FaceMan is currently preparing for the two-day Journey to the Sun Festival, which is centered around a spaceship with a metaphorical message. The Denver band isn’t new to odd concepts; after all, this is the same trio that once played inside a giant shark installation at Lost Lake Lounge and, when scheduled to play before Fight Club at Film on the Rocks, made a large pink bar of soap bearing the band’s name. So curating a festival complete with an otherworldly premise and an art installation sounds about right. “It originally started as me wanting to do a show at the hi-dive and build a giant spaceship and make it more than just a three-band lineup,” says vocalist Steve “FaceMan” of his initial idea. The plans started with a text message to some fellow musicians and quickly turned into a 46-band festival at the new Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox.
The “journey to the sun” portion of the event will comprise an art installation created by Insight Productions, a group of carpenters from the Denver Center.
“They’re building this giant cardboard spaceship, and we’ll hang it in Ophelia’s,” explains Steve. “We’ll have planets all around. They’ll also be building these control panels that will be interactive.”
He got the idea for the installation while thinking about how absurd it is to be a musician, how you continue to push along, creating art, knowing in the back of your mind that you just might be doomed. It’s an act he calls “courageous and ignorant.”
“What would be a really courageous, ignorant thing to do?” he asks. “Would you ever fly a shuttle made of cardboard to the sun? You’d be burned alive; you would die. But you could be this courageous monster — or hero — who decides, ‘You know what? This is worth the journey.
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“We’re still trying to find our own parameters,” he says of his band. “We still haven’t found our boundary, and I think most of the bands on this festival — they are all fighting for the next day and what could they do next. That’s what is so cool about this festival: It’s giving those bands a ‘next.’”
The festival will feature exclusively Denver artists, and it has a DIY feel, thanks to its grassroots origins. “It’s very, ‘You know what? Let’s all go do this together, and it’s going to be fun,'” says Steve. “'Let’s go do this because we can, and life’s too short to not do stuff like this.'”
The lineup is mostly garage-rock and country-rock bands, with a little hip-hop thrown in — all DIY enthusiasts doing this just because Steve asked. “It’s a testament to how big the scene is,” he says. “We’re a band putting on a festival. No one does that. I don’t know if it’s cool or if it’s not, but we’re about to find out.”