Illenium‘s breakout arguably career occurred when the Denver-based melodic producer was named winner of Kaskade‘s “Disarm You” remix competition. Fast forward three years, and Nick Miller continues to rise to domination on the festival circuit — most recently bringing his Awake Tour to Dallas’ Lights All Night and San Diego’s OMFG! New Year’s Eve Festival.
While in Southern California, Miller awed his NYE crowd as he unleashed quite the heavy-hitting surprise during his notable Kaskade remix. Armed with an ODESZA-influenced trap style drop, followed by 808 kicks in halftime, the live video edit (above) is being dubbed Illenium’s VIP remix. In so doing, Illenium further poises himself as an artist focused on taking a living approach to his live performance, all the while proving that he’s not just interested in pressing play, but pushing the boundaries of his sound and experimenting with evolving styles.
5 musical moments that shook the crowd at Suwannee Hulaween 2017 (Event Review)
Suwannee Hulaween has just turned five, but that’s not the festival’s only accomplishment in 2017. The Silver Wrapper and Purple Hat-partnered event has cemented itself as the south’s premiere fall festival; held inside the eminent musical venue of Florida’s Suwannee Music Park at Spirit Lake, the event boasts four days of expertly-curated jamtronica, underground bass, and unique house music offerings. In today’s over-saturated music festival market, standing out among the rest takes one part true tenacity and a pinch of good luck. Yet, the “spirit of Suwannee,” as many refer to these sacred grounds, runs deep into the roots of its towering moss-covered trees.
Fresh off last its conclusion, we’ve compiled 5 unforgettable moments from Hulaween’s 2017 that made it’s audacious fifth anniversary its most bright, prosperous, and wildly auspicious event to date.
All photos courtesy of Suwannee Hulaween
The String Cheese Incident’s infamous Saturday night set
The String Cheese Incident is known for having a heavy hand in curation at their mainstay festivals. For the long-time alum of Hulaween and other transformational gatherings, the talk of the weekend centers around Cheese’s Saturday night “shebangs” — and for good reason. With six full sets on the bill, the coveted show of the weekend was SCI’s Halloween-themed “Night Of The Loving Dead” performance. Their love-themed set included renditions of iconic songs like Sublime’s “What I Got,” Beyonce’s “Crazy In Love,” and of course, both the Bob Marley and Beatles’ original by the same name, “All You Need is Love” amidst fireworks, confetti blasts, and giant inflatables began making their over a sea of plastered smiles. As an undeniable bridge between the jam scene and electronic scenes, String Cheese’s vision of bringing a multi-genre bill to life runs deep into the spirit of Suwannee.
Space Jesus’s secret set at the Indendia Stage
Stumbling across the Incendia stage at 2 am is as much of a treat as it is a must. Famous for its birthplace at Burning Man in 2013, the mobile artistic installation and interactive stage consists of six geodesic structures, all featuring a spellbinding propane flame effect ascending from atop its modular ceilings. Incendia has made its way across the US over the years, and is better known to Floridians as Okeechobee‘s secret set locale for artists like Snails, GRiZ, Ganja White Night, and more. Hulaween was no different. As attendees made out like children wandering through the iridescent woodland playgrounds of Spirit Lake, the unmistakable inter-dimensional wubs of Space Jesus drew late night wanderers like a moth to a flame — bringing truth to the idiom “not all that wander are lost.”
GRiZ’s secret sunrise set in the campgrounds
After closing out the Meadows main stage with an elating funk-driven set, GRiZ took to the campgrounds in the wee hours of Monday morning, thereby confirming the rumors his family had been clamoring about all weekend. As the sun peaked through the trees, the All Good Records label head played up-close-and-personal for a crowd of roughly a hundred people. The sunrise set would become the memorable moment of Suwannee Hulaween — for those lucky enough to attend, that is. For all others, GRiZ’s secret campground appearance was the most heartbreaking affliction of the weekend (Watch it here).
