Audiofeed 2023: Thoughts and Reflections

It is hard to believe that it has already been a week since the conclusion of Audiofeed 2023. In the time that has passed since I left the fairgrounds I have continued to process the sights, the sounds and the countless conversations had whilst in attendance.

I attended my first Audiofeed in 2022 as part of the Tuned Up crew not knowing what to expect as I had never had the opportunity to attend/experience Cornerstone Music Festival that Audiofeed was birthed from. However, I made many friendships that have become an integral part of my life ever since. While still full of new experiences, 2023 felt more like a reunion of sorts full of familiar faces.

Amidst all of the familiarity there were also elements that were different than last (and other prior) year(s), but none of that is a negative. The most notable change(s) were in regard to the stage names as they were mostly different this year (with the exception of Burningtown and The Front Porch). However, the change in name changed nothing to the festival aesthetic that is deeply rooted in community and faith/faith adjacent music.

DAY1: I spent majority of the night at the Bloodlines stage and was able to catch sets from Bloodlines, Lightworker, The Ongoing Concept (who played all of Saloon), Becoming the Archetype and World Gone Cold. I capped things off by catching Slow Coming Day in the Tuned Up Lounge. Aside from the music from the moment I set foot on the grounds I instantly felt like I was “home.” The sights and sounds were familiar and triggered many memories from last year that I will cherish for the rest of my life. It was great to catch up with old friends and make new memories. The highlight of the night was getting to see Becoming the Archetype as I never thought the opportunity would present itself given the band had been inactive until the release of Children of the Great Extinction last year (with original member Jason Wisdom). However, the biggest surprise was Slow Coming Day, a band I had heard of, but knew next to nothing about. It was a last minute decision to catch their set before calling it a night and I am glad that I did as it was also a 20 year reunion set of sorts.

DAY 2: The day looked a bit different due to an earlier start than the previous day. I starting things off by catching Benjamin Daniel before spending some time just wandering around and catching up with various people prior to catching a portion of Narrow/Arrow’s set. If you are unfamiliar with Narrow/Arrow I highly recommend checking them out as their style and presentation is captivating. Again, I spent a majority of the evening at the Bloodlines stage and caught sets from Weathered, Dens, idle threat, The Ongoing Concept (playing material spanning their career) before ending the night in the Tuned Up Lounge with Death Therapy and Ronnie Martin. It was great to finally get to see Dens live as they have become one of my favorite bands over the past couple of years. I got the opportunity to talk them before sound check and they are the most sincere and authentic dudes you will ever meet. It was great to hear their heart and vision for where they are wanting to go musically. The vibe and aesthetic in the Tuned Up Lounge was electric as we (Tuned Up) hosted a mocktail party during the Ronnie Martin/Joy Electric set. Getting to meet Ronnie and see him perform Joy Electric material was another opportunity that I never thought I would have the honor to attend. It was well worth staying up late and the long day to partake in such a special moment in Audiofeed history. The only pitfall was that I did not get to catch My Epic’s set as it was at the same time as Death Therapy and Ronnie Martin.

Day 3: By the third day I was starting to wear down (I’m not as young as I once was). I started the day much much later than the prior days. The only thing I knew for certain was that I needed to catch Brave Days (fun fact: Brave Days EP, Work in Progress, was the first album I reviewed for Tuned Up). Brave Days had been trying to make it to Audiofeed from Texas for several years and this year it finally happened. Their set was rowdy and full of energy. Afterward I took a bit of a break before finishing my day by catching Kevin Schlereth and then SPACESHIPS. This was also the hottest day of the fest so far and I ended up with a terrible headache so I called it a day early to head back to my hotel and get some much needed rest.

DAY 4: For the final day my list of sets to catch was rather small. However, I did get the chance to catch The Castros at Burningtown before heading to the Subculture Stage to catch Pacifico. I popped in the Tuned Up Lounger for a bit and managed to catch the end of Former Ruins’ set, which only mad me wish I had taken the time to catch the full set (maybe next year). I ended my day by catching Convictions when they did a pop up set in the Food Truck area. There was no stage, just everyone at ground level and their set was absolutely unhinged. The energy was high amidst the scorching heat on the asphalt, but I could not think of a better way to top of the weekend (for me). I called it a night early to head back to my hotel and prep for my drive home the next morning.

Overall, Audiofeed 2023 was amazing and set a higher standard for years to come (in my opinion). There was something for everyone within the varied genres represented and the sense of family/community is truly the highlight of the festival that keeps so many coming back year after year. Sure, there are other festivals that have bigger names and attendance, but they lack the same heart that has been the driving force of Audiofeed since inception. While the organizers this year were “new” to the gig they still managed to harness the essence of Audiofeed that we have all come to love and appreciate over the years and I am already excited to see what 2024 holds.

P.S. – I have still yet to encounter a ninja while in attendance at Audiofeed so I am beginning to think that their presence is either myth or severely overexaggerated.

Bloodlines (Photo Credit: Phil Hawkins)

Lightworker (Photo Credit: Phil Hawkins)

The Ongoing Concept (Photo Credit: Phil Hawkins)

Becoming the Archetype (Photo Credit: Phil Hawkins)

World Gone Cold (Photo Credit: Phil Hawkins)

Dens (Photo Credit: Phil Hawkins)

Ronnie Martin/Joy Electric (Photo Credit: Phil Hawkins)

Pacifico (Photo Credit: Phil Hawkins)

Convictions (Photo Credit: Phil Hawkins)

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