Category: PREviews / REviews

Lightning in a Bottle Presents The Lucent Temple of Consciousness Pre-Event on May 3rd



The tenth annual Lightning in a Bottle music and arts festival presents The Lucent Temple of Consciousness pre-event on May 3rd at The Springs in downtown Los Angeles. This pre-event is a 12-hour urban retreat offering a glimpse into the sacred Temple areas, which seeks to create transformative experiences through holistic lectures, workshops, yoga and movement, food, art and live performance. To purchase tickets for the May 3rd pre-event, visit
and RSVP on the Facebook event page.


Festivities commence at 11 a.m. as Pluma, the Mistress of Ceremony, welcomes participants at the Opening Ceremony, followed by nutrition authority speaker David Avocado Wolfe. Yogis Mark Whitwell and Micheline Berry will gracefully loosen up the limbs before engaging movement and musical performances from the likes of Lucent Dossier Experience with Jen Shields, Maggie Lally & Alicia Marie; a DJ set from Shamans Dream,Fernando Bright Feathers, INGA, and Aya Serpent. The sustainability panel will include CEO and co-founder of Thrive Market Gunnar Lovelace, California Baby founder Jessica Iliscoy, and Joey Mendelson – product Manager Ecofilter- founder Eco superheroes


Workshops and classes are taught by Eva Clay, Robert Kandell, Michael Brian Baker, Miranda Rondeau, Wilpower, Francini, TIJAE, Zat Baraka & Joanne Ameya Cohen, and Naada Guerra & Gianna de la Torre and will culminate in a special sunset talk from Lucent Dossier’s own Dream Rockwell. Curated by the Do Art Foundation, visual artists Aly Timbuctustate, Deanna Graves, Jordan Nice, Radhika Hersey, Jef Logan, and Griffin One adorn the building creating live eye candy while roaming performers, dancers, and vendors add to the ambiance.

Lightning in a Bottle 2015 takes place Memorial Day Weekend (May 21 – 25, 2015) at the San Antonio Recreation Area in Bradley, CA, and features The Lucent Temple of Consciousness with an expanded Learning Kitchen, Healing Sanctuary, Meditation Nest, Mystery School, Pineal Playground, two yoga tents, and world-class lecturers.

The pre-event takes place from 11am to 11 p.m. at The Springs, 608 Mateo St., Los Angeles, CA 90021. For more information on The Springs, visit

To learn more about Lightning in a Bottle visit, or purchase tickets here.



Based in Los Angeles, Do LaB’s mission is to craft experience as art and bring communities together. Aside from showcasing musicians throughout Southern California, Do LaB is well known for creating unique art installations/stages and curating cutting-edge acts at Coachella in addition to producing Southern California’s Lightning in a Bottle, and the 2012 Winter Solstice event The Great Convergence, which took place at the pyramids of Giza in Egypt. Do LaB’s work has also been showcased at Virgin Music Festival, Global Gathering, Portugal’s Boom Festival and many more.


New Stages & Changes – Ultra Music Festival (UMF) 2015

*written by Crystal Garcia for Electronica Life
ULTRA MUSIC FESTIVAL 2015, where do I even begin. First and foremost, it’s important I admit that I had my doubts about attending the 17th edition of Ultra in Miami this year. We all saw videos of the girl from 2013 dosed up on god knows what having her 15 minutes with a tree. Let’s also not forget about the photos that surfaced last year which are more risque than I’d like to mention here. I’m not one to believe everything I see, but I can’t say media coverage from prior years didn’t leave a bad taste in my mouth. Just as the saying goes “assuming only makes an ass out of you and me”, so I decided I needed to find out for myself what 3 days at Ultra is REALLY like.

After having spent a few days in Miami last week for the throng of events during Miami Music Week, it was finally Friday and time for Ultra 2015. Already on little to no sleep from prior late night shenanigans, another day of non-stop music seemed to be quite the feat. I entered the festival a bit past four just in time to catch a decent amount of Bakermat’s performance at the LIVE Stage, and I was pleasantly impressed. An outdoor amphitheater of sorts, the new stage boasted talented live electronic acts in the perfect setting for passers by to discover new artists they may not be used to seeing at most ‘EDM’ festivals.