Manic Focus bringing out Space Jesus and Break Science
Taking to the Amphitheater stage on Saturday night, Manic Focus (aka “JmaC”) elevated his new wave hip-hop infused electro-soul act to new heights. The All Good Records producer served fans a hearty helping of tracks from his most recent genre-defying LP, Minds Rising, as the All Good family poured down the stage’s narrow steps. JmaC’s fiercely spirited performance culminated to the point when he brought Space Jesus onto the stage for some heavy back-to-back play, capped off with another rare Break Science showing alongside Lettuce drummer Adam Deitch.
The five songs that dominated the dance floor
Walking through Suwannee felt like blasting back into time. The Beatles’ “Hey Jude” was agreed upon by attendees as the most played song of the weekend, imbuing the sacred grounds of Suwannee with an authentic Woodstock vibe. Michael Jackson’s 1980s hit “Thriller” was another popular stage anthem, creating an appropriately spooky vibe for the Halloween weekend event. Deep within the forest’s Spirit Lake stage, Dirtybird boss Claude Von Stroke treated his audience to his retro-house redo from two 80s classics, “The Rain Break.” A solid trap mainstay of the festival came courtesy of Minnesota with his recently-released, long-awaited track, “HiLow,” which was heard heavily across the bass stages. Finally, Bassnectar premiered his unreleased collaboration with Digital Ethos, “Slather,” which was broadcasted across his 2017 traveling stage set-up.
Perhaps the biggest strength of Suwannee Hulaween lays in its manageability of it’s sheer size. Set in an expansive venue, capped at 25,000 attendees of all ages and sizes, the festival values keeping the authentic transformational vibe alive over notorious expansion and maximizing profit. This vibe scuttles deep into the spirit of the festival grounds, across its swampy sands and panoramic landscapes.
Indeed, even purists from festivals like Electric Forests Forest often end up finding themselves more at home within this more intimate, yet equally magical venue. With a well-curated line-up and a smaller, more intimate venue, its no wonder Suwannee Hulaween has blossomed into the shiny new jewel of the jam, bluegrass, and bass scene.
When the LA production team um.. — made up of Ben Bruce and Dylan Gold — released a cryptic video titled “this is our last song” on October 19, fans and critics took it as a break-up announcement and subsequently skeptical questioned why such a promising rising talent would be parting ways so soon. As it turns out, um..‘s new (and apparently last) release was a media stunt all along. The eccentric bass music duo has just announced over their socials that the whole thing was a Halloween trick.
The guys disclose in a rather bumbling Facebook video that they were simply participating in a round of “trick or treat,” beginning with the trick of breaking up. Their treat to fans is that new music is officially out now. Um.. also go on to allude to their Pay Attention EP in the video, followed by an awkward joke session.
Tricked you, we’re getting back together. It was a trick and we’re back. If you didn’t see that coming then you haven’t been paying attention, gotta say. We saw it coming…and we’re not even paying attention. Also, if you were sad, sorry that you were sad but we’re back so…we didn’t mean for you to be sad. But also, don’t forget to be sad sometimes. It’s totally on-brand for us to say that, so embrace the sadness.”
A considerable amount of time has passed since the Oregon Eclipse Gathering, but exclusive sets continue to appear online as artists upload their live acts or, in some cases, even go as far as to re-record their sets.
Now former attendees and eclipse chasers from around the globe can now enjoy sets from the likes of Bassnectar, Minnesota, CloZee, and many more, organized into stage-by-stage playlists thanks to one SoundCloud user. From the deep, dark tech house of the Sky Stage, to the psytrance of the Earth Stage, to the festival’s bass head haven at The Moon Stage, over 50 live and re-recorded sets are available for stream from Oregon’s Global Eclipse Gathering, held Aug. 17-23, 2017.
Though international eclipse festivals are often based around trance and downtempo, make no mistake that the bass, jam, and house acts are actually considered guests in this awe-inspiring, transformative festival experience. Relive sets from the Global Eclipse Gathering’s Earth, Moon, Sun, and Sky stages below.
