Opening Day at Vertex Music Festival

By: Sierra Voss

The first day at Vertex had cars lined up as festival-goers excitedly filled into the camping grounds. It was definitely a get-to-know-your-neighbor situation, as tents were lined up directly behind each personal car. It wasn’t long before the field rapidly became a tent city. Flags were raised, and pool floaties were blown up and mounted on top of cars. Humans started to play lawn games in any space left untouched, as we patiently waited for the first bands to take the stage.

Big Wild.

Big Wild.

Which brings me to the lay of the land. There are three main stages on the festival grounds, and when you first enter the Vertex gates, you stumble upon a pretty heady little world. There is a cottage simply filled with balloons, a shed were women offer to wash your clothes for you with washboards (random and weird), and a nap tent. It all feels somewhat reminiscent of Electric Forest.

Fruition.

Fruition.

When it comes to the music, the band Fruition took the first big main stage around 2PM. The vibe was pretty mellow during their set, and remained so until later in the night as festival-goers slowly trickled in and explored the grounds. Things really started to pick up when Anderson Paak took the Cottonwood Parlor main stage. He put on an awesomely energetic show, hopping down to dance on the monitors and bouncing all around the stage. Paak rocks a pretty sweet septum piercing and has a smile that will make yah weak in the knees. He ended his performance rippin’ it behind his drum set.  

You definitely have to remain flexible and open to different vibes at this festival. The musical lineup for the weekend is incredibly diverse, and jumps from hip hop to bluegrass to EDM, all within the span of a day. Right after Anderson Paak, the band Dawes took the stage. Dawes was a 100% different musical vibe than Paak, but they laid down an equally impressive set.

My personal favorite shows of the night were Alabama Shakes, Jai Wolf, and Gramatik. Each artist crushed it, but Alabama Shakes really slayed. Lead singer Brittany Howard ripped out some powerful notes that filled my entire body with soul. It was beyond epic watching her belt out tune after tune.

Alabama Shakes.

Alabama Shakes.

It was an impressive first day for the start of Vertex Music Festival. I am now sitting here bright and early on day two, watching festi-goers yoga it up. And yes I said watching, not participating. It’s gonna be another rad day of music. Round two let’s go…

-Sierra

All photos per the author for BolderBeat. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.