Walk through interactive art installations during a 3-day arts and music festival at Sunlight Mountain

Walk through interactive art installations during a 3-day arts and music festival at Sunlight Mountain

A live performance held in the heart of the White River National Forest at a Grovestock event.
Submissive / Trevor Swank

Everyday plants playing live tunes generated by a man-made device aren’t your everyday kind of thing.

That’s exactly what industrious music artist Nico Heinz aims to exhibit at an upcoming Grovestock festival, an organizer says.

“It’s like a copper pyramid, and it connects electricity to these plants which will then create sound,” said Echo-Terra art director Auston Tribble. Roaring For Valley-based production company is hosting the event. “That sound is emitted in a certain area, and people can basically hang around and listen to the plants making music.”

Grovestock Festival is a collaborative arts and music gathering that invites people to Sunlight Mountain Resort for a weekend of freakish camping, music and interactive art installations. This ambrosia of the arts, scheduled for June 10-12, features 12 bands, nine DJs, six visual and movement artists.

Participants can drink chocolate soda while following drumming circles. People can also relax in a forest of hammocks or follow a Carbondale-based drumming circle.

“We basically wanted to create a platform for friends in the valley to collaborate musically and artistically,” said Echo-Terra’s administrative director, Paul Struempler.

This isn’t the first Grovestock festival of its kind. In 2019, this arts community began hosting live music events in the heart of the White River National Forest. Places like Thompson Creek have been turned into modestly sized festival grounds.

Campers hanging out during a Grovestock event.
Submissive / Trevor Swank

Struempler said festival officials maintained a good relationship with the U.S. Forest Service to make those previous events happen. But now it marks the first year that Grovestock has been held in a more public setting.

“I think the overall experience that people need to have is to come away understanding themselves a little better and sort of understanding the possibilities a little better,” said Trevor Swank, Echo-Terra’s logistics coordinator. “What you can do, what we could do, what this valley can do, what these artists will do.”

In addition to art and music, festival-goers can immerse themselves in more practical and personal features. Tribble said activities such as yoga, ecstatic dance, chakra flow and brain tapping healing sessions would be offered.

“In the morning – and throughout the night – we always offer escapes and places to heal as well,” he said. “That’s a big part of that vision.”

Food vendors and liquor sales offered by Sunlight are also available. Outside alcohol can only be consumed at campsites.

Campground opens at 10 a.m. and gates open at 1 p.m. on June 10.

Festival organizers expect at least 500 visitors per day.

Full weekend tickets are $85. Camping passes are $30. Day passes range between $40 and $50 depending on the day. For more information about the festival or to purchase tickets, visit

“I just want everyone in the Valley to have the opportunity to be part of this,” Tribble said. “I’m just super excited to see how this develops.”

Journalist Ray K. Erku can be reached at 612-423-5273 or [email protected]

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