A Journey Through June(tember) Jam 2021

The Oasis Stage , Photo by Katy Jo

On September 3rd-6th, 2021, something special happened in Flagstaff, AZ. June Jam returned to Playa Ponderosa and for a few days, time stopped moving at lightning speeds. Nestled in the thick forests, we left all worries behind (ex. the ever-changing world crisis), and the only remaining actions were getting there, setting up a home base, and having the best time of our lives.

And we did just that…

It was 4-days, 3-nights of ethereal sunsets, star-lit skies, beautiful stages, heart-wrenching tunes, sunrise sets, big art, and smiles all around. Long story short, this festival does it right and gets better with every year.

Photo by Katy Jo

Filled to the Brim with Beauty

It was Labor Day weekend and Playa Poderosa was dressed to her best, treated with love at every corner. With 5 stages across over a mile of distance, it never felt crowded and there was always a place to go catch a vibe. From here, you chose your adventure to journey through JJ 2021:

  • The Porch: Hand crafted, all-natural… The Main Stage. A jaw-dropper with the visuals and dance instigator with the tunes. We learned that the crowd goes extra hard here.

While wandering the festival grounds, we caught up with Mattie Fisher-Fox, the stage designer & builder for the 2021 main stage build.

“The Porch (our Main Stage) was given more attention to its aesthetic details than in our previous editions. The concept of the porch dates back to our first edition: Juniper Jam 2018, and the same pieces have been reused since. I discovered the pleasure of working with wood scraps from a sawmill and making my compositions based on the materials, listening to them and what they wanted to become instead of forcing too much of my own desires upon the material. The final result was something that felt like a shrine or temple, with cohesive design elements that linked the DJ table, the rear, the facades, and the centerpiece.”

– Mattie Fisher-Fox aka MeowTea, June Jam Stage Designer & Builder
The Porch Stage, Photo by Katy Jo

Sunday Morning at Sunrise, Random Rab put attendees in a trance with a 3-hour long, extended set, featuring classics as well as unreleased tracks. He even came down to dance with the crowd, ending the set with a group hug. It was a mystical start to a beautiful day, or for some, an epic ending to the one prior.

The Beautification Station, Photo by Katy Jo

Clothing was donated, washed, re-vamped, and gifted to loving homes here, an interactive experience that brought joy to many attendees.

With the amount of waste in this world from clothing, every festival should have a station like this!

The best part was seeing the smiling faces wandering the grounds in their funky, new fits and telling stories about their times well spent here.

Please contact [email protected], to donate rave clothes and festival attire for the Beautification Station!

  • The Oasis Stage: Have you ever danced under a disco-bull twice the size of you, while feeling like you are in a jungle-meets-forest paradise?

The Oasis hosted a secret, Labor Day Monday sunrise set, where Skysia took us on a journey of melodic bass soundscapes. The crowd definitely gave it their all for the last set of the weekend.

The Oasis Stage, photo by Katy Jo
Dewomp Stage, Photo by Wulfenbear Media

  • Dewomp: Workshop wonderland by day, eclectic sounds and experiences by night.

Here, AZ’s famous SHADY AF Comedy show took over Saturday night. We laughed, we cried, and spread that positivity throughout the grounds after all was said and done.

  • And the list goes on, there was beauty at every corner. Pom-pom trees to take a stroll through, retro places to relax, and unexpected magic to stumble upon.
  • Live painters were nestled to the right of the main stage, a great space to observe, chat, and expand your mind. At the center of the festival, the Fire Circle kept it H O T all night long , hosting mind-melting performers to live soundtracks provided by The Porch. There was love poured into every detail, and literal signs of gratitude scattered throughout the grounds.

Creativity thrives at Playa Ponderosa, and the inspiration is something that each attendee gets to take home with them as a souvenir.

A Few 2021 Testimonials

“My experience with June jam was nothing short of magical. The thick fog taking you into the night of flying disco bulls and large flowers puffs you could walk through, I felt like I was in a mystical jungle gym. Surrounded by my closest friends, dancing into the night , and watching all the talented fire spinners and musicians was the cherry on top. Thank you June Jam for an amazing experience!

– Natalie Fein, Live Painter

“Junetember Jam was nothing short of filled to the brim with beauty. From the art installations, the forest venue, the live art demos, the gifting, and the creative camps, to the solid sound, stage designs, and hard working crews—it was by far the most amazing and talented collection of fire spinners I have had the pleasure of being a part of since Conclave at the 2012 burn. This weekend brought to light some long overdue beauty into the world again.”

-Greg Yarbrough(Skortch), Fire Performer

“June Jam reinspired me on such a deep multidimensional level… What a beautiful festival filled with so many talented painters, flow artists, music and people!”

-Lexi Leaf, Live Painter

Until next year, June Jam!

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