This was our first year for our festival company Yggdrasil based in Wichita, Kansas. To say the least, it was an absolutely incredible experience, in which we connected the realms across the Midwest to bring forth a very unique experience. We had 7 states of DJs, Vendors, Fire Performers, and artists from across the Midwest.Yggdrasil, also known as the Tree of Life, in Nordic culture, connects the 9 realms together through is ever extensive branches. It is a place holder for the realms, and is in place to bring them altogether and connect them, through its roots.
About the Festival
We had an absolute blast running and hosting this, as well as being able to work alongside so many like minded individuals from across our states in the USA. We even have plans in place already for the future to work alongside Live Bands, and not just our local DJs spread across the states. There were so many people involved in making this happen but the real credit goes to John Emery, and Steve Trotter, who sat down one day, and decided that this was the way of the future.John Emery aka Emlody, has worked hard the last 6 years as a DJ across the Midwest, and his nomadic presence across the states, granted him access to many of these artists and groups involved in making this happen. He is someone whom has always had a vision of making things happen, and putting things into place so all of his peers, and like minded artists, could get together under one roof to meet each other.
Connect with Yggdrasil Events
Read the interview below...
Read the interview with the Heads of Yggdrasil
"The idea started many years ago in my head, as this was something I have seen time and time again. So many states have insane levels of local talent, and I wanted these guys/gals to be able to work with each other, and not just me. Covid-19 really put a damper on my plans, as all the pieces were falling into place just right before the pandemic hit, and our nation was shut down entirely. I was tired of seeing the same local DJs perform across the states that were my most favorite to visit, and wanted to see something new happen. I stayed up many nights, just thinking of how this could happen, and how I could make it happen. I started working with Steve in 2021 and that's when my life changed dramatically after my trips back and forth to many states just to perform some gigs, and work with many other individuals. I asked myself.. What exactly makes a DJ so good? Work ethic, towards their craft. How hard did they push themselves? How hard did they continue to push even after dealing with immense amounts of negativity, or lack of work? All the people I reached out to, had done these things, and pushed through ALL of the incredibly intense, and depressing points, of being an artist. I wanted nothing more than to bring them together, so they could all understand they were not alone, but most importantly, that they were in fact more special than they gave themselves credit for. All of these people involved were incredibly humble, well refined in their professionalism, and even more so impressive behind the decks. One day I came into work, and Steve had asked me.. "Hey, so I was thinking of throwing something together for like and event of sorts, what do you think?" I immediately got hype, and started talking about my idea! "Well what should we call our company and festival?" That's when I was able to explain my true idea, and how I have had this plan for years. This year, we as a team, were able to put this together, and we did it well."
Steve Trotter is a business owner in Wichita, Kansas, whom has supported many artists over the years, and has even held a festival out in the rural area of Anthony, Kansas, where he grew up before. He is very ambitious, and loves being able to provide such entertainment to his communities. Without Steve and John, working together as a solid and connected team, this would not have been possible.
We had several artists from the states of Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Colorado, Texas, Illinois, and Florida, that performed at Yggdrasil: Spring Rebirth. Many of these talented people have been working in their respective music scenes for many years, and have even known of each other for longer. Some of them have worked together before, yet some of them never even thought to reach out to one another in order to potentially collaborate on something further.John put together several teams from around the Midwest, and put his head down in order to try and connect even more together. One City Music Group, Aisle 4 Entertainment, Wide Awake Entertainment, Abandon Planet Collective, Pulsation Nation, KMG. Life Inc., Denver House Collective, SSU Recordings, Emlody Enterprises Oklahoma, Emlody Enterprises Denver, Emlody Enterprises Florida, Emlody Enterprises Kansas chapters, all spanning across the Midwest. Each group came out and threw it DOWN! Members ranged from the ages of 14-45, and each and everyone of them had the floor for one hour. With nothing but positive feedback from our youngest artist to our eldest involved, everyone had a blast, and truly put their heart and soul into their performances.
