Ardalan shares his 5 top festival moments ahead of Symbiosis [Exclusive]
Symbiosis Gathering returns for its 11th year this weekend, bringing the transformational event experience to the tiny Califoria town of Oakdale, just two hours east of San Francisco. The four-day event expresses the frenetic energy of the West Coast festival space that’s shared with fellow events like Lightning in a Bottle and Burning Man. Featuring a range of musical and artistic talent, this year’s lineup reps one of California’s coolest collectives with a major invasion from the Dirtybird crew.
In June, San Francisco’s Ardalan released “Flight of The Pterodactyl” with Christian Martin for Secret Sauce, the label’s annual BBQ tour compilation. He caps off a whirlwind summer of US shows with a stop at Symbiosis for a set at The Grotto, right before label mate Justin Martin closes out the weekend.
Ahead of his Sunday performance, Ardalan reflects on his top 5 festival moments, which take place all over the West Coast. The producer recalls tender moments with Martin, Gumby, “Donald Trump,” and more at Canada’s Bass Coast, Oregon’s What the Festival, and all around California at Symbiosis and Dirtybird Campout.
Justin Martin pushed me on a forklift at Bass Coast
Right before I was about to play, Justin had the idea to push me to the booth on a forklift. It felt like a grand entrance and it was hilarious.
I ran into Gumby at Symbiosis
I was having a nice walk down to the lake early in the morning. When I got there, I looked to my left, and it’s the legend himself. I was like, “WTF?! How is this possible?” It was as if he time travelled from the 1950’s just to check out the festival. I never saw him after that morning. It was really nice meeting him. Hopefully he will turn up as the next president. That’d be kinda cool.
That one time I threw a Donald Trump into the crowd during the CRSSD Fest after party at SPIN
Prior to arriving in the booth, I went to the green room and I noticed there was a Donald Trump looking doll or piñata in the corner. I decided to take him with me to the booth as Get Real just finished up and my bearded friend Will Clarke was on. I threw Donald Trump into the crowd and just like a lake full of piranhas, he was ripped into pieces in less than 10 seconds. It was pretty crazy and the crowd was really awesome that night.
That WTF moment when a group of marching girls came and drew lipstick on me during my set at the DIRTYBIRD campout
It was really funny because I was totally caught off guard and I didn’t know how to react. I was just shocked and laughing. There were extra WTF moments during my set as well, like when Justin Martin decided to throw my cowboy hat into the crowd. It was a magical night full of joy!
The moment I got to What The Festival in Oregon
I hadn’t had any sleep that weekend from all the traveling. I was pretty much dead tired. As soon as I got to this magical place and saw the pool party, I literally felt like a new person. I thought I was in heaven. I had never seen a dance floor that was also a pool at the same time! It was so cool! Also looking out and seeing Claude VonStroke in it was epic!
At the DIRTYBIRD Campout, I decided to ride down the slip ‘n’ slide in an inflatable swan (Yep, that’s right, a swan). I got muddy towards the end, but it didn’t matter. It was totally worth it. Would do it again in a heartbeat. Maybe with a unicorn next time.
Ardalan is set to perform at Dirtybird Campout in October, as well as Chicago’s Freaky Deaky to celebrate Halloween. He’ll be aboard HARD’s January edition of Holy Ship!, taking place January 6-10. Symbosis Gathering will take place September 22-25, with experience passes on sale starting at $299.