Relentless Beats

FORM Arcosanti 2018 Festival Review

Every music festival has its own unique attributes that attract people to attend. FORM however, is not just a music festival, it is an experience. FORM is known as art, community, and music festival. This year the festival took place May 11-13. Each year only 1,500 people attend, giving it a very intimate feeling compared to most large-scale music festivals.


FORM is held in the eco-community of Arcosanti, Arizona. Arcosanti was created with the ideal of arcology (architecture and ecology) in mind. FORM was built upon the ideals of its’ founder but put together by the many volunteers who live in Arcosanti.


Photo: Jacob Tyler Dunn


Photo: Brittany NO FOMO

Though I have attended many festivals in my life, this was the first time that I experienced a camping festival, and it was exhilarating. Whether it was setting up the tent, meeting our ‘neighbors’ for three days, or the feeling of living temporarily in nature.. it was all so humbling. Better yet was the art. There were displays of creations by local artists and non-local artists alike. In one of the areas (The Minds Garden) a display of art doubled as a place to relax.



Photo: Jacob Tyler Dunn

There were also a variety of panels regarding activism, music, or art, speaking to the community aspect of FORM. Specifically, some of the workshops were ‘art & activism,’ ‘safety at music festivals,’ ‘the human experience from the black perspective,’ ‘voices from the LGBTQ experience,’ and many, many more. With Q/A’s after each session, this was an invaluable experience not seen at many other festivals. I learned so much from each workshop I attended.


Photo: Brittany NO FOMO

Of course, what would a festival be without music? As diversity goes in festival standards, FORM takes the cake. With a last minute change in schedule, Chance the Rapper was no longer able to perform at the festival. Instead, replacing him, was Flying Lotus–a legend in his own respect that guests were equally excited for. The acts ranged from singer-songwriter style, Fleet Foxes, happy-pop princesses, Charli XCX and SOPHIE, easy-going, Daniel Caesar, Beach House, to the EDM stylings of Mija, Flying Lotus, and Skrillex. The diversity of the music is one of FORM’s strengths. There was something there for everyone and I found myself wandering around sets, just wanting to see what there was to offer.

On Friday, I found myself deep in the feels at Fleet Foxes. I had been waiting a few years to see them and hearing songs that made my high school years grand felt like this was the start of a wonderful weekend. When Aja Monet’s spoken poetry brought me to tears, I knew that this festival was changing how I viewed the world I live in. I watched the sunset atop a building and shared stories and laughter with perfect strangers. Later that night, Flying Lotus made his impact with a 3D show. Every person there was vibing hardcore, myself included. My night ended with my friends and I dancing the night away at Dan Deacon’s interactive set complete with a dance circle and other activities.

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Photo: Brittany NO FOMO

On Saturday, I grooved with the Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra, learned about festival safety from a panel of incredible speakers–three of whom coordinated in planning music festivals or had created one themselves–a ‘sexual safety’ app creator, and a writer for Cosmo, Teen Vogue, and more. The second panel I went to that day included seven different women from seven different backgrounds who spoke about their own work experiences, and how it has inspired and changed their lives and others. These two panels altered my perspective on the music industry and how women can make a change.

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Photo: Brittany NO FOMO

One of the best parts of FORM were the parts that weren’t scheduled at all. The elements that just came about naturally. What else could be more picturesque than Mija performing an impromptu pool set? It wasn’t planned, it just happened, and it was magical.


Photo: Brittany NO FOMO

Jónsi, Alex Somers, and Paul Corley brought together a “Liminal Soundbath.” A delicate balance of beauty and vulnerability all in a musical experience. I have never seen anything like this before. People were able to lay down and watch the structural art piece change colors with each song, elevating the overall experience.

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Photo: Brittany NO FOMO

Saturday night was when musical minds would be blown. Why you ask? Because Skrillex performed a 4-hour set. Yes, you read right, a 4-HOUR SET. It was my first time seeing Skrillex so I was already exploding with emotion. He happily played different sub-genres of EDM, ranging from house/deep house to trap, and more. It was one of the coolest experiences I had ever had. Mija even went on the decks for a song or two with Skrillex towards the end of the night. I remember walking back to my tent after this set, seeing the sky turning a faint blue, and I just smiled.



Photo: Jacob Tyler Dunn

I took Sunday to explore all FORM had to offer as far as amenities. I went to the pool and soaked up some rays and good tunes provided by NTS Radio. I was taking in all of the magnificent people of FORM, and just reflecting on my time here so far. The day also brought the soothing sounds of Daniel Caesar, the empowering Empress Of, and the creators of FORM, Hundred Waters performed an enlightening set. Charli XCX was one of Sunday night’s closers, and she did not disappoint.




Photo: Jacob Tyler Dunn

Overall, FORM was a festival that you have to experience to understand. Between the immersive workshops, close opportunities with artists, and the vibes of the weekend, it was definitely a festival that changed my outlook on life. I hope to go back next year to once again find myself beyond every-day life.

Feature Photo: Jacob Tyler Dunn

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