Headstash's SONIC BLOOM 2012 Preview Guide
- By Sarah Silvas
- Published on June 13, 2012
June 21-24 – Shadows Ranch – Georgetown, CO
Three-Day Pass: $150.00 + fees, Thursday Arrival: $35.00
6th year – Last year's attendance: 3,000 – Camping: Yes
Sonic Bloom’s inception was in 2006 when it was originally known as Zilla Festival, conceptualized by Jamie Janover. Historically, this event took place in Winter Park, as well as The Mishawaka Amphitheatre in Northern Colorado, but in 2011, Sonic Bloom found a new home set within the majestic Shadows Ranch of Georgetown.
A secluded mountain paradise, Shadows Ranch teleports its visitors into a world of music, art and enlivened consciousness. Previously a three-day festival, this year Sonic Bloom has added an optional fourth day for an additional cost.
Growing for six years, changing venues and switching up its name, Sonic Bloom still captures the intent of, “a concentrated, juicy distillation of art and music,” as founder Janover said in an interview with Headstash earlier this month.
With two stages, over 90 musicians, several visual performers, workshops, yoga, art and more, Sonic Bloom 2012 is becoming a not-so-secret festival within the electronic music circuit.
Located approximately one hour west of Denver, this usually local gathering is expected to explode in attendance this year with the cancellation of STS9’s Re:Generation Festival and a lineup that rivals any electronic music event in the country.
Sonic Bloom veterans such as Tipper, Heyoka, VibeSquaD, Welder and Dayquill will be making an appearance while newbies Paul Basic, Dynohunter and Sunsquabi will be adding their own spice to this four-day affair.
Previously hosting world-renowned artists such as Bassnectar, EOTO, The Glitch Mob, Lotus, Beats Antique, Pretty Lights, Big Gigantic and STS9, Sonic Bloom has a proven history of seeking out and presenting the best in electronic music producers to its attendees long before they become “mainstream.”
While a good majority of summer festivals provide late-night entertainment for an additional fee, Sonic Bloom enthusiastically allows artists to perform into the wee hours of the morning for free.
Although the schedule has yet to be released, Sonic Bloom has announced a Silent Frisco all four nights featuring Motion Potion, ManCub, Matt Haze and other special guests. Love to dance until the sun comes up? This is your chance! Just grab a pair of provided headphones and chose between one of the two on-air, live DJs.
Fusion of all things art. It’s wonderful to be engulfed in a festival that offers so much stimulation for all the senses. From the textures of the landscape to the visual excitement of VJs, live painters, aerial, fire and hoop dancers and many other enlivening workshops, Sonic Bloom creates an environment that will leave you feeling enriched and fulfilled.
Balance of electronic music genres. From techno to house, jungle to dubstep, glitch-hop to funk-fusion, there are sounds for every ear. Positioned as a boutique festival, Sonic Bloom offers the opportunity for many up-and-coming artists to perform in primo slots.
Sense of community. With stages only minutes apart, an intimate location and humble artists, Sonic Bloom is one of the most community-centered festivals. Leaving with new friends is guaranteed at that weekend in Georgetown.
Hardly any overlapping sets. With minimal stages, you’d think that there would be many scheduling conflicts, but because it’s a smaller scale event that spans over four days, the opportunities to see your favorite sets are bountiful and fewer tough decisions will need to be made.
Cars not allowed near your tent. You must park your car then pack your gear and hike it into the festival grounds. This can be a bit challenging if you are lugging in a lot of gear for your tent city, so for Sonic Bloom, less is probably best if you want to save your energy for grooving. It’s the safer option anyway. It costs money to park on-site, so plan a carpool.
Contained beer garden: Last year, Sonic Bloom was an open alcohol event. 2012’s permit for Clear County Creek has required Sonic Bloom to have a special event permit and a contained beer garden. The area is large and runs throughout the Main Stage and dome area, however no outside alcohol will be permitted inside.
