Reflecting on an entire year’s worth of memories is always fun, but never easy. Rather than writing lists of the “best” of anything and everything that happened this year, we simply asked our staff what their favorite memory is from 2014.

What follows is a list of favorite concerts, festivals, artists, events and local releases that stand out as incredible memories in the minds of the Indy Mojo editorial staff. We hope you enjoy this walk down memory lane, but are equally excited for all that 2015 will bring us.

On behalf of everyone at Indy Mojo – Thank you for a great year!

Beats Antique - The Vogue

Beats Antique - The Vogue

Mojo Moments in 2014 - Wood Brothers at The Vogue

Mojo Moments in 2014 - dr. Bass + vicelikemiami

Mojo Moments in 2014 - Phases of the MoonMojo Moments in 2014(20)

Read our full review: Phases of the Moon Music and Arts Festival, a Look Back at the Last Festival of the Season

 

Mojo Moments in 2014 - Mutt Strut 2

Read our recap of all our fundraising efforts for the 2014 Mutt Strut in this article, Mojo’s Mongrels run the Trap.

Mojo Moments in 2014 - funky junk 2

Mojo Moments in 2014 - umphreys at the lawn
Mojo Moments in 2014 - Julie Young

Read the full profile here: Young, Artistic Talent – Julie Young

Mojo Moments in 2014 - Dark Side of the Moon performed by members of Papadosio, The Werks & Dopapod at the Werk Out Music Festival

This performance was just one of our top 10 moments at The Werkout. See the full list here: Don’t Miss a Werkout – the Top 10 Recap of The Werkout Music and Arts Festival

Mojo Moments in 2014 - dark star jubileeMojo Moments in 2014 - polar plunge 2

Read our recap of the 2014 Special Olympics Polar Plunge recap,

Bearded Ladies Escape Carnival Sideshow; Jump In Freezing Lake.

Mojo Moments in 2014 - midwest hype the time

Read our full review here:

The Time is Now as Midwest Hype Releases 4th Studio Album

Mojo Moments in 2014 - deckademics

Learn about the curriculum, the staff, and what the students have to say in this deep interview with the co-founders: MOJO IN SESSION – Deckademics DJ School

Mojo Moments in 2014 - dig in

Photo via DoingIndy.com

Mojo Moments in 2014 - caspa

In the wake of what some will say was the best, others the worst, first-run music festival the Midwest has seen since Rothbury ’08, there is definitely a lot to discuss about the inaugural Phases of the Moon Music and Arts Festival.

Widespread Panic - Photo courtesy of Aaron Lingenfelter FX Media Solutions

Widespread Panic – Photo courtesy of Aaron Lingenfelter FX Media Solutions

As a writer I strive to provide the most honest, and when it comes to music festivals there will always be the lovers, the haters and the in-betweeners. Phases Fest was set to be a dream festival – the be-all, end-all in jam and funk music – and the perfect way to end summer. After two years in the making, founders Barry & Sam Shear took beating after beating, yet came out the other end smiling, looking to the rising sun with thoughts about how next year will be better.

Photo courtesy of Aaron Lingenfelter FX Media Solutions

Photo courtesy of Aaron Lingenfelter FX Media Solutions

To recap on the festival: it was set to take place at the Kennekuk County Park, a 3,000 acre park which includes historic buildings, lakes for fishing and plenty of wooded, as well as field, camping. The line up was stacked: two nights of The String Cheese Incident and Widespread Panic and single sets from Govt. Mule, Tedeschi Trucks Band and Galactic, just to name a few.

The first unforeseen incident took that struck Phases happened before the festival even got underway when headliner Bob Weir and Ratdog canceled their tour. The open timeslot was filled by Grace Potter & The Nocturnals – and it was a wonderful performance – but a disappointment to miss Ratdog nonetheless. Despite the weekend’s chilly weather, the music was amazing and every single band delivered powerhouse sets.

