Dispatch from Sonic Bloom: Magic, Madness, and Music

Published on: June 30th, 2019

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Sonic Bloom report: day one. 

 

The world’s gone mad. Maybe not mad, but ecstatic. Thousands, maybe several hundreds but with energy that overwhelms, have gathered at that same gorgeous Hummingbird Ranch in Spanish Peaks Country, Colorado, for the annual Sonic Bloom Festival. There are just enough drug and drinks to keep everyone happy and fueled and running around with a sense of oneness and amazement. It’s amazing to be a place where the earth and sky blend in a mix of dust and rain and laser and fog and spirit. Sonic Bloom is now in its ninth year at the current location (there is debate about how old it actually is, its original name, and more). It’s a four day festival held over the summer solstice weekend (June 21), filled with art, music, activism, health and healing, and more.

 

Contrary to reports collected on site, I haven’t seen anybody OD’ing or having an out of control “expansive” experience. A helicopter took one person on the third night and we have unconfirmed reports that it was an overdose, but that the person survived and is doing fine. There are parallel reports of fentanyl heavy cocaine being sold on site. I was warned on my first day that it was a possibility, but all I personally found was harmony and happiness, people helping people, love, and epic music. Even on the second night, when the storm rolled down from the mountain and the hail pounded the earth, it was almost like an offering to the festival knowing glitter had been banned this year. 

 

Which reminds me… that’s the whole thing about humanity and goodness: a festival like this needs to be conscious and critical of their impact and carbon footprint and Sonic Bloom, for the first time, has been working to secure a 100 percent offset of the carbon footprint from travelers and on time. This event has been amazing, the staff badass, and everything surprisingly organized. It bears mentioning, because it is important as a biological function, but I haven’t found a single port-a-potty that was unkempt or dirty on site, not in media camping and not in GA and not inside of the festival itself. Bravo. 

 

More than one moment has been spent swallowed up by energy and vibration, critical components of music. It’s not just the name of the festival, this entire place is sonic. We definitely ran into a team from Rolling Stone Magazine (their first year covering the fest, I was told) who said that, out of all the festivals they’ve been to, this place has some of the best bass. Was it a conscious effort to bring the best speakers setups? Is it the small Valley at the base of these high country hills that we’re situated in? Was it the drugs? I’m not sure either way, but moving from Yheti’s set to Grammatik, I could fill the bass shaking my throat like it was trying to wake up a specific chakra. 

 

But enough of that. Let’s have a thorough consideration of the magic of Sonic Bloom 2019: Arrival

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I arrived at Sonic Bloom with no expectations. I’ve been to many festivals before so I know to allow the festival to unfold as it’s supposed to. The first thing about the location, in Spanish Peaks Country, Colorado, the high desert, was the mountains surrounding the venue. The vistas from all over camp are breathtaking. The sunrises and sunsets would go on, over the course of the weekend, to capture minds and open hearts. The views of the blood moon – given the power of the weekend – worked to transform the view of the self and put those in attendance in a grateful place. One quote from the festival that stayed with me is, “We need to listen to the moon more often”. 

 

Our experience started at the Permaculture Action Day in Walsenburg. We enjoyed taking the energy of the music festival and putting it into action. We were creating a place where food would be grown and individuals could live for free. This year, Sonic Bloom expanded the District ONE (Organizing New Economy) project beyond its farms and pay-what-you-can farm-to-table restaurant to the BUS. The BUS (Building United Society) is a late 1800s school building being converted into a place where food and housing is provided in reciprocity for work on the District ONE Farms growing organic, nutrient-rich food for the community.The purpose of the organization was to detach from the money and be able to live as a human being without being part of the system. The music and energy at the action day was captivating and inspiring. It was a beautiful and magical way to start out the festival. 

 

One great aspect of the various aspects of Sonic Bloom is that you can meet amazing people by going to action days and conscious events. As the festival scene continues to grow and evolve, it will become more important for us to use the networks we cultivate to make changes outside of the festival, in what could haphazardly be called “the real world”. We should be invested in living with purpose and love in all of our lives, not just when we dance together. The whole idea of the conscious music festival is to integrate the magic and connections we make into our day-to-day lives, to be the change we want to see in the world.

 

I pulled into Sonic Bloom being and bypassed security because I was coming from the Permaculture Action Day. The media ticket got us to the media camp, but the main area was full and we were redirected to camp in the artists and vendors area, which was where the universe wanted us to be.

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Sonic Bloom is the perfect place to allow your creative expression to flower and unfold into dreams. If we do what we love, at some point, the stars align and opportunities will knock on our door. Many of the artists were writers, teachers, and photographers before they were able to play the main stage at Sonic Bloom. When you begin the creative process, as Bloom shows us, life will unfold and lead you to amazing places. This is the beauty of Sonic Bloom. It is a place to get inspired by other artists, creators, and earth shakers. You come here for the music but leave a changed person. Sonic Bloom was one of my first Colorado music festivals and six years later, it’s hard to recognize myself as the same person. It’s my first time being able to write about it.  