Pretty Lights is slowly & successfully building his movement (Event Review)
When Pretty Lights announced his record label was evolving into the newly-minted Pretty Lights Movement, many caught a tiny glimpse into what Derek Vincent Smith had in store for the evolution of his growing family. It was around the time of his Episodic Tour: Season Two Premiere at The Gorge Amphitheater – followed by a series of constantly evolving, innovative live band performances that took place across the nation.
Dancing Astronaut was invited to attend the final episodic event of the tour at Whitewater Amphitheater in the small hill country town of New Braunfels, Texas, wherein we witnessed the raw energy of the live band, the regional beauty of small town hidden gem of a venue, and the sheer vitality of the Pretty Lights Family. Here are five reasons why Pretty Lights Live is more than a mere musical experience, but a way of living.
All photos courtesy of Press Pause
1. The Pretty Lights live band experience
Smith’s creative decision to put the decks on the back-burner (and, yet, keep them front-and-center) takes his live shows to the next level. The stylings of the live band – made up of Brian Coogan, Borahm Lee, Alvin Ford Jr. and Chris Karns — are spotlighted, as each member aids Smith in bringing the organic analog aspect of his musical stamp to life. In addition, each show features a heavy dose of amazing special guest talent. Whether the heavy bass beats of Ganja White Night, the soulful stylings of up-and-comer Maddie O’Neal, or the funk-driven glitch-hop of Aussie producer Opuio, the Episodic Tour was jam-packed with amazing talent conforming to a clear sound stamp and an accompanying vision of which direction these shows are driven.
2. The PL Family
A heavy sense of family, community, and kindness among this close-knit group of Pretty Lights followers permeates the parking lots and showgrounds alike. The sheer feeling of euphoria and jovial admiration for their leader and their lifestyle is easily one of the most genuine and welcoming that any newcomer to this scene will experience. Take the Pretty Lights Illuminators, for instance, who are tasked with creating special activities, caring for their fellow attendees, or just generally spreading the good energy around each gathering. An emphasis on the small (yet out of this world) aspect of the crowds along these Episodic Tour stops likens them to an early Bassnectar following before it became too big to manage. Hard as it is to capture in words, experiencing is truly is believing with the PL Family.
3. A sense of heady spiritualism pervades
Smith freestyles about crystal children, hyper-dimensional space, positive vibrations, and metaphysical energy whilst refracting light with crystals on stage. Essentially, his antics and overall outlook on life embodies the spiritual self-awareness that guides Pretty Lights shows and the people living within these spaces. Burning Man principles like radical inclusion and self-reliance, gifting, and communal effort guide social interactions at these Episodic Tour stops.
4. The venue(s)
The Pretty Lights team chose a wildly picturesque venue in Texas’ Whitewater Amphitheater for the final stop of Episodic Tour. Its breathtaking hill country views, fresh smells of nature, its friendly easy-going staff, and its setting along the Guadalupe river made the experience feel almost surreal, wherein attendees would float into the venue with new stranger-friends as they shouted their hellos to Smith himself across the river banks. Couple this with other world class venues such as Washington’s legendary Gorge Amphitheater, and one has a series of shows where attendees are guaranteed a weekend of re-connection with the earth.
5. The production value
Pretty Lights’ Episodic Tour is not a typical large-scale electronic music festival, but the production value sure feels like it. For one, every stop along the tour offers rare tracks and unique flips catered to each location. The lighting show — courtesy of LazerShark — is one “not to miss” in the electronic music realm. Whether it’s the wall of lasers projected across the stage, the abstract, psychedelic visual displays, or how they become amalgamated into one with the analog sound, these creative, oft-times improvisational elements are at the forefront of cutting-edge performance in the electronic music world.
5 reasons to never miss a Bassnectar curated event
BassCenter has cemented itself as Bassnectar‘s most-anticipated event of the year among his cult-like family following. Set inside the famed indoor venue of Hampton Colosseum in Hampton, Virginia this year, the event offers 3-days of top-notch “underground” bass music curation to fans, alongside a plethora of other live acts and interactive community building activities. Every single detail is finely tuned with utmost scrutiny by none other Lorin Ashton himself, according to a Bassnectar Reddit AMA he’d done.
