THE BLOG
07/31/2015 02:53 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Colorado Fest Highlights Budding Culture

Festivals, unlike concerts, are a way for the whole family to get away under the stars for a weekend of revelry and color. With Woodstock almost 50 years ago, festival culture (and it's 1960's pioneers) have come of age. This means that multiple generations can now come enjoy, and add their own flavor to the evolving music festival phenomena. Arise Festival in Loveland, Colorado embraces this idea by celebrating a healthy lifestyle, embracing ecological values and simultaneously throwing one of the area's best summer music festivals.

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Colorado is home to some treasured festivals including Telluride bluegrass, jazz, and blues fests as well as the emergent Bloom Festival which is primarily electronic dance music. Arise blends these flavors into a locally-grown community showcase with internationally recognized acts. You can take a yoga, qigong, tantra, belly-dance or other workshop at the Healers Village or enjoy any variety of music genre spanning electronic dance music, latin, folk, or funk.

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Electronic Dance Music Producer known as The Polish Ambassador has embellished a concept that has roots in Numundo and has continued to sprout in communities across the country. The festival is preceded by a 3 Day Permaculture Action Course at Sunrise Ranch, where the festival is being held. Participants will help to steward and create an edible food forest that can be enjoyed for years to come. foods planted include:

-planting Nanking Cherry, Manchurian Apricot, Siberian Pea Shrub, Sand Cherry, and Golden Currant and more
-inoculate logs with Shiitake, Pearl Oyster, and Blue Oyster mushrooms
-build a Willow archway to the Edible Forest Garden
-finish off a cob oven
dig rainwater catchment earthworks (swales)
-re-plant garden beds and plant fruit tree guilds
-and a few other projects

Living Folklore, a Telluride favorite for almost 20 years brings a giant "parade in a suitcase". Giant puppets (8-10 feet tall), umbrellas, flags, and kids costumes are all provided allowing festival-goers the opportunity to have the experience (and photos) of a lifetime. This years parade highlights the importance of rain, and the interconnected web of life that depends on the gift of water from the clouds.

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The concept of combining educational programs, interactivity, and  immersion into a musical fantasy dreamscape is catching on all around the world as the conscious movement towards sustainable communities continues to build momentum. You can learn more about this emergent phenomena in a creative new book project called Reinhabiting the Village. These solutions-based approaches to making the region more sustainable (and Colorado's recreational marijuana policy) are reason to enjoy rocky mountain high in a whole new way!

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Musical acts at Arise include Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Emancipator Ensemble, Ozomatli, Rising Appalachia, TURKUAZ, Trevor Hall and many more. The human desire to gather on the land and celebrate through music, dance, and pageantry goes back generations and today we are seeing ancient elements blending with contemporary expression in beautiful ways. Come play at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, Colorado August 7-9 and be part of a blossoming new event that promises to become a favorite local pastime. I'll see you at the parade, but you might not recognize me with my colorful costume on...