 

Walking into Sonic Bloom is strange because you’re not quite sure what to expect. You have to take the journey instead of being in control. This translates to life outside the festival scene. When you come in with little expectations and a heart full of love, the universe will take you on a magical ride. 

 

Day 1: Thursday

 

On Thursday the winner – for me – was Kaylia Scintilla. He always takes me on a spiritual journey, but never like this set. The set helped the crowd come together and open our hearts up for the weekend. The first night of the festival is a time where we get to know the land, where everything is, and get familiar with the energy of one other. It is comparable to a first date, a little awkward at first, but over time we get more comfortable and open.

 

At the end of the Kaylia Scintilla set I shed tears, not from any substance effects, but from needing to release something. This allowed my heart to fully open and began the beautiful – and spiritual – ride I was on to continue. I excited for the adventure.

 

Day 2: Friday

 

Friday started and everyone was ready to drop into the adventure that is Sonic Bloom. People were ready to get down, party hard, and allow the night to be magical. I went in knowing it was going to be a chill night. Emancipator Ensemble is a favorite and were preparing for their set. Their music combines dancing, beauty, and darkness in a special way. 

 

The night started off with Yheti and I moved forward, sitting between many flow artists. I realized Sonic Bloom was like a circus, having performers, music, art, and food surrounding you at all times. I believe the world is craving real connection and entertainment. The festival scene combines the new technology of electronic music, lazers, and visuals with the romantic performances of flow art, hoola hoops, clowns, and dancing. As I sat there peaking on my mushrooms I thought life could not get any better… this is such a beautiful, intense experience.

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Emancipator brought a beautiful break for the whole festival. People had been dancing and moving, but Emancipator feels like being at a classical concert in space. It allowed everyone to take a break before Gramatik brought the funk. When Gramatik came on everyone could dance and get down. The mix of dubstep and funk music allowed everyone to let loose, dance together, and connect in a whole new way. I believe dance music has the magical power of bringing people together through movement. If this world needs anything it is more fun, dancing, and connection. Mikey Thunder, a local Colorado DJ, he said his job is tTB v Gunto bring fun to the people. Allowing them to let loose and forget about their problems for a moment. I think this is underrated way humans can heal the world. As a practicing clown I know the power of forgetting about your problems and being in the moment.

 

Day 3: Saturday

 

Saturday was the night of Opiuo. Opiou had saved me many times and this time was no different. I seem to always been in a painfuku uul place mentally when I see him and his music lets me dance out all of my demons. I went in with a feeling of being not enough, alone,knd a lack of confidence. I came out feeling powerfuuand jul, confident, and connected to myself. Thank you again Opiuo for being an amazing musician, person, and energy in this world.

 

Day 4: Sunday

 

Sunday night I decided to sit back, observe, and connect with my friends. I was ready to soak in all the love I could before heading home on Monday morning. When I woke up I was able to see Mikey Thunder and Megan Hamilton play a three hour day set at the food tent for the staff, artists, and media. This may have been the best set of the weekend. We gathered together as circus performers, dancers, and staff; celebrating what has been created for all to enjoy. Nothing like a great party to start the day.

 

My two friends, Hannah and Paul, were in Luminous – a hip-hop and electronic group playing at the Starwater stage. While drinking a CBD infused coffee I was able to watch two friends play Sonic Bloom. I reflected how far each of us had come as artists and people. Sunday was a day of reflection and integration of the whole experience. Definitely check out their music as they are doing something new, which is great to see in our scene. The star of Sunday was Spectacle. I had never seen them before and they blew me away. The combination of electronic music, guitar, violin, and drums was beyond amazing. The crowd was getting down like I had not seen before. They are a local artist from Denver and I will definitely be checking them out again.

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Ending Sonic Bloom

 

I ended my Sonic Bloom experience seeing the Kaya Project, who brought a unique sound and experience. As an ecstatic dancer I fell in love with his set. It blended tribal tones perfectly with electronic beats. This combination is perfect for my eyes and dancing shoes as it really gets me moving.

 

By the end of Sonic Bloom it dawned on me that each person was necessary to make Sonic Bloom complete. It was not just about the artists and musicians, but instead about each person completing the unified field. We needed each star, being, and moment to make it complete. How beautiful are the people… with hearts full of love. The best description of Sonic Bloom I heard was, “We are all creating space for everyone to work it out.” You may come in with judgements of yourself and others, but over the course of the festival you replace them with feelings of love for the whole, many new friends, romantic flings, short-term moments, and people re-uniting as newly transformed beings.

 

I cherished each moment of fun, joy, happiness, and magic experienced at Sonic Bloom. I watched the love radiate out of each heart in its own unique way. When talking with Godlazer, an artist at Sonic Bloom, he pointed out that sound is manipulated air and we are learning how to create a more beautiful and unique experience for the audience. To me this is what Sonic Bloom does: it allows us to re-experience and awaken new parts of our divine being.

 

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