ARISE is much more than a music festival; it sets the bar high as a conscious living festival paired with phenomenal musicians, artists, performers and people! Snuggled in the bosom of Eden Canyon, CO is a place called Sunrise Ranch, where the 6th Annual ARISE Music Festival was held this year August 3rd through 5th, like every year since it began. It originally sprouted as a yoga festival and has since grown into what we now call ARISE Music Festival. ARISE 6 brought in huge artists like Slightly Stoopid, Ayla Nereo, Stick Figure, Pepper, Trevor Hall, Thievery Corporation, Quixotic and Dumpstafunk to name a few.
ARISE's purpose is to set the wholesome intention that we are all one people.
Although the musicians are beyond fantastic, they are not the main focus of the event. ARISE's purpose is to set the wholesome intention that we are all one people. One massive community of human beings not separated by race or creed. And, that no matter where we came from or how we arrived, that we may exist together in love and harmony as we dance and sing and celebrate this divinely unique existence we have come to know as reality.
This was all shared during opening ceremony Friday afternoon. Groups of beautifully adorned women danced and sang surrounded by a circle of hundreds of festival-goers. Following them was an elder of the Native Lakota tribe who led prayer to the four directions. The circle of festival-goers gathered their spirit and followed his instruction with great love and respect. After everyone prayed to the north, south, east, west, sky and ground, a sweet elder from the modern day Mayan culture of South America burned sage and spoke on gratitude for all that have gathered. After this, an ambassador from West Africa entered the circle with a big shiny smile and djembe in hand. He beat the drum to life and sang in his native language. This summoned everyone from the edge of the circle inward. People began to dance and sing and meet one another in a fun and exciting way.
This year’s ARISE Music Festival had a lot of firsts, but the biggest one took place on Thursday when a woman’s water broke. She was taken to a nearby facility and birthed a baby boy. His name: Asiah Rise. (Do you hear it? As-I-ARISE?) This was a heartfelt occurrence, shared amongst the whole festival as the news spread during the opening and closing ceremonies of the fest.
As you can tell, this was a kid-friendly event, as well as an adult-friendly, fun, crazy good time! The Wisdom Village was comprised of a men’s tent, a women’s red tent, a sacred fire that was consistently tended to, as well as a tent that held a wedding. Learning workshops of all kinds took place every day throughout the festival. In one day, you could take classes on biodynamic craniosacral therapy, qi gong, yoga, healthy brain chemistry, acro yoga, water wellness and sign a petition to push back fracking from local schools and houses. (This is a very serious issue in Colorado. You can learn more and see wells in the Colorado area by clicking here.)
This is the type of festival where you can arrive alone, but leave with a family.
After learning all that you can, you can devour the delicious food steaming from an endless diversity of food trucks (leaving your waste in either compost, recycling or trash cans), lavish yourself in unique apparel from an array of vendors, buy and/or gawk at mind-blowing artwork, dance your butt off to your favorite tunes, smile and have inspiring conversations with people you meet, watch tiny donuts be made (and eat them too!), play on massive interactive art installments and allow acrobats and fire spinners to blow you away.
This is the type of festival where you can arrive alone, but leave with a family. Good vibes reverberated throughout the entire weekend! To say the least, you’ll never be bored and you’ll never feel alone. So, be sure to check out this amazing festival next year on August 2-4, 2019 in Loveland, CO!
Photography by Evana Mauriz