Surviving Flash Floods, Seeing Amazing Music and Art – All Possible with Phases of the Moon Music and Arts Festival
Music and art lovers from around the United States traveled to Danville, IL for the first ever Phases of the Moon Music and Arts Festival from September 11th-14th. While many were greeted with less than desirable conditions, the spirit of the festival was like being among a group of your closest friends and family.
Torrential Storms Leave Problems that Organizers Were Quick to Try and Solve
Starting on Wednesday night organizers allowed the first patrons to enter the park. Due to intense storms that included torrential downpours, many of the campsites were left underwater. Campgrounds had to be moved and changed based on the areas that were able to support the weight of vehicles and campers. This did cause there to be a few times when gates were closed and attendees were unable to enter the park, but festival promoters and staff were working non-stop to make every effort possible to have the areas safe and ready for those entering.
Despite having Mother Nature be against them, festival promoters chose to make it their mission to have the best festival conditions possible. This included trucking in several tons of gravel and sod while using equipment to dig out and move mud. Helicopters were even brought in to hover close to the ground in an effort to help dry the ground. The efforts were not left unnoticed and many festival goers could be heard talking about everything that they were seeing take place.
While it is expectant that festival promoters would do what they could to make things safe and comfortable for the attendees, it was surprising to hear about how the entire community of Danville came together. In a press release issued by the organizers, it was mentioned that the Sheriff’s Department, Mayor’s Office, and Visitors Bureau were among the groups that were providing assistance to the organizers to ensure that everyone had a safe and comfortable festival.
Many festival goers were bussed back and forth from their cars that were parked at the Vermilion County Speedway and the Vermilion Regional Airport. Co-founder Barry Shear stated “The rain came in pretty hard and left sections of the park underwater, making things very challenging. We are so grateful for the cooperation from area officials, who have been working around the clock with us. Most of all grateful to the fans who have been so patient while trying to enter the park after traveling great distances. This festival is for them. THEY are the festival. THEY are the community we have strived to create at Phases. The whole concept of Phases of the Moon doesn’t exist without them. We are doing everything we can to continue to get everyone in here as quickly and safely as possible. And it seems to have worked. That’s all that matters to us at this time.”
The Sweet Sounds of Music
From the time that artist in residence David Gans opened the festival with an intimate show that was enjoyed by festival goers old and young alike to the final moments when he closed the festival with the Rumpke Mountain Boys there was no stop to the amazing music that was seen.
Highlights of the festival included top notch performances by nationally touring headlining acts including: The String Cheese Incident, Widespread Panic, Railroad Earth, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Gov’t Mule, and Robert Randolph & The Family Band.
One of the things that was so amazing about the festival is how the different performers were perceived. Many times when watching the crowd you could not determine whether those in attendance were listening to one of their old favorites that they had been following for years or a new band that they were hearing for the first time.
For many the top show was the amazing Lunar Conspiracy Landing that was curated by the String Cheese Incident. It was amazing to see the many different artists interacting together to create some amazing music and have the performance of the festival. The performance of “Bad Moon Rising” with JJ Grey and Bill Payne (of Little Feat) was a favorite of the weekend for many festival goers. Vince Herman, the Mofro Horns, Sunshine Garcia, and Andy Thorn also graced the stage during the show.
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals put on a show that was filled with light, love, and soul. It was so strong that you could almost feel her passion radiating from her during the set. Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe was another favorite full of high energy and a lot of fun for those who were dancing in the crowd.
Widespread Panic put on shows that were filled with power and kept fans wishing for more despite the frigid temperatures that they were experiencing during the show. Even the late night sets had a lot of festival goers in attendance despite the fact that at times it reached to temperatures below 40 degrees.
Along side these well known acts were many amazing bands and artists that gained an instant following of new fans. Among these were The California Honeydrops, The Brothers Comatose, Sam Bush Band, Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds, and Clare Dunn.
During some time spent talking with Clare Dunn it was easy to forget that she was a performer as talking with her was like talking to an old friend. She was very gracious about her performance at the festival and about her fans. Coming from very humble roots she brings something new to the stage and a performance that brought about many new fans, including those who were not traditionally fans of country music.
While there was so much musical talent where POTM seemed to go above and beyond was all of the additional things that were taking place on the festival grounds. There was a Santuary area that offered workshops, yoga classes, healing massage, and even a sound immersion experience.
The Sanctuary had a full schedule and line up of events. Many festival goers raved about the fun that they had at the yoga classes. One of the best things about these is that there was yoga available for beginners, families, and even those who had been practicing for years.
Spiritual healing was also taking place during the festival. Along with the spiritual healing came amazing healing through the power of touch and massage. There was a great massage area where attendees could sign up for a time to come back and enjoy a great massage.
Workshops made it possible for festival goers to learn new things. There were workshops available on many different topics. One could learn how to become more independent and have more confidence, how to hula hoop, and even how to reduce their carbon footprint.
The Crescent Moon Kids Camp
The Crescent Moon Kids Camp area featured art supplies and games for children of all ages. Children and families could be seen at the camp throughout the weekend. There was a very popular tire swing, an area where children could express themselves creatively, a small area for dress up, and even circus performers for entertainment.
Thanks to the dress up area and props children could pose for some crazy photographs for their parents. Then they could take a turn with one of the many hula hoops that could be found lying around in front of the camp tent. Children were even invited to participate in the parade with the circus performers on the last day of the festival with these props and toys in hand.
One of the best possible quotes from the festival occurred when 3 or 4 year old boy dressed as an astronaut saw the performers on stilts. He started jumping up and down and running to get a closer look, yelling “look at the big humans.” It was an adorable moment that witnesses would be sure to remember for years to come.
