A rainbow-horned woman with her face painted in pink and white flowers was the first person I met at The Galactic Get Down. She set the tone for a fun-filled, bizarre night of musical comradeship.
The night included bright constellations overhead, fire dancers twirling lighted firebrands, live painting under the glow of black lights, a midnight snack of soybean ginger salmon nuggets from the Cambo Flare food truck, and wild, sweat-drenched performances by jam bands like Dead Larry and the Useful Jenkins.
“Nature and music is the best medicine for the heart and soul,” says Push and Turn lead singer Sothea Lam, and his comment perfectly describes the festival’s vibe.
The festival took place at the Gud-i-Nuff Campsites near Lanesboro, MN, which can only be reached by traversing several gravel country roads. There, in a sea of tents amid the din of drum circles, I became part of a tribe gathered to celebrate music and art.
Marc Brogan, describing himself as the festival’s “local co-conspirator,” said there were at least 450 people at the festival. He also emphasizes the fest’s positive benefits: “It’s my opinion that combining music, art, and community can offer guests a powerful experience that can lead to self acceptance, spiritual healing, and positive inspiration that you can take with you to your daily life.”
“No one at a festival is judging how you look, act or express yourself,” said Tyler Kispert, the lead guitarist and a vocalist for Push and Turn.
In the last year, Push and Turn has played at least eight local music festivals including Eco Fest in Elba and the Harmony Park 20th Anniversary Music Festival in Clarks Grove.
Push and Turn’s drummer, Cameron Smith, says, “Each festival is different but they have the most welcoming vibes and make you wish the rest of the world was so blissful.”
Kyle Truex, the band’s bassist, explains the fun of musical collaboration at a festival, “The audio guys will put up another mic for a singer or guitarist or whatever so someone can jam with you on a song. It’s less about showcasing your band and more about making magic happen for everyone involved.”
His words rang true as the band let me take a trombone solo on their original song “Feel You.”
With the stage lights flashing, the smoke machines billowing, and the crowd hollering, my experience playing with Push and Turn was exhilarating and inspiring.
The favorite regional music festival for Push and Turn is the three-day Shangri-La festival promoted by the band Wookiefoot at Harmony Park. Push and Turn will play Shangri-La this year on Saturday Sept. 10th at 2:45 p.m. on the Harmonium Stage.
If you plan to join Push and Turn at Shangri-La this year, Truex has some words of advice: “Make sure everyone else is having as good of a time as you are.”
- Want to learn more about the band Push and Turn? Visit their Facebook page: facebook.com/PushandTurn, or ReverbNation page: reverbnation.com/pushandturn.
- Check out part of the Push and Turn performance at the 2015 Shangri-La music festival: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11YW08BFIs4
- If you want to join Push and Turn at their favorite regional music festival, they’ll be playing at the Harmonium Stage at Shangri-La in Harmony Park (Clarks Grove, MN) on Saturday Sept. 10th at 2:45 p.m. Learn more about the festival at http://www.shangrilafest.com/
- Some words of advice from the Shangri-La information page to make the festival a success: “Hug your neighbors and get to know them.”