Hyperion: the stuff you won’t find on the flyer

Stable Studios, home of Hyperion Music Festival

If you don’t read anything else in this article, please read this before you bounce:

Buy  a collapsible wagon. BRING IT TO HYPERION.

I have one single bad memory from Wuhnurth 2010 at Stable Studios- the laborious move-in process. Don’t let it happen to you at Hyperion.

On-site camping will be available for $20 per car. This is reasonable, as space is extremely limited. These passes are available online in advance of the festival (the only way to guarantee you will park on-site). Parking up the road will cost $5 per car. A shuttle will run on Friday and Sunday to get you from the parking lot to the front of the festival grounds; do not expect shuttle service on Saturday. Whether you plan to ride the shuttle or not, you will want a wagon to carry gear on the trek from the road into the woods where you will camp.

side note: the G9 artists will be performing somewhere within these inhabited woods; perhaps Kodama will summon the tree spirits for us.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s go back to the beginning of the story.


This may be the inaugural Hyperion, but the folks putting it together are seasoned veterans in the festival circuit. Together, Alex “Herm” Schneider and Brent Nixon (of professional live music lighting company Herm Productions) and music festival authority Sara Elifritz have an expansive network of industry contacts and a profound understanding of what it takes to make a festival come together. I recently had the opportunity to take a few minutes from their busy schedules and ask them some questions that have been floating around in conversations regarding the event.

When I inquired about Hyperion’s genesis, Elifritz answered nonchalantly, “I was talking to Herm on Facebook one day [in February] and said, ‘We should have a festival.’”

It took little convincing from there, as Herm had already been kicking around the idea himself. With a friendship dating back to Muncie’s Springfest, the pair joined forces and went to work.

“We brainstormed for several hours and I came back to him the next day with a budget,” says Elifritz.

“Instantly,” adds Herm.

Named for the Greek Titan God of Light (see what they did there?), Hyperion is striving to provide a complete artistic experience that arouses all of the senses, not just sound.

“We’ll be relying heavily on the visual aspects of the entire environment, as opposed to just what’s happening on our stages,” Nixon says, and then deflects to Herm, who is arranging the optical elements of the event.

“We have a bunch of featured artists coming out. Fifteen or 20 live painters- not just on the stages but in camping areas, too. We’ll have multiple art installations by people from across the Midwest. We have a few video jockeys coming in. And a lot of secret stuff,” Herm says.

Elifritz chimes in, “There will also be an aerial circus from the Bloomington area performing tricks [such as trapeze and hair-hanging]. So for people who may not have been to any of the larger festivals, that’s going to be something new to them and this area.”

Four stages across the festival grounds will be occupied with bands and artists throughout the weekend. The main stage (a large, open barn) will be consistent with other festivals you may have attended at Stable Studios, providing a safe shelter to bands and concert-goers in the event of rain or shine.

Wuhnurth 2010 attendees enjoy the shade of the Stable Studios main stage barn

Hyperion’s organizers also have plans for the spacious clearing inside the woods and suggest it will be a central hub to the festival’s activity, but aren’t divulging too many details.

“It’s going to be something that, when you walk into it will be very cool. It’ll be lit up, active, and stuff going on pretty much all of the time,” says Elifritz.

Nixon adds, “We’ll have some music and a stage, but not like a [traditional] tent or a main stage. It’ll be something really different. We’re also having a picnic on Saturday [from 12-2 pm] to bring people out of the woods during the day- beer Olympics, a mechanical bull, and a lot of fun stuff that you don’t normally see at a festival.”

Attendees are encouraged to support local and buy food from vendors during the picnic; those who do so will be rewarded with a free beer ticket for their patronage.

There is no theme, per say, but the group points to Tomorrowland as inspiration for the emphasis on flashy, fairytale-esque production. They also cite Papadosio’s Ohio-based festival, Rootwire, as muse for their concentration on the visual aspect of the environment. Also in similar fashion to Rootwire, Hyperion’s locally-focused lineup features the best talent from across Indiana and surrounding states.

Herm adds, “We’ve worked with every single one of these bands on the lineup before. They’re our buddies. It’s a big family ordeal. We just wanted to bring a little bit more to the table.”


Additional details from Hyperion’s organizers:

Headliners aside, personal recommendations for “can’t miss” sets:

  • Elifritz suggests Ultraviolet Hippopotamus side project P.E.M.G. (Psychedelic Elephant Machine Gun)- mainly because I overruled her choice of U.V. Hippo and asked that she pick a lesser-known act not on the upper-tier of the bill.
  • Nixon recommends Chicago-based DJ/Beat-Boxer My Boy Elroy, who most would probably recognize as a member of both Digital Tape Machine and Liquid Soul.


Since Camp Tip-for-Tatt was so successful this summer, I’ve continued to collect camping tips at each of the festivals I’ve gone to. I asked Herm & Elifritz for their best advice:

  • Herm: people always run out of ice and people always drink water. So when I used to go camping at festivals I would freeze an entire case of water and put it in the cooler. That lasts so much longer than regular ice that it would keep my cooler completely cold the entire festival.
  • Elifritz: always carry a battery operated spray bottle fan. First of all, because it keeps you cool. Second of all, because it’s an instant ticket to the front row. If you’re walking through the crowd and it’s really hot and you spray somebody on the back of their neck with that fan, at first they’re gonna be shocked and kind of step to the side. Dancing makes it even easier to get through. You just spray your way to the front.


Follow Hyperion’s facebook page for details on all the weekend’s activities, as well as amusing memes and photos of the chalk contest for browsing.

Hyperion Chalk Contest

Additional links of interest: