Picture this: a place in Northeastern Pennsylvania where one can find dance music, fire spinning, yoga, a silent disco, live painters, art installations and camping all at once.
That place is real, and it is Satellite Ranch Music and Arts Festival — a weekend of art, electronic music and dance music at Mountain Sky, 63 Stillmeadow Ln., Jermyn. It will take place from 1 p.m. Sept. 1 to 5 a.m. Sept. 3.
The festival will be the inaugural event organized by Funkstronaut Productions.
While this is their first festival as a crew, member Bryan Dewey said, many of the members have participated in festivals in the past. For example, the Mayday Festival, which catered to a similar niche at Kirby Park in Wilkes-Barre from 2008 to 2014.
“We’ve (also) all volunteered and worked at festivals like Bonaroo, Desiderata … we know that aspect of the scene,” he said.
Since Mayday ended, local DJ Ted Wampole, also known as Newpy Hundo, began throwing his own shows, but started getting bored.
“I have fun doing them, but all the time … the same thing … it gets a little dull. I just wanted to do something to get everyone together, showcase all these awesome acts … who don’t get the opportunity to play even some of the festivals that are regional,” Wampole said.
Last September, he got some friends together and told them he wanted to plan something big.
That was when Wampole, along with Dewey, Nate Miller, Mike Nasser, Matt McDonough, Rich Roani, Justin Byrd and Mike Senese, among others, launched Funkstronaut and got to work.
The festival will have three stages: two outdoor stages that will house acts from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sept. 1, and 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sept. 2; and an indoor stage for VIP package purchasers who will enjoy music from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. VIPs will also have food and beverages brought by Backyard Alehouse, a downtown Scranton restaurant and bar.
Wampole said that the acts for the festival — whose bill features names like Lord Raja, Flux Capacitor, Spundose, Radioactive Sandwich, Mind Choir and Newpy Hundo himself — were chosen based partly on their draw potential, but a focus was also put on their mindsets.
“It finally came to a point where everyone we were working with is somebody that sees the goal — none of this is for us. It’s more so for everyone,” Wampole explained.
Dewey and Wampole stressed that potential patrons should leave their expectations at home.
“We’re showcasing music that people are going to like. I know they’re going to like it, it’s just a matter of getting them up there to hear it and not just write it off,” Wampole said. “People can call it EDM or whatever … we like to call it IDM, like, ‘intelligent dance music,’” Wampole said.
“I honestly expect people to be pretty blown away by some of the music,” added Dewey, explaining that the range of sounds is not limited to dance and techno.
In addition to the wealth of genres, they hope that the festival will be unique in its intimacy.
“We don’t want it to be a massive festival. We’re aiming for 500 people,” Wampole explained, adding, “We want to have people who really understand it. Especially for the first year. Really capture the vibe of it.”
Part of capturing the envisioned intimacy and “vibe” was choosing the venue. Mountain Sky, Wampole said, does not usually host electronic acts or DJs, but the space fit the vision the group had.
“The energy up there is awesome,” he said. “It’s beautifully taken care of. Tons and tons of lush grass, green fields. It is amazing. The grounds up there almost speak to you.”
He added that, due to the sheer size of Mountain Sky, the festival might maintain its intimacy even if “hypothetically, 2,000 people came.”
A wooded area at the venue, usually used for camping, will house art installations and a silent disco, which will run from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. both nights.
“It’s not going to be like any commercial stuff that you might find at bigger events. Everything that we’re providing up there, as far as music goes — it’s not soul music, but it’s all got a lot of soul to it,” Wampole said.
Reach Toni Pennello at 570-991-6121 or on Twitter @TLNews.
Satellite Ranch Ticket Packages
General Admission: $65:
Two days of music and camping
$5 parking. Parking is free for carpools of three or more people.
VIP Package: $130
Access to special after-hours sets
Complementary food and beverage
Limited edition event merchandise
Purchase tickets and see the lineup at: satelliteranchfestival.com