Campgrounds have been torn down, traces of life have been left scattered across the field at Double JJ Ranch, the sun will set on a place where only a day before, over 20,000 spirits resided. The magic of the forest has unfortunately come to at end and with that end comes lasting memories of a weekend filled with music, expression, dance and livelihood.
Driving home by myself this morning with heavy eyes and a strong desire for a shower, I had a lot of time to look back at what I had just experienced. The crowd and their unspoken dedication to SCI and the rest of the artists performing, the artists in Sherwood Forest and their commitment to sharing their masterpieces, and the people over at Madison House Presents and Insomniac that made this weekend so unique.
I wish the photographs could do this festival justice; it’s one of those adventures you have to endure at least once in your life. You learn to make friends with strangers and enjoy yourself while doing it. The music is what brings the people together but it is the ambiance that creates and ties together the entire experience. After a second year in the forest, I’ve found a new appreciation for all that the production team has done to make this festival so distinctive. The art in the forest was one of kind and so expansive compared to last year and the greening played a major role behind the scenes thanks to Electric-ology.
The real icing on the cake was all of the worthy musical performances that helped close out the festival. Sherwood Court experienced some heavy funkadelic sounds during the early afternoon with Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk closing out the court leading up to String Cheese. The crowd got to experience the “Keller Williams Incident” as Keller took to the stage for SCI’s first set. The second set (and my favorite of the weekend) started and ended with Dominic Lalli on the saxophone. Cheese’s cover of “Could You Be Loved” by Bob Marley with Lalli on stage literally gave me chills. The combination of saxophone and the bands evolving sounds, along with Moseley’s bass guitar and Kang’s vocals created such a notable calypso sound.
Less then an hour later, Lorin Ashton (best known as Bassnectar) hit the decks with high energy, a bit of humorous stage banter and a crowd that came to rave. The rage sticks were in full force and hundreds of glow sticks were thrown into the air every time the bass hit. At one point I stepped away from the stage and my entire body felt like it was still vibrating from the speakers.
Before Bassnectar’s set closed out, crowds were making there way to Sherwood Court for Big Gigantic’s grand finale. There was a heavy Colorado following, coming to support the Boulder duo with state flags and a enthusiasm for their music. If you haven’t been able to tell, I am a Big G fanatic! The mixture of saxophone with fluid dance beats and Jeremy Salken’s booming drums hitting at just the right tempo is so extraordinary and so uncommon that it is hard not to enjoy.
The last three sets of the weekend were well worth the wait, and for those who missed out, I can guarantee that this wont be the last year Madison House and Insomniac throw the best party in the Midwest!