The music was bumping throughout the festival at all eight stages as attendees began to filter in and then BOOM,  the absolute unthinkable occurred. Mother nature decided to pay Ultra a visit unleashing her typical Florida rainstorms throughout the festival grounds. Due to the severe rain, the Live stage and most stages closed for the night cancelling the Ultra premieres of acts such as Odesza and Chromeo. The rain most definitely put a damper on the first nights festivities, as I decided to wait out the rain backstage with friends. About an hour before midnight, the rain seemed to subside and I made a mad dash to the newly added RESISTANCE stage for a much needed fix of Maceo Plex.
Once I laid my eyes on the Resistance stage, it was a sigh of relief after the chaos of the last few hours. Tucked away in a back corner at the very end of the festival behind mainstage, it was a trek that only true house and techno heads would consider. A stage that looked as though it could have came straight from Burning Man, The Resistance was a 360 degree DJ Booth spaceship structure of sorts fully equipped with self inducing smoke and fire flaming powers, and the crowd was welcomed to dance in and around the stage. Maceo Plex salvaged what was left of the first night with nothing less than his signature sound of straight up sexy techno. That one hour alone with the techno master made waiting out the rain for hours worth it a hundred times over.

Day 2 kicked off to a perfect start with clear skies, beautiful weather and good vibes. Once again the LIVE stage was on point with acts such as Gorgon City and Clean Bandit with Lulu James live performing their hit “Rather Be” a new track “Stronger”, and even a rendition of “Show Me Love” which had the entire crowd dancing in the bleachers.

Carl Cox took over the Megastructure stage for the 2nd night in a row with stunning visuals and dazzling displays of ever changing dramatically colorful lights. The likes of MK, John Digweed and Loco Dice joined the king of techno as he closed out the Megastructure for the second night in a row. Meanwhile at The Resistance stage Marco Bailey, UMEK and Joseph Capriatti played back to back sets of house and techno for those in the crowd opting for a change in music.
Mainstage acts of the day included Martin Garrix, Armin Van Buuren, Hardwell and Axwell ^ Ingrosso who drew in the typical massive crowds as expected. At the Worldwide stage, a rare U.S. performance by Deep Dish aka Sharam and Dubfire unleashed a frenzy on the crowd opening with their hit “Say Hello” and all around incredible performance with remixes of classics including Pink Floyd’s “We Don’t Need No Education” and The Prodigy’s “Smack My B Up.”

Tropical house reigned on day 3 as acts such as Robin Schulz, Klangkarussell, Goldroom, Thomas Jack and Kygo headlined various stages of Ultra. German newcomer Robin Schulz kicked off the last days festivities warming up the mainstage with none other than his major 2014 hits “Waves” and “Prayer in C”. Goldroom played all but 20 minutes of his set under 120 bpm at the Worldwide stage while Ultra anthem’ creator Kygo closed out the night at the LIVE stage with a few new tracks and a stunning visual display in melody with the music. Netsky and Porter Robinson also wooed fans at the stage with appearances of their live shows, as the multi-talented Porter sang vocals on his own tracks with a full crowd singing along to a jubilant closing with “Language”.

Back at the Megastructure, A State Of Trance 700 took over with headlining trance acts Andrew Rayel, Markus Schulz, Andrew Bayer, Eric Prydz, Paul Van Dyk and of course ASOT founder himself, Armin Van Buuren. Andrew Bayer delivered a true trance set to fans long awaiting his Ultra premiere with his angelic new track “Superhuman” and ended the blissful set with none other than Above & Beyond’s “A Thing Called Love”. Prydz hit the decks next for yet another much anticipated and unexpected ASOT performance, and Armin followed with his signature sound and closed out his set with a beautiful acapella of John Lennon’s “Imagine”, which quickly brought tears to my eyes. I’m no longer the trance head I once was, but I most definitely got those trance feels of goosebumps and chills all over again as if it was my first ASOT show from years ago.

