Scott Morrill and Jamie Janover on Sonic Bloom and the growing electronic-music scene
Sonic Bloom has had several homes since its inception in 2006. Now, just in time for its sixth-year anniversary, the Cervantes'-sponsored electronic music festival has found a dream location in Georgetown, at a place called Shadows Ranch. We talked with festival organizers Jami Janover and Scott Morrill to get the lowdown on the upcoming festival, as well as what to expect from the pre-party.
Westword: What is Sonic Bloom?
Scott Morrill: It's a Colorado festival built around local artists and up-and-coming electronic artists. A lot of times, we get them before they are huge. We've had Bassnectar and Pretty Lights, but long before they were off the charts. It's basically the largest electronic-music festival in Colorado, every summer. Jamie promotes it independently, so there are no corporate sponsors.
Jamie Janover: Sonic Bloom is a music festival geared toward electronic music. Camping is always a big part of it, because it's an outdoor sort of thing. It happens once a year and has been in June every year except the first since 2006. This will be the sixth annual festival coming up on June 24-26. We have a new site; it's kind of the dream site we've been looking for many years to find. There is camping on-site right next to where the stage is going to be. It's shaded with lots of trees, flat, right next to a river, and it's only an hour from Denver in Georgetown, Colorado. It's called Shadows Ranch.
How did you pick that spot out?
JJ:There were not a lot to choose from. Here's the thing: You can do outdoor camping in a lot of locations if you are okay with stopping music at 10 p.m., when people go to sleep. To find a location where you can go late -- because, as you know, electronic music is a very late-night kind of music -- you need to find a place where you can just go. We needed to think outside the box on it, and without actually going way far out where there is no infrastructure, it's been difficult to actually find a spot where we have everything. The next-best place was Mishawaka, but you can't camp anyone up there, so everyone has to ride a shuttle to and from the campground.
The lineup for the pre-party is a big ticket. What else will be featured?
JJ:The party is on April 29th and 30th and will basically be several DJs, bands and artists. Alex Grey and Allyson Grey, incredible artists residing in New York state right now, will be here to talk about his art and doing a presentation on the first night. Then the second night, I'll actually be doing a talk on Unified Field Theory, and I'm hoping Alex will join me to discuss the sacred geometry aspects of the theory. Then it's followed by a full night of electronic music on both stages in the Ballroom and the Otherside.
How did Cervantes' get involved with Sonic Bloom?
SM: I've been on board for the past couple years and have now taken on a more serious role in booking and securing talent for the festival. I also worked with Jamie over the years throwing shows at Cervantes'; then I was booking him through Zilla and his other acts. I've been here for eight years, and he's been here since then, too.
Cervantes' definitely boosts and supports electronic music, so it makes sense the two would gravitate together. How and why has Cervantes' taken such an interest in this particular type of music?
SM: The electronic music scene in Colorado has developed into one of the strongest in the nation. Cervantes' is just the perfect setting for it, with the two rooms side by side, the wrap-around balcony and the intimacy of the Ballroom -- that with a thousand people in there, it's still intimate. And it's a free environment.