For such a prolific annual gathering, topping it from year to year is no easy feat. Just last year, for instance, BassCenter pulled 25,000 fans to Commerce City, Colorado. Such inflated numbers eventually led its hair-thrashing visionary to make the executive decision to pull in the reigns a bit for his brainchild’s 10th iteration, with an aim to make it a smaller, more intimate affair. Indeed, is what unfolded at Hampton’s sold-out 10,000 limited capacity venue, a space dubbed “the Mothership” by bass heads, dead heads, and Phish heads alike.
Fresh off last week’s conclusion, we’ve compiled 5 reasons why one of Bassnectar’s special events should be in your travel plans soon.
All photos courtesy of Reston Campbell Photography
1. An abundance of impressive, up-and-coming bass music
At each and every Bassnectar event, there is a slew of opening talent that Ashton hand picks with specific purpose. Yet, since BassCenter is the premier event of Bassnectar’s year, both creatively and communally, artists seem to really bring their A-game to each of their sets. Bleep Bloop came to impress with his usual brand of weird space bass. Clozee is becoming a mainstay of Bassnectar’s events, making her second appearance in two months, with her organic Eastern-influenced line of bass music. Direct openers for Bassnectar were Mr. Carmack and Cashmere Cat, who brought something different to the table, pumping in a lot of his melodic productions for Ariana Grande, while delivering heavy sub bass to get the crowd in the right space for Bassnectar.
2. Live roaming performers, pop-up acts, and vendors at every corner
From official vendors lined up along the outside of the venue to the more organic sales of homemade goods by passionate, artistic festival-goers, one should bring their pocket book armed to any Bassnectar event. Even the hotel lobby turns itself into a market place for selling shirts, pins and gifts, and all kinds of merchandise. Those who also chanced upon The Lot’s musical musings were fortunate enough to discover a hoop squad grooving and spinning to heart thumping bass music from The Librarian, Dorfex Bos, and The Fungineers.
3. The production quality is second to none
Cutting edge technology what makes Bassnectar events so special. The sound in itself is a physical, visceral, emotional rollercoaster that can be seen and felt as it reverberates throughout the entire body. Paired with the visuals, which are also carefully planned by Lorin and his team, the event becomes a psychedelic and communal experience. As if the sound and visuals weren’t enough to overload the senses, there were also points at which rose petals fell from the ceiling and large inflatable animals were released into the crowd. Ashton conjured up three completely distinctive, “full-throttle” sets for the weekend, complete with all his favorite music that he adapted to fit a more contemporary frame. The themes for each two-hour-long performance were Space, Earth, and Ether, whereby the iconic figure structured thematically around fan requested songs leading up to the event.
More notably, Bassnectar brought special guest Chase Iron Eyes during his Earth set, onto the stage. Iron Eyes is an American Indian activist and member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and he donated his time onstage to give a conscientious speech about the continued protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline. He then ended his stirring monologue with a powerful chant that resonated with those watching through out the weekend, “Water is Life!,” before providing a number for guests to contact so they could assist with the ongoing protests.
4. Activities and art at every corner
BassCenter additionally provided an endless amount of options to pass one’s time outside of just the music. From games and booths to massages and a gift alter in The Haven, every corner of the Mothership seemed to provide a new adventure. The Lots was an enhanced gathering space outside the venue, was complete with renegade sound systems, pop-up arts & crafts fair, and guest performances. The Center itself was akin to a teeming bazaar of art, with painters showcasing their work live to a backdrop of curious spectators buzzing about.
5. The passionate community of bass heads is one of a kind
BassCenter is not a typical large-scale electronic music event. For one, it boasts an exceptional amount of love for community. Across all three days, you’ll see selfless bass heads practicing random acts of kindness and treating others with respect, gratitude and equality. Gifts from random strangers are a regular occurrence. Meeting your new best friend in the host hotel’s elevators is not unlikely. Trading kandi, smiles, and hugs with police officers is routine social practice. Any given show feels like Ashton’s very own pop-up hippie commune. These unified ravers are not only committed to chasing Lorin’s music all over the country, but to spreading his message of love and acceptance.
There’s Bassnectar festival sets, and then there’s Bassnectar curated events. The proof is in the pudding with BassCenter X, and seeing is believing if one wants to know – truly know – what this immersive community is really about. The next chance to commune with the progressive, fun-loving and wildly ostentatious Bassnectar community is New Years Eve in Atlanta, Georgia!
Featured photo courtesy of aLive Coverage
As Ajuna family worldwide ascends onto the Gorge Amphitheater this weekend, Sept. 15-17, those not lucky enough to be inside Central Washington’s picturesque venue can now live vicariously through their computer screens. Above & Beyond has partnered with Live Nation to bring ABGT250 to a live stream on Twitter, featuring line-up support from YOTTO, Lutrell, Seven Lions, Oliver Smith, Moonboots and many more.
The global trance gathering features on-site camping and music from deep within the Ajunabeats and Ajunadeep vault. Saturday’s live stream featured an 8-hour radio broadcast with a tantalizing climactic Group Therapy set c/o Jono, Tony, and Paavo; while Sunday kicks off with a special Above & Beyond yoga set followed by an Ajunadeep stage takeover from 16 Bit Lolitas, Jody Wisternoff & James Grant, and Eli & Fur.
Check out the live stream schedule below and stream ABGT250 on Twitter now.
5:00-6:00: Above & Beyond (Deep Set)
8:00-9:00: Oliver Smith
9:00-10:00: Genix & Sunny Lax
10:00-12:00: Above & Beyond
12:00-1:00: Seven Lions & Jason Ross
11:00-12:00: Above & Beyond (Yoga Set)
12:00-1:30: Moon Boots
1:30-3:15: Eli & Fur
3:15-5:00: Jody Wisternoff & James Grant
5:00-6:45: 16 Bit Lolitas
6:45-8:00: YOTTO & Luttrell
Labor day weekend marked this year’s second installment of Prime Social Group’s Breakaway Music Festival, an annual festival series that finds its home in cities in and around major league soccer venues. This year’s holiday weekend event found itself gracing the grounds of Columbus, Ohio’s Columbus Crew stadium. While the city has been recognized amongst the country’s fastest growing metropolis, currently standing at number three, a drive through the state may suggest a different narrative. The route to Columbus and much of the state of Ohio is ridden with farmland, the surefire sign of Midwestern heartland. Fortunately, Columbus could not be more of an antithesis to this pseudo-Ohio narrative. Prime Social group, in particular, is a driving force behind this “mundane-Midwest” myth-busting.
Photo courtesy of Alex Powell.
Prime Social Group is a full-service concert promotions group based in the city that focuses on college markets across the country. Some of its events exclusive to Ohio include a 90’s themed summer festival, the Ohio University Number festival, and the multi-city spanning Halloween-themed Haunted Fest which has booked acts for this year that include Hardwell, Yellow Claw, and more. PSG’s event set out to see a continuance of its Breakaway Festival later this year in Charlotte, North Carolina, where Zedd is set to headline. Prior to the Columbus event, it had stopped in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Tiësto, Slushii, Borgore, Jai Wolf, and Louis the Child are names that are slated to hit the stage later this fall in Columbus on behalf of PSG. Between a consistent envelope pushing booking team and a pronounced understanding of the idiosyncrasy that the college market desires, PSG’s rosters speak volumes for its respective cities’ entertainment markets. It’s safe to say the electronic music scene would not be the same in the Midwest—and certainly not in Columbus—without the companies’ efforts.
Columbus’ 2017 Breakaway return was an aggressive amalgamation of hip-hop and electronic artists, one that broke the boundaries of sonically-constricted line-ups. Priding themselves on booking up-and-coming artists that reach beyond the confines of genres, Prime Social group saw out that they achieved to create a breakaway experience in its own right. This year’s festival was a testament to that success.
