Photos & Review | Resonance Music & Arts Festival | 10.02 – 04.2014 | Pataskala, Ohio

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Resonance Music & Arts Festival

Frontier Ranch :: Pataskala, Ohio :: 10.02 – 04.2014

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Photos & Words By: Brandon Mendonca

Additional Photos By: Lofty Views



In the past two years we have seen a huge rise in the number of first year festivals and they have been met with mixed success. Many things can derail a first year festival like too many attendees, poor weather, and any other number of small things that can snowball into a bigger problems (magnified and exaggerated by social media). Resonance Music and Arts Festival, I am happy to report, was plagued by none of these things.
The venue for the festival was very well chosen and included a nice large field for car camping surrounded by woods as well as three stages located just down a small hill in a natural amphitheater. A short walk from the camp site takes you past the artist village, where artists had set uresonance 4_1024x681p their pieces in a large community art tent. Beyond this tent was a hill with a couple trees spaced out perfectly making it a popular spot to set up a hammock and a home base. At the bottom of the hill was the large open area that housed all the vendors and stages. There was a very good selection of food to be enjoyed, from Disco Pizza (my personal favorite), to anything vegetarian or vegan you can imagine. Booths that weren’t selling food sold everything from glass pendants/art, to clothes, jewelry, etc. Every vendor I interacted with didn’t mind chatting with you for a bit whether or not you planned to buy anything, sometimes we would just have a conversation while appreciating the music going on and all the people in attendance.
What made this festival special to me was the fact that I didn’t know a single person in attendance before the festival started, but after the first day it felt like I knew every single person in that venue. The first night I spent swinging leisurely in my hammock while my ears were filled with the beautiful music of Twiddle, The Main Squeeze, TAUK and The Mantras. The first three groups I had never seen before but had heard only good things, and after seeing them I have nothing but good things to say about them. Twiddle is a great group with some really talented musicians who put together a clean and well executed set. The Mantras were the only group there I had seen multiple times before and they really pulled out all the stops in their performance, including bringing out the guitarist from Twiddle to play a couple songs with them. It was an impressive night of a variety of different kinds of music that left me drained and ready to rest up for the next day
20141002-_DSC0079_644x800You could feel new energy and excitement in the air on as the sun rose each morning, but knowing that Papadosio would be playing their first set later in the night added to this energy. Leading into Papadosio were a second helping of some great sets by The Mantras, The Main Squeeze, and Twiddle. Wandering around during one of these sets I actually ran into one of the main people in charge of the event and had a good talk with him about the preview I wrote and the festival itself, so Casey if you’re reading this thanks for the bottle of water and the event! The Mantras played many of their songs from their album Jambands Ruined My Life for their second set with some new songs mixed in. The venue was subdued and quiet with anticipation for Papadosio as they were getting ready to begin. They delivered a phenomenal set that contained some of my very favorite Dosio songs as well as new songs that have become fan favorites. While this was only my second live Papadosio set I’ve been listening to live recordings of them for a while and I really felt this set had some good variety and showcased one or two of their slightly rarer songs.
After Papadosio the night still had much to offer with sets from: Phutureprimitive, Random Rab, and Earthcry. The night started very instrumental and got much more electronic as we went deeper into the night. Phutureprimitive is another one of my favorites and it was great to see a set in the Orbital Stage, an indoor stage set off from the two larger main stages. What the Orbital Stage lacked in size it made up for in lighting and effects. Fog machines filled the room and projected visuals as well as colored spotlights cut swaths of color through the darkness as the drums and rumbles of Phutureprimitive reverberated off of the walls and shook the floor. The DJs on this stage were behind a set of cut out white shapes that would have visuals projected on them with a projector, often to create the illusion of movement. I briefly met the artist that made this installation and he was super friendly and showed me some videos of what was involved in creating it. I love that Resonance Festival gave out special artist passes because it was easy to find artists and ask them what their role was in the festival, for instance the artist that painted the large graffiti piece on saran wrap included in my pictures.
All throughout the day on Saturday people seemed to be giving it their all for the last day, those without beer would seek out those with extra beer, there was no shortage of people looking for cigarettes, etc. It was bittersweet because we knew we still had an amazing night of music to look forward to but we knew that after the music stopped and the sun rose upon Resonance one last time we all had to leave this beautiful place. The first set my group made it to was Nahko and Medicine for the People, a band that I was told by many people was a must see and they certainly delivered. Their music and the crowd were20141004-_DSC0334_827x800 both very high energy and upbeat, it built up to a lot of high energy choruses with most of the crowd singing along at the top of their lungs. From Nahko our little tribe ventured to The Main Squeeze who again played a set that really impressed me, especially their vocalist. Next was Desert Dwellers then Dopapod, respectively a very ethereal set and a very funky jam filled set that left the crowd tired and sweaty.
After a much needed break we made our way back down the hill and into the midst of the huge crowd eager to see what Papadosio would bring out for their second set. This set was just as varied as the previous night’s in terms of songs I knew and did not know, but I was especially happy to hear “The Direction Song” and “Cloud Found“. We were sad to see Papadosio leave the stage after such an amazing set but I was especially excited to see Greensky Bluegrass play as I was really excited to hear something that strayed pretty far from most of the genres we had already heard and as usual they played a set that went in a couple different directions genre wise, which they often do, but impressive nonetheless.
Because this was a first year festival and so many things can go wrong when planning a event of this size I was hesitant at first, but I can’t say I found a single thing wrong about the way the event was run or the venue. Check-in and check-out were fairly quick and simple, you were able to choose your own location for you and your groups campsite, every person I met that was working either security or driving golf carts around was friendly and helpful, and they made sure everyone knew who the artists were. I want to give a huge shout to Festival Footprints for getting me a media pass because I don’t think I would have met as many amazing artists as I did without it.


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..:: Photos By: Lofty Views ::..





 ..:: Photos By: Brandon Mendonca ::..

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