Telemagica: festival review

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I went to Telemagica on 6/9. Telemagica is a 3 day music festival in California’s high desert, Jacumba CA. The site is very close to Mexican border, the fence of the boarder is actually visible from the festival site. Most of the people camp at the site, sleep in the van or just stay up all night. Because of its obscurity and authenticity, most of the people there seem to be artistic type with great appreciation for creativity and people who pay attention to culture/sub culture.

There are 3 main places in this festival, Telemagica (the camp site with several stages and art and random trains,) electronic/rave music stage (set along the trail that leads to the Tectonic stage) and the Tectonic stage (which is surrounded by mountains and looks and feels like it’s inside crater.) And each location is about a mile apart from each other. It was very funny and surreal to me that I could see the raging lights from the rave stage in the distance from the Tectonic stage where I spent most of the night.

I personally feel done with the bigger festivals like Coachella because I’ve done it, it’s getting more and more expensive, I don’t like standing among hot sweaty loud crowds anymore like I used to like, and it’s highly commercialized even though there are great music.

On the other hand, Telemagica was very laid-back, pure, spacious and fun even though it was very loosely organized, in fact, almost dysfunctional at times. The schedule was 5 hours behind or something at the Tectonic Stage. It was mostly frustrating for the bands who packed up and dragged all their gears to the desert. But I believe most of the people were on drugs and easily stayed up till the sun came up, so I guess it didn’t matter too much. When I walked the desert trail back to the camp site with my friends after Jamuel Saxon finished up their set, the sky was getting lighter. People were still partying at the Tectonic stage, and people were also still sitting around the camp fire after the night has ended at the Telemagica camp site.

I had a really good time hiking around, discovering art, seeing bands, drinking whiskey, staring at the milky way in the desert with many friends. I loved how authentic the event was.

I documented the Telemagica here and there and made a 15 minutes long documentary. Watch Telemagica Documentary This video shows the festival site and also features Jamuel Saxon, Suisho No Fune, Shiva Trash and more. Hope you enjoy it.


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