Fire Performer Photography at Fractalfest: Reflections
STEPHENTOWN, NY – For anyone who knows me, my favorite subject to photograph is fire, and the way people interact with fire. Fractaltribe provided me a unique environment to grow with my fire photography from the first Fractalfest I attended, back in 2015. This year, Fractalfest, provided another unique opportunity for me to indulge a little in more fire photography. This year included portraits of everyday people beneath an art display demonstrating fire as a fluid, or performance artists dancing with fire as part of a story. Standard disclaimer’s apply: fire can hurt or kill you, please treat all fire with respect, do not try this at home, leave fire to the professionals, danger, danger, danger, danger, danger, don’t be stupid, never play with fire, only you can prevent forest fires, seriously, do not attempt, etc, etc!..
STEPHENTOWN, NY – Fractaltribe chose “Reflections” as Fractalfest’s theme this year. How that manifested was up to each individual person’s interpretation. For some, it meant quiet pensive moments away, for others it was the rippling reflection of themselves in a pond, and for others it was the energy of the performers and audience in a feedback loop as if they were in a hall of mirrors reflecting energy back and forth to each other.
As a photographer, for me, “Reflections,” manifested in my every day interactions with people and the side(s) of themselves they revealed to me, candid or aware, that I am allowed to record and then share back with the greater community. This was my third Fractalfest with Fractaltribe, and my second as a full member of Fractaltribe’s Media Team. I have been able to see, document, and share in moments of joy and ecstasy; sometimes I’ve seen people in their darkest moments; shared a community’s pain and grieving; the hope that things, somehow, for the briefest moment, are okay; and have I seen the hard work and dedication of a crew united in their love of what music and art is capable of bringing to the world.
It remains my privilege and honor to be allowed a glimpse into the hidden souls of everyone that I have encountered and to be able to share these images of people who passionately want to be their true selves in a world that desperately tries to resist them.
Thank you, so very much!
Photo Gallery From Day Two of Fractaltribe Presents Fractalfest 2017: Reflections
A Lesson On Respect From Fractaltribe Presents Fractalfest: Reflections and Additional Photos from Friday Evening
Something I’ve noticed about Fractaltribe, as a psytrance crew, that has always stood out to me has been the high level of respect for the land that provides us with our space for Fractalfest. This is not just based on some hippy-dippy notion of “protect the earth” that is embodied in our strict Leave No Trace policy where not only are attendees reminded to take out what came in with them, they are provided with industrial trash bags as they check in so they have one less thing to worry about remembering, and, it is not just based in our no glass policy so the farm remains a safe place for the property owner’s little children to play barefoot. Our respect for the land also extends to the level of noise a festival is capable of producing.
Our stages and general camping areas are set up in the Fractal Forest, hidden away from passers by on RT 22 in Stephentown. Parking is on a different side of the property where vehicles do not add an additional eyesore for the property’s active business.
The most surprising aspect of Fractalfest; however, is something that you cannot see. I was walking on RT 22 to and from Cumberland Farms a quarter of a mile up the road and I was stunned by how quiet the festival really is, especially at night!
Our sound system, brilliantly designed by Sonic Beating, is fine tuned to project most powerfully onto the dance spaces while keeping sound bleed to a minimum for campers, the Fine Art Gallery, and Staff Camping. The sound system is additionally designed to prevent bass from traveling great distances. It can be heard as softly indistinct thumping as from as close as the Ice Cream Stand on property, from where I am currently blogging. Conversation is easy inside the Ice Cream Stand, and on the Mini Golf Course.
I am proud of the way our crew puts such effort into providing a psytrance festival experience for everyone possibly involved with Fractalfest. Without the good will the people of Stephentown, NY, Fractalfest could not exist, and it is something we take great pains to keep a priority.
Photo Gallery of Additional Images at Fractaltribe Presents Fractalfest: Reflections, Day One
STEPHENTOWN, NY – Friday marked Fractalfest 2017: Reflections’ first full day of psychedelic electronic music, art, dancing, psytrance and weirdness. Strange creatures lurked the shadows of Fractal Forest, while children danced with bubbles at the Woods Stage. Anticipation builds for tonight’s revelry under Megan’s ever watchful gaze from the Grassy Knoll Stage!
Photo Gallery of Fractaltribe Presents Fractalfest: Reflections, Day One
Fractaltribe and The Reliquarium Give Operation: Megan a Final Field Test at Fractalfest
1446HRS, STEPHENTOWN, NY – “Operation: Megan,” a build project combining the creativity and effort of Fractaltribe and The Reliquarium, passed her final field-test last night, and she is all-systems GO! Catch Megan lit up and ready for Fractalfest in a short video below, presented by Fractaltribe.
Fractaltribe’s Video Footage of Operation Megan’s Full Test at Fractalfest: Reflections
Megan watches over the Hall of Mirrors in the Fractal Forest, as our silent guardian, come out and play with us on the dance floor.
Opening Ceremony at Fractaltribe Presents Fractalfest: Reflections
STEPHENTOWN, NY – Fractaltribe began Fractalfest: Reflections with a Mayan ritual hosted by April Remee and Pedro de la Rosa. Attendees gave thanks to the Elements symbolized by the four Cardinal Points, to the Sun, and to the Earth with a special blessing for healing and for peace to the Waters. As the Ceremony ended, the clouds cleared, and we were greeted by the Waxing Crescent Moon, also welcomed as a guardian over the Festival.
One of our own Fractilians, Tovia (aka Terraphorm) celebrated a surprise birthday spontaneously organized by Fractaltribe, with cake, sparklers, and a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday!”
In all, a perfect opening ceremony to our 5th annual outdoor psytrance festival, and our 3rd in the Fractal Forest.
Welcome to Fractalfest!
