This past weekend, the ARISE Music Festival celebrated its 5th year in Loveland, CO, at the gorgeous Sunrise Ranch. While looking around at some of the most beautiful views and landscape you will ever see in a festival setting, surrounded by mountains on all sides, it becomes crystal clear why fans choose to return each year. With a lineup of heavy-hitters such as Lettuce, Atmosphere, Tipper, Brother Ali, Ani DiFranco, Beats Antique, Rising Appalachia, SunSquabi, Break Science, and so much more, it would prove difficult to not have a smile on your face the entire weekend.
Boasting a complete sellout this time around, ARISE doesn’t just rely on its solidly diverse musical lineup, but strives to create a truly complete experience. ARISE offers attendees one-of-a-kind yoga classes, various workshops, panel discussions, art installations, live painters and galleries. The festival is also fully committed to its nature component, as they plant a tree for every ticket sold, use products that are environmentally friendly, and maintain a major pledge to the leave-no-trace ethos. Most festivals offer these things in one way or another, but as I walked around seeing large crowds actually committed to what some would call “supplemental activities,” it quickly dawned on me that quite a large percentage of attendees were here just for this reason. Just one example would be seeing the yoga tent absolutely packed at 9am; I’m not talking just 25-30 people, more like 200+ easy, and that lasted throughout the day, every day.
As for the music, it’s hard to not give a nod to Lettuce, who proved once again why they are at the forefront of the evolution of funk music, while both Brother Ali and Atmosphere provided the inspired hip-hop vibe with plenty of bumping bass to go around. Colorado’s own SunSquabi, who played two sets over the weekend, threw down a late-night set “with Friends” such as Adam Deitch, Borahm Lee, Jesus Coomes, Nicholas Gerlach, and more, that provided straight filthy beats from start to finish with inspired jamming galore. The Expendables had a tight grip on the crowd during their set, while Ani DiFranco continued to give evidence of why she is one of the best folk singer-songwriters of her generation. Beats Antique, Rising Appalachia, Desert Dwellers, Dopapod, Jeff Austin, The Travelin’ McCoury’s, Maddy O’Neal, RDGLDGRN….it’s all right there, front and center for you the entire weekend. Non-stop fun in a majestic location, you can’t ask for anything else.
ARISE has proven itself to not only be your average, run-of-the-mill music festival. It is a conscious gathering of people designed to make a difference in the world. While walking around the festival, there was barely any trash on the ground, which is no small feat for any festival; but, at ARISE, people were truly cognizant of where they were and what they were doing, creating an example that you can have plenty of fun without destroying everything around you. To actually witness this at a festival, 8,000+ people strong in attendance, with nothing but smiles on their face, is rather impressive, to say the very least.
In a short five year span, ARISE has quickly become not only one of the premier festivals in Colorado (outside of Telluride Bluegrass Festival), but arguably the entire country. Festival organizers and staff run a tight ship, ensuring that everybody that is sharing in the groove is having a good time, safe while doing so, and has everything that they need on-site to ensure a positive experience, paying close attention to all the details.
With this year’s festivities still fresh in our heads, organizers have already announced two of the initial headliners for next year, with both Slightly Stoopid and Thievery Corporation on tap for the 2018 edition of ARISE (set to take place August 3rd – 6th). A limited number of loyalty tickets are now available on the official event website for $139 at www.arisefestival.com. Check out some video (courtesy of The Chronic Electronic) and a full gallery of pictures below:
Tipper w/ Android Jones