The String Cheese Incident - Photo courtesy of Aaron Lingenfelter FX Media Solutions

The String Cheese Incident – Photo courtesy of Aaron Lingenfelter FX Media Solutions

Heavy Rain Delays Early Weekend Festivities

As we arrived Thursday morning we knew the festival was going to be tested, as torrential downpours halted Wednesday arrivals and pushed back the Thursday entry time by several hours. What attendees need to understand, and unfortunately the festival staff failed to inform the public about, was just exactly how bad the rain was.

The Big Fun Circus - Photo courtesy of Aaron Lingenfelter FX Media Solutions

The Big Fun Circus – Photo courtesy of Aaron Lingenfelter FX Media Solutions

Countless backup plans could not have prepared Phases for the inclement weather they received. The venue, as was discussed in a short Q&A with Barry & Sam, is designed to hold up to 25,000 cars, but over half the facility was flooded and thus impassable. If they had allowed cars to enter and park, attendees surely would have been even more angry with cars stuck in the mud, ruined camping equipment and a hefty tow bill (the base fee was $80). This is why festival-goers waited in line for upwards of nine hours to get into the festival. This is why there were low flyovers from a helicopter trying to dry the grounds. This is why campers had to be relocated to the nearby fairgrounds and another park.

With alternate camping and parking plans in place and everybody safely inside the venue, stars finally aligned for Phases fest. The park is beautifully laid out with camp-next-to-your-car access and a short walk to the stage entrance. Once inside, there were a large number of food and art vendors, a farmers market selling local veggies and baked goods, lots of porta-potties and plenty of bars to purchase alcohol (at an astoundingly high $7-$8 per 12oz beverage).

The Sanctuary - Photo courtesy of Aaron Lingenfelter FX Media Solutions

The Sanctuary – Photo courtesy of Aaron Lingenfelter FX Media Solutions

The stages were close enough that walking between them was very easy, bur just far enough that there was no noise pollution from adjacent stages. The visual art present was awesome, Alex and Allison Grey were in attendance providing fans with endless eye candy. There was non-stop performance art in-between big acts, as well as live painting throughout the festival. Lastly was The Sanctuary, a beautifully constructed area that was isolated from the rest of the festival where they held educational classes on art, meditation and yoga.

Overall there was one thing that put a very uncomfortable and unnecessary vibe on the festival weekend, and that was the policing of outside beverages. We can all agree and understand that festivals must turn a profit, and alcohol sales are a big part of that. But when a festival allowed, what appeared to be private security meets club bouncer, to harass festival patrons all weekend. These people were demanding to look inside backpacks and purses AFTER patrons had entered the festival and passed the general security check point. Disregarding how illegal this is as we as Americans maintain our basic American rights, it was the only part of the festival that felt tainted.

The Lunar Landing Conspiracy - Photo courtesy of Aaron Lingenfelter FX Media Solutions

The Lunar Landing Conspiracy – Photo courtesy of Aaron Lingenfelter FX Media Solutions

On the whole, Phases of the Moon Music and Arts festival was amazing. The music could not have been better, the food vendors were top notch, they served beer that was not limited to domestic pours, and the overall crowd was very enjoyable to be around. Yes, there were some major flaws, but as my editor likes to remind me – what doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger, and we can only hope that for the future these issues will be addressed in advance. I definitely plan to return next year, and I hope the same for everybody that went. Sometimes we have to find it in our nature to accept that some things are out of our control and find it in our hearts to give it a second chance. I am fully confident that this festival will be one to remember… both now and in the future.

POTM-LineupPhase3-SQ-v1-600x600

As summer draws to a close, residents of the Midwest prepare to settle in for what is sure to be another lengthy winter. Trips to the state fair, mass quantities of sweet corn and late night bonfires are things every Hoosier gets their fix on before the cold hits. But for a select few that ritual also includes one last hoorah, one last big festival to go out with a bang. This year the Midwest welcomes the brand-spanking-new Phases Of The Moon Music and Art music Festival, set to take place in Danville, IL September 11-14.

