If there is one thing Madison House has perfected, its creating magical experiences for its attendees. Laid out on a large vista set amongst Buena Vistas Collegiate peaks, the backdrop alone created a unique experience. It was clear from the minute one stepped through the entrance gates that this was a well crafted, detail oriented, experience driven festival. From the highly detailed stage decorations, to the metal fire breathing giant art Installation, and the tiny themed houses set along the wooded path, the creators of Vertex Festival spared no detail in creating a magical music filled universe.
Upon arrival on Saturday we set up our campsite in a large open field and just as we finished compiling our campsite we were greeted by the typical Colorado Rocky’s mid-afternoon rainstorm. Everyone calmly watched the rainstorm roll in and hunkered down for the quick downpour. The rain left as quickly as it came, and there was a sense in the air it was time for the show to begin. We quickly wandered into the festival, along the wooded path to the main stage to catch the Revivalists. The electric mix of funk, rock, and brass really got the crowd moving. Next up was the Drunken Hearts. Greeted by a fully wood paneled stage in the middle of a forest clearing Drunken Hearts played a soulful, rock set, followed by the multi genre bluegrass rock band Fruition from Portland Oregon. Joined on stage by folk singer/songwriter Nathan Moore, Fruition played an excellent uniquely folksy set.
By the time Fruition ended their set, the sun was down and the light shows started to project into the starry night sky. Duke Dumont turned up the heat on the main stage with his incredible light show and entrancing dance beats. You could really feel the energy in the air on the warm Colorado summers night.
Back at the La Hacienda stage, Head for the Hills played an energetic set, with Joe Lessard ripping on the fiddle. The Head for the Hills set ended with the crowd swigging their heels and do-si-doing around the forest clearing.
Energy in the air swelled as one crossed over the river and through the woods to the Cottonwood Parlor Stage, where Lettuce enchanted the crowd with their funky, psychedelic rhythms. The crowd was memorized by the brassy textured notes, the jam rhythms, and the funk blends exploding from the stage. Combined with an electrifying light show, Lettuce played a brilliant set.
Rounding out the night over on the main stage was ODEZA. I had never seen ODEZA live before their Saturday night performance and I walked away impressed. The electronic beats filled the night air and left the crowd wanting more. Everything from the extraordinary light show, to the energy build up of songs left the crowd in a dancing frenzy.
Overall Vertex was an exceptional experience. The inaugural festival was filled with great music, friendly festival goers, and magical details. Set amongst some of Colorado’s most scenic landscapes, I think this festival should have no problem attracting large crowds in the years to come.