It’s obvious that I didn’t spend much time at Mainstage, if any at all. I passed by a few times throughout the weekend and attempted to stay put, but I just couldn’t do it knowing there was so much incredible music to be explored at the 7 other stages. Thankfully this is the reason I have an entirely new perspective of Ultra and the masterminds behind the brand. The additions of the LIVE stage and Resistance stage put an entirely new spin on things, as it’s a coming of age for Ultra ultimately. To break away from the mainstream and add a live music stage along with a stage infiltrated with underground sounds, is not a feat easily decided or executed. This is the future of electronic music, and I can only wait in anticipation for the changes that festival organizers have up their sleeves for Ultra 2016!
Photos by Josh Payne

Techno Master Marco Bailey Discusses MATERIA and Ultra’s Resistance Stage

*written by Crystal Garcia for Electronica Life

During Ultra Music Festival in Miami last weekend I had a chance to catch up with the Belgian born DJ, Marco Bailey right after his set at the brand new RESISTANCE stage. No stranger to techno and the underground sound, Marco has been behind the decks and producing music since the time most Ultra attendees could even comprehend the individuality of electronic music. Check out Marco’s thoughts on the new Resistance stage and future plans for MATERIA with Carl Cox in our interview below with the techno legend.

Crystal - Hi Marco, I was just watching your set at the Resistance stage earlier. How was it for you?

Marco – It was good! The sun was out and shining!

Crystal – It was best you played today versus yesterday in the Ultra rain storm then..right?

Marco – Haha..yes, I guess so!

Crystal – Have you performed at Ultra before?

Marco – Yes I have, twice actually! So this is the third time.

Crystal - What was your take on the Resistance stage and the movement that Ultra is pushing forward by introducing Resistance this year for the first time?

Marco - I’m really happy that they did this kind of stage for the first time and that they’re doing it for the underground sound.

Crystal - Likewise! I was really happy to see the lineup for the stage, and to see that Ultra is attempting a new direction.

Marco – Yes! I mean for years and years it was only Carl Cox bringing this sound and it was him putting it together, and now it’s Ultra themselves organizing it.

Crystal – I know that you’ve been touring Europe and if I’m correct this is the first time you’ve brought your MATERIA party to the states, so how was it to have the inaugural edition of MATERIA at Ultra?

Marco – It’s good to be here during WMC, but there’s just so much going on right now. Hundreds of parties just this week alone. We’re also doing an event tonight and bringing it to NYC soon.

Crystal – Where does the name MATERIA stem from?

Marco – Well it translates to ‘matter’ in Spanish and It’s easy to pronounce for many people who speak English. I’m from Belgium and I speak Dutch, but it’s easy even for me to say. We actually wanted to use the name ‘matter’, but it was also the name of a popular club in London that is closed now. I also wasn’t really feeling using the same name.

Crystal – Are you excited to have such a well-respected name as Carl Cox join you for MATERIA Belgium in May?

Marco – Yes, of course. Definitely!

Crystal – How did the connection between you two begin?

Marco – Ohhhh, we go way back to 1999. I started to make tracks for Carl’s label at the time, he asked me to and I was completely on cloud 9. Since then I’m producing a new track for him almost every year, sometimes maybe two. It’s now been 16 years, so automatically a great friendship is created and grows.

Crystal - Any surprises for your Marco & friends MATERIA party tonight at The Bank in downtown Miami?

Marco - GOOD MUSIC! And going on until…well I can not say right now. Haha.

Crystal - *Laughs with Marco* Well it is Miami after all right? It’s a mystery.

Marco - Here at Ultra we know what time it ends though,midnight is sooo early!

Crystal - Yes, way too early! Well I have an off topic question for you that I like to ask…

Marco –  UH-OH!

Crystal –’s nothing crazy. What’s your best hustler story of when you were trying to make it as an upcoming artist?