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One area of camping grounds

Phases Of The Moon (POTM as I’ll refer to it from here on out), is a festival most of us have been anticipating with high regard due to the extensive line-up, the layout of the grounds and of course its proximity to home. Spanning four days, POTM is being held on the historic 3000 acre Kennekuk National Park in Danville, IL. According to their website, Kennekuk National Park hosts an array turn-of-the-century buildings, prairie lands, meandering streams, hiking trails and a 170 acre stocked fishing lake.

Sidebar: An Illinois fishing license is required to fish, so plan in advance if you want to make this part of your weekend experience.

The musical line-up is what has many of us giddy with excitement, as the festival offers “four days of 100% organic, guaranteed feel good music,

John Bell of Widespread Panic

John Bell of Widespread Panic

performed by nationally renowned musicians on four unique outdoor stages.” That’s right: there is not a single DJ, computer or ableton-wielding candy kid set to perform at POTM- a unique experience for a music festival in today’s age. Musical guests include Widespread Panic (two sets!), The String Cheese Incident, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, Railroad Earth, Gov’t Mule, Leftover Salmon, Galactic, Tedeschi Trucks Band, JJ Gray & Mofro, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Dumpstaphunk, Toubab Krewe, and the Sam Bush Band just to name a few.

However, the POTM experience does not stop with the music. The whole festival is billed as a music and art festival, offering 14 different performing artists as well as 12 visual artists including the famed Alex and Allyson Grey. All of the artists will be onsite during the whole weekend enhancing the music with their rich visual talents.

Limited Edition poster to be given out at POTM thanks to the Conscious Alliance Food Drive. Just bring 20 Canned goods to get your poster.

Limited Edition poster to be given out at POTM thanks to the Conscious Alliance Food Drive. Just bring 20 Canned goods to get your poster.

The Sanctuary, another aspect of POTM, is set to be an oasis- a place to go to relax, rejuvenate and heal. A diverse line-up of renowned healers and instructors will be on site to provide education and practice in yoga, qi-gong, meditation, sound healing, massage and energy work.

In addition to music, art and healing, POTM will also feature a sober camp ground, the original Furthur bus celebrating its 50th anniversary, a disc golf course, a kids camping and play area for families and festival transportation by Festi Cab. There will also be a beer garden onsite and a wide array of farm-to-table food options, an organic farmers market and plenty of unique craft vendors.

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VIP camping area

Now that we have you hooked on what will probably be the most talked about festival of the summer, let’s see what we can do to get you there.

Tickets are still available for purchase for the whole weekend, set at $250 which does include your camping. Can’t make it for the whole weekend? They offer one- and two- day passes starting at $85. Please remember that these prices will go up the closer we get to the festival, so act fast.

For all general info and to learn about the festival please check out the POTM Website here. To stay up-to-date on all the newest info regarding the festival you can follow their Facebook Page Here.

Setting the stage for what may be the best festival of our region this summer, Phases Of The Moon Music and Arts Festival is sure to be the Midwest’s next hidden gem. Anybody who is a fan of live music owes it to themselves to come check out this amazing opportunity. Grab your ticket, round up some friends and pack the car; I’ll see ya out in the fields.

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As the last of winter melts away and spring is set upon us, music fans the world over are joining in a collective daydream of something long lost to the months of cold. It is something loved and dearly missed. It is a sanctuary. It is a place for movers, shakers, and music makers. It is a long travel into the middle of nowhere. At the same time it’s just a short trip into the city. It is drum circle, and yet it’s a turntable and subs. It is an electric guitar, too. It is the great outdoors. It is sunny days and moonlit nights spent dancing under the stars. It is the unmistakable smell of patchouli and shenanigans. What is our dream, you ask? Simply put: Festie Season.

