Since its inception some short years back, the Rootwire Transformational Arts Festival has seemed, in all of its ways, grounded — and deep — in change, of both ideas and actions.
And, from Thursday through Sunday, this year's Rootwire — with a new, festie-friendly location (Sunshine Daydream Memorial Park in West Virginia); the previously announced, amicable departure of founders Papadosio; and a nonetheless amazing lineup of jamtronica, EDM, and IDM master acts and visionary visiting artists, healers and thinkers from around the globe — could prove to be its most transformational yet.
A stellar lineup — headliners like Shpongle, Beats Antique, EOTO, Conspirator, and Zilla, along with a whooole lot more mind-bending acts, will provide the super-sonic backdrop for this year's Rootwire, while an array of celebrated visionary artists, performers, teachers, and thousands of festival-goers participate and immerse themselves in that sound, time and space, for four days and four nights, in the Appalachian foothills.
"Rootwire is all about transforming our thought processes on a wide variety of subjects. ...Life is so much more than dollars and cents," festival co-founder and organizer Ed Quackenmeyer said during a recent interview. "That is what we are here to show people, and it just so happens that artistic expression and education are some of the best tools we have to wake up the minds of our fellow humans, and allow them to experience a whole new paradigm, and become part of the shift towards a sustainable and loving culture."
Along with its expanding musical lineup and being host to dozens of participatory happenings and transformational workshops presented by well-known, respected alternative thinkers and leaders, Rootwire's also grown to become host to the largest visionary arts exposition in the eastern United States.
"The transformation of Rootwire is happening at an amazing rate right now," said Quackenmeyer. "We've been able to draw in some of the most talented musicians, artists, performers, teachers, and healers that the festival community has ever seen in one place."
Having found myself for a short time at last year's Rootwire — as a writer, a photographer, a music-and-arts geek and fan of things freaky for good reason — I gotta say this festival is simply one of the kindest, coolest, and best-intentioned I've ever experienced.
"The reality is that music is spiritual, and music is healing — at least on the emotional level, and, who knows, most likely on the physical as well," Marc Brownstein of Conspirator (and also the Disco Biscuits) said in an interview last week.
"There is such a strong connection between the mind and the body, so we can infer that music festivals in general — whether they know it or not — are spiritually positive and transformational experiences.
"And that has been our experience," too, he added.
For complete Rootwire lineups and artist info, tickets, directions and more details, check out www.rootwirefest.com.