Last year’s Columbus festival bill saw the likes of hip-hop’s ultimate sweetie, Chance the Rapper, as well as Dillion Francis, RL Grime, Alison Wonderland, Corrupt, and Gryffin. Filling in the hip-hop shoes of Chance’s aggressive annunciation meets poetic style this year was SuperDuperKyle. Most well known for his breakout single “iSpy,” featuring American genre nonconformer Lil Yachty—who was also at the festival—SuperDuperKyle brought forth an outrageously energetic performance. Çhanneling Kid and Play’s nineties aura was an artist who lured the crowd in for an auspicious evening. Followed up by 3LAU, Oliver Heldens, Lil Yachty, and then rave rap’s finest Travis Scott on the main stage.
Photo courtesy of Tyler Church.
Across the way, on the prime stage Friday evening was an undercard assemblage of equally impressive acts such as Crankdat, Shaun Frank, THEY., Malaa, and Getter. The prime stage exemplified a yearning for some of electronic music’s more heavy-hitting acts at the moment. The impressive array of hip-hop and electronic was a match made in heaven for its respective young audience and exemplified PSG’s audience understanding.
Photo courtesy of Tyler Church.
Despite massive amounts of rain dumping on Saturday’s attendees, the festival’s booking was a quintessential crowd pleaser. Starting off the second day with the heavy-hitting REZZ collaborator, the up and comer K?D, the afternoon was primed for an exhilarating experience. Leading up to the closing of the two-day festival was Galantis who was followed by Diplo on the main stage— whilst Mija and EDM’s favorite kitty Cashmere Cat closed out the prime stage. Columbus laid host to some of music’s most exuberant acts.
Photo courtesy of Tyler Church.
By bringing some of the world’s biggest names to the stage alongside supporting local and regional artists, the event was an energetic enigma. Despite being dealt mother nature’s infamous festival surprise the festival was an overwhelming success for its young audience and a telling testament of an ever-expanding company and cities’ success.
Featured lead image courtesy of Jacob Potzner.
As thick dust clouds covered the secluded desert terrain of Big Summit Prairie, Oregon, flocks of eclipse chasers converged onto Ochoco National Forest with its 360 degree views of mountainous pines for the Oregon Eclipse festival that would soon unfold. Their ultimate mission was to view the magic of totality, which occurred between 9-10am on Aug. 21, 2017, among thirty thousand like-minded people.
In an off-year of their globally renowned festival, the producers of Symbiosis Gathering teamed up with 13 of the world’s premier independent festivals — Lightning in a Bottle’s Do LaB (California), Rainbow Serpent (Australia), Sonic Bloom (Colorado), Origin (South Africa), Envision (Costa Rica), Beloved (Oregon), and many more—for a seven day global synaesthesia of art, ideas, music, dancing, community, and profound transformation.
An international melting pot of people were represented at the festival, including infants perched atop their mothers’ chest, families of four or more enjoying “Kids-biosis,” and retired burner folks with their decked-out light-up walkers. In addition, strangers speaking every language from French to Japanese at the Sky Stage as it pumped deep desert house, and Native American tribes and spiritual leaders from the countries of Ecuador, Columbia, and Peru were in attendance.
Tribes from Standing Rock also traveled to Ochoco to give political demonstrations at the organically constructed arena, 1Nation Earth, as well as to ignite the three sacred fires placed throughout the festival grounds. One female shaman even journeyed from Okinawa to conduct ceremonial water blessings, in which she anointed willing participants.
Every installation paid such keen attention to detail that it was hard to believe most of Oregon Eclipse’s structures were constructed from raw materials used from the very land that housed each structure. Old moss covered branches and rocks formed the pathways and walls of the festival’s many temple-esque domains, with curtains draped from the ceilings, and walls of stained glass windows suspended into thin air. Sacred geometry artwork was the centerpiece of most installations. Live painters abounded, while Burning Man installations made guest appearances.
