I’ve been in a car damned near 6 hours, I’m hungry- soon approaching hanger, and all I want is to finally arrive at Rootwire and crack a cold beer. In fact, at this point I’d even settle for lukewarm beer. Lukewarm Natty Light even. That’s how badly, I want to be there. I must admit, I get a little worried when I pull up the windy road into town and see the sign that said TERRA ALTA- COME WORSHIP WITH US. Then I pass a man riding a lawn mower down the main road with a 30-rack on his lap and think, “Aw, hell, it can’t be that bad.”

I can always get a feel for a festival before I even get out of my car, and I can always appreciate when I’m met with friendly staff and smiling faces. Giddy volunteers are exponentially more pleasant than big burly biker security men greeting me with furrowed brows ready to rip my car apart like they’re on an Easter egg hunt for crystal meth. Just rolling into the lot, I felt warm and welcomed at Sunshine Daydream Memorial Park.  Though I came alone, I was immediately taken in by the community with introductions, embraces, and ice-cold shitty beer. It was time to get twisted and transformational; wild, weird, and womp-womp-womp.

Before I could even get to the music, I was bombarded with art from all directions. Galleries, and painters, and  sculptures – oh my!  Whether you were a musician on stage, a visual artist with a paintbrush in hand, a kinetic mastermind swinging a fireball around, or even just a wiggle-butt in the crowd – the participation was outstanding. The encouragement to join in and take part in this supercharged jubilee created such a magical, inspiring environment.

Friday highlights started off with Beats Antique throwing down a stellar performance packed full of beauty beats and temple boom. Can you make your belly roll like ocean waves? Can you do it sexily? Can you do this fine-ass low-tide undulation while you’re balancing a flower pot on your head? Yeah, that’s right.  I can’t even touch my toes and Zoe Jakes is on stage with one foot damned near behind the back of her head (which is balancing a vase, mind you) doing some sort of sexy gumbie mating dance. That was my Friday evening entertainment – much more exciting than the usual late night Reddit extravaganza.

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Saturday standouts started off with EOTO getting everyone loose and limber. We quickly followed up with a two hour Shpongle set that had us all whirling through our own psybient soiree. Simon Postford bobbed around for hours with his peacock feathers poking out of his fedora like a psychedelic yanky doodle dandy. Zebbler’s projection mapped installations put the icing on the cake, creating a visionary vortex of vivid dreamscapes. I almost had to stumble on back to the food truck and ask if someone dosed by burrito.

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Sunday’s winning moments included a sunset with ambient allstar Random Rab followed by some down and dirty Tipper. The man threw down all the sounds- uptempo, trip-hop, breaks, and all the liquidy surreal noises you didn’t even know was music until your eardrums started tingling like “ooooooh, these feeeeels.” It was like listening to all the auditory endangered species that are so exquisite but you never get to hear them any place else because they’re such a rare breed. Hats off to Jonathan Singer, who customized Tipper’s visual set, no one can throw down visuals quite like Singer. Not to mention that projector had to be like 10000 lumens. Holy Hannah Banana.


Thank you kindly Rootwire family. We made this one a fest for the record books.

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