A review of Sonic Bloom 2017
Photos by Sage Thomas
Introduction – COLORADO. Whenever I see a festival pop up in this magnificent state, I do just about anything that I can to make it out. I first made it this way for Vertex and Bass Center last year, only to find myself immersed in a vibe and environment like no other. Coming from a music festival addict, I may be a little biased. This is different, though. Colorado festivals are more than just a festival; they are an adventure into the mountains and an experience that will leave you feeling lighter than ever. This past June 15th-18th, I escaped from the concrete jungle to venture out to Sonic Bloom: The Unified Field, a festival that I had heard was a must-see. Over the course of this long weekend, Spanish Peaks Country, CO was filled with abundant love, creativity, and musical performances that will be happily ingrained in my brain forever. After just a few minutes of being in the venue, I knew that this was going to be one of my favorite festivals to this day.
Music genre -Funk, Dub, House, Electronic, Jam, Soul Music
Camping: YES- GA, Car Camping, and VIP Camping Options were available. For the adventurous, you could also haul all of your stuff in order to camp closer to the creek.
Crowd type: Conscious beings of light
Water stations: Yes
For The First Timers – Sonic Bloom tends to be very hot during the day. I HIGHLY recommend investing in a hammock to post up under a few shady trees or even under your canopy on a stand. Staying up late and exploring the venue until sunrise is fun up until you wake up in your tent sweating just about an hour after hitting the hay. Seriously, hammocks are a lifesaver. Sometimes you just gotta nap the day away.
PRO TIP: There are several trails nearby that lead you up into the mountains, so if you are the more adventurous type I highly recommend making your way towards one of those. The view of the campgrounds and venue is amazing.
Standout Food – The Crepe Stand was a hit among attendees, as well as the snow cone and ice cream booths. There really was nothing more refreshing that a nice, cold, blueberry snow cone on a day where the temperature hit well over the 90s. Super Heady Tacos was also one of my personal favorites, with tasty tacos whipped up in just minutes for a late night snack or even a late lunch.
Musical Highlights –The lineup for 2017 was stacked and every day was a new adventure in terms of the music. Thursday started off the event with a bang, Minnesota throwing down one of the heaviest sets of the weekend. The squad and I expected a light introduction on this first day, but instead, we were served heavy bass and unforgettable drops, making this set one of my favorites for the weekend.
Friday proved to have the most enticing lineup, but with this fun came conflict. With 3 favorites playing at 3 separate stages throughout the day, it was hard to make a decision. Claude Vonstroke quickly won the draw for the night, with a two-hour set of magical house music. You don’t wanna miss this Dirtybird when he comes through!
Space Jesus took the cake for Saturday, putting out a filthy set that you could not even try to sit still at. It was truly unforgettable, and this being my third time seeing him this month, I have to say it was by far the best. The production was top notch at Sonic Bloom and the performers were intertwined so gracefully and curated for each set. I still get goosebumps when thinking about it.
Sunday was Jam Day, but a little more than your usual. Upon stumbling upon Marbs’ set at the Hummingbird Stage, I quickly realized that Desert Hearts was no force to be reckoned with. No matter how amazing the main stage was, the House music pulled me back like a magnet. Of course, I hopped back and forth to catch the amazing Papadosio and the rare Gigantic Cheese Biscuits, but the DH vibes at the Hummingbird Stage were very alluring. They had me there. And to close out the festival, the entirety of the Desert Hearts crew came together to share the love and stories of their experiences throughout the weekend. I wouldn’t trade this moment for anything.
Things To Do — The music was the main act for the nights, but days served as a medium for exploration as long as the weather allowed. During the moments of highest sun and scorching heat, the creek was a popular escape for many including me and my squad. This was the perfect place to take nap in your hammock, party it up, and for many- a place to use as a substitute for a shower for the weekend. There were a variety of workshops to check out during the day as well, ranging from yoga to permaculture talks and just about anything in between. I also recommend ‘taking a ride in the spaceship’ as they call it, the Gong experience that the event graced us with. For the nights, there were environments like the Oracle Portal and the Healing Sanctuary that provided a nice change of scenery to the stages. Here you could get a reading or just kick it on the comfy pillows. Not too far from the Hummingbird Stage, I often found myself immersed in the live painters as well.
VIP or Nah — VIP perks included early Wednesday arrival, VIP parking or car camping locations, shuttles, cell phone charging, access to a lounge, separate bathrooms and water stations, meal and drink tickets. Along with this, VIP patrons received a T-Shirt, Poster, Bandana, and Pin and had access to special happy hours with margaritas, raffles, and snacks. Depending on the type of experience you are looking for, I think that VIP is a great option for those looking to party in a little bit more comfort than the general attendees.
Story Corner – The mountains do things to me. It feels surreal to be experiencing these amazing musical acts with the backdrop of the snowcapped mountains and creek just less than a hike away. It just takes the camping part of the experience to the next level. Walking back from the banger experience of just Day 1, I looked up at the stars with someone very special to me and it was just breathtaking. The stars, the mountains, the endless expanse that was the sky that night-I was actually speechless. A few shooting stars and possible UFOs later, it was time to call it a night and I was so grateful to have experienced such endless beauty. And the craziest thing, it was peaceful; the campgrounds were quiet. Sometimes the party goes all night and feels so right, but this tranquility was perfect for the surroundings. Thank you, Sonic Bloom, for the memories on both ends of the spectrum, serene and exhilarating in the best of ways.