Goldyn Travels: FORM Arcosanti

Two weeks ago I had an incredible experience.  So incredible that I felt compelled to share here through what little I was able to capture in memory and on camera.

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FORM.  Our dear friend Reed Fuchs from Denver band DeCollage worked this festival and put a lot of hours into making it amazing.

On a Thursday morning, feeling the need for a little respite and inspiration, I flew out to Phoenix with a girlfriend and then drove into the desert outside of the city for what can only be described as a music-festival-meets-art-and-community-experiment called FORM Arcosanti.  Set amidst the backdrop of the beautiful brutalist-style architecture of Paolo Soleri’s Arcosanti desert community – a project started in the 1970s as an experiment in communal and ecological living (not unlike the ethos at the festival itself) – FORM was certainly like no other event I have seen.

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Arcosanti’s campus from the adjacent hillside

Firstly, the very limited number of festival-goers could only attend either by filling out a lengthy application and being invited, or by becoming one of a handful of ‘patrons.’  There were nearly no “VIP” areas – everyone commingled with the idea that we were all there to contribute and collaborate.  It was indeed a powerful collective experience.  Performance art was happening everywhere, both planned and impromptu, panel discussions held, and the music – curated by the band Hundred Waters, who created the festival – was nothing short of gorgeous.  Each show was intimate and felt interactive.  In one moment, a particular band would be playing, and then 30 minutes later the drummer might be sitting next to you watching the next band.  Attendees even helped pick up their own litter.  It was a beautiful, special thing.

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Mid-afternoon viewers in the main amphitheater

Inspired by the scenery and the sounds, I tried my best to capture what I was experiencing.  Read on below for highlights, as well as a little Spotify playlist I put together featuring the bands from the weekend (perfect for those of you interested especially in ambient electronic music, but dashed with a bit of rock and roll).

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Arcosanti’s infamous bells, cast by residents, which help fund the site and its programs

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Friends Anna and Symantha

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Panel discussion with WeTransfer on the music industry

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The gathering place – central arch of the Arcosanti campus

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Tent village for patrons

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View from the dining hall

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A powerful moment during Dan Deacon’s interactive performance, where he prompted attendees to form a tunnel by holding hands.  Which they did.  All the way around the amphitheater.

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Festival organizer Hundred Waters

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Surprise guests Local Natives jamming out on the stage set down in the valley below Arcosanti, late night

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The tents at night

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12 year old DJ prodigy (name unknown) who spun some heavy dub step that could give Skrillex (who played in the same spot earlier) a run for his money.  Also adorably slurping his Sprite as he played.

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Impromptu tuba and accordion session on the hillside

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Give a listen to what we heard at FORM Arcosanti here via our Spotify playlist:

3 comments

  1. OMFG!! Of *course* you’d know about and be invited to such a celestial transformational gathering of love, peace, beauty, music and evolution!! You have such a way with words and pics you managed to give us a delicious slice of the magick you experienced there! Thank you! What a sacred event! I want to go next year!! They want me there, too, I’m sure!! 😉 xoxoxo

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