After my first Bonnaroo, I immediately started telling everyone who would listen that Colorado NEEDED to have a great camping festival of its own. What better backdrop could anyone hope for at a weekend of camping and music than that of the Rockies? Well, three years later, the people who brought us the beloved Electric Forest made that a reality.
One of my favorite things about summer is music festival season. My annual pilgrimage to Bonnaroo has become a highlight of my year, and I’m always excited for a new festival. This is one that should definitely stick around for a while.
Because it was new this year, the festival was rather small and intimate, which is a feeling I hope they do not lose in the coming years. I don’t know how much they have the ability to expand the campgrounds in the surrounding woods, but it certainly seemed nothing could be too far away to explore.
First, the beach area provided a wonderful daytime hangout spot where we could lay out
and listen to some calmer electronic beats while watching people attempt to cross the slackline over the pond or the antics of whoever these guys were. I’m still not sure, but they were definitely funny!
This area also later provided a great backdrop for the late night silent disco that popped up when the acts in the main venue area had finished for the night. Pro tip: no matter the festival, the silent disco is always a highlight!
The main venue area was small, but that added to the festival’s small, intimate feel. The two main stages faced each other across an open field, so I’m not sure how they will expand that out if the festival continues to grow, but I’m sure they have a solution for it. As you walked toward the stage areas, there were all sorts of what I would call “interactive installations”, which were fun little areas that people could hang out with filled with balloons, people in colonial garb, and other things you wouldn’t quite expect to find in the midst of a music festival.
(It now occurs to me that I failed to take pictures of anything inside the festival, so I will be asking my friends if they have any that I can post!)
Even in its inaugural year, the festival managed to attract some great musical names like Alabama Shakes, The Claypool Lennon Delerium, Gramatik, Robert Delong, Rufus du Sol, Duke Dumont and Odesza. These acts created a relaxed, joyous atmosphere that one might expect from spending a weekend in the mountain air of Colorado, which is what I believe is the ultimate highlight of the festival.
Despite some rainy weather and chilly temperatures when it got dark, this festival was, truly, a huge success. If you’re looking for a smaller, relaxed festival atmosphere with great people (seriously, Coloradans are generally an awesome group to be at a festival with), then this is definitely one to try. All I can hope is that it is still around for me to attend again in two years!
What I’m Listening to Now: Say My Name by Odesza & Closer by The Chainsmokers (Songs of the weekend and of the summer; I’m addicted.)