Different city, same Meow Wolf.
Teeming rain in Denver couldn't stop the brand's flagship music festival, Vortex, from making a statement in 2022. Moving the fest from New Mexico to the Mile High City for the first time, Meow Wolf proved their prestige is immutable.
Vortex made a splash over the weekend at The Junkyard, a new open-air venue promising immersive live music experiences in Denver. Attendees of the event found themselves in an adult playground where—at any turn—Alice in Wonderland syndrome could've set in.
Revered for conceptualizing experiential activations that distort reality, Meow Wolf enthralled and titillated at The Junkyard. You'd be hard-pressed to find a more vibrant community.
But it was renowned hip-house artist Channel Tres who stole the show. He was the cynosure of all eyes, performing a sultry, soul-stirring set that palpably aligned with Meow Wolf's whimsical ethos.
Meanwhile, surging Manchester trio Mason Collective threw down a breezy DJ set on the Atriā stage before an explosive headlining performance by Grammy-nominated house music luminary Duke Dumont, who cycled through his cavernous discography of dance hits like "I Got U" and "The Giver."
Here, fans were able to get acquainted with—and marvel at—Meow Wolf's fantastical approach to stage production.
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The tune is a glorious hodgepodge of each artist's signature sounds, with Walker & Royce’s tech house expertise serving as a canvas for Nala’s Riot Grrrl vocal flair.
And Meow Wolf's lovable cast of fantasy-like characters frolicked around, inviting us into the brand's surrealist sphere of influence.
On Saturday, fast-rising amapiano stars Major League DJz brought their unique style of dance music from South Africa to the empyrean Atriā stage, which also featured a riveting performance by legendary techno pioneer Kevin Saunderson.
If the balmy rain at Atriā didn't give you goosebumps, Dixon did. The German house music producer's hypnotic headlining set coaxed ravers out of the Vortex's various canopies to rave underneath the night sky's cloudburst.
Over at Arā, the stage offered a multi-sensory romp soundtracked by kinetic indietronica beats. Here, emerald lasers pierced through the rain like a hot knife through butter.
Sunday brought more rain, but it was obvious that the Vortex faithful were resolute in bringing the weekend home.
On a day with stellar performances by Maya Jane Coles, India Jordan and more, it was Bob Moses who rose above the pack. The duo performed a breathtaking set at Arā, where they executed flawless live renditions of music from their celebrated third studio album, The Silence In Between.
You can keep a pulse on Vortex and sign up for updates on the 2023 festival here.