Domefest 2019: Festival Review
10 Years of Dome!
by Colin Williams
Photos by Brady Cooling Photography
This May 16-18 the tenth annual Domefest was a weekend of phenomenal music, beautiful art, memories to last a lifetime, and a celebration of the people we love. The high quality of music that filled beautiful Marvin’s Mountaintop this weekend rivaled that of most any other festival. Pigeons Playing Ping Pong have created something truly special. Their philosophy rings out from their music and is accepted and shared by their fans, the flock. The love and vibes of the flock are an incredibly refreshing thing to experience, especially in this often unfriendly world that we live in today.
Kicking off the weekend on the Gallery Society Stage, festival goers heard the driving, groovy jams of Chalk Dinosaur. Next The Fritz ruled the Bamboo Eater Stage with an energetic shorter set before each of the following three bands. Cycles from Denver Colorado gave a booming, powerful performance. Then another Colorado band, Magic Beans delivered one of the most impressive performances of the weekend. The Magic Beans were fun to watch as their funky, danceable tunes got the crowd hooked on those delicious Beans! The Magic Beans are hosting their own festival this June 27-29 in Rancho Del Rio, Bond, Colorado called Beanstalk Music Festival with an amazing lineup; it’s sure to be an awesome event. Pigeons Playing Ping Pong closed out the Gallery Society Stage with their first of five sets over the course of the weekend. And for those who like to get funky with one of the hottest, funkiest bands on the scene, there was a late night set by LITZ. LITZ will also be hosting their own festival this June 14-16 called Ragamaru, The LITZ Family Ball.
Friday began with the good vibes of Mateo Monk. Then Deaf Scene, who crushed an instrumental cover of Toxicity by System of a Down, rocked out. Both of those sets were followed by a shorter set of Dirty Grass Players. West End Blend, Schwa, and Mungion rocked into the early evening. Schwa is the side project of Pigeons bassist Ben Carey that features guitarist/DJ Owen Murphy and produces amazing electronic music. Then Aqueous and two sets of Pigeons kept the party raging late into the night leading up to an amazing late night set from Magic Beans. Although their set was interrupted by the threat of severe weather we all lucked out and the Beans were able to come back out on stage and jam into the early morning.
The final day of the tenth Domefest was packed with amazing music. Kendall Street Company from Charlottesville, VA entertained everyone with their fun attitudes and awesome, energetic music. It really seemed like they were having fun on stage and that spread to the audience as fans braved the warm afternoon sun to keep dancing. Next were Swimmer and the amazing talent of Funk You. Funk You was definitely a favorite of many at this years Domefest! Opening for each of those bands was a short set from Puremotion. Puremotion is another band of Pigeons drummer Alex “Gator” Petropulos. Next we saw Pigeons lead singer and rhythm guitarist Greg Ormont perform a Scrambled Greg set followed by Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers. Then Goose from Connecticut blew everyone away with three powerful performances playing before Aqueous and each of two Pigeons sets. Goose delivered an extremely tight performance that surely impressed new and old fans alike. Still, even at that point in the night the music was far from over. Mungion kept the crowd dancing with their late night set. And until the sun came up, we saw many of our favorite musicians from many different bands come and go as song after song poured out from the Domefest Allstars. It was truly a treat to see so many musicians playing music together.
However it’s not just the music that makes Domefest as special as it is. It’s the combination of the music, the love, the art, the people, and the place. There was an art gallery organized by third year running art director Gavin Gonzo Gerundo filled with his own beautiful paintings as well as those from artists Andrew Wagner, Lauren Schildberg, and Robert Tichinel. Watching these artists create so passionately to the backdrop of nature and music was a very special addition to the whole experience. There were also workshops that added to the festival experience.
From yoga to arts and crafts and even a touching speech from Nick Heller of Deemster Porn and administrator of The Flock about getting the most out of life by pursuing our passions. Having this experience in such a magical place was a wonderful change. Marvin’s Mountaintop provided a natural amphitheater, plenty of space to camp, gorgeous views, and many areas to explore. This past weekend at Domefest among the beauty one couple got engaged, one got married, and everyone experienced love, friendship, phenomenal music, beautiful art, and much more!
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong have created something special. I have been to many festivals; as a matter of fact, when I left Domefest on Sunday I packed up camp and headed directly to another festival that I am working for, but Domefest is one of a kind. The love and extreme talent that is found at Dome is unparalleled. Thank you to all those who made it possible! Many staff members, volunteers, bands, artists, vendors, and more worked really hard to make Domefest as amazing as it was. Even the members of Pigeons themselves were seen during the weekend working, hands on, throughout the whole process. This past weekend was more than just a music festival it was a celebration of the people we love fueled by the passions of many.