Sonic Bloom 2019 Review: An Enlightening Experience
Sonic Bloom 2019: An Enlightening Experience
Words by Mariah Michener. Photography by Mariah Michener and Drew Webb.
The 2019 Sonic Bloom Festival was held at Hummingbird Ranch, Colorado from June 20 – 24, 2019. This premier Colorado electronic music festival showcases performances from a variety of musicians, dancers, and artists throughout the weekend. Attendees are encouraged to participate in the workshops and classes, focused on improving physical and mental well-being. Sonic Bloom strives to create a space for all to grow and connect, under one Unified Field.
Welcome Home to Hummingbird Ranch
It was a beautiful start to summer as Sonic Bloom Festival returned to the scenic Spanish Peaks Country near Rye, Colorado. The Unified Field gathered over the summer equinox at Hummingbird Ranch celebrating its 14th year as a festival. After changing through five different venues and returning the past five to these grounds, the ranch is truly feeling like home.
With much of the infrastructure already in place, more time and energy went into production and setting the scene, while bigger sound, more art installations, and permaculture projects set the mood.
For some, their Sonic Bloom experience began a few days earlier by enrolling in the Sonic Bloom Academy where you could take courses on learning to paint with Amana Sage during the visionary Art Academy, sharpen up your music production with the Ableton Live Masters Series, or grow your connection to nature with the Permaculture Academy.
The hype was high as the rest of the attendees began rolling into the ranch on Thursday afternoon. Driving down and watching the mountains grow made it hard to contain the excitement.
Finding Your Space at Sonic Bloom
After checking in, campers wound their way up to set up camp for the weekend.
You get a real taste of the Colorado elements camping at Sonic Bloom: sun-baked days, crisp mountain nights, the occasional gust of wind. This year, the weather gods even came around with a little rain and hail. Experienced music festival goers will advise coming prepared for a little bit of everything!
With multiple camping options and 360 degrees of beautiful scenery, you are sure to find a camp that fits your vibe. If you plan on setting up a large camp with all the homies, car camping in the way to go. Just be sure to have some pop-up shade, and be sure to tie it down!
Walk-in camping allows you to camp amongst the cover of the trees and even along a small portion of the creek. If you’d like a little more comfort and easy access to the venue, VIP is a great choice to score the very best creek spots with only a short walk to the Main Stage. If you can’t live without AC, go ahead and bring the RV! Bringing the whole family? Reserve a space in the designated Family Camp at this kid-friendly event.
Setting Our Sonic Bloom Intention
After everyone got setup and settled in, Thursday night kicked off with a beautiful opening ceremony inviting us to set our intentions for the weekend. An alluring performance by Lunar Fire followed, complete with an appearance by the Darshan Dance Tribe.
Messenger of Secrets warmed up the Meadow Stage early Thursday, and the excitement continued to grow with a high energy set by Subaqueous. The stoke was high at any stage that you approached, as it was the beginning of a magical weekend. Drrtywulvz turned up the heat and began to set the mood along with Vibesquad, Of the Trees, and the Bloom Stage headliner Kalya Scintilla, while Cualli & Daily Bread at the Hummingbird Stage brought us into Friday morning.
Flowing Freely on Friday
Workshops and Yoga started the flow Friday morning, which continued throughout the weekend. Sonic Bloom offers a wide array of yoga, workshops, and discussions. Permaculture classes and talks such as green-housing, eco-design, garden farming, and ways to reduce your footprint are clear indicators of some of the intentions that set this festival apart from others.
The Yoga D’om was full of fun and healing opportunities. The workshops covered topics such as mindful motion, reiki, sound healing, along with fundamental, partner, vinyasa, & yin yoga. Participants could also enjoy a variety of dance and flow-art workshops.
If you were looking to expand your mind and get involved in some discussion, you might have stopped by the Alchemy Lounge to check out some of the intensive workshops offered throughout the weekend.
Sonic Bloom curator, Jamie Janover, shared Nassim Haramein’s Unified Field Theory, which is where the festival got its name. Dr. Kelly Neff discussed the ‘TechnoSexual Revolution: The Future of Love, Sex and Dating’, and Dr. Steven Schwartz shared the secrets of creating interdimensional portals. There was so much to choose from, and so many connections to be made.
“Be Your Fest Self” with fun and unique festival gear.
Like Aliens riding T-Rex with rainbow stars shooting out its butt. Because we can.
Finding Our Friday Groove at Sonic Bloom
Friday was weird. A very good weird.
Yheti and Bogtrotter both had awesome solo sets that had the masses movin’. Gramatik was a great blend of melodic guitar and wubby synth lines. He hit us with a horn edit of Keys n Krate’s Dum Dee Dum with those iconic Gramatik guitar riffs laid over the top. Emancipator Ensemble brought us a refreshing vibe with the focus on traditional instruments.
Megan Hamilton blew us away with her first Bloom appearance. She sounded great on the Hummingbird Stage, and her presence was intoxicating.
Word also began to spread of the Renegade Stage in the Yoga D’om which was truly an event highlight.