"It was definitely a chore putting all of these people together, and quite frankly the first time I had worked on something like this. At the beginning we had a full roster of 73 artists including myself. By showday we only had about 50 artists that were able to make it due to life happenings, but overall I was extremely impressed with each one, and even those that didn't show, were completely understandable reasons, especially with the way our economy is right now. Still willing to work with each of these individuals again and again, regardless of them not being able to attend. This is our life work, and we sadly have to be able to make a living first and foremost as our priority, rather than sacrifice our day jobs just for a gig that can potentially blow us up. It happens, it is life."
"It was a massive line-up, and seriously difficult making this happen. I feel like putting the timeslots together was the worst part, as I had to appease to several artists, their lives, and make sure that everyone was happy. Plus wrangling DJs to get them to do things is a whole job in itself, and I can't wait to get better at that portion of it, since I like to manage things."
"Our stage crews were a major part of this event as well, because without them we obviously wouldn't have had the equipment necessary for all the DJs, let alone the production side of things to appease to our guests, and truly make this pop. JB Clementi was a massive help to us, and everyone absolutely loved his outdoor stage set up. He had brought his own unique production set up, and helped connect us with a long time friend Matt Stevenson whom I used to attend his Halloween parties annually. Matt brought us out a huge canopy that we were able to set up, and provide coverage for our stage outside. We had a little bit of rain, and without the canopy we definitely would have had to cancel, though thankfully Steve and I thought about this in advance.
Ozark 808 crew came out with their CDJ 3000's which all of our outdoor stage artists were able to rock, and William Maestrey and I even had a fun little B2B set as a surprise, and he showed me many neat and applicable tricks on the 3000's.
Our buddy Doug Richerson, and END3R from END3R Visuals, provided us with Dancer Cages outside, that allowed most of our "Go-Go" dancers a place to safely dance, and entice the crowds. END3R was running visuals for all our artists with his team, and JB made sure the sound was flawless throughout the night.
Our indoor stage was mainly just a bunch of random things thrown together, we had CDJ 2000's rented from Guitar Center, I had a four SlimPar 38 lights I had set up as an undertone across the dance floor, Josh Sandoval aka MasterMash provided us with a whole bunch of lights, lasers, and a truss to set everything up on, which him and his buddy Gary Washington helped run for the entirety of the performances. We even had a couple tapestries donated from one of our vendors Daphne Moon! It was so amazing being able to work alongside these guys, and provide everyone with an experience they won't forget.
The vendors and fire performers were as any knows at a festival, an absolute must. There were around 20 vendors spread across the grounds, and the fire performers had a HUGE fire circle at the edge of our mainstage.
"Tree Cruz, and Jessica Shutt took the lead on the vending portion of our show, which was a blessing to Steve and I, as it took a burden off our shoulders. As much as we were organizing, it would have been a ton more difficult for us to handle that on top of everything else, and we cannot express our gratitude enough. These lovely people helped us to set up the "Vendor Row" which provided many of our vendors the foot traffic necessary in order to continue their business in a thriving manner. They also helped set up these really awesome lights in the trees along the way through the row, which led to our campgroud area, and it was just beautiful at night.
Bryon Laymon was our fire performaner director, and this gent truly put in mad amounts of work, in order to provide us with many fire performers from across the states, as well as our hometown. They provided an amazing, but more importantly SAFE show for everyone to just stop, vibe, listen to the music, and be completely entranced by the performers. I am very proud to call these guys my friends, as well as have them on our team of leads to help us conduct our festival.
"To be honest, yes there were many hiccups in the festival, and they were handled as quickly as possible. Being the first year, we expect no less. There were no altercations in which it had to actually stop the festival itself, or have any kind of outside help. The people running the show, were non-stop across the grounds, and ensuring everything went smoothly. The people in attendance had the time of their lives, and many artists even said this was the best festival they had attended."
"Tribal Roots was even present with their safe space area, and fire pit, as well as their famous Tribal Roots totems lighting up the night for guests. Overall, this was a really smooth experience, and everything went off without a major hitch. From the artists down to the core of everything including the volunteers helping out, everyone was loving, humble, and most of all respectful to each other. This is something that does NOT happen with so many wide varieties of people from across the states, as everyone has a different culture to represent. It was an absolute majestic experience, and we cannot wait til we host our next one."
Tags: Yggdrasil, Wichita, Kansas, Emlody Enterprises
Categories: Music, Artist Interviews