Form Arcosanti: A Music Sanctuary in the Desert

Form Arcosanti is a 4 year old music festival and art experience curated by indie-band and OWSLA signed, Hundred Waters. The 3 day festival is held at an artists compound in the Arizona desert. Arcosanti is a living, breathing art installation that houses around 70 artists. Form Festival has around 1500 attendees after its application process for tickets.

The compound was built by Paolo Soleri in the 70’s. President of the Cosanti Foundation, Residents called it an “immersive experience where everything is connected from the concrete you stand on now to the floor in your home,” in a panel. Soleri wanted to create a new way of living for humans. Executive Director Jeff Stein said “the structure provides a a trust between humans and nature. It’s not just a concert, it’s a transformative experience and you are all apart of the immersion this weekend.”

According to a recent interview by NPR, Trayer Tyron of Hundred Waters, said “FORM is a direct extension of how incredible Arcosanti is, and Arcosanti is a direct extension of how incredible its people are. So we want to help to see this place thrive and grow.”

There are 3 stages at Form, with 1 stage situated at the bottom of a canyon. Survive, XXYYXX, Skrillex, and 1-800-Dinosaur, performed at the canyon stage under the star filled sky. This year’s lineup also included Thundercat, Solange, Father John Misty, James Blake, and Future Islands. The festival is organized so that attendees won’t miss simultaneous performances. Not only did I get to see intimate performances, but I got to meet creative people from all over the world. Every one there will greet you with open arms. I spent the last day hiking a trail with fellow festival goers and got to enjoy a few moments of peace and quiet in the desert, before running down the trail because I thought I heard a rattlesnake.

The Phoenix Astronomical Society also had telescopes on top of a roof facing the Amp stage. I got to see 2 stars orbiting each other IRL 💫 and saw the Sombrero galaxy– I can’t make this up. I can see why Pitchfork referred to Form as a “Festival For the Future”, with its sustainable design, inclusive nature, and soylent (provided by iHeartComix.)

Planned Parenthood also had a panel that was fiery and engaging. PP said their new mission is to normalize sexuality and create an open dialogue between genders. Founder of SheSaidSo, Andreea Magdalina, said “we are fighting unseen monsters and subtitles in society.” Madame Gandhi, was also among the panelists, and emphasized that “we have our own sphere of influence that can impact those around us and there is bravery in that.” Gandhi, recently generated a stir in headlines with her menstrual marathon, to normalize the female reproductive process. Planned Parenthood organizers stated that they recently changed their website to include gender neutral language to educate both men and women in sexual health. I was moved by the inspirational words of the speakers and the passion that drives the volunteer-run organization.

Check out Hundred Water’s new EP, Currency, below for a dream-like ambiance: