7 things we learned at Sonic Bloom
Music festivals can teach you many lessons…assuming you can remember what they were when you get home.
Many consider Colorado the birthplace of EDM, but there are few summer music festivals here where you can pitch a non-sexual tent and dance your ass off all weekend long. Sonic Bloom, however, is changing that. This weekend Sonic Bloom threw down in South Park, Colorado for their biggest music festival yet. It was a weekend filled with wild weather, badass music, and tons of vibey "vibes," as the kids say.
Like most music festivals, the days and nights blurred together, but we managed to remember a few key lessons from the EDM music-orgy.
1. Colorado does not equal Coachella
Sonic Bloom was bad news for the flower-headband-wearing ladies and board-short-sporting bros who assumed Sonic Bloom was the Colorado equivalent to Coachella. Unlike California’s cooperative, mercifully predictable weather, Colorado’s climate doesn’t play that child's game. No; Colorado is a maniacal warlock when it comes to weather. Beautiful sunny days were rudely juxtaposed with teeth-chattering cold nights, posing a sartorial challenge for the utterly under-dressed and under-prepared concert goers who thought they bought tickets to Coachella 2.0. Good thing ridiculous dancing, liquor blankets, and body heat saved them from hypothermia.
2. The camping is pretty Oregon Trail
Most music festivals have a decent amount of structure when it comes to camping. Specific lanes marked off for parking, designated spots for creating camp alongside your car and strict rules about where and when you can drive through the campgrounds. "Organization," we think that's called. Well, Sonic Bloom isn’t most music festivals. The campgrounds quickly became a cluster-fuck of tents, as friends posted up and settled down for the four-night event, mimicking what we suppose Lewis and Clark's campground looked like on the Oregon Trail, minus the dysentery. This was slightly intimidating for those who came with a smaller crew, but as the festival progressed, and names were exchanged, the campgrounds became more like a pioneer community and less like a mess of dirty humans.
3. You can re-live the Dust Bowl there
Sonic Bloom brought back the dirty thirties, and no, not with speakeasies and flapper dresses. We're talking dust. Major dust. The clouds of dust kicked up by the thousands of people trekking through the dry valley challenged the lung capacity of even the most practiced stoners. Bloom-goers and singers alike were struggling with the amount of dirt making a home in their chest cavities. Luckily, no one gives a shit what you or your bleeding lungs look like at Sonic Bloom; so creating makeshift face covers out of old T-shirts, was an easy fix. Figuring out how to take a sip of Mango Burnett's through the aforementioned face cover was the real challenge.
4. So much room for activities!
Much to our surprise, we found out that Sonic Bloom is about more than drinking, non-ironically trying to find Molly, and shaking your ass to funky tunes. It’s no question that the music took over at night, but during the day Bloom offered workshops for anything your hippie-heart could imagine. From yoga classes led by some of Colorado’s finest teachers, to hula-hooping seminars and introductions into the art of Tai Ch, there were countless ways to improve your real life skills and hireability ("No, sir, I don't have any accounting experience, but I do have this hula-hooping certificate.") Assuming you could drag your hung over ass to class that is…
5. South Park is a real place(?)
Sonic Bloom was held in South Park, Colorado, yes; but what you might not know is that South Park is a county, not a town. The iconic TV show is actually based off the small town of Fairplay, CO, just a few miles up the road from where Sonic Bloom was held. Don’t let the news, that South Park is as fictional as Kenny’s multiple reincarnations, bring you down though, the town of Fairplay looks enough like the show to satisfy any die-hard fan’s craving. Just keep it down when you are yelling “Kyleeee”, in a sad imitation of Cartman, to your friend across the street. Do, however, kill Kenny if you see him.
6. Bands are the new one-man bands
Last year Pretty Lights experimented with incorporating a live band into his set. The overall consensus was one of success and admiration, so much so that the label decided to incorporate live music into another one of their artist’s, Michal Menert’s, act. Michal Menert Big Band made its debut at Sonic Bloom this year…and they fucking rocked it. The crowd went wild as the full orchestra, featuring musicians from all over the country, turned Menert’s electro beats into a seamless wave of musical bliss. It’s a good thing Pretty Lights and Menert are on the same team, because Michal Menert Big Band just raised the bar for EDM artists everywhere.
7. Sonic Bloom is the new king of music festivals. Eat shit, Bonnaroo.
The last thing we learned about Sonic Bloom is that Sonic Bloom knows how to put on a music festival. From the bumping music to the unreal artwork, from the delicious food, to all the awesome vendors, Sonic Bloom had a little something for everyone. The venue was decorated by brilliant art installations, and places to relax, but the best part was the sense of Colorado love in the air (get out your tissues and happy-cry with us). This year was Sonic Bloom’s biggest yet, and as far as we’re concerned, it was a raging success. Even more raging than the dust-pnuemonia in our lungs. So watch the fuck out Bonnaroo and Coachella; Sonic Bloom is here to stay.
Artists to keep an eye on: Sunsquabi, Late Night Radio, Vibe Squad, The Polish Ambassador, Tipper, Marvel Years, Michal Menert Big Band, Quantic, Break Science, Krooked Drivers and Random Rab.