Sonic Bloom 2013 – A Truly Unified Field
The festival world is a living organism – ever-changing and constantly evolving. One specific breed of festivals has become an actively transformational experience for all it touches and produces a unified community through embracing the unique and encouraging participation.
Sonic Bloom has been transforming the hearts of festival-goers since Jamie Janover manifested his dream and began this beautiful festival’s history in the legendary Mishawaka Amphitheater in 2006. As a second-year participator and avid Bloom enthusiast, the days leading up to the event were filled with nostalgic, goose-bump-inducing reminders of the magic and beauty that flooded Shadow’s Ranch in years before. Yet even with a hint of the type of event this is and has been, the festival still blew my expectations out of the crisp mountain water and transformed our world into a utopia – a place called Sonic Bloom.
THURSDAY JUNE 13, 2013
As per tradition, the festival began with the Opening Ceremony. It’s a time to connect with old friends, embrace new friendships, and prepare your mind, body and soul for the beauty and heightened spiritual peace we would all experience in the days to come. It’s a time to quiet the mind and relax for a moment after the hectic tensions packing, arriving, and setting up camp. Gathered in a circle and guided by Alaya Love and Adam Apollo, we held hands in the heart of Bloom and were showered with smells of sage and palo santo and the sounds of Kimba Arem and Dan Hansen’s combination of the didgeridoo and custom flute lifting us above the norms of reality and reminding us that we are all one – earth, sky and our hearts all connected forming one family – one tribe.
We embraced and were quickly transformed into dancing machines when Sunsquabi took the stage and kicked off the weekend of resonating magic. Their presence was just the first of the stacked lineup of some of the most influential, trail-blazing artists and performers in the biz.
Thursday night, the Sub.Mission Dome Stage was blowing up with home-grown Colorado favorites, Papa Skunk and Future Simple Project, followed by Sonic Bloom‘s first ever Silent Disco hosted by Silent Frisco. The crowd was a silent, raging sea of blue and green lights following the guidance of the simultaneous sounds of DJ Harry and DJ Rootz. The silent fun continued with Electric Dandelion and Mikey Thunder and Bloomers quietly danced late in the night. It was a silent end to a perfect Thursday at Sonic Bloom.
FRIDAY JUNE 14, 2013
Friday was FUNKY and FRESH! The lineup was jam-packed with the expected annual favorites, influential artists, native — and some surprising new additions that blew us all away. Among them was transplanted local favorite Mikey Thunder, Denver natives – Ableminds, Sonic Bloom founder – Jamie Janover, playing as Janover & reSUNator, and Michael Travis (String Cheese Incident) playing his first ever DJ set. Cloud D, Random Rab, Wick-It The Instigator, Samples, and The Grouch & Eligh filled the day with funky beats, hip-hop presence, and fresh vibes that carried us well into the night.
In a whirl of excitement sprinting from stage to stage, we discovered a short cut from the Main Stage to the Hummingbird Stage. This path led us straight into the darkness, and although skeptical at first, the trees finally opened up to a scene that most festival-goers would never get to see. This view looked out over the pond back at the main stage and campground we just came from. The reflection of the changing lights with the moon gently outlining the mountains behind it was beyond breathtaking. Sonic Bloom was alive – it was a vibrant, breathing, living organism, full of life and passion. It was such an epic scene it was almost impossible to leave it behind, but since that moment, that path was taken every time.
Set up all along the Main Stage area were some of our favorite artists painting live. Among the many were ChelseaLyn – Color Conductor and Michael Garfield – both who have had and continue to have an influential effect on their large followings with their visionary art and lifted, gifted lifestyles. Both artists have been deeply involved with Sonic Bloom for many years.
SATURDAY JUNE 15, 2013
Saturday was workout day as all Bloomers were running from the Main Stage to the Dome Stage to the Hummingbird Stage to catch as many artists as possible. The lineup and overlapping schedule allowed for a stacked lineup of some major talent, but unfortunately a lot of music was also missed while frantically sprinting across the fest to catch bits of our favorites.
Nevertheless, the music captured on Saturday was a refreshing taste of electronic sounds combined with full bands with real instruments. In years past, the majority of Bloom tunes was highly electronic-based, but this year, the music diversity was extremely impressive and a pleasant surprise. Some of these artists included Yamn, The Werks, Bluetech and the foot-stomping Floozies. The crowd was alive and couldn’t get enough. Followed up by Zilla, Lucent Dossier, and Polish Ambassador, the night was spent in constant movement.
While awaiting Orchard Lounge’s premier Sonic Bloom set, I took advantage of my impatience and began to explore the Dome Stage area. I noticed my talented artist friend – Mizu – along the side of the crowd with his art set up for both display and spontaneously inspired painting. His display was the guiding light into the gallery – a never-ending treasure trove of art and beauty. All of the pieces on display were from artists belonging to CAVA – the Colorado Alliance of Visionary Artists.
I pulled myself out of the visionary art world as Orchard Lounge arrived on stage and we heard “Can you turn off all the lights?!” Their request for darkness allowed for full focus on the music and removed all visual distractions from the equation. OL played for a solid hour and a half and not once did the beats and boogie stop. The dome was electric with the downtempo magic and all types of music fans were brought together – unified, dancing in the dark.
They continued the party with a surprise, 3-hour set in the heart of the campgrounds at Camp Crater. Their enthusiasm was palpable as they threw down and really dove into their traditional OL vibe – from the couch to the dance floor, from the dome stage to the campground.
After the epic 3-hour surprise set and we wished OL a safe flight to Chicago, we scooted back to the dome stage to catch the sunrise festivities of Thriftworks, followed by Random Rab and his traditional sunrise set. He played Sunwater as the sun peaked over the mountains and poured all over Shadow’s Ranch. The golden morning was greeted by the warriors of Bloom – tired, but filled with excitement and love. We felt more alive than ever, soaking up the golden rays and greeting SUN-day proper.
SUNDAY JUNE 16, 2013
Sunday was a somber day. Mass confusion and distraught hit when a festival-goer was found dead in the campgrounds. Jamcare responded the tragic situation with care and professionalism. In 7 years of Sonic Bloom, there has never once been a tragedy quite like this one. But with all the love our Bloom community has been built on and has spread throughout the festival, the reaction to the loss of our brother was unlike any other I’ve ever witnessed. The entire festival community gathered at the main stage in a massive group hug while Nahko & Medicine for the People‘s Aloha Ke Akua played for our fallen brother. A wave of goosebumps chilled our souls as the lyrics hit our eardrums and echoed down to our hearts: “I cry for the creatures who get left behind, but everything will change in a blink of an eye. And if you wish to survive, you will find the guide inside.”
Although music and festivities continued somewhat according to plan, there was an overtone of somber remembrance and sadness. Sonic Bloom will always be a Utopia of friendship, community, togetherness, visionary light, and of pure, beaming love.
Overall, the weekend was a stunning affirmation of all the is pure and good in this world. It was a reminder of the beauty and love available to us if we just reach out and let it flood our souls. There will always be uncontrollable circumstances that can easily break our spirits, but only if you let them. Sonic Bloom showed me and the entire festival world how important and precious each and every single soul is to the ultimate goal of these transformational gatherings – unity, love, and brotherhood. We are Sonic Bloom. We are the Unified Field.
Never miss a Sonic Bloom again.