Marco – OMG…well I’m still trying to make it! It’s still a hard fight and I’m fighting every day, but with love and passion you don’t feel it really. But it’s hard to work everyday, still now..ya know? Even for people who are considered big, they still have to work everyday to prove themselves and constantly deliver.

Crystal – I agree! It’s always an uphill battle.  Well thank you very much Marco, it’s been a pleasure. I’m excited to catch the MATERIA party tonight!

Marco – Thank you! See you tonight!

It’s safe to say that MATERIA that night in downtown Miami was quite the party.  My friends and I  arrived right before 4am and were told that we were “early.” I was trying to wrap my head around that comment right after, at home in LA I would have already left the club! The night, or shall I say morning, continued as Marco hit the decks around 5 am and the dance floor was packed from DJ booth to the bar. The beats were bumping while the speakers vibrated so forcefully that I could literally a pulsation throughout my body from head to toe. At this point I wasn’t sure what I had gotten myself into, but I knew that leaving anytime soon at a somewhat decent hour was no longer an option. With no sense or care for time, it was that much easier to just get lost in the music with the sea of techno heads surrounding me.

By the time we made it out of the dark hole, the sun was already out bright and shining. If this is what a MATERIA party typically entails, count me in! :D
Connect with Marco Bailey: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Youtube | Soundcloud

Bursting the EDM Bubble: A Review of CRSSD Festival

*written by Crystal Garcia for Electronica Life
Brian Feinzimer
(photo by Brian Feinzimer)

A few months back when the first phase of the line-up was announced for CRSSD Festival, I immediately knew it was exactly what we Southern California music festival junkies needed in our lives. A break from the generically expected line-up, big-room drops, unnecessary confetti blasts and DJ’s that only actual words are “put your hands up in the air.” I have to agree with Lorde when I say that I’m kind of over getting told to put my hands up in the air, so there.

Taking place over 2 days on waterfront property in beautiful downtown San Diego last weekend, the inaugural edition of CRSSD festival turned out to be everything I already had in mind and so much more. With bayside views, dreamy sunsets and city backdrops, the festival landscape was a picture perfect scene that would have made even any seasoned world traveler jealous with envy. Throw in the mix of live performances, on point music, and beaming good vibes throughout the entirety of the weekend, and you’ve got festival utopia in the heart of downtown.

Day 1 of CRSSD began on Saturday with a speedy entrance and straight to the mainstage dedicated to live performances aka “Ocean View Live” stage for my first time seeing Goldroom live. After a few failed attempts to see Goldroom in LA that just never worked out for one reason or another, I was beyond thrilled to finally see Josh Legg and the band do what they do best. Performing their signature sound of mellow and easygoing tracks such as “Embrace” and “Fifteen”, Goldroom was easily the ideal performance for a spring breeze blowing on an oceanside sunny afternoon.

Damian Lazarus and the Ancient moons took the stage next with black and gold robe getups that fit perfectly with the techy, cosmic sound inducing a dance coma on every single body in the audience. As I glanced around, I noticed one girl having the time of her life wearing a shirt that read ‘music is the answer.’ I made it a point to give her a high five, because how can you not salute someone so in love with music and life, right?

After grabbing a beer from one of the many craft beer vendor tents, I made my way to the Palms Stage for a dose of tropical house with rising star in the scene, Thomas Jack. The Palms shade structure was a much needed break from the relentless sun of the past few hours, and fittingly adorned with shaded umbrella decorations. The sun slowly set in hues of lavender and soft pink over the ocean horizon as the atmosphere turned from day to night and the venue seemed to be at full capacity.

Closing out Saturday back at the Ocean Live stage was Empire of the Sun in an eclectic performance fully equipped with per usual over the top production, glitzy costumes and supporting back up dancers. Passing passenger planes landing into San Diego airport seemed almost a little too close for comfort while making an interesting backdrop for one of my favorite performances of the weekend. At one point I remember hearing others around me asking each other “ what is happening right now?”, and began asking myself the same thing as the show was so visually stunning that it was difficult for the mind to grasp what lay before it.

