Sunday, August 17, 2014

Arise Music Festival @ Sunrise Ranch (Review) [8/8/14 - 8/10/14]

Review By: Justin D'Amico

This past weekend was the 2nd annual Arise Music Festival in Loveland, Colorado. The event is held at the stunningly beautiful Sunrise Ranch. The weekend was full of love and spirituality, along with a strong message to keep Mother Earth healthy. The line-up brought together a huge variety of awesome musicians on four stages. Arise Music Festival was full of once in a lifetime musical moments, workshops, and presentations.

Sunrise Ranch is located just a bit west of downtown Loveland in a serine valley. On each side of the ranch there are rocky top mountains and a deep blue lake to the south. Sunrise Ranch was decorated with a number of artistically painted totems, often with abstract faces. The sights were intense just with the natural beauty of the valley alone, but especially on the final night as the super moon illuminated the entire night sky. The Sunrise Ranch was one of the most captivating places I have ever visited in my life.

The theme for Arise Festival is to continue on a path to purity and enlightenment. After one has awakened they must then arise and move forward with the day. There were messages of unity, and a goal of achieving a one consciousness, where all people know the truth - building a sustainable place for subsequent generations to thrive. This is why it is so important to get together with friends and family to plan how we can make the Earth even better for ages to come.

Breathtaking art was all around Sunrise Ranch, some of which was created live. The setting and the music inspired a massive array of creativity. Along with certain performances; aerialists, and fire dancers choreographed routines to enhance the show. The Arise Music Festival artists, aerialists, and fire dancers were instrumental making an amazing visual display everywhere you could wander at Sunrise Ranch.  

A strong statement for keeping the Earth clean and pure came in the form of a documentary by Josh Fox, called "Gasland." Josh Fox was at Arise Music Festival spreading knowledge about the dangers of fracking, and also to perform with Peter Yarrow, Bethany Yarrow, and Rufus Cappadocia. The anti-fracking movement stands on a simple platform, they want hydraulic fracturing for oil and natural gas to stop now. Acquiring these fuels using hydraulic fracturing is damaging important natural resources. Many would argue that hydraulic fracturing is contaminating the natural fresh water supplies found in underground aquifers. The only beneficiary to using these techniques is the big oil companies who profit from the sale of fuels. Fracking is a major topic in Colorado right now, recently a massive grassroots campaign was shot down by state representatives. Three hundred-thousand signatures of residents asking to stop fracking were thrown away by Governor Hickenlooper, and activists like Josh Fox and Peter Yarrow are making it known.

At Arise Music Festival there were many activities going on other than the musical performances. There was a tent dedicated to yoga, a number of workshops, an elder village, a children's village, presentations, and film screenings all throughout each day. Yoga sessions were usually done in the morning to help attendees awaken with a good stretch, and at night the yoga tent served as a fifth stage for special performances.

Favorite Performances at Arise Music Festival

Peter Yarrow

On Sunday night Peter Yarrow, along with his daughter, Bethany Yarrow, Rufus Cappadocia, and Josh Fox brought us back to our roots playing some vintage Peter, Paul and Mary songs. The performance was preceded by a special sound check conducted by Peter Yarrow. He made a point to go to each microphone and he instructed the sound engineer to do exactly what needed to be done to get a proper level. The crowd loved it, they cheered loudly as the sound check was completed. The first song they would play was "Blowing in the Wind" and it was so beautiful I was in tears. They would also perform "This Land is Your Land," and again it was absolutely moving. The scope and the message of the music was so overwhelming and wonderful I can't even properly describe the magical moment.

Galactic with Chali 2na

For this special performance at Arise Music Festival, Galactic came together with one of the most recognizable voices in hip-hop Chali 2na of the band Jurassic 5. They went through a bunch of classic Jurassic 5 songs, and everyone including myself sang along with Chali 2na trying to sound as cool as he does rapping. Galactic kept it funky and light making the crowd feel comfortable dancing to the rhythm of their awesome music.

Unlimited Aspect

Unlimited Gravity and Project Aspect are two of the most talented producers in Denver, and together they really get it popping. Saturday night was intense and the best performance on the Souls Rising stage was without a doubt Unlimited Aspect. For their performance at Arise Music Festival they brought Steve Kuzma on drums and also had live saxophone in the mix for an extra bad ass show. When you see Unlimited Aspect be ready for a bunch of hard glitch hop drops and killer guitar riffs. I can't wait to see what's next from Unlimited Gravity and Project Aspect, they are always on the cutting edge of electronic music.

Late Night Radio

Late Night Radio is one of the many talented artists representing Super Best Records. He was one of only a few electronic artists that played on the B-Well Stage and not on the Souls Rising Stage. Late Night Radio did two short sets before and after Beats Antique and he ripped it up. For his second short set after Beats Antique he gave a big birthday shout out to Donnie of Krooked Drivers another awesome group on Super Best Records. Late Night Radio has a smooth funky hip hop style and he showed us all some of his finest beats at Arise Music Festival.


This was my first time seeing Skydyed and I was really impressed. It's a three man band made up of Max Doucette on guitar and DJ, Andrew Slattery on bass guitar, keyboards, and DJ, and Shane Eagen on drums. Skydyed plays the type of music I like to jam out to on my guitar. They are super funky with a sound sort of like early Incubus. They have a different formation than most bands, with both the guitarist and bassist doubling as DJs too. The drummer Shane Eagen is really good, he is able to pound out some banging beats with his own funk flavor. I was getting down to this set hard, I hope to see Skydyed again soon.

Events like Arise Music Festival are very important in shaping the future world. Yes, it is a big party and many people were indulging in psychedelics and whatnot, but the main thing that we must take away from Arise Music Festival is how we can all come together to get things done. Gathering brilliant minds to come up with positive solutions that will enhance the Earth for the next era, that's what it's all about. Let us all arise and share knowledge, let us all work as one and together we can accomplish anything. I would like to thank everyone who played a part in making the 2nd annual Arise Music Festival so perfect. I hope to be a part of the Arise Music Festival community for many years to come.


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