“When you start driving around and you feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere, it’s because you are.”
If you were to look at Hog Ridge Hollow from a birds-eye view, you would see a small clearing atop a hill nestled in the valley of the beautiful Ozark Mountains, but the history of the venue is what makes this 40 acre plot of land truly special. With parties starting in the very early 2000s, Hog Ridge quickly became a temporary home to artists, musicians, and patrons of the arts alike. It was a place where someone could escape normal society and find themselves a part of a community with the freedom to create and express themselves authentically. Showcasing the classic greats of psychedelic electronic music such as Naked Tourist, Scorb, Freaky Chakra, and The Enemy (now known as Treasure Fingers) and more current names such as Emancipator, Govinda, Spankalicious, and ill-esha, one could enjoy the music they loved outside of the downtown club scene which made the shows a truly unique and special experience.
The first Hog Ridge parties were centered around a thrown together stage covered by a pop-up canopy with colored flood lights for illumination. As the audience grew, so did the sound and production, but the intimacy of the events always remained the same. “There’s just something about that place,” local artist and Hog Ridge veteran Ricky Black elaborated to us in a recent interview, “There was just a vibe . . . [There was] no security, the only thing you ever had to worry about were the cuddle puddles.”
Back then things were different: events were promoted through MySpace and online forums, people would even simply see a flyer and show up day of, ready to party knowing there were magical memories to be made. Everyone banded together and came to support the scene they cared about. Jason Sterling, Beatnik Generation head and Hog Ridge event curator, detailed a scene where it was raining during a set and the roof over the stage had collapsed:
“They had black plastic on the inside of the stage and the crowd had sticks holding the tarp up and the party was going on under the tarp. . . . Now that’s a sense of community. It wasn’t stopping anybody. I mean, it was a thunderstorm and the party kept going. [People] literally had pieces of bamboo, sticks that had signs on them, and other shit – everybody was helping.”
Speaking with people who got to see these parties in their prime really emphasized that Hog Ridge Hollow is genuinely a sacred space for many. It’s said that the electronic music scene we know and love today came to be what it is because of these parties. With the scene mostly still underground in Fayetteville, events at Hog Ridge and others like it paved the way for electronic music to claim the home on Dickson street it now has.
It’s been 7 years since the last party, but everyone knew it couldn’t possibly lay dormant for long. This coming Saturday, Hog Ridge Hollow is making its resurrection back into the scene and opening its gates once again to seasoned veterans and new attendees alike for what is sure to be a weekend you won’t want to miss. The lineup pays homage to its psychedelic roots with headliner Infected Mushroom alongside Zebbler Encanti Experience, Freedom, and Goaneck. Bass music artists include Of the Trees and a B2B set from Freddy Todd and Kll Smth as well as local favorites Fractal Sky, Flintwick, of faces, and a special B2B set from Meesh and Jonteal. On top of all that, Hog Ridge returnees Domewrekka and DJ Spiff will be keeping the classic good vibes flowing.
We can’t say too much without spoiling the incredible art installations, but Vibes Team members Allison Dean aka Luna Lux and Evelyn Sosa will be live painting throughout the day and night. Tickets can be purchased through the Facebook event page or here and will be available at the gates day of. Gates will open at 12 PM on October 20th. The artist set schedule is to be released soon.
Pack your rain boots and plenty of dry socks or succumb to the morning dew, whatever you do don’t miss a sunrise or sunset set, leave your cellphone in the car (Verizon and Sprint customers won’t have service anyway, AT&T customers will be fine), leave negative energy at home, and bring positive energy to sow into the grounds. This is an event “all about respecting the community and the world around you and enjoying music,” in the words of Jason Sterling. Oh, and costumes are heavily encouraged.
Below we have included a playlist from our good friend over at Beatnik Generation, Holly Hughes, that highlights some favorites from the lineup to get you ready for the weekend.
We’ll see everyone at Hog Ridge Hollow this Saturday October, 20th! –