Symbiosis’ bold endeavor far exceeded any expectations, despite having never received money from a sponsor — ever. The production was massive and breathtaking, because this independently-assembled team of unique global collaborators constantly pushed out maximum effort to create a once-in-a-lifetime experience during the entire process. It’s safe to say they achieved their goal. Installations and exhibits were being completed all throughout the week, even as attendees arrived day-by-day. Construction never really ceased, nor did the grounds ever stop growing. Ochoco remained a constant collaborative community at all times, whose psychedelic installations came alive at night.
As for the festival’s music lineup was held across seven stages: one main, four slightly more specialized stages, and two stage dedicated solely to live performance.Its main musical attraction, dubbed The Eclipse Stage, was utilized as a gigantic harp suspended from the tips of the stage onto its side structures that also would become integrated into live performances throughout the week. This stage hosted Bassnectar, Beats Antique, Emancipator, Random Rab, TroyBoi, The Glitch Mob, and many more.
The infamous Desert Hearts clan participated in a 5-hour takeover on The Sky Stage, pumping deep, dark tech house into the forest and hypnotizing house heads there with pulsating shamanic drum rhythms. Meanwhile, Dirtybird player Justin Martin delivered a 4-hour extended set of soul-penetrating house and techno that lasted into the wee hours of the morning.
But, make no mistake, the house stage DJs were guests in this global arena of trance and downtempo. International eclipse festivals are generally based around trance and downtempo insofar that the bass, jam, and eclectic circus acts were actually guests in this experience. In fact, The Sun Stage, which housed the beautiful blue spaceship-like structure used at the LIB gathering, pushed psy trance until 6am everyday. Even if you didn’t come for the trance, as one attendee put it, you were getting dosed with it daily anyway — courtesy of the full FUNKTION ONE system populating the stage.
While the sun baked the Prairie well into the high 80s each day, The Earth Stage pumped world-influenced glitch into the freezing desert nights, which reached into the low 40s. The Moon Stage served as the festival’s bass head haven, housing Bleep Bloop, French glitch supreme Clozee, EPROM, Minnesota, and, of course, Lorin Ashton’s coveted secret ‘West Coast Lo Fi‘ set.
As far as transformational festivals go, the Eclipse Gathering raised the bar on all counts. In workshop spaces like The Parlor and The Hub, lectures and dialogues ensued over mind-expanding topics ranging from permaculture, nutrition, and consciousness, to elemental alchemy, psychoactive substance, sexuality, and astrophysics. Entire structures were dedicated to yoga and dance shala, where hourly sessions were held of everything from bass yoga and vinyasa flow to belly dancing.
Each interactive installation offered diverse round-the-clock activity at every turn. The Mud Dance Experience, for example, invited attendees to strip down to their skivvies and bathed each other in wet clay. The Sound Immersion Experience, housed hammocking meditators in a 360-degree healing cocoon of sound emanating from surrounding gongs and dijiridoos.
Perhaps the most inspired interactive digital attraction was Android Jones’ MICRODOSE VR dome installation, which opened up each night after dark. Participants would enter the large, white structure for a 30-minute sensory-engulfing cinematic experience featuring Android Jones’ psychedelic artwork coming to life before their very eyes. The kicker: the ‘film,’ of sorts, was being controlled by four audience members in virtual reality.
Then, of course, there was the main event. Most attendees stayed up through the night to experience the event in totality. An early Random Rab sunrise set was going off just before, as ecstatic hippies performed yoga in the morning sun. Hot air balloon rides peaked over the trees as they tethered over the grounds’ massive lake. Picture-ready burner clans turned up decked out in their flashy garb, as giddy festival goers filed the space between the sacred Sun and Moon Temple grounds wherein the native tribes lit their final sacred fire.
As morning turned into night, birds scattered, temperature plummeted, the sky went dark and eyes swelled as a ring of fire filled the sky. Attendees stood in awe as if a portal had opened up into another universe. A Woodstock-esque character shook his maracas. A young infant looked bewildered in his stroller. Delirious party-goers clanked their mimosa glasses. Strangers embraced, tears fell, and a deep sense of gratitude filled the air — Oregon Eclipse attendees had finally manfested what they intended to do, learning that the power of intention was the most important takeaway on these sacred grounds.