Vertex – Something Magical in Colorado


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Vertex 2016 – Colorado’s Inaugural Festival was Nothing Short of Amazingvertex 44

by James Toothman

Something special is happening in Colorado, and it is bleeding its way into the festival scene. The disconnect between public life and fest life is diminishing at a seemingly rapid rate. Decompression has never been less severe. The two worlds are colliding in a state of welcome symbiosis so that the differences between the two are nearly indistinguishable.
So what can you expect from a festival that takes place in a state where every day is a festival? The answer is a lot – a whole lot.

I recently attended Vertex Festival in Buena Vista Colorado, and I must say it was rather impressive for a virgin event. To use a direct quote from a less than apprehensive member of the local sheriff’s department, ” It’s uh, pretty amazing.” The sound for each stage was on point, the land was pristine, the selected art and artists were of the highest psychedelic caliber, and the security gave high fives coming through the gate.

I could go on, and I will. Daily beach parties provided giant umbrellas, fruity cocktails, summer jamz, and the whole nine. The festival had a giant flame throwing robot, some kind of queer Appalachian laundromat, a tickle parlor, and more lights and lasers than you could shake a stick at. Too Tall Paul was on site bringing his usual awesomeness, the Fungineers threw the dopest renegade after party ever on Saturday night, and did I mention the three hundred and sixty-degree view of the mountain peaks surrounding it all? Oh, and Odesza featuring the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, let’s not forget that.

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From the site logistics to the character actors, the acute attention to detail is clearly what made this festival shine. Bravo to everyone involved in the production of this event.
After their set on Sunday afternoon, I had the pleasure to sit down by the beach with Golf Clap, a Detroit-based duo of DJ/producers, to have a little chat about the future of the scene and events similar to Vertex. From the beginning, these two were wonderfully captivating. Their love for music, for their fans, and for the scene was obvious. Their optimistic outlook for the future of dance/fest culture was unwavering and at times inspiring. According to the pair, what we are experiencing currently is merely the beginning of what’s to come, or to put it more accurately, “Shit’s about to get fuckin crazy.”

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And I would have to agree. The future of the American music festival is bright, especially here in Colorado. It is truly amazing what the legalization of cannabis has done for this state, and not just economically either, but also and maybe more importantly, socially as well. Dance culture and festival culture have combined to become the youth culture in Colorado, and in many cities the dominant culture. Because of this trend, festivals like Vertex will continue to thrive and remain pillars for the youth of this state.