To follow up the 2016 North American PsyFestival Guide, in which we map out all psychedelic trance focused festivals in Canada, United States, & Central American Countries, Fractaltribe is getting in touch with many of these festivals. We are highlighting each festivals aspects which gives the readers better insight into each events' unique histories, cultures, intentions, and styles.
In this episode, we feature Cross Pollination 2016, a festival which integrates the two sounds of Jungle & Psytrance in the campgrounds of Echo Lake, New York. The idea of pollination is key in this festival as the organizers, Felicia Moncada, Kalomo Jordan, & Ken Silva are deeply rooted in the Jungle / DnB subculture and Psytrance subculture of the Northeast USA. Their efforts are to bring together these two subcultures and introduce the communities to each other while creating a flow of music that compliments one another. Originally, there had been 2 psytrance festivals happening during the same weekend, in an amazing effort of solidarity, the Alphatrance / Solstice Dance Camp at JETLag Festival (a psytrance themed stage) is joining up with Cross-Pollination to unify the same demographic rather than create a divide. This will allow an extended weekend for an ending on Monday June 27th!
FT: How did your festival come about, where did the idea come from?
CP: Cross-Pollination was a concept that Kalomo Jordan (Meszenjah / Om Olak) and I came up with a few years back with Ken Silva coming aboard slightly later. We have an avid love for the psytrance and jungle communities, especially Kalomo as he is an original turntablist, spinning jungle since 1995, and psytrance since around 1997. We wanted to throw a party where the night started in the jungle realm, highlighting a set in the middle called the “Pollination set” where the artist would start their set with jungle, and at a pivotal point would mix into psytrance for the second half of the event. Artemis played our first ever Pollination set and in our opinion, it was monumental. For Cross-Pollination 2015, LuneCell played our Pollination set with his original "Psy Dnb" style into his psytrance production. Both of these events had a good crowd, and an amazing vibe. This year, we decided we simply could not fit all the universal sounds, people, and art into one night, and thus, Cross-Pollination the festival was born.
FT: How many editions have there been and when did it start?
CP: We started throwing Cross-Pollination as an overnight event in 2014. The first edition was in Brooklyn, NY in a private art gallery. In 2015 we held Cross-Pollination at the Fractal Factory in Worcester, MA.
FT: Where did the name come from?
CP: When we originally came up with the idea of the party, we toyed around with a few names. Ultimately, one of our artists and tribesmen, Evan Lentz (Omling) threw out the name “Cross-Pollination”. He also dubbed the collective “Love Tribe”. With the addition of Ken Silva, came the days of the name, “Infinite Love”, thus the double infinity logo. Prior to that we were better known as, “Fake Life”. The evolution of a collective can be seen by the addition of each person. “Cross-Pollination” is a microcosm, spun from the now evolved Love Tribe. It stuck, we loved it, and it fit our theme perfectly.
FT: What values are you trying to promote as a festival? CP: As a festival, as well as with any event or gathering we hold, we promote love and respect, not just to others but to yourself as well. We promote unity as a community. Our catchphrase is, “Uniting multiple subcultures, symbiotically thriving as one.”
FT: What’s your biggest challenge within the organizational process for this festival?
CP: Our biggest challenge has to be the hand selection of artists to include on our lineup. Our community is full of extreme talent, dedication, and pure love for their art. It was very difficult to pick and choose which artists to book.
FT: Tell us a defining moment in your festivals history.
CP: A defining moment in Cross-Pollination history is the euphoric feeling we got as we looked around the dance floor, realizing that we successfully blended these subcultures into one vibe, under one roof.
SET THE SCENE
FT: What is this year’s festival all about? Set the scene:
CP: This year’s festival is being held in the magical vortex we call Echo Lake, in upstate NY. We have three stages who's times active will be staggered, ultimately bringing the entire gathering together into “The Hive”, our overnight stage located in Echo Lake’s Pavillion. The lakeside stage, called “The Offering” will feature IDM, dub, psydub, and live percussion and will run in the daytime hours ending at sundown. The Jungle stage, located in the forest between the Pavillion and the Lake, will be a mix of psytrance and jungle, featuring a Pollination set, ending at 1 am each night. The Hive will go all day and night, also pollinating between jungle and psytrance. If one genre is playing in The Hive, the other will be playing in The Jungle. We will be having an opening ceremony happening at sunset on Friday night at the Lake, and a closing ceremony in the Hive on Sunday afternoon.
FT: What is the idea behind the way you schedule and your lineup?
