Well, we did it! Our crew of creative comrades not only ventured halfway across the good ol' US of A to Oklahoma, but also the top to bottom of California multiple times, with a few trips to Vegas for good measure. We just pulled off our biggest consecutive stint of events in the shortest amount of time in our short history as a collective. Here is a play-by-play recount of the extensive journey:
This was an Imagine Nation first. A double-booking. Two huge production at two different festivals thousands of miles apart from each other in the same weekend. With the help of an amazing crew, we managed to build 2 stages, (The FunkHouse/Om Stage) and our first ever shade structure, a 12,000 sq. ft. beauty! It was the first and last things attendees could participate in each night. It started in the mornings as the refreshing and revilitizing yoga center, transforming into the SilentDisco in the late nights as the after-hours dance spot.
Backwoods Music Festival
That same weekend the other team went wandering into uncharted territory, as they set out to build the largest structure we've ever conceived, smack dab in the middle of Oklahoma!
Coming in at a massive 90 feet tall and a million feet wide, she was truly something special and impressive. Honestly, standing ovation to that team. The two Twin Castles stood on either side of the "MotherShip" stage as her 100-foot reclaimed wooden eye stared gazingly at the audience in what was our official first Main Stage for Backwoods MF
But as fun as it was to go huge, the family favorite, of course, was the enigmatic Globe Theater, which we had nestled lakeside in the festival forest. It was a fun change of pace to go back to our roots and create a more mysterious zone, filled with little secrets and passageways that only reveal themselves if you chose to venture deeper.
Aiko In Wanderland
Another first was had along the way as we built the "Niner," our classy and rustic saloon, in just under 12 hours! We randomly met R&B singer/songwriter Jhene Aiko when she wandered into the "BeatNook" at Lightning in a Bottle. She fell in love with the ascetic and the vibe it brought and wanted to recreate that feeling for her fans at a show in Downtown LA. So in middle of building for Symbosis a team was sent down to build an installation on an extremely limited timeframe.
Read here what the LA Times had to say about it:
Oh, boy. The magic was in the air for this one. We were thrilled to be creating along our art HEROS and friends.
We built 3 simultaneous and symbiotic projects:
- The Spring Stage. "The last stage built by humanity" A completely stand alone wood trussing structure build from 90% reclaimed materials.
- A 6400sqft shade structure standing 24 feet tall atop ten 10-foot tall lodge-pole pines, and sewn together in the amage of a massive granny's quilt. (A big shout out to our awesome fabric crew.)
- To top it all off. The creme-de-la-creme (and my personal favorite) we built ourselves an art boat! Coined the "Piper Mystico," it turned all heads as it tugged along the waters, being rowed ever-so majestically across the festival shorelines.
Though the music wasn't our style, the memories, friends, and crew were top knotch. We brought in some Bay Area Folk Art Heavyweights to create their art side-by-side with us on a 120ft live-painting wall.
Curating a wall of this size was an incredibly fun experience and we look forward to creating much more art like this in the coming months and years.
Last, but definitely not least, was the DBCO. A masterful boutique festival that stayed true to every sense of the name. We played dodge ball, floated on the pond, scavenger hunted and all other sorts of activities which gave everyone a feeling if nostalgia. And could you believe it? We had another first! Building a tin roof on our "Late Night Lodge'" the structure looked exactly like the cabin we all had at our summer camp growing up. The stage went off each night, and we were proud of the fun that was facilitated. Tia is most definitely one to put on your radar. And if you were into comedy you probably checked out our "Bunk" stage, which had people in stitches all night thanks to the antics provided by the Grand Artique and the Fungineers. It was the most family vibes I've felt all summer.
To wrap things up I just want to say thank you to all those who let us work hard to do what we love, thank you to all the dedicated crew that put in their all, rain or shine, night and day... pushing straight through 48hr+ work days. Thank you to all those in the crowds that recognized the sweat and blood we put into making these things. We do it so yall could boogie your butts off! But what's more is holding the space for connections to happen, and dots to connect.
We hung with great friends, and met many new ones. If one thing is clear, it is that there is excitement in the air, and big things around the corner.
Imagine Nation Signing out.
Well see you on the upswing.
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