The first event to be thrown by Kollective Grounds, Karnival of the Arts is coming to life August 30 through September 2nd at the Ukranian Homestead in Lehighton, PA.
This carnival-themed festival is the vision of a supergroup of experienced festival contributors: artistic director Miguel Munoz, renowned festival photographer Karl McWherter, firework artistry of Elevated Explosion’s Bryan Stence, Creative Being’s Brian Borkan, and the audio production work of Jesse Labyrinth, owner of Assorted Studios as well as production manager of XL LIVE.
“We created a large group to push the boundaries a bit and brainstorm creative ways to add to the festival experience,” founder Munoz said.
As far as the carnival goes, guests can expect carnival games with prizes, performances, a fireworks display, and a Saturday masquerade where masks can be made at creation stations or purchased from participating vendors.
Musically, the weekend’s lineup transcends the typical genre constraints of a festival. Headbang in the indoor punk house, groove to the DJs bumping at the silent disco and pool party, or dance around in circles to that hippie jam band (no shoes preferred). There will be something for everyone, and even better, plenty of opportunities to explore music beyond the comfort zone.
Music kicks off Thursday night for VIP guests and rages into Monday morning with acts like Consider the Source, Kung Fu, DJ Logic and Friends, West End Blend, Medusa’s Disco, Tweed’s Joe Vela as Bad Leather, and paris_monster.
As creators describe it, this is an “arts first music carnival.” Their main goal is to perpetuate an immersive visual art experience. When first described to me, my mind immediately went to festivals such as Electric Forest and Suwannee Hulaween, where art installations make up just as much of the draw as the music, integrating to create a full-bodied aesthetic journey.
Munoz himself has been helping create visual art spaces within NEPA festivals for years now. You may recognize his work from the wooden Jibberjazz sculpture and projection duo that lights up the entrance of the indoor jam stage during late-night sets, or his similar wooden creation that would share the stage with Dr. Slothclaw.
“One thing I have noticed over the years from working on different art projects is the interest art-in-progress draws, he said, “[but] most art budgets are modest and typically do not cover materials let alone time and effort. I do it personally because the festival-goers appreciate the effort.
“Instead of waiting for another show to spring up, we decided to take on the challenge ourselves and do our best to elevate people’s perception of a music festival while offering a Rubalad-like visual experience, a super talented music line up, and creating a unique brand separate from any other.”
With matters into his own hands, art will be at the forefront and the team is ready to “tear the roof off this season, not scale down.”
With this comes a focused strive towards artist inclusion and open participation, such as large-scale community art installations and opening “the possibilities of live painting to a larger number of artists”. A three-tier stage will invite duel live art performances and flow artists on either side stage while the bands play—allowing artists to be ranked among performers. Beyond real-time creation, the festival will be accommodating artists with inexpensive opportunities to display and vend their art.
Join us at the first-ever Karnival of the Arts this Labor Day weekend! Weekend and day passes will be available at the gate.