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THE SCENE

A full Moon, an equinox and an intention. That was the backdrop as the Treefort Festival officially launched Wednesday night with East Forest at El Korah Shrine.

As festival goers entered the venue, they were welcomed with a hint of incense, soft meditation music and a keyboard in the center of the room surrounded by lit candles. Everyone was handed intention cards and pens.

The artist from southern Utah told the audience this is a time to plant a seed and set an intention. He invited everyone to sit or lay down, saying, “we’re going to zone out a thousand times tonight.”

EAST FOREST’S SOUND

East Forest’s sound is described as shamanic ambient electro-acoustic pop.  On this opening night, he said he was blending an element of ceremony with an element of concert, describing the moment and the 5-days of festival as ceremony, ritual and honoring that which is larger than us.

Festival publicist Marissa Lovell says East Forests’ message is a good one. “We just want people to be present at the festival and go into it setting an intention and making sure you are here and in the right mind space throughout the festival. It’s easy to get caught up in so many different things at Treefort but it’s really important to stay present.”

East Forest told the audience: “Treefort is perfectly timed. It’s a celebration into the spring. It wouldn’t be a celebration if we’re all out playing music and there’s no one to hear it so your role is critical and I think what you bring to the table is your choice and there’s no wrong answer to that, so we’re going to move through this a little tonight and that’s something I’m going to be edging you towards.”

RAM DASS

He played from his latest album “Ram Dass”,  a 4 part series with Part 2 released on March 22. The collaboration with the acclaimed spiritual teacher took East Forest to Maui where he recorded Ram Dass’ answers to his questions and put it to recording. The result was a hypnotic and tranquil sound with chanting and bells.

As for those intention cards, at the end of his performance East Forest asked everyone to write an intention for themselves, give it to him, and he would burn them in his sauna. His sauna wasn’t significant to the ceremony, but the burning is. He suggested that the burning completes the cycle and frees the intention from its physical grip.

The tone of the festival was set. The message was clear. Be present, have fun and have a great time.