Here at IndyMojo, we’ve undertaken a project to help you decide where your summer mischief will be best spent. We’re compiling a festival roundup of sorts, detailing the ins and outs of America’s best music festivals. By no means should this be viewed as an all-inclusive or all-encompassing guide. Instead, it should be regarded as an informative look into festivals both large and small, created with the intent of helping you find your own unique path for the summer.

Because this is such an immense project to undertake, the guide will be broken up into a multi-part mini-series. For part one of the Midwesterner’s Guide to Music Festivals, the focus will be on festivals located in the heart of our home, the Midwest. Here goes…

1. Summer Camp Music Festival

Summer Camp Photo

When: May 23rd-25th, Thursday Pre-Party May 22nd

Where: Chillicothe, IL

Cost: $212 GA* (tier 2), $33 Thursday Pre-Party GA*

*Prices Include all facility and service fees

Style: Multi-genre focused on jam and EDM

Extra Attractions

Late night barn sets (extra ticket required), musician workshops, community activism workshops, Soulshine tent, and kid’s area.

Things to Know

No car side camping (be prepared to walk with your camping gear). Limited shade in most camping areas, no outside alcohol allowed.

One of the largest festivals in the Midwest, the 14th annual Summer Camp Music Festival will take place this year in Chillicothe, IL. Founded in 2001, Summer Camp has grown from an initial attendance of 1,000 to over 15,000 in recent years and has previously hosted acts such as Moe., Umphrey’s McGee, Widespread Panic, Pretty Lights, The Flaming Lips, Skrillex, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, and many more.

As for Summer Camp 2014, the lineup has an incredible mix of both organic and electronic music, and one will be hard pressed to find a better combination of artists in once place this summer. To reiterate plainly, this year’s lineup is INSANE: Bassnectar, Umphrey’s, Lotus, Yonder, EOTO, and Trey, all on the same lineup. Say what!?

Some key things to remember, though, there are extremely limited forest camping spots so plan on bringing extra sunshades for your tent and camping area. Outside alcoholic beverages aren’t allowed in the park either, so plan accordingly if you want to get your buzz on over the weekend.

All in all, Summer Camp is one of the must-attend festivals of the summer, especially for those living within a few hundred miles. The acts listed below barely even scratch the surface of the Summer Camp, and there are still more announcements to come. There’s a little something for everyone in Chillicothe this year, head on over to the Summer Camp site to check the rest of the lineup out! 

Headliners (More to be announced)

-Moe. (x3)

-Umphrey’s McGee (x3)

-Bassnectar

-Trey Anastasio Band (x2)

-Primus

-Slightly Stoopid

-EOTO

-Zac Brown Band

Deeper Lineup Surprises

-Yonder Mountain String Band

-Lotus

-Keller Williams

-Gramatik

-Mimosa

-Beats Antique

-Lettuce

-The Werks

-The Devil Makes Three

-The Floozies

-Cosby Sweater

-UV Hippo

-Manic Focus

 

2. Electric Forest 

Sunset over Rothbury, MI

Sunset over Rothbury, MI

When: June 26th-29th

Where: Rothbury, MI

Cost: $265 GA plus ticket fees

Style: Jam and EDM

Extra Attractions

Sherwood Forest, silent disco, numerous workshops, additional curated events in the Tripolee area.

Electric forest is held at the Double JJ Resort, infamous for the whimsical Rothbury Music Festivals held there in 2008 and 2009. Since then, the festival has transformed into a new beast. For the fourth consecutive year, the Double JJ Resort will be converted into the Electric Forest, a vibrant playground for the mind, body, and soul. For those of you who been to the psychedelic Mecca known as EF, it is a sight to behold.

