High Ground Music + Arts Experience took a gloomy weekend at the Denver Polo Club and filled it with color, art, and memorable performances.
A world of color and music swirled around the Denver Polo Grounds in Sedalia, Colorado, this year with the return of High Ground Music + Arts Experience. Back for its second year, the festival brought a more extensive lineup, brighter art, and more local vendors to the all-new venue nestled in the quiet away from the hustle and bustle of downtown. Welcoming a vibrant display, people from all over Colorado came to the grassy expanse to enjoy a weekend of serenity at this music festival with its breathtaking view.
With music and visual performances galore, High Ground ensured there was never a dull moment for creatives, even if the weather wasn’t perfect. As the storm rolled in, so did a colorful sea of people from all walks of life gathering on the green grass as the music pumped through the speakers. With a stage on each side of the field, the center area offered various vendors, and artists painting live, while food vendors and activities for attendees to partake in were spread throughout the venue.
The first day of High Ground started gloomy, with a heavy mist and gray sky – but that didn’t stop the spirit of those in attendance.
After parking, I took a long walk down to the entrance, where the main stage music immediately greeted me. Upon entering the venue, a random group of friendly festival-goers said hello, setting the tone for the evening and giving me insight into the crowd in general. Although I was alone, many people came up to me, introduced themselves, and invited me to sit with them. This was so welcoming and different from other solo-festival experiences I have had.
I spent the first hour or so wandering around the grounds while enjoying the music from the stages.
One standout found while walking the festival grounds was a serene dome that was brightly colored and decorated with flower arrangements, where yoga sessions hosted by Rowdy Mermaid Transcendome were offered throughout the day. When I was done checking that out, I grabbed a drink and sat on the cold grass to enjoy the music.
Maddy O’Neal was the first artist I caught on the High Ground Stage. She performed a range of styles that had the crowd on their feet and dancing around with their friends the entire time. The mist got heavier as her set came to a close, and I decided to walk around the marketplace and saw an abundance of local vendors selling clothes and accessories to check out.
After wandering around the marketplace, Elohim took the stage, and she blew the crowd away with her deep beats.
Elohim danced around and sang her lyrics with the rest of the crowd as her vibrant visuals flooded the stage. Once her set ended, I went to the Levitate Stage to catch Laika Beats. The crowd swelled as he took over the festival with his otherworldly beats, and what I caught of his performance ended up being one of my favorites throughout the weekend.
From there, I headed to the High Ground stage for the rest of Shallou. His chilled-out performance with live instruments was at the perfect moment, just as the sun set behind the mountains. I sat in the cold grass once again once I found a spot for the rest of the night, closed my eyes for a moment, and just enjoyed the fresh air and the music.
TOKiMONSTA took the stage soon after and brought plenty of grooves as her colorful, twirling lights lit up the night sky. The crowd sang along to her songs with their hands in the air as more people gathered at the stage. Then, it was time for TroyBoi. Keeping with the groove, he brought the house down with his one-of-a-kind sound. Everyone was cheering into the wet night as TroyBoi played his biggest tracks – it was the perfect way to bring the first night to a close.
On the second day, I quickly headed to the Instrument Garden by the Boredomfighters.
The Instrument Garden by the Boredomfighters offered a dark tent where you could go in and create a track. The line to participate was pretty long, so I stood outside for a moment and watched other people produce some music. I also explored the VIP section as Gioli & Assia started to play. The comfy couches, games, a painted school bus, and canopies reminiscent of clouds were a welcome addition to High Ground this year.
The sunset during Gioli & Assia’s performance was beautiful, and the crowd’s faces lit up with the ever-changing lights as their dark, hypnotic beats shook the ground. They ended their set by coming out from their DJ booth and taking photos with fans, and within moments, What So Not took the stage to give himself extra time for his performance.
With it being just days before the release of his album, ANOMALY, it was exciting for me to see him play for the first time in years. There was plenty of energy throughout his set as he played singles off his album along with older releases that evoked a sense of nostalgia. His ability to blend genres melted the minds of everyone who was there and firmly left their jaws on the floor.
Closing the festival on the High Ground stage was Chromeo, who brought their undeniable funky vibe and vibrant visuals along with them. The crowd danced along to every beat they played as they turned back time with a plethora of disco and electro-funk-infused grooves. This was the first time I had the chance to see this duo, and they left me impressed; it was the perfect end to an incredible weekend.
Though small in size, High Ground Music + Arts Experience made this weekend in Colorado feel larger than life.
High Ground brought in creative people from all over and added enjoyable elements for anyone attending. The festival’s unique lineup of artists that featured established names and locals alike, paired with activities, art, and a laidback ambiance, made it leave a fond memory in my life. This is only their second year, and hopefully, there are many more to go!