We couldn’t tell if it was raining because, well, Colorado weather, or because of all the chants and dances to Mother Nature taking place at the 2017 ARISE Music Festival. Rising Appalachia even took the blame Friday evening joking that they brought it on themselves. A thunderous wind and rainstorm plowed through the campgrounds on Friday night with another small one following suit early Saturday evening and, finally, a dreary and rainy last day on Sunday. At times, some unlucky campers lost their canopy’s to the force of the winds, and others returned to their tents to find them collapsed and home to a puddle. That rain didn’t dampen spirits though – in the aftermath of each storm, campers picked up trash and offered help to those that got hit hardest. If anything, the rain strengthened the community – a community that ARISE had already excelled in habituating.
Loveland’s ARISE Music Festival returned August 4 through 6 for its fifth year. All weekend long one could find workshops, concerts, films and damn good food trucks (see: Super Heady Tacos). Let’s start with the workshops. Found all over the sprawl of the festival were a variety of health and wellness, community engagement, activism and art workshops and classes. Included in the class schedule were tutorials and seminars like Making Medicine, Rhythmic Mythology Playshop for Couples, Embracing Your Own Death to Live Most Fully Now and Can We Create An Earth Friendly Festival? In addition to the hundreds of ARISE workshops were non-sanctioned ones throughout the campsites, many of which dealt with sexuality and meditation. Oh, and of course fire-spinning, yoga, rave glove lessons and body (mostly breasts) painting.
Though ARISE has an enormous assortment of activities and things to do, they deem themselves as “first, foremost and always, a music festival.” One of our favorite things about the festival is their ability to book national acts while still maintaining their roots here in Colorado – local bands played throughout the entire weekend. There was an incredible assortment of talent bridging all genres and worldly influences. Some of our favorite performances included Brasstracks, Brother Ali, TNERTLE, Dirtwire, Proximity, SunSquabi and Rising Appalachia. But it’s safe to say Tipper took the cake. I’ll be completely honest – I had no idea who or what Tipper was before ARISE Music Festival. But a short walk by the set unexpectedly entranced me into hitting the ground dancing, regardless of the plate of Super Heady Tacos in hand. And when we say “hitting the ground dancing,” we mean it. We caught ourselves moving in ways that we never had before – ways we never thought humanly possible. Tipper provided some of the most interesting trance, hip-hop, dub and trap sounds, all blending into an irresistible mix for any music lover. Adding to the experience was Android Jones’ incredible visuals, perfectly coordinated with the music. It’s safe to say that, though sober, the combination made us feel like we were tripping balls. The experience was transcendent and captivating in an indescribable performance that already ranks at the top of our list of Colorado shows this year.
Though ARISE Music Festival 2017 was met with a heavy dose of rain, the community powered through, never losing an ounce of optimism. The festival was flooded with families – we even found a mother and daughter with matching dreads, and a separate mother and daughter equally excelling in hula-hooping. Generations were bridged at ARISE with fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, husbands and husbands, wives and wives – all contributing to the diverse age and overall varying demographic of attendees. Contributing to the community, even more, were local musicians who camped out at ARISE with the festival attendees – including TNERTLE, SunSquabi, milky.wav and more.
ARISE has already announced two of their 2018 headliners – Slightly Stoopid and Thievery Corporation. Three-day passes are on sale now for only $139 and available here for a limited time.