sustained tribe that lives by the ideals we are so inspired by at festivals. This lifestyle would intermingle with the whole process of the festival, removing anything that is not sustainable and run by clean energy, making the space a home, the dance floor, our alter and temples and the seasonal festivals, our welcome mat.
Sonic Bloom-ed, that’s certain.. and the blossoming was a powerful spectacle. The process was slow and had a bit of weather, but a flower must have rain to grow! Props to the production crew for pulling the new site together and snaps to all of us who held it down and kept the vibes strong and uplifting. This festival is special because 1 – The family 2 – The top notch talent and 3 – the order of the first two. These are the moments you will never forget. In whatever way Sonic Bloom moved you – to produce your own music, dance the hardest you ever have, to fall in love, to be your highest self – surely whatever that force was that inspires these epiphanies and these epic moments are moving us all toward a collective blossoming. Just wait until you see the flowers our gardening is making room for. There’s nothing more worthwhile than the work we are doing to create spaces like these. Bless up ~ see ya next year Bloomers!