A mulit-genre festival that highlights both organic and electronic music, Electric Forest has top-notch artists from all styles to keep any music lover enthralled for days. Ranging from three nights of Cheese (with one night billed as the Ms. Lauryn Hill Incident) to sets by Xavier Rudd, Papadosio, and The Glitch Mob, there is a musical diversity on the EF bill that will keep everybody entranced. Whether you love jam, electronic, and/or everything in between; you will find what you’re looking for up in Rothbury.

The luminous Sherwood Forest

The luminous Sherwood Forest

Located in the heart of the festival grounds, Sherwood Forest is the optical masterpiece that Electric forest is named after; it comes complete with light, sound, visuals, and all things merry. It is a place of wonder, amazement, and indescribable astonishment that inspires awe to all who pass through it. Sherwood Forest alone is enough reason to go.

Car side camping is a big plus at Electric Forest, you’ll be able to pack a little more without worrying about carrying everything in and out of the festival. As with Summer Camp, though, the camping grounds are in an open field so plan to bring a source of shade.

Headliners (More to be announced)

-The String Cheese Incident (x3)

-Steve Angello

-STS9 (x2)

-Lauryn Hill

-Zeds Dead

-Flying Lotus

-The Glitch Mob

-Stephen Marley

-EOTO

-Zedd

Deeper Lineup Surprises

-12th Planet

-Papadosio

-Paper Diamond

-Bro Safari

-Emancipator Ensemble

-Conspirator

-Rising Appalachia

-Xavier Rudd

-Zoogma

 

3. Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival 

The 11th annual Bonnaroo, 2012

The 11th annual Bonnaroo, 2012

When: June 12th-15th

Where: Manchester, TN

Cost: $285 GA plus service fees

Style: Multi-genre encompassing all styles of music.

Extra Attractions

Silent disco, comedy theatre, cinema, on-site newspaper, The Academy (interactive arts experience and workshops), poster art exhibit, water slide, Centeroo fountain, yoga, kid’s area.

Things to Know

It’s freakin’ hot! Be sure to stock up on sunshades and water before this festival. Due to the dirt in the air, you might want to bring a gangster bandana as well.

What do Elton John, Kanye West, and Skrillex have in common? They’re all playing Bonnaroo! If you haven’t heard of the infamous ‘Roo yet, you’ve been buried deeper than just under a rock. For 4 days, Manchester, TN is home to one of the most eclectic and headliner-centric lineups in the world. Bringing heavy hitters in from too many countries to count, there’s something there for music lovers of all shapes and sizes.

If it’s EDM that works you up, check out Skrillex, Kaskade, and The Glitch Mob. If you’re big into the indie scene, head over to see Pheonix, The Arctic Monkeys, or Broken Bells. If it’s folk and Americana that gets you going, Neutral Milk Hotel, Yonder Mountain String Band, and Ed Helms’ Bluegrass Superjam will do quite nicely. For you metalheads, Meshuggah and Mastodon made their way onto the bill. Literally, every genre is represented here, and it’s beautiful.

The infamous Centeroo Fountain

The infamous Centeroo Fountain

In addition to the music, Bonnarroo offers some of the most creative extras that one may come across at a festival this summer. There’s a comedy theatre, an air-conditioned cinema, a solar powered stage, a waterslide, a salon (ha.), an on-site newspaper, a beer garden, a silent auction, and much much more.

Remember, though, that it’s almost guaranteed to be a scorcher. Bring out the sombreros, bandanas, and crazy lids to keep cool. Bring the tarps, tapestries, and easy-ups to provide shade. Bring extra gallons of water and bottles sunscreen to keep hydrated and safe. Basically, prepare for a middle Tennessee campout in June. Don’t let us scare you, though. If you’re prepared then there’s nothing to worry about.

After all, you’ll be dancing your ass off day and night to some of the best acts in the world. You’ll be basking in the mushroom fountain in Centeroo. You’ll be raving it up in the silent disco. And, on the ride home, you’ll be calling up your buddies to ask why they didn’t grab a ticket and come with.

