Written by Kalah Raela

Photos by Thane Evans

It takes a special type of person to plan, play, or attend Ohio Spring festivals with our diverse Midwest weather, and Alchemy Rising 2017 was full of those special kinds of people. Despite a new venue and slightly muddy conditions, crowds flooded both stages each night for the perfect lineup of bands and DJs, designed to satisfy everyone’s tastes.

The Earlybird arrival had some heavy beats flowing, with two sets from DJ’s Ghost Gardens, and Wanyama closing the night with some reggae/hip hop vibes. Setting up a tent and connecting with friends on Thursday gave festy-goers a smooth transition into the rest of the fun-filled weekend, leaving extra time to enjoy activities and sights around the property.

As there was no stage music until the evenings, day time workshops of flow arts, yoga, meditation, and various other topics were offered for those interested, giving the event a “transformational” feel. Some workshops were located inside the festival’s fabulous art gallery, where I discovered some amazing new artists and chatted with the gallery attendant, who had answers for all the questions posed by my friends and I. Every person we interacted with throughout the weekend was friendly and excited, from the campers and vendors, to the staff and performers. Even Zach Deputy’s groovin’ Friday set was followed by a quick meet and greet and some smiley crowd interaction. Deputy stuck around for a funky late night set on Saturday, again delivering some of the best solo artist music on the festival circuit.

The talented Consider the Source also displayed some incredible musicianship with their Saturday set. I was happy to see their performance as a giant stiltwalking wizard, and even got a shoutout from the band between songs. After that, the evening progressed on to mesmerizing fire performances, provided by some of the most talented flow artists in the region, who created stunning coordinated visual shows all night.

With LED and fire dancing alongside live painters and more killer musical acts like Aqueous, Marbin, and Desert Dwellers, Alchemy Rising had all the necessary components of a great festival. Closing out the weekend to campsite parties and Electric Orange Peel shredding into the night, it felt like the full festy experience. With such well-rounded activities and music, and a ticket price making it accessible for all, this festival delivered a ton of “bang for your buck” and will undoubtedly grow in the upcoming years.