By: Christian Cortes
It may only be March but the 2015 festival season is already off with a bang thanks in part to a growing number of festivals taking place in warm climates around the world. The music and scene seem to have taken no breaks this year, and this weekend’s Serenity Gathering (March 19th-23rd) will set the tempo for what is sure to be an exciting season of music, art and conscious gatherings across the U.S.
If you’re still on the fence about checking out Serenity, here’s five reasons you’ll be kicking yourself if you don’t make it out.
Located in the forested hills of northern San Diego County, Serenity’s festival grounds are sewn with the flora and fauna of a dream venue. Oak trees offer shade along a winding stream that cuts through the campgrounds, giving enchanted eyes endless natural beauty to enjoy as bodies absorb the warm afternoon sun and mild nights of the La Jolla Indian Reservation. This is a far cry from the raw environment of Black Rock City, though the vibe may have you wonder if you’ve stumbled on the Playa’s alter (and more forgiving) ego.
Serenity finds itself in the midst of a series of astrological wonders and phenomena as it celebrates the Pisces New Moon. While Serenity attendees usher in the new moon under a milky sea of brilliant stars far from the glow of city lights, Europe will plunge into temporary darkness as the moon eclipses the sun in a rare convergence of celestial events. Within fourteen hours of the vernal equinox, the moon will turn new, reach lunar perigree (making it our second supermoon of the year) and cross paths with the sun over Europe. One can hardly imagine the energy that awaits attendees on this side of the planet as music gushes from the massive Funktion-One and Turbosound systems fueling the festival.
Big festivals may have their allure with their massive stages, million-dollar lightshows and carnival-like entertainment, but there’s something special about the intimacy of smaller gatherings. Desert Hearts, whose second anniversary festival unfolded just a few miles from this venue last November, continued to prove the power of small events hosted in serene settings. With attendance a fraction of what big name festivals garner, attendees play just as big a role in the experience as the producers and talent. Come baring your wildest costumes, your best campsite décor and your most brilliant inner radiance.
There will be no price gouging and long lines between campsites and festival grounds at Serenity. Once you’re though the main gate, you’re in a land of imagination where you make your own experience and share it with friends and strangers alike. With the walk between art, music and camp areas a matter of minutes, it’s simple to head back to camp with new and old friends to crack a beer and refresh your mind and body for the next blissful set you’ve got your heart set on. Such easy exploration allows schedules to unfold as the psychedelic playground dictates, ensuring unexpected discoveries of every sense and capacity.
Let’s not kid around; you’re checking out Serenity for the music. Three distinct phases of lineups have made this electronic festival the epitome of “sonically expansive.” Ears will reel in glee as the valley resonates with a spectrum of sounds touching on improve-electro, sacred and deep bass, complex neuro-hop, glitchy funk, trippy hip-hop, melodic downtempo and everything the modern masters of techno and house that make up the Desert Hearts crew can throw at us.
With too many big acts to list, let’s just say Desert Dwellers, whose new album The Great Mystery drops this Friday, is one duo you won’t want to miss. Andreilien, EOTO, Kalya Scintilla, Mr. Bill, G Jones, Gladkill and MitiS will round out the big name acts along with talented producers Dela Moontribe, JPOD, Orphic, Safi’s Lab, Stickybuds and Sugarpill. This is only a tiny sampling of the endless sounds that await the Serenity attendee!
Check out Serenity’s stacked lineup yourself to see the trove of music they have in store for your ears! Tier 4 tickets are still available for $160 and will jump to $180 at the gate the day of the festival.
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