By Ashley Marie,
Wow!! That’s the best noun, adjective, exclamation, and interjection I use every time to describe my favorite event of the year… Just, wow!! The name may have changed, but to me, it will always be the three-day weekend I refer to as this mama’s “Christmas.” The weekend that I begin counting down to from the time I leave. Resonate. Kulture. Just… WOW!!!!
The artists are energetic and passionate, each traveling near and far to provide their own amazing concerto for all the beautiful people that I proudly call my FESTIE FAM! The stimulating and relaxing environment, the open expressions of love and pure acceptance, the free-spirited dancing, the theatrical and fanciful costumes, the electrifying and refreshing air… LV Campground truly provides it all, a little slice of heaven, in the middle of nowhere! I am not exaggerating when I say that each of my three years attending this particular event has been exactly what I needed at that point in my life and every year it just keeps getting better!!
Year one was my first as an independent woman after about 15 years wasted on bad love. I had finally attended a PSB after receiving many invites from several friends. I ran into dear old friends and met a fascinating new group of friends that quickly became festie family! I danced my face off and still felt vibrations in every cell of my body the next day!! It was the first time I was truly exposed to this genre I didn’t know anything about!! I love it all!! Techno, House, Deep House, Trance, Trap, Dubstep, Hardstyle… that was just the tip of the iceberg and I was hooked on this music that touches the innermost atoms of my soul!!
That night I was handed the invite to an event called Resonate and I made immediate plans with everyone I met!! I was so excited for a camping festival near home!! I arrived around 6:00 pm Friday night, just me and my well-stocked van, ready to let the weekend take me on a wild ride! I was not disappointed to meet and experience a one-ness with a group of people like I have never felt before! I lost my keys and set off the car alarm around midnight, quickly getting the attention of the owners and staff J They won’t ever forget my face, that’s for sure! Through a childlike sense of freedom and happiness, I found myself!! I found my sense of purpose and my passion was renewed… I was ready to move forward with life and escape the island of Pityville-hell that I had allowed myself to settle into after a horrendous break-up.
Year two, I took my best friend and this guy that fooled me into believing was “the one” BIG TIME (LOUD SIGH)… he didn’t want to let me out of the tent on his first polypharmacy weekend. I didn’t mind at the time, but looking back… what a waste of my favorite ‘holiday’ weekend!! Luckily, the music and voices of family and new friends would always lure me back out. The atmosphere was different, yet the same. The indoor stage provided breathtaking reverberation with stunning, psychedelic images adorning the walls. The outdoor venue provided a resonating and astonishing three-dimensional (or… multidimensional 😉) canvas for the artists the performed on its stage. Vivid memories of watching many friends provide enchanting and skillful “light shows” using gloves, glow sticks, various homemade glow-in-the-dark accessories, and even fire sticks! The weather was warmer than usual for that time of year, but cool down perfectly at night. I fell head over heels for the guy like a fool, got my heart broke, and vowed on my life to never miss this event for the rest of my days!!
Year three… Best year yet! New name, some names missing from the line-up, but all the other good parts were the same. A rough start to this much-anticipated weekend allowed a quick early stop to set up my tent and grab a wristband before running a thousand errands. We made it back late and passed out early. Then, another grueling trip back into the real world Saturday morning to cash my check and pick up the last of my designated rave essentials. I unpacked and pulled out my first of several outfits from my assorted collection in a tub labeled RAVE GEAR. I plunged head first down the rabbit hole the first of 5 times over the course of 15 hours just after noon. I reconnected with festie family and quickly fell in love with new faces. I wandered back to home base and got lost in costume change sessions several times. I spent a lot of time swinging and relaxing in random hammocks. I danced and hugged and high-fived and explored. I had meaningful conversations and astounding epiphanies with so many lovely personalities. I learned that I really, REALLY need a Pouch Couch in my life… and I HUGGED MY FIRST TREE with a beautiful soul that I would love to thank with a big hug one day!! It was the capstone to an enlightening transcendence that changed my entire outlook on life and has brought me immeasurable peace!! This new, exciting wave of positive energy and enthusiasm has brought me opportunities and happiness that I didn’t think was possible!!
I am truly excited to share more about how the Iowa EDM scene and culture have made such an inspiring and gratifying rippling effect of joy in my little world of me plus three. Life in this fast-paced, fast-lane world is stressful. Kids, careers, personal and professional problems, family obligations, the amount of time spent in a car, health problems, POLITICS… the mentally and physically exhausting list goes on and on… Who doesn’t NEED a break from reality that not only leaves you feeling refreshed, but awakens your soul and lights a fire bright enough to tackle life’s hurdles?!?! Save your Hooked on Phonics… Techno Music works for me!!
Till next time… You stay classy, Iowa! Peace and love… XOXO Ashley