(photo by Oliver Walker)

Day 2 of the weekend festivities seemed to flow in a more relaxed state, it was Sunday after all and the lazy afternoon feel was teeming throughout the grounds. Learning my lesson from the day before, I opted to beat the heat this time around and not enter the festival until around four o’clock when I knew the California sun would soon be taking it easy on us festival revellers.

The performances of Day 2 were saturated in deep and funky house and techno, and the vibes were fitting just right bringing on a whole new meaning to Sunday Funday. The Bixel Boys and Viceroy b2b opened with a rendition of Janet Jackson’s classic “Together Again” which turned out to be an unexpectedly fun crowd pleaser. Classic hits and groovy oldies were dropped for the next hour during the b2b, setting the tone right for the night at The Palms.

Soon after Jamie Jones and Seth Troxler hit the decks for their much anticipated B2B. Call me crazy, but I wasn’t mind blown as I had expected to be. The pair went for a darker and more textured sound than I’m used to hearing. Although I don’t believe the set was fitting for an outdoor daytime festival, it did make for a great set to watch as the sun set and the night stars began to twinkle.

For yet another and the last B2B of Day 2, Maceo Plex and Shal Ocin took over the City Steps stage closing out the weekend in a head bopping fury. Deep and contrasting sounds reverberated through the speakers, and as far deep as I could see, not one body in the crowd was still. The energy was so infectious, leaving all within its reach no choice but to move and groove. As the party ended and we slowly trailed to the exits, I overheard a few say that it was the set of the weekend, and with this statement I would have to agree :)

It’s truly inspiring to see a brand new type of festival sell out in it’s first year without any so called “headliner’ booked, and I full heartedly believe CRSSD festival is the revival the dance music scene in Southern California so desperately needed. If this is the needle that will burst the predicted “2015 EDM bubble”, count me in for the ride. The scene is changing, slowly but surely. Together we’ll get there, one CRSSD event at a time.
brian(photo by Brian Feinzimer)
brian2(photo by Brian Feinzimer)

Splash House Returns to Palm Springs June 13-14 & August 8-9


Splash House announces its return to the desert June 13-14 and August 8-9 for another outrageous summer of poolside vibes and world-class music. Splash House will return to the Saguaro Hotel and Hacienda Beach Club, and for the first time take-over the expanded and remodeled Palm Springs Hilton.

Over the past three years, those in the know have flocked to this SoCal destination festival that has managed to retain its sense of community and summer-camp vibe, even as it adds to its ever-growing crew of discerning pool party devotees.

Blending poolside fashion, community and music, Splash House has presented artists ranging from Moby, Cut Copy and Chromeo to Anna Lunoe and Poolside through Eats Everything and Claude VonStroke. The festival has also served as a Southern California spring board for the likes of Flume, Kaytranada, Gorgon City and Kygo among others, giving attendees the chance to catch upcoming artists and established stars in intimate and unique environments.

Purchase Tickets and Packages Now!!!

“A notably suaver addition to the normal summer EDM fan-fare”

-LA Times

“Splash House promised a lineup of finely curated DJs, with pools instead of campgrounds, lounging instead traipsing…And, boy, did it deliver.”


“The Best Pools To Cool Off In This Summer” -Refinery 29

Guests must be 21+. Pre Sale tickets start at $95. Travel Packages are available for the Palm Springs Hilton and The Saguaro starting at $170 per person; all packages include weekend tickets and a two or three night hotel room stay.

Highlight video from Splash House 2014:



Suggested Listening: Simon Shackleton’s One Playa Sunrise at Nutz Camp, Burning Man (Aug 14)

A 6 hour set that is definitely worth listening to… and then replaying. What do you think? Leave us a comment below.

“These sets at the Nutz camp have grown organically in the 5 years I have been doing them for, and have been the catalyst for a sea change in my own personal musical appreciation. They’ve shown and encouraged me to dig deep into electronic music, looking for a spiritual dimension … they have stretched me mentally and physically, and in doing so I see myself leaving my past behind in all it’s forms.

They have also encouraged and enthused me to produce music under my real name (Simon Shackleton), to launch the Stereophoenix label which is now my primary recording outlet, and to launch and develop The One Series, a vehicle for further long sets such as these.

