Music News

Meow Wolf Promises "Artistic Playground" at New Vortex Venue

Vortex will be only a few minutes from Meow Wolf Denver.
Vortex will be only a few minutes from Meow Wolf Denver. Evan Semón
It’s safe to say that Vortex, a music festival put together by immersive art/entertainment behemoth Meow Wolf, has drawn high expectations for its first year in Denver.

The event will take place August 5-7 at a new venue called the Junk Yard, located at 2323 West Mulberry Place, in the former home of Stadium Auto Parts. Vortex creative director Sofie Cruise says her team has been working to “zhoosh it up” in typical Meow Wolf fashion.

“What makes the location special is that it’s right in the heart of Denver and very close to our exhibit,” says Marsi Gray, Vortex head of events. The venue is just about a five-minute drive south of Convergence Station, Meow Wolf’s Denver location.

The Junk Yard, which has a capacity of between 10,000 and 12,000, will house pop-up installations by artists "from Denver and from Meow Wolf, who will create art elements that will really transform the space into an artistic playground,” according to Gray.

“We’re really excited to unleash our art and performance on the city of Denver,” she adds. Cruise says that the creative team plans to bring “play and moments of maximalism” to the festival, as well as “a great sense of safety to be who you are, no matter what kind of subculture you find yourself attached to.”

The event’s unique lineup showcases national acts Toro y Moi, 100 gecs and Bob Moses, as well as local acts including Neon the Bishop, Mr. Frick, Peer Review and more.

“At Meow Wolf, as we present experiences, we really like them to be eclectic and to amplify voices from all over, so the goal is to create a playground that is accessible for all kinds of people to come and play and experience art and experience that sense of play together,” Gray says.

Vortex was held in Taos, New Mexico, in 2018 and 2019 before the coronavirus pandemic shut it down for two years. Gray says the festival “outgrew” its original location, prompting a search for a new home.

“We’ll see how it grows from there,” she adds.

The inclusive and immersive experience will be an “experiential chill zone,” Cruise said, adding that it stands out from other festivals because there will be time and space to relax at the Junk Yard.

Vortex, August 5-7 at the Junk Yard, 2323 West Mulberry Place. Day passes start at $69.50; three-day passes start at $198.75. Tickets can be purchased online.
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