It was hard to keep the smile from my face as we made the turn onto Beaverfoot road for the final stretch of the drive to Motion Notion. We pulled up late Friday evening, so we had already missed a day of festivities, to the place we would call home for the next three nights. Our friends had gone down the night before and had already picked out a super rad camping spot so all I had to do was set up my tent. With big smiles on all of our faces we set off to explore the grounds and to see what Motion Notion had to offer.
Motion Notion is a particularly unique festival that is located in the heart of the beautiful Rocky Mountains. It is held at the Beaverfoot Lodge, a pristine and remote area that borders Yoho national park. You are surrounded by mountains and gorgeous thick green forests on all sides and a glacial river meanders through the festival grounds. There are three stages (The Temple, The Cabana and The Nest Dome) that are each designed and operated by different crews which in turn give each stage its own unique vibe different from the rest. There are also about half a dozen indie stages at the festival that all incorporate their different styles into the mix. You will have a very difficult time not finding something that suites your musical tastes.
As we wandered around the festival I was awe-struck by the natural beauty of the Rocky Mountains that circled the grounds. I can say that I have been to a few festivals now and Motion Notion is held in one of the most beautiful locations of any festival I have been too. The breath taking location sets the mood for the 4 days and contributes to the feelings of bliss that can be seen in more than one person on the dance floor.
As the bass echoed throughout the valley, our booty’s bounced on over to The Nest Dome for our first look at one of the most interesting and unique stages I have ever witnessed. When you first enter into the Nest all of your senses are bombarded simultaneously. Both the DJ’s and the VJ’s help to create an immersive experience that I have yet to see anywhere else. Only half the people in there are dancing at any given time, it’s because the other half are totally enthralled by the psychedelic images being projected onto the roof of the dome. Using specialized hardware and programming the projections are carefully split to create one continuous image over people’s heads. The down side to the dome was it got very hot in there very fast, especially if you are dancing hard. Luckily just outside of The Nest is a second dome that is more open with pillows and blankets in it where you can chill out and cool off. We left The Nest wide-eyed and smiling, as the relief of the cool night air washed over us we both agreed that that had been a worthwhile experience
Check out this video made by The Nest Dome crew https://www.facebook.com/nestdome/videos/1170833599625059/
One of the best things about Motion Notion is the wide variety of different electronic music that gets played. You would be extremely hard pressed not to find something that you can get down too over the course of the weekend. If nothing at one of the three main stages is doing it for you, you can wander around to one of the half-dozen indie stages that are set up in the camping area. One thing I found particularly interesting was the dedication to psy-trance at the Temple stage on Saturday night. Personally, I had never experienced anything like that before and found it to be a refreshing change of pace. That being said, I could not stand being at the stage for longer than half an hour before getting bored and leaving in search of something different. Every time I ended up back there that night though, I would get right back into it and dance hard for another half an hour.
Being that the festival is held in the middle of the mountains, the weather changes at the drop of a hat. What was forecasted to be a weekend with nothing but sunshine was actually a weekend that was mostly overcast with sunny breaks in between; that is except for Sunday. On the last day of the festival the clouds parted and the sun shone down and bathed everyone in its warmth. It was the perfect day to go and check out the river. The icy glacial river winds its way through the festival grounds and the current creates a neat whirlpool effect where the river bends. People can be seen all along its banks enjoying the warm weather and throwing mini beach party’s here and there. There are even a few places that are deep enough for you to jump right in; I was told it was quite refreshing to do so.
The organizers of Motion Notion do a really good job at creating a music festival that is truly unique; from the location to the stage design and even the way that it is run and organized. Motion Notion creates a loving environment that we all gather in to grow and to change as people… Together
The following are a few musical acts that really stood out for me personally over the course of the weekend:
Playing early Sunday morning at the Cabana stage the young producer absolutely killed it. His set, filled with deep bass sounds and hard hitting drops, was a godsend for me in a night filled with Psy-trance and D&B. He kept the whole crowd flailing into the early hours of the morning.
2016 has been a big year for Skuzz Sound with the release of his debut ep “Let’s get Skuzzy” appearing at #8 on the Beatport top release charts. Playing some of the biggest shows to date and some unexpected collaborations make Skuzz Sound an artist to keep your eye on this year.
Playing Sunday night at the Cabana stage the producer who dresses up in a full bear costume was my personal favorite set of the weekend. I got into the whole electronic music scene through dubstep initially and expanded from there. Bear Grillz set was filled with those classic dubstep sounds which had me and the whole crowd rocking out hard. He played more than a few older tracks that brought me back to the times of my early rave-hood.
Playing Sunday night at the main stage this was my first Longwalkshortdock experience and I was definitely not disappointed. With an electric stage presence it is just as fun to watch the show as it is to dance to it. Combining crunchy basslines with live vocals and instrumentation Longwalkshortdock provides you with a high energy show that is easy to get caught up in. You can’t help but smile as Dave sings into his shark puppet Chompers and bounces around the stage. You can tell just by watching him that he is really passionate about what he does and he does it all for the people on the dance floor.
If you would like to know more about Motion Notion check out this Podcast I did with Jeff & Emily about the festival