May 20, 2024


pleasant trip on vacation

Journey through interactive art installations at three-day arts and music festival coming to Sunlight Mountain


A live performance held deep in the White River National Forest during a Grovestock event.
Submitted / Trevor Swank

Everyday plants playing live tunes generated by a man-made device isn’t your everyday type of thing.

This is exactly what industrious musical artist Nico Heins aims to exhibit during an upcoming Grovestock Festival, an organizer said.

“It’s like a copper pyramid, and he connects electricity to these plants that will then create sound,” Echo-Terra Artistic Director Auston Tribble said. The Roaring For Valley-based production company is hosting the event. “That sound is emitted into a certain area, and people can basically hang out and listen to plants make music.”

Grovestock Festival is a collaborative arts and music gathering that invites people to Sunlight Mountain Resort for a weekend of camping, music and anomalous interactive art installations. This ambrosia of arts, slated June 10-12, includes 12 bands, nine DJs, six visual and movement artists.

Attendees can drink chocolate soda while they follow drum circles. People can also relax in a hammock forest or follow a Carbondale-based drum circle.

“We wanted to create basically a platform for friends in the valley to collaborate musically and artistically,” Echo-Terra Administrative Director Paul Struempler said.

This isn’t the first Grovestock Festival of its kind. In 2019, this artistic community began hosting live music events deep within the White River National Forest. Places like Thompson Creek were turned into modestly-sized festival grounds.

Campers spend some down time during a Grovestock event.
Submitted / Trevor Swank

Struempler said festival officials have kept good relations with the U.S. Forest Service to make these previous events happen. But now, this marks the first year Grovestock is being held in a more public setting.

“I think the overall experience for people to have is to walk away understanding themselves a little bit better and kind of understanding what the possibilities are a little bit better,” Echo-Terra Logistics Coordinator Trevor Swank said. “What you can do, what we could do, what this valley can do, what these artists will do.”

In addition to art and music, festival attendees can immerse themselves in more hands-on, personal features. Tribble said things like yoga, ecstatic dance, chakra flow and brain-tap healing sessions will be offered.

“In the morning — and throughout the night — we still offer escapes and places to kind of heal as well,” he said. “That’s a big part of this vision.”

Food vendors and liquor sales offered by Sunlight are also available. Outside alcohol can be consumed only at campsites.

Camping opens at 10 a.m., and gates open at 1 p.m June 10.

Festival organizers anticipate at least 500 visitors per day.

Full weekend tickets are $85. Camping passes are $30. Day passes range between $40-$50 depending on the day. For information about the festival or to purchase tickets, visit

“I just want everyone in the valley to have the opportunity to participate in this,” Tribble said. “I’m just super excited to see how this develops.”

Reporter Ray K. Erku can be reached at 612-423-5273 or [email protected].


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