Burning Man is pure, raw, inspiration. Each year is very different and you get the Burn you need rather than the Burn you want. This year was my personal favourite of the 6 I’ve been to … it was beautiful, intimate, inspiring, passionate, flawless … and as my heart & soul moves further away from the EDM-heavy festival stages of the night time, I feel more engaged than ever before with this music, and more importantly this incredible sense of community that Burning Man engenders.

The Nutz epitomise everything I <3 about the Burn. Roll on 2015. xoxo”Simon Shackleton via soundcloud

Live Electronic Hip-Hop Duo SKYMATIC Release “Wayfaring Stranger” Remix

Today melodic electronic duo Skymatic of Atlanta officially released their remix of Ed Sheeran’s “Wayfaring Stranger.” It’s the first of 6 remixes the live electronic duo will be releasing as an EP over the coming months.

A fresh and unexpected take on a traditional folk song, Skymatic’s remix of “Wayfaring Stranger” features vocal samples from Ed Sheeran’s version of the song with the duo’s signature production style and original violin. The remix is available for streaming and free downloading on

Since Skymatic began touring nationally in April 2014, the duo has quickly gained a following with their captivating performances featuring live violin, guitar and synth/piano. Skymatic will be celebrating the new release with an appearance at the Bluebird Theater in Denver on March 12, 2015.

About Skymatic:

Skymatic is a melodic electronic hip hop duo that performs with live violin, guitar and synth/piano. It’s made up of producer/guitarist Phil Ross and violinist Hannah Wilder. Based in Atlanta, the duo has been touring nationally (coast-to-coast) for a year playing with acts including Adventure Club, Figure, Minnesota, ill.Gates, Floozies, EOTO, Phutureprimitive, NitGrit, Wick-It and several others.

Join the Unite Movement Takeover at the Hard Rock SD Rooftop Friday March 13th

UNITE MOVEMENT and SHIPFAM have joined forces to bring festival weekend warriors a special event at the world famous Hard Rock Hotel SD on Friday March 13th. Enjoy picturesque views of the San Diego skyline atop the Hard Rock’s rooftop venue Float, in the heart of the bustling downtown Gaslamp District.


Rob Garza

[Thievery Corporation]


Jeneration Y & Shipfam

Hidden Relics – Timmy Deep

Tylr Mchl – Souljah – 530

+ Special surprise guests!

Purchase Tickets



UNITE is a global electronic music festival bringing together music and philanthropy. We celebrate global connectedness, the beauty of diversity, and the pure positivity of electronic music. Our events will bring awareness and raise money for social causes and sustainability initiatives. Music is the universal tool of expression. It is a common language understood by all to celebrate our differences, drive awareness, and foster change. Just as different beats harmonize to create beautiful music, we will come together and create a global rhythm to make the world a better place! Join us on this very special Friday the 13th as we embark together on the journey to UNITE.


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Gem & Jam – You Are The Experience

*written by Lizzie Moore for Electronica Life
Nestled in the heart of Tucson, AZ, Gem & Jam music and art festival celebrated its ninth annual year during the Tucson gem show.  The buzz had been alive for weeks prior to the festival, with attendees across the southwest becoming increasingly more excited as it drew near. With every passing landmark the suspense grew: the lineup came out and people were stoked, the after party schedule was posted and tickets disappeared fast, and soon enough all conversations somehow ended up being about Gem & Jam. This was my second year attending the gathering, but my first opportunity to stay the entire weekend and experience all three days.

