Let's just take a minute and talk about Collaborate and Listen, shall we?
Last year, I decided to take on a new festival.
Every year Noisography covers what I call the big four: Evolve, Sappyfest, Messtival & Halifax Pop Explosion. All four of these fests are amazing, but I figured it was about time to add a new fest into the mix. Out of the recommendation of some friends, I chose Collaborate and Listen - a little festival in Kingston, New Brunswick.
I had never been that far into the woods of New Brunswick before.
Luckily I was traveling with a bunch of people who had attended the year before, because I had no idea where I was going. At one point I woke up from a tiny snooze in the car to find myself aboard a ferry! Taking a ferry to a festival - something I've never done before, so I had high hopes from the get go!
There is a modest parking lot at the entrance and not 2 minutes from the gates, you can already see tents peppered within the trees. That was the thing with this festival - most of the camps were made amongst the trees, instead of in a huge open field. It was an odd concept for me, as I'm so used to open field camping. That being said, since we arrived slightly late, we decided to set up camp in the first available spot we saw - which was in a small clearing between the entrance road and a large wall of trees. It was a quick set up, just throwing things into our tents, so we could head out and see some performances asap.
The main stage was about a 1 min walk away from our tent.
1 min. Really.
It was seriously, right there. Constructed out of a majorly reconstructed tractor trailer, music boomed there well into the night! It was really convenient, I could go back and forth to my tent during a set and only miss a minute or two, which made for a really relaxed feeling.
The best performance I saw on the main stage (aka the Midnight Rider Stage) was easily Papadosio.
I had never heard of these guys until Collaborate & Listen.... but I can tell you, I'll never forget them! Now THAT was a band!
Pairing them with the fabulous fire work of Industribe was also a brilliant idea!
I loved this set so much!
"Articulate melodies meet primal drums and bass, while oscillating pedals and vintage keys battle with future synths and modified scripts - conjuring images reminiscent of a space age musical exploring the essence of power in the presence of fragility, the meaning of light in the midst of darkness".
- FB Bio
As soon as sets on the main stage would wrap up, all you had to do was turn around - and a small side stage would start up. Bands like AA Wallace, Neon Dreams and electronic performer Wobble Walla, were perfect for transitioning between all the happenings at the main stage. They kept your booty shaking all night long.
If you were looking to satisfy your taste for a 24hr dance party, all one had to do was take a short walk down to the Electro Fusion stage - a non stop dance party, complete with a giant fire pit.
This has to be the best stage layout I have ever seen, hands down, at any festival. I can really only describe it like, a meteorite fell smack into the middle of the field leaving a giant hole, which they then turned into a fire pit with a stage at the open end. It`s weird and it`s amazing. Kinda have to see it to believe it. I have yet to see a photo accurately show the depth of this "pit".
Getting to see Snails perform, while dancing next to a giant fire, inside what felt like a crater, was pretty epic. Just sayin'
It wasn't all sugar at Collaborate & Listen though - there was definitely some spice.
There was a drastic washroom issue, which left the festival without proper facilities on the final day. There were signs taped on the doors of the over flowing and clogged washrooms, saying "please use the woods", which was not my idea of awesome. Sadly, it was because of that we actually decided to head home a day early. Festival living is rough at the best of times, but without washrooms - this lady draws the line.
Other than that, this festival was possibly one of the chillest I've attended to date. No one was rushing around, as all the stages were so close you could pop in and out of every set without even thinking about it. The cozy fires, late night coffee and chats around the camps were all major highlights.
For photos from C&L 2014 - CLICK HERE
For videos from C&L 2014 - CLICK HERE
If you're looking for a festival with top notch entertainment as well as cozy camping vibes and great company, check out Collaborate and Listen this year! I mean have you seen the line up for 2015?
Limited time $80 early bird tixs avail Green Lee Shoe Backstreet Records (Saint John location) Jon Roderick Hali, The Funky Monkey Sandwich Stop Inc Pete's Dairy Bar and Kingston Irving Store atm...more tix locations coming.
Avail online at www.shakedownranch.com