CP: The idea behind the way we scheduled our lineup is based off the duality of the two main focuses of genres. We wanted to make sure that each genre would compliment one another, while having both options for festival goers the majority of the time. The lineup is carefully crafted, flowing from light to dark each day, complementing the travels of the sun and the moon, stimulating the minds, bodies and souls of our guests.
FT: What are you doing this year to improve your festival atmosphere?
CP: As a collective, we have always focused on fully encompassing our atmospheres with vibrant decor and psychedelic artwork. Bringing Cross-Pollination to the outdoors is an improvement in itself, however with that, we are working with several teams of artists to create large scale immersive dance floor experiences on each stage. For instance, The Hive’s dance floor will be fully surrounded with 360 degree projection art from the incredibly talented Levitation Theory and his team, literally creating a hive.
FT: 3 things to tell the attendees about the event that they otherwise wouldn’t know:
CP: We would like the attendees to know that in planning this festival, every step of the way, that we have stayed conscious and true to the roots of each culture represented. We are molding this experience based off of the original mentalities of these communities, and we hope to spark a revival and revolution of something that once was, but never forgotten.
Secondly, by choosing international guests such as Koxbox, Liondub, Mubali and Soul Slinger, we are honoring the pioneers of these cultures. Paired with national and regional pioneers such as Pish Posh, Om Olak, Matos & Lovelace, Luis Campos, Mizeyesis, and Aaron Fractaltribe to name a few, the majority of the lineup can be seen as influential and inspirational pillars of these communities.
Last but not least, Echo Lake in itself holds an incredible amount of history in these cultures. We feel honored and blessed to work together with the land to turn a new page as it progresses into a newly renovated state of the art music venue.
FT: What are you doing to make your festival stand out from all the rest?
CP: We think this question should remain unanswered because collectively, all of the tribes in this area are working towards to same goals, and we fully support and love each one of them.
FT: Tell us about a person behind the scenes on your team that doesn’t get much recognition.
CP: Kalomo Jordan stays behind the scenes for most of our gatherings, but in reality he is one of the most influential voices in our tribe. It would be hard for one to see the amount of love and effort he pours into his art and music, without physically being there to witness him quietly at work. He is a beacon of light and love, and our entire tribe looks up to him as a mentor whether it be for tips on their mixing, their style of painting, or just for some solid words of advice. He is a pioneer of these communities and has witnessed the growth since the early 90s.
FT: Anything else you want to add about this years event?
CP: Well, we’ve covered pretty much everything. 3 stages. Psytrance, Jungle, and IDM/Dub. Large scale art and decor. Healing. Drum circles. Fire performances. Art gallery… All the important elements in a festival. Add free car camping, water, hot showers, and indoor bathrooms to that, along with electric hookups on the campsites, and you’ve got an amazing weekend.
FT: What are the most important elements of a psytrance festival?
CP: The most important elements of a psytrance festival are most likely different, pertaining to the individual experiencing it. What I look for in a psytrance festival, is a beautiful flow of music with proper lineup placement, a comfortable dancefloor for your feet and your body, and a well fitting decorated atmosphere that stimulates the mind and uplifts the soul. Aside from all of this, properly tuned SOUND is the most important element of any event, psytrance or not. We will be focusing heavy on this aspect of Cross-Pollination.
FT: What values are you trying to promote as a festival?
CP: As stated above: Love, respect, unity within yourself and your community. Creating lasting bonds and future growth as individuals and as a collective. Uplifting yourself and your peers, and being able to leave the festival feeling better than you did when you arrived, in order to take this energy back to the communities we live and work in.
FT: How has the psytrance culture affected you?
CP: Through the psytrance culture, we have crossed paths with beautiful individuals who share the same mind states and visions. Psytrance brings together all walks of life, allowing those who attend to leave their troubles at the door, and heal their souls through collective ecstatic dance, releasing toxins and any negative energy that may have been collected through other environments. Its healing aspects are what makes it so influential to us as a tribe, and also what makes it so similar to the jungle community.
FT: What do you hope your attendees get from the festival?
CP: We hope our attendees will come as they are, be who they are, and be able to leave with a positive outlook on life, having made lasting memories, friendships and connections with those they may not have had a chance to cross paths with otherwise. By bringing these communities together, we hope to expand both subcultures by creating atmospheres that will open the mind to new sounds and experiences.
About Kyle Fractaltribe
Kyle co-produces indoor Fractaltribe events and it's annual festival - Fractalfest. He operates fractaltribe.org and is the creator of the North American Psytrance Festival Guide. An avid traveller, he travels regionally and internationally to psytrance events and publishes media to promote the music and culture.