Domefest: A Small Gathering With Big Heart
A few miles beyond the Maryland state line — amongst sprawling acres of southern Pennsylvania farmland — lies an intimate, wooded haven called Fort Royale Farm. On the weekend of May 19-21, “flockers” from near and far journeyed here for the 7th annual Domefest; the brain child of Baltimore-based band, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong.
This event is the epitome of a “fam fest,” with Pigeons themselves headlining, and also working behind the scenes to ensure the event was running smoothly and everything was going according to plan. Many of the bands on the lineup are their friends and local to Maryland and the Northeast, which means most of the attendees are from these parts as well. It is a place that feels like home; where friends (and friends of friends) strengthen their bonds, cultivate relationships and make memories.
This year, Domefest provided wooded camping, which was basically a hammock-lover’s dream. There were enough trees that, no matter where you camped, you could always find a place to hang up and chill without a care in the world. The trees provided some much-needed shade during the day and in some areas, the view was breathtaking as you could see the mountain ranges peeking though the foliage.
The workshops were super interactive and were a great way to make friends and learn new things. A big part of this festival was learning from other people, whether you were taking part in a workshop or just talking to vendors about their craft. Music festivals are a breeding ground for learning opportunities that open your mind to new ideas, and Domefest was no exception. From the Rise and Shine Yoga Flow to the Aerial Silks workshop and the Tye-Die Party, there was something for everyone — young and old — to enjoy during the weekend.
Walking across the field towards main stage, you could hear the band’s sounds emanating though the woods. The music at Domefest was everything it should be; live instrumentals and vocals with some electronic mixed in, creating a super tasty music sandwich with funk sauce and jam. All of the acts were phenomenal; ELM – Electric Love Machine and LITZ got the crowd grooving super hard to their sounds. As always, Pigeons stole the show with their one-of-a-kind musical and vocal stylings that makes them the weird, unique, funky band that we love.
The other great thing about this festival regarding the music is that NO set overlapped another. Once one band finished up on main Runa Stage, there was the smaller Flo Stage beside it where another band would play until it was time for the next headliner to perform. Everyone got to see literally every band that they wanted to see. The late-night shows were on point as well, with Broccoli Samurai, SchwizZ and Consider The Source, and ELM once again taking the stage on Saturday night.
This festival embodied what a true festival should be; appreciation for the music, the Earth and your fellow humans. The energy was palpable and the vibes were right. Everyone was just there to relax, escape from the world, have a good time, and connect with like-minded people. Domefest is more than just a festival; it’s a family.
Check out our Domefest gallery