Arise Festival 2018: Arise to a Higher Consciousness

by Aug 15, 2018Music, Reviews

Arise Festival: Arise in Style to a Higher Consciousness

The theme of ARISE Festival 2018 was one of growth, uplifting to a higher potential of humanity, and co-creating with like-minded beings. The Colorado, family-run, independent festival in its sixth year at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, was filled with love, laughter, rain, sun, and a huge range of musical genres, yoga styles, vendors, and art.

ARISE Music Festival

Healing Practices and Harmonies

Friday morning at ARISE Festival brought us Patrick Harrington from Kindness Yoga, along with perfectly ethereal tunes from the Fort Collins duo More Than Physics.

Practicing engulfed in live tunes with a huge group of body-mind conscious beings under flowing fabric in a shrine-like tent opened up the heart.

Later, RadianceMatrix presented by Paul Temple, incorporated singing bowls and throat singing to create healing vibrational tones.  Bringing up the energy midmorning was Mbanza who brought an African influence to the Starwater stage. The traditional ARISE Festival parade and opening ceremony called everyone together at the (main) Eagle stage and brought the afternoon sun, enough to stop the steady drizzle.

Shook Twins treated us to harmonies with a gold telephone and another interesting instrument; a golden egg that was tossed into the air. On the smaller, (Salt) Magazine stage, MountainUs, from Fort Collins put their skills on display with their trumpet player who grew up on Sunrise Ranch. Escaping the midday heat, a large crowd filled the Big Sunrise Dome to cheer on members of Slightly Stoopid, Stick Figure, and Pepper as they improvised new songs together and answered audience questions.

As the air cooled, Pepper took the Eagle stage with a ton of energy infused into their rock heavy reggae reminiscent of Sublime, and a lot of hilarious commentaries. Settling the vibe, Ayla Nereo glided on to the Green Tree stage with some fantastic performers flowing to her melodic tunes. She invited Mackenzie Page from Gypsy Moon to grace us with her beautiful banjo talents.

Back on the Eagle stage, Stick Figure’s keys player received a nice happy birthday song and cake while their tour dog Cocoa got wild with a balloon that was tossed on stage. Their heavy bass and chill vibe went perfectly with the LED hoop performances on stage. The Lil Smokies, up-and-coming bluegrass band hailing from Missoula, MT, blew our minds with their harmonious vocals, slide guitar skills, and a fiddle player who could win a duel with the devil, if you know what we mean.

Quixotic, from Kansas City, offered two out of this world performances on Friday and Saturday. Their style is heavy bass, electro beats, trumpet, violin, harp, and vocals, accompanied by gorgeous dancers whose jaw-dropping moves wowed huge crowd both nights. Performances were off the charts with local Northern Colorado talent mixing in well with Denver folks and artists from Lunar Fire and Quixotic.

Flawless flexibility, strength, power, and presence awed the audience all weekend long.

ARISE Festival headliners Slightly Stoopid brought their blend of pop, reggae, and punk to the party under a clear sky, Mikey Thunder threw down a funky set in the packed (Salt) stage, and Ott.’s downtempo trance mixed right in to close out the Eagle stage. Start Making Sense sounded just like the Talking Heads and kept the late night revelers happy.

ARISE Music Festival

Rolling Thunder and Chill Beats

On Saturday, after a workshop with Margaret Rosenau about Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy, the fantastic food trucks and vendors were calling.

Capes and hemp, coffee and onesies, psychedelic art and coconut ice cream, jewelry and utility belts, and so much more lined the avenue along the way to the Eagle stage, allowing us to improve our festival wardrobes and mindsets.

Then, it was time for more yoga with Rob Loud leading the way with chill beats from Mikey Thunder. After a delicious lunch, complete with tomato and cucumber from the Sunrise Ranch farmers market, we listened in on Barbara Marx Hubbard and some of her friends talk about awakening the new species within us and rising up to our fullest potential as humans.

Discussions in our small groups were enlightening and some conversations life-changing, which seemed to suddenly invoke a huge thunder, lightning, rain, wind, and hail storm to hit the fest, closing the main gate and causing folks to scramble to safety. After helping some friends hold down their carport, the sky cleared, and we were off to see Xiuhtezcatl who had to chill during the weather delay and then bring the inspiration with his sister and band, which was done flawlessly.

SkyDyed arrived in time for a quick interview (audio file) before their performance with yogi David Michael Scott. Later at the StarWater stage, they proved why they deserved to be there for their fifth year. Dubskin brought some bouncy reggae to the Green Tree stage and later, Lunar Fire thrilled the audience with their blend of beats and fire performance.

Underground hip-hop heroes, the Living Legends brought up an issue on the Eagle stage that ARISE Festival has held near and dear since the birth of the fest; single-use water bottles. All around the grounds, the refillable water stations were a great replacement.

CharlestheFirst brought his brand of bass heavy, goopy electronica to inspire amazing LED and fire performances with a plethora of different flow props. The highly anticipated electronic duo Thievery Corporation played a few favorites before busting into a brand new hip-hop style song and many more that kept everyone in the groove.

Guerrilla Fanfare kept their big band sound going in the crowd after their stage set was done. Dead Floyd also intrigued with their ability to make rapid shifts between two very different styles.

Opiuo had a great time dropping bass heavier than the plane he flew in on from New Zealand, and we had an even better time dancing under the lasers to it!

We had to split our time with the sexy, sultry, funky Con Brio, especially after meeting lead singer Ziek McCarter who was a little shy and said, “the music and soul make me dance; I can’t predict it.” Many festival-goers caught a taste on their way back to the campground at the end of a lovely day.

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ARISE Music Festival

The Moment of Unity

Sunday morning at ARISE brought more rain until Switchman Sleepin’ woke up the sun at the (Salt) stage.  Meanwhile, several of us were clearing our chakras in Kate Mulheron’s yoga class with music by the tender Jay Kraemer from Young Atlas.

Tierro and Bridget Law brought their original blend of styles to the Eagle stage for a mid-day treat, where later the Kitchen Dwellers surprised the crowd with guest Vince Herman of Leftover Salmon. Krushendo, a future bass producer from Fort Collins, ramped up the crowd in the (Salt) tent before the Boulder-based Gasoline Lollipops broadcasted their unique sound, what lead singer Clay Rose now refers to as the acronym “PAFuCkeR, which stands for Psychedelic, Alt, Folk, Country, Rock.”

The Moment of Unity is always a special time at ARISE Festival where the people who have worked to bring the festival to fruition get a chance to thank the participants, and in Sunday’s case, Tierro’s grandma, for what they contribute. Trevor Hall closed out the Eagle stage with his soothing vocals and message of hope and love and afterward, on the Green Tree stage, Dumpstafunk blasted horns and kept the late night crowd dancing till the wee hours and the festival’s end.

ARISE Music Festival

Here’s a taste of the action from ARISE… visit the full photo album here!


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