Mother NY and Kyocera Introduce ‘The Echo Temple’

By Bob Marshall 

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?