In 2020, Arise Music Festival lost its longtime home at Loveland's Sunrise Ranch and its odd relationship with the Emissaries of Divine Light, the fringe spiritual group that ran the space. Longtime producers Tierro Lee and Paul Bassis split with fellow producer Luke Comer, who tried to move the fest north of Park Creek Reservoir, between the small towns of Buckeye and Livermore in Larimer County. But that deal fell through when the Larimer County Commissioners refused to approve the site for a music festival.
After a year of hunting for a new location, the annual event has announced that it has purchased a 1,000-plus-acre property in Boone, and that positive talks are taking place with the local government, which supports the festival.
“Because Arise owns the property, we are able to master-plan for our future — to create, over time, a festival that is functional, innovative and beautiful, and that provides our patrons with one of the most epic and uplifting experiences on earth. For this and other reasons, we are calling our new home ‘The Cradle,’” stated Comer in a statement.
The Cradle is a promising pick. It operates as an organic farm and ranch on the border of Pueblo and Crowley counties — far enough from Denver to feel like a retreat, but close enough to bring people from the big city to the fest. It's also close to New Mexico, and Arise hopes to bring in new fans from that state, as well.
The site is ten times larger than Sunrise Ranch and includes 400 acres of irrigated land, cottonwood trees that will provide shade, and views of the Arkansas River along the border of the property, organizers promise. There will be plenty of space for camping, and Arise boasts of "dust-free fields."
When the festival is not happening, the land will operate as a farm and ranch, and there will be efforts to preserve native wildlife.
Arise plans to return in 2022, with its usual lineup of funk, reggae, bluegrass, jam, hip-hop, rock, electronic and folk performances, as well as workshops in yoga, art, dance, design and theater. Within the next six weeks, the festival will announce whether it's moving forward with a 2021 edition.
“We intend to stay true to our roots, but I also think of this new location as our blank canvas, where we can reinvest many of the ideas behind festivals in general,” says Comer.
For more information on the festival, visit Arise online.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.