Brand new Funktion1 Evo speakers, in a quad-corner setup provided by Awaken the Night, had some serious power and healing qualities. Reproducing lows down to 24hz (very rumble, much bass), the Yoga D’om was literally quaking all weekend and held some of the most epic and fun Renegade sets I’ve ever experienced. They even brought some secret headliners, like Kll Smth and a Yehti B2B Of The Trees set.
Local up-and-coming artists also got their time to shine and absolutely killed it. A personal favorite was seeing the homie FiYah throw down a heavy set, and of course Ziim, Quite Possibly, and Phlo later in the weekend. These dudes maxed out the potential of sound in the Yoga D’om, playing old hip-hop and R&B acapella over hypey, deep dubstep and bass music. People were losing their minds in there.
Friday night faded into Saturday morning as female-producers The Librarian and Living Light kept us grooving into the sunrise. Catching a magical sunrise set at Bloom is always a special experience.
Colorado Weather Doesn’t Dampen The Bloom Mood
Saturday’s weather mixed things up a bit, and we got a little rain and hail. But hey, when it hails, you just build a hailman..right?!
Spirits were still high – if not higher – as we all ducked for cover, and the accompanying rain kept down the temperature and the dust. Music Saturday night was the bomb diggity. Moon Frog brought the band and started up the Bloom Stage. People toughed the rain and went to get down for Detox Unit. He treated listeners to some of his new EP early on in the night, and his house-focused set in the Yoga D’om was a must see.
Animated Earth and The Party People had the party going at the Hummingbird Stage, while Zilla playing soon after the storm really kept the vibe up. These guys have an amazing sound that brought the energy back to the festival. Spoonbill into Jade Cicada into Opiuo on the Bloom Stage made for all right feels.
Spoonbill was a highly anticipated set, and he delivered just what we ordered. Jade Cicada and Opiuo definitely made any Top # List for the weekend. If you managed to sneak away and check out The Widdler, you would not have been disappointed by his heavy dub set. Overall, Saturday was quite the journey through psychedelic sound.
We were not going out without a bang. The Orcastrator with his funky jams and saxophone get down and the out-of-this-world sound travel by Homemade Spaceship made sure we had something to remember the Meadow Stage by.
The Bloom Stage on Sunday saw mostly live music, with the exception of a late-afternoon Spoonbill set. Russ Liquid Test, The New Observatory, and Sonic Bloom Orchestra were all phenomenal, providing a great blend of funk and psychedelic sound for the people.
Hearts are Blooming from Sonic Bloom
It was another amazing year at Sonic Bloom, co-creating this enlightening experience. The music and visuals are always above and beyond, but there were so many smaller pieces that truly gave this festival its vibe.
Everything and everyone came together.
From the performance artists, gallery artists, large art installations, muralist and live painters to all the events and activities happening in the Yoga D’om, Permaculture Hub, Alchemy Lounge, Rainbow Lightning Children’s Village, and Oracle Portal.
The food and beverage vendors that provided conscious options to fuel our bodies, and the merchandise vendors that promoted the culture, helped us express ourselves, and provided us with some pretty unique souvenirs. Not to forget the hard work of ALL of the event staff, volunteers, medical, and production teams!
After the beautiful, experimental performance by the Sonic Bloom Orchestra, Jamie Janover came out and showed some love for all of the Sonic Bloom team and attendees. He mentioned his vision toward making the festival more self-sustaining by using the funds created to invest in windmills, turbines, or solar with a goal of powering the festival with green energy someday – once again emphasizing the true intention of transformation at this festival.
My heart is full from the overwhelming gratitude and love from festival goers. As the weekend came to an end and people shared their enlightening experiences from the weekend, it was clear we were once again in full BLOOM.
We can’t wait for next year, and we will without a doubt remember this year’s Sonic Bloom for the rest of our lives!
~ Mariah Michener for Festy GoNuts
Blue Ox Music Festival: Live from the Pines is a virtual festival with live onstage performances from Whispering Pines Campground in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
Join MELD (Melissa Dewey) on May 23, 2020 for a digital release party on Facebook. MELD just released the single “Freedom” from her upcoming new album.
As music lovers who are passionate about festivals, we are struggling to sort through all of the information out there regarding each festival we had hoped to attend. Not only do we need to consider the new dates, but there are also varying ticket exchange policies to navigate. We put together a guide to help you navigate the changes that are affecting music festivals due to COVID-19.
Festy From The Futon: Episode 4! Featuring Jon Stickley Trio, Emily Yates, a trip to the Festy Kitchen and lots more!
Due to Coronavirus restrictions, The New York Guitar Festival will be on YouTube this year. Watch daily videos honoring the Reverend Gary Davis.
City Winery presents an All Star Mother’s Day Streaming Concert special to raise money for the United Nations Foundations, featuring Billy Bragg and more!
Minneapolis’ Pert Near Sandstone has released a new single in anticipation for the release of their new album, Rising Tide, due June 12, 2020.
Local real estate agent and businesswoman Laura Levy has teamed up with LEAF, Lyons Emergency Assistance Fund to create the Gig Grant Fund for Lyons Artists and Musicians.
We are doing our best to support our musicians, bands, festivals, and artists. And, you can help too! How, you ask? Check it out!