On Sept. 10, the Virgin Mobile FreeFest took over Columbia, Maryland’s historic outdoor concert venue, Merriweather Post Pavilion. Over 50,000 music fans showed up to the free festival, where Virgin Mobile offered a diverse and relevant lineup of artists (including TV on the Radio, Deadmau5 and the Black Keys among others) and a “dance forest” (because why the hell not).
The free admission guaranteed that many were able to reserve their allowance for gas, face paint and drugs instead of a high ticket price, and it was in this mysterious “dance forest” that Mother NY and Kyocera built “The Echo Temple” for face-painted drugged-up youths seeking a weird toy to play with. Relying on cameras and motion-censors, Kyocera supplied interested “musicians” with fans that allowed them to control sound with their entire bodies. As the above video proves, there was dancing, revelry, DJs and a giant cat/lizard monster with an available lap for sitting.
What was the point of “The Echo Temple” (other than its use as a branding opportunity that targeted young hip concert-goers)? The video doesn’t make quite argue that there’s a clear purpose behind it, or that mobile phone manufacturer Kyocera will make a foray into the hot “dance forest accessories” industry anytime soon. But, “The Echo Temple” does allow a crowd become an audible factor in the dance party experience. And, if you’ve ever found yourself in a dance forest surrounded by your best friends you met at a drum circle 20 minutes prior to wandering out into the woods, it’s all about making that connection, you know?