Photo Gallery From Day One of Fractaltribe Presents Fractalfest: Reflections’ Opening Ceremony
Fractaltribe’s Adrian and Artemis Arrive for Fractalfest
1409HRS, STEPHENTOWN, NY – I arrived at Fractalfest from Boston last night with Artemis around 11pm after a long drive that took us through Northampton, MA. We needed to stop for a food break and to pick up lat minute supplies for our adopted Porta-Potty. Artemis will be prepping for her two DJ sets: a dark psytrance set, and dark Nordic ambient chill set — I am really excited to hear the dark ambient chill set, at full power as it reminded me of orcs discovering psychedelic electronic music.
From RT 143 we could already see the blue lights of the Puffer Dome/Chill Area on the main field. We topped Nightshade off with gas, and pulled onto property to set our space up.
Once we finished, we started wandering around to see what we could see: first through staff camping, and the artist area, until we reached the main stage where the video mapping display was getting calibrated for use on “Operation: Megan,” the combined project between Fractaltribe and The Reliquarium.
Jaw dropping cannot begin to describe how “Operation: Megan” looked, even in the testing phase! We could see Topher dangling about 25-35 feet above the ground directing others around the stage, while disco balls flashed, and digital facets lit up.
Summer festival season is upon us. I thought it would be helpful to make a general list of things to bring to a summer festival, or any other appropriate event. Mind you, certain things are very specific to me, but hopefully this festival packing list be considered a starting point for others, and may vary from festival to festival.
Some Form of Shelter – For me, it’s Nightshade, my class B RV, that serves multiple functions and can change day to day. For others, it’s a tent, or an improvised set up in their vehicles.
Clothing – Weather conditions can change suddenly. Warm weather clothing as well as cool weather clothing are crucial. Extra socks and undies (if that is what you wear). Festie-grime IS a stereotype for a reason. Comfortable shoes. Towels. Panchoes, or some form of wet-weather gear.
Food and Water – This goes without saying. I have seen some amazing set ups with complete kitchens, and enjoyed some darned good meals prepared by friends. I like to bring MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) that I pick up from a local military surplus store to go with whatever else I bring.
If you do go with MREs, make sure to bring a fiber-supplement. Trust me.
Coffee or tea. French press, or cold-brew, as needed. Instant, if nothing else.
Propane stove / fuel – Nightshade has her own small galley, others bring some form of propane camp stoves. Mind venue rules. Some are okay with propane stoves but no charcoal grills or open fires are allowed.
Utensils – Knife, Fork, Spoon, Spork, Chopsticks. Whatever. (I travel with all of them)
Soap of some kind – Should be biodegradable and multi purpose. Good for sponge baths, clean up of food, clothing, or shampoo. Camp soap, Dr. Bronner’s, etc.
Toothbrush and toothpaste – Can you imagine three or four days of festival grime on your teeth?..
Menstruation related products – Yes, I am a cis-het male. Yes, I will go to a festival with tampons, pads, baby-wipes, moist towelettes, etc. Someone may need them. Also, if you wear them, period panties can be life changing.
Bug repellant – Expect mosquitoes and ticks to be horrible every year.
Flashlight(s), headlamps, LED lanterns, Chem-Lights/Glow Sticks.
Trash bags – Leave No Trace. If it came with you, it leaves with you. If it did not come from the land, it does not remain on the land.
Phone/Walkie Talkie – If you’re with a group, it’s good to remain in contact with the group
Chargers and batteries for all your electronics – Cigarette Lighter Inverters are a wonderful thing!
Venue Map – Besides knowing where to camp, park, art galleries, unique festival features, and where the stages are it’s more important to know where medical services, porta-potties, security desk, and water stations are.
Performer Time Slots – Who is playing or performing, where, and when
First Aid Kit, Benadryl / epipen / medical ID tags / In Case of Emergency (ICE) Contact List, allergy list, bandages, band aids, tweezers, alcohol wipes, pain relievers, etc
Condoms – You never know
This is not a list that is fixed, and set in stone and should be considered a starting point. What is appropriate for me can be very different for someone else.
What Would you Pack in your festival Packing List?
Fractaltribe Spends Independence Day Weekend in the Fractal Forest
2017-07-03, STEPHENTOWN, NY – Fractaltribe spent an extended holiday weekend on property to begin clean up, structure repair, and land preparation for Fractalfest 2017: Reflections. Members brought everything needed to sustain crew for the duration: food, water, generators, tools, hardware, tents and other supplies. The Woods Stage had seen a long year that included a brutal winter, and other events held on property once the weather improved, while the Main Stage was isolated from the rest of the property. Bridges on the property were repaired or reinforced for additional strength. It was not all drudgery and hard work, evening saw time to rest, relax, and reflect together. Fractaltribe was even able to have a small celebration of America’s Independence Day on the night of the 4th.
All in all, the first three work weekends was a success, and set the momentum going forward for Fractalfest: Reflections, at the end of the month!
Photo Gallery From Fractaltribe’s First Work Weekend for Fractalfest 2017
Fractaltribe And The Reliquarium Team Up For a Combined Fractalfest Art Project
LINCOLN, RHODE ISLAND – Fractaltribe and The Reliquarium teamed up to produce one of the most ambitious stage designs, to date, for Fractalfest Reflections. In this series of photos, Artemis from Fractaltribe and Ivy of The Reliquarium welded metal together to create the wire-frame of the new stage, codenamed: “Megan.”
The heat from welding torches is so hot that it shines into the UV spectrum. Without proper body protection, including sunscreen, prolonged exposure to the light will cause burns similar to sunburns on skin, and a painful injury to the eyes, similar to severe snow-blindness.
Photo Gallery of Fractaltribe’s Artemis and The Reliquarium’s Ivy Welding Metal For Fractalfest