Come prepared for the weather. This is the Colorado mountains – regardless of the time of year the evenings will always get a bit nippy (even down to 45 degrees). The daytime temperatures will be comfortable to toasty, around 80 degrees. Yes, it’s late June but be sure to pack a hoodie, an insulated jacket, a rain trench, sneakers, socks and an umbrella.
Check out the workshops. One of the highlights of this festival is the dedication to consciousness with other beings and the environment. While these topics may be an everyday conversation for some and taboo to others, we encourage participants of all areas of life to pick a couple workshops or yoga sessions to attend. Treat your mind as well as your body and this festival will be one of the best you’ve ever encountered.
Check out musicians you’ve never heard of before. With the lineup being half Colorado locals and half a mix of artists from around the world – some big names, some smaller circuit – we recommend that you venture to sets of acts you’ve never heard of.
A shining quality of Sonic Bloom is its ability to attract artists well before they’ve “blown up.” Pretty Lights played Sonic Bloom in 2008, so someone on this lineup could easily be headlining Red Rocks in just a few years.
Don’t over pack. Since you’ll be unloading your gear and hiking it to your camping spot, only pack the essentials. You don’t want to be breaking your back before the fun even begins.
Don’t speed in Georgetown. Georgetown is a really small, secluded town in Colorado. The last thing anyone wants to get pulled over on his or her way into Sonic Bloom.
Sonic Bloom wears the laid-back, yet conscious attitude of Colorado culture on its sleeve. Clean, secluded and community-oriented, this festival literally feels as if you were transported into a dream world – so seize the mindset and daydream away.
Although Sonic Bloom is only in its second year at Shadows Ranch, it’s sure to feel like home even to a newcomer. Usually hosting weddings and other happy celebrations, Shadows Ranch exudes positive, welcoming vibes.
Who To Check Out . . .
Emancipator. Doug Appling and Ilya Goldberg combine forces to create some of the most stimulating downtempo sounds in the electronic world. Appling’s heartfelt beats seamlessly interweave with Goldberg’s savvy string manipulation. We’ve never seen a disappointing Emancipator performance and highly recommend you check out their set.
Zilla. The founding fathers of Sonic Bloom, Michael Travis, Aaron Holstein and Jamie Janover team up to bring the audience a dynamic live experience – 100 percent organic and improvised.
Govinda. What can we say? We’re a sucker for the violin! Be sure to check out producer/composer Shane Madden who, “immerses the audience with a textured atmosphere of exotic, dubby vibrations interwoven with cosmic visual projections, world class dancers and mesmerizing vocals – all to the magic of his live electroinics and violin.”
Michal Menert. The first artist to be signed to the Pretty Lights Music Label, Menert transcends genre classification although calls upon hip-hop beats and untapped classic album samples. Raging his sets harder than the audience, his passion is visible to everyone in the crowd.
The Fungineers (Puppet DJ Set): This super-group of magical performers takes the stage with effervescent energy, combining music, videos, costumes and endless fun. It’s certainly something you’ve never seen before,
Sonic Bloom Orchestra: The Sonic Bloom Orchestra will feature Michael Travis and Jason Hann (EOTO, String Cheese Incident), Tipper, Dave Watts (The Motet), Jamie Janover, Govinda, Sasha Rose, Hopscotch, Lafa Taylor and many more surprise guests. This jamtronica experience is one not to miss.
Janover, Tsumani Publicity and many others have put much time and effort into creating the best boutique electronic music festival around. By securing one of the nation’s tucked away gemstones of a venue, adding musicians that are creating unsurpassed sounds, layering handfuls of visual performers on top and then taking every precaution to ensure all festival attendees feel like part of a family, Sonic Bloom is sure to be a success.
Even if this intimate experience is your only festival of the summer, you will walk away fulfilled and satisfied. Don’t forget to give back to the community that put this festival together and bring ten cans of food for Conscious Alliance – you get a free poster, so it’s a win-win.
Be respectful of the land you’re camping on and your neighbors. Remember to bring plenty of trash bags and share other items when possible. Enjoy the music and make new friends, the weekend will go by in a flash.
Who's excited for Sonic Bloom? What are some of your favorite things about the festival or your do's and don'ts? Let us know in the comments below . . .