The festival is on the smaller side but definitely has a magical way of never becoming repetitive. There are two stages at Gem & Jam on either end of the small venue, vendors lining the outside edges, and countless art installations and live creations happening throughout the middle. When entering at the front of the venue, you are instantly faced with the first of hundreds of live paintings happening within. Walking through Gem & Jam feels like reading one of those “choose your own adventure” books as you wander around deciding what to do next in awe of everything happening around you. A playground of sensatory pleasure, the festival grounds offer a breeding ground for creativity and connection.
Typically going into a festival as an observer I have no idea what to expect and my experience ends up far surpassing my preconceptions.  I thought I knew what Gem & Jam was going to be like this year because I had attended before, but I couldn’t have been more mistaken. The first day of Gem & Jam was like reconnecting with a close friend that I hadn’t seen in a year. I walked around and noticed what vendors had been added and what artists would be painting over the course of the weekend. Boulder, CO, trio Sunsquabi started my night with a funky electronic vibe that put me in one of those moods where you feel on top of the world. Andreilien and Vibesquad kept the energy high and I ended my night splitting my time between a highly anticipated Papadosio performance and Pumpkin, one of my favorites. All too soon, the first night of Gem & Jam was over and I realized how much of a exhilarating and entertaining weekend I was in for.

Saturday night had the highest number of attendees and some of the largest performers of the weekend. Russ Liquid hit the crowd early followed by Thriftworks, Random Rab, Michael Menert Trio, and Emancipator Ensemble. I happily spent most of the night glued to the mainstage as each headliner took the stage, set the vibe, and infused the crowd with a unique tailored energy. I looked around and saw countless beautiful people enjoying themselves and sharing the space provided respectfully and enthusiastically. When I think about the second night of Gem & Jam I think about the love I witnessed. This truly was a place where you realized how much the person standing next to you meant to you. For me, it was a night I was able to experience a childlike happiness and allow myself to let down walls and feel emotions I hadn’t felt in a long time like forgiveness, selflessness, and a sense of empowerment.
All of the sudden it was Sunday. I couldn’t believe that it was already the last day of the festival. I took this day to really pay attention to the small details and look at some of the art I had missed earlier in the weekend. I was in awe of how much talent surrounded me as I walked from booth to booth, artist to artist. It was my first time seeing both Kaminanda and Little People, followed by San Francisco native (and one of my new favorites) Giraffage, with The New Mastersounds’ impressive visuals paired with their big funk and jazz sound bringing the main stage to a close. Last but not least, we caught local favorite Spafford on the smaller stage. Spafford has been the soundtrack to some of my favorite memories, and I quickly got lost in their magical jam band trance. With the end of their set came the somber realization that Gem & Jam was over.

Gem & Jam truly moved me this year. It brought me to realizations about the strength of this community we have built through the connection of music and art. The beauty of Gem & Jam isn’t that it was something to be experienced; but rather that you and everyone around you make up the experience. At Gem & Jam you ARE the art, the people around you ARE the art, and every interaction or connection with another human IS the art. At Gem & Jam we are given a space to play, beginning a journey of self-expression and forming a beautiful synchronized process in which everything is accounted for and provided for one another. Everyone is equal and playing their part to create the overall experience. We are one large pulsating gathering of energy that translates as each person’s individual experience. You are a part of a whole, a significant piece of something that creates a uninhibited and unique space for those few hours.
The most unique aspect of Gem & Jam is the community that it attracts and cultivates. Everyone who attends is present in the moment to love and spend time connecting with one another. Like Michael Menert said during his set, I felt empowered by the amount of energy circulating through the venue. I’ve never been to a festival that made me feel so comfortable and so at home. Everything about the weekend was a creation.  Everywhere I turned, people were making music, creating visuals, dancing, interacting with each other, loving each other. I can honestly say that this weekend was such a healing experience for me, I left feeling like I had opened parts of myself that had previously been suppressed.

For those of you that have never heard of Gem & Jam, I sincerely hope that it comes across your festival radar next year. You deserve it. You don’t simply attend Gem & Jam, you feel Gem & Jam in your soul.

Connect with Gem & Jam: Facebook | Website

Beyond Wonderland 2015 Southern California – Interview w/ Unity Travel About Their Accommodation Packages

We recently caught up with Josh from Unity Travel about their accommodation packages for the Beyond Wonderland event happening March 20th & 21st in So Cal. Check out the video interview below and be sure to use discount code “ELBEYOND5” if you want to book a room or shuttle via their services.


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