Sharing the Need to Give Back and Become Involved
Participation Row offered festival goers a way to give back with The Conscious Alliance, Head Count, and Love Hope Strength among others. You could easily become a marrow donor, register to vote, donate food, and help spread the word about cleaning up after yourself and protecting the environment while attending the festival.
Throughout the Phases of the Moon Festival The Conscious Alliance was on site collecting canned goods and non-perishable food items to distribute to food banks in local Illinois communities. In exchange for donating 20 items one could receive a limited edition festival poster.
Head Count was on site as well. One could sign up to vote in their tent or with one of the many volunteers who were walking around the ground with clipboards in hand. They could be seen educating people about their right to vote and the freedom of choice that voting allows everyone to have.
In today’s world it is hard to believe that you can easily save a life with something as simple as a bone marrow donation. Love Hope Strength has made it their mission to attend music events and get people registered as bone marrow donors. Samples can be obtained with a painless mouth swab. It’s amazing to think that swabbing your mouth at a festival can lead to saving a life in the future.
From Tradition to New Age – A Look at the Art of Phases of the Moon
The art that could be seen included many amazing and skilled artists, photographers, and artistic performers. There were different various art shows as well as live art happening. Plus there were a number of amazing large scale art pieces that could be seen throughout the festival grounds.
With so many performing artists on hand there was no end to the places where you could see performances. Sometimes it was possible to catch a performer joining a band on stage. Other times you could catch performers in the crowds. The Nomadic Circus was a treat for those who were interested in something a little out of the ordinary.
Laser lights, fires, hula hoops, and many unique contraptions were used in conjunction with music to entertain the crowds who were hoping to see something that they had not seen before. On many occasions it was not unusual to see someone who was walking through the performing arts stage stopping to take a look at a performance that was happening at the time.
Visual arts could also be seen throughout the festival grounds. From time to time there were art galleries or showings in different tents at the festival. There were also many amazing art sculptures. One of these was done by Nature Dreamweaver and was a unique circular stick structure that you could sit in the middle of while enjoying some live music.
In addition there were many Guildworks creations throughout the festival grounds helping to separate stage and tent areas while leaving festival goers with a little something extra to look at. Art lovers could even watch artists create some amazing pieces of art and paintings, some of which could be purchased during the festival.
The Spin Art Crew was even on site to power the Charon by Peter Hudson which was an amazing site to see. It was a huge wheel with skeletons on it that seemed to dance as the human powered zoetrope moved. Many lights and creative light up exhibits were also evidenced throughout the festival grounds for the enjoyment of the attendees.
It was a well rounded experience and one that will be sure to leave a stamp on the hearts of those who were in attendance this year. Depsite the problems with weather and having gates closed many festival goers could be heard talking about how they were excited to be headed back to Danville for the second Phases of the Moon Music and Arts Festival next year.
Are You Ready for 2015???
One thing is for certain after the amazing time that I had with my family at the 2014 Phases of the Moon Music and Arts Festival, I am excited to check out what they are going to offer in 2015. If you have not purchased your tickets yet then you need to get on the ball so that you can see me at Phases.
General Admission — Full Event
This year things have changed a bit on ticketing. In fact you are going to have to purchase your camping and parking passes separate from your tickets. When you purchase the General Admission tickets you are gaining access to the festival grounds from Friday October 16th, 2015 through Sunday October 18th, 2015. You also gain access to the late night shows.
They are on Phase 3 now of pricing and tickets will run you $179.95 or you can get set up on a 3 payment plan for payments of $80.95.
Saturday + Sunday — Weekender Pass
The Saturday + Sunday Weekender Pass is going to allow you access to the festival grounds on Saturday October 17th and Sunday October 18th, 2015. Camping is also not included in the weekender pass so you will have to purchase that separately.
VIP — Full Event
One of the biggest advantages of VIP camping is that you get next to car camping for free with this option. That means that you are going to be able to camp next to your car without the additional charges that are included with the regular ticketing. You are also able to get into the grounds a day early on Thursday October 15th starting at 4 pm. VIP ticketing also includes up front viewing stages, meals, drinks, showers, private lounges, group campfires, VIP gifts, and discounts on alcohol.
VIP Passes start at just $524.95 or $190.97 if you choose to go with a payment plan.
Camping passes are sold per vehicle. Early entry camping passes can be purchased for $79…these allow you to enter on Thursday instead of waiting until Friday like the general population of the festival.
Next to car camping is $55.95 and allows you to park next to your car so that you do not have to carry all of your gear in. (TIP: If you are taking children this is something that I would consider necessary.)
Tent only camping is just $29 but you will have to carry in all of your gear.
Reserved Camping Sites are already sold out, so unless they release more this is no longer an option for you.
If you are planning on bringing an RV then you are going to need special ticketing for that. RV Reserved is already sold out like the Reserved Camping.
RV Unreserved is primitive so you will not be able to hook up to any power. This camping is going to cost you $259.95 per spot.
RV in VIP is still available but you have to call and make special plans to be able to take advantage of these camping spots. To put in your request you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ticketing Add – Ons
There are a few ticketing add ons that are special upgrades that you can take advantage of. These include the following two options:
Camping Gear Rental from Get Outfitted is available to you. This is a really cool program that I have not used but find to be something that you would find super handy if you were staying in one of the camping spots that are not by your car. You can choose from a number of packages to reserve the camping gear that you need for the festival and make your life a lot easier, you even get to avoid the majority of the packing.
Shower Pass is something else that I have not seen before. The Shower Pass is coming soon and will offer you unlimited showers during the festival for $29.95.