Headliners (More to be announced)

-Elton John

-Kanye West

-Jack White

-Kaskade

-Arctic Monkeys

-The Flaming Lips

-Neutral Milk Hotel

-The Bluegrass Situation Superjam hosted by Ed Helms

-Superjam with Skrillex and Friends

Deeper Lineup Surprises 

-John Butler Trio

-Umphrey’s McGee

-Slightly Stoopid

-The Glitch Mob

-Yonder Mountain String Band

-Break Science

 

4. Paradise Music & Arts Festival 

Paradise Music and Arts Fesival 2014

Paradise Music and Arts Fesival 2014

When: July 11th and 12th

Where: Hustonville, KY

Cost: Early Bird, $60, GA at the Gate, $80

Style: Multi-genre focused on jam and EDM

Extra Attractions

25-30 minute professional fireworks show, yoga, workshops, live art/visual performances, hoop troupes.

Things to Know

There are only 500 total tickets available so plan on purchasing yours early!

Paradise Music & Arts Festival is a new kid on the block and a force to be reckoned with. For a first year festival, the lineup is chock full of insanely talented regional and national acts, and it’s near the top of the list for don’t miss smaller festivals this summer. A 2-day festival, lovers of jam, jamtronic, EDM, bluegrass and more will want to call this festival home for the weekend, and it’s looking to be a rip roaring good time!

Set in the rolling hills of Echo Acres in Hustonville, KY, the camping area is scenic and relaxed. The lineup boasts top acts such as: The Werks, Dopapod, Zoogma, Govinda, and Moon Hooch; lending an experimental vibe to this festival. Get your tickets quickly, though, with only 500 tickets to be sold you don’t want to sleep on this one!

Headliners (More to be announced)

-The Werks

-Dopapod (x2)

-Zoogma

-Govinda

-Kaleidoscope Jukebox

-Moon Hooch

-IndigoSun

Deeper Lineup Surprises

-Broccoli Samurai

-The Macpodz

-Blue Moon Soup

-Spankalicious

-The New Old Calvalry

 

5. Phases of the Moon Music and Arts Festival

Phases of the Moon Music and Arts Festival 2014

Phases of the Moon Music and Arts Festival 2014

When: September 11th-14th

Where: Danville, IL

Cost: $230 GA plus ticket fees (tier 1), extra costs apply depending on camping location.

Style: Multi-genre focused on rock/jam/bluegrass/funk

Extra Attractions

Tthe Sanctuary, numerous workshops, 170-acre lake on-site, hiking trails, fishing (with valid IL fishing license), and kid’s area.

Phases of the Moon is a first-year, 4-day, all jam/rock/bluegrass/funk camping festival held at the 3,000 acre Kennekuk County Park in Central Illinois. It will be a funky spot for a festival; the property comes complete with turn-of-the-century buildings, prairie lands, and several lakes, and streams on-site. The Sanctuary, and everything that goes with it, is an exciting little tidbit from the festival’s site preview too, head over to their page for an in-depth description of what it is!

Musically, the festival boasts an all-organic lineup, meaning that there isn’t a single DJ on the bill. Be prepared to jam out for days with Widespread (two sets), Bob Weir, Gov’t Mule, and many more. Art will also be a big focus of the festival with interactive sculpture, live art, and performance art playing an integral part of Phases of the Moon. 

Headliners (More to be announced)

-Widespread Panic (x2)

-Bob Weir & Ratdog

-Lunar Landing Conspiracy

-Railroad Earth

-Tea Leaf Green

-Tedeschi Trucks Band

-Gov’t Mule

Deeper Lineup Surprises

-Galactic

-Dumpstaphunk

-Soulive

-The Main Squeeze

-Moon Hooch

-Cornmeal

-The Rumpke Mountain Boys

Next in the series: The Midwesterner’s Guide to Music Festivals Pt. 2 : On The Front Porch