Resonance Festival 2021: Finding the Center of The Labyrinth

As the haze descended over the stillness of West Virginia’s Marvin’s Mountaintop, one could easily miss the creatures cautiously peering out from carefully selected hideouts. Anticipation built for these mystical beings, for the game of games was about to commence. Players arrived unsure of where to go, but had confidence in their mission of finding what they had lost. On the eve of the full moon, the Resonance Music Festival provided a Labyrinth, some goblins, a few other fairy-tale characters and at the center, a Goblin King. This king kept close, but made sure to provide accommodations of the best lighting and soundtrack for the games.

Goblin friends

It’s further than you think. Time is short.

Keeper of the Beans

Paths twisted and tents upon tents repeated. Nondescript thumping of DJ music could be heard in the distance of an unknown direction. Seeking direction was futile when it came to camp dwellers claiming to be “only worms” relaxed at their sites. These worms, while unhelpful, were very friendly and offered players to meet the Mrs. and stop for some tea. Tempting as it may be, Eggy was about to go on and the center had to be found.

She Chose Down

Satan’s Empress

Eventually, that thing the wizard said about the jam holes filled with Magic Beans made a lot more sense. It was not a dead end, but rather, an energizing oasis. Hobbits with stimulated hemp hats were experts at foraging the Resonance grounds. They advised consumption of Magic Beans was best at The Bog of Eternal Funk You. Doing so summoned Doom Flamingo and our first peek at both Goblin King and Satan’s Empress.

Goblin King

The babe with the power.

Cory Wong reminds the Goblin King of the babe with the Voodoo Power

Attitude was everything that mattered for this maze game and Cory Wong delivered a set that helped reconciliation with players still being so early in the game. His laid back and fun energy was something to behold. To casually joke about a complex timing about to be played evoked the feeling of hope that mastery of something as complex as a guitar or a maze game could be achieved. The laughter on stage was infections and as coolness of the night set in, the next two days felt far more possible thanks to this true artist. Cory also showed that, with good listening skills, it could be possible to play with others outside of the tribe. When sitting in with TAUK Cory had slightly more reserved demeanor, which helped him listen and respond without skipping a beat.

That’s not fair!

Occasionally the board itself seemed to be alive. Initiated by the most subtle of Jack-O-Lantern lights, landscapes would shift dramatically.


“The mellow jams would pull you in, then (Umphrey’s) got real nasty with guitars. Melodic to demonic in an instant, but all with that smooth bass keeping it all together while the guitars were going wild.”

-VIP Goblin

You have no power over me…

Lespecial commanding attention.

On September 16-18, Eastern met Mountain and Jam converged with EDM with roads paved in metal. The most notable hour of convergence was when Connecticut Ancient Homies Lespecial (or as the goblins playfully mis-pronounced, “lay-spesh-ee-al”) played on Saturday afternoon. From the VIP crow’s nest, hoards of players could be seen running like the fast zombies from 28 Days Later to the center of the labyrinth, easily finding their way after all the searching they had endured. The crowd grew in size and density as a universal epiphany dawned on everyone involved in the games. A next-generation metal-jam-electronic fusion band deriving from influences like Primus was the lost item no one realized they were missing.

Your eyes can be so cruel…

I wish…

It has been said that legendary sets happen in the center of the Goblin King’s Labyrinth. Ask any Goose fan. The great equalizer of the center provided a grounding humility to many that thought they knew a lot about music.

Conversations held in the crowd were surprising in that nobody had heard of anyone else’s favorite band. The players arrived deeply rooted on many teams. Disciples of Tipper were ready for Detox Unit, but had never heard of The Motet or Dizgo. Doom Flamingo fans were psyched to see Papadosio, but had never witnessed a laser show like the one Sunsquabi put on. Umphrey’s fans had however, heard of Lotus and could not wait to see Tim Palmieri display his technical mastery as if it were the plumage of a rare bird.

“I move the stars for no one…”

Photo courtesy of Albie Binkley

Behind the games, behind the curtain, and beneath the veil was an Oz-like figure in control of the entire game. Only when he was satisfied, were we were released from the simulation.

“Should you need us…”

Dizgo members showing up for Eggy in more ways than one.

After it all, when intensity subsided and the sun was up again, Eggy played an intimate set from the VIP Crow’s nest and provided the perfect time to reflect on the lessons learned.

Despite the game only lasting a weekend, the friendships made were lifelong.

Check Out Cory’s podcast here!

Enjoy a collection of top shots from some of the fantastic photographers and friends of Resonance 2021

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