Guest Written by Daniella Hughes
Photos by Sage Thomas
Not many people can say they’ve experienced a Yheti b2b Shlump b2b Space Jesus b2b Liquid Stranger moment. The lucky ones who attended The Untz Festival this year will have that memory forever engraved in their minds. Halfway up California, the Mariposa Fairgrounds were home for a weekend of some of the most beautiful people I’ve ever met. Follow me as we recall the journey through the wormhole.
Music genre – Mainly dubstep: psydub, riddim, and experimental.
Camping: Yes! Camping was first come first serve with the ability to have early arrival on Friday. There was a motel ~3 miles away from the fairgrounds for those who chose not to camp.
Capacity: Extra small: ~1,500
Crowd type: A mixture of young adults and those who were old in age but young at heart.
Water stations: Multiple water stations at every turn of a corner.
For The First Timers – GET FRIDAY (EARLY) ARRIVAL. Trust me. The grounds are hilly and you want to secure that prime camping spot in the shade. Leave your phone in your tent and connect with those around you; I met a girl who drove cross country and a guy who contributed art cars for Burning Man. Pace yourself: the event went from noon to sunrise and being in the sun all day can really cause exhaustion. Eat healthy food, sleep for more than three hours, and drink a lot of water. Your body will thank you.
Standout Food – There was a food truck that had vegetarian tacos: black beans, all the veggies your heart could ever want, and a creamy sauce surrounded by two crispy taco shells. I still dream of these tacos.
Musical Highlights – Letzbereal for a minute and say that any underground bass fan took one look at this lineup and teared up a bit. Oh wait, was that just me? I found myself thinking, “Is this real,” multiple times throughout the weekend but it was none other than Shlump that took the gold. His “Why I’m Hoooooot” remix off his 2k17 Remix Pack had me shakin’ my booty to some alien bass musik.
Things To Do – STL Moon Tribe hosted over 20 workshops. From the geometry of hydration to dream interpretations and yoga, you were able to relax in a curated space and dive deeper into your inner-self. The ability to bond with others through music and workshops created this ethereal setting for all attendees. ArtIsMobilUs was there to satisfy the creative inside of you. They brought along a blank wall with themes like, “What do you want to create with others? ” for all to paint their interpretations. At the end of the festival, the blank wall turned into a collage of collective trippyness that each attendee expelled from their hearts and minds. DanceSafe was also there, promoting harm reduction and spreading the word about what consent is and how to appropriately treat others at festivals. The weekend was also not complete without a sound bath inside the Galactic Garden, a dome whose insides were full of blacklight art, pillows galore, and beautiful people taking a break from the festival.
VIP or Nah – No VIP here but you won’t need it! The intimacy of a smaller festival makes it feel like you are already in VIP.
Why I’ll Be Back Next Year – This was the second year of The Untz and it blew my expectations of an intimate festival. There’s nothing better than waking up in a tent surrounded by the coolest neighbors who, even though you met just a day or two ago, are now family. The oneness of nature, people, and music has left an everlasting impact on my search for the perfect fest. I’ll be at back next year, will you join me?