This past weekend, SENSORiUM Music and Arts Festival took over the Ukrainian American Citizens’ Association (Ukie Club on Franklin) to showcase some incredible artists in both the musical and visual world. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect as I walked my way down Poplar St. to the echo of funk swimming through the neighborhood but, when I’d finally arrived at the function, I was blown away by what the folks at SENSORiUM had thrown together.
It was a beautiful day already, but walking out into the grassy area beside the Ukie Club was like the welcoming to a family gathering. Art was everywhere, friendly faces abound, and a slew of pop-up tents housed live-painters hard at work as music filled the air. Although we were smack dab in the middle of Philadelphia, the grounds of the Ukie Club housed enough trees around the event to make it still feel intimate, small, and like our own clearing in a wooded oasis.
Two stages graced the outdoor area, and a third found itself settled in the basement of the club that had been aptly dubbed the “Black Hole” for its dark interior and ultra-violet lighting; the latter bringing the cosmic vibe as it ignited the extra-dimensional art that littered the walls. While the outside catered to those who wanted to dance away the sunlight with jam, funk, and soul, the Black Hole was more geared towards those who wished to take in the electronic and bass oriented artistry.
Standout sets of the main event came from an always animated and exciting Wax Future, drippy, funky goodness from Sunsquabi, and one of my absolute favorite sets of the weekend: Worldtown Soundsystem – who brought a very funkadelic style of soul to the day’s festivities. When the day had come to an end, it was time to move on to the deep, dark, and dangerous after-party taking place in the Black Hole.
The basement filled up quickly with excitement as the bass began to blast. Chee and Esseks both dominated their respective sets before the great-winged backdrop emerged for the Zebbler Encanti Experience. I must admit, until I was slated to cover SENSORiUM, I’d only ever heard of ZEE in passing. But I was completely blown away by the experience as a whole. 10/10 would recommend.
SENSORiUM was a brilliant little festival that I’m desperately hoping continues to see success. I just hope and pray it can find its way back to the Ukie Club.
Did you make it out to SENSORiUM this past weekend? What was your favorite part? Check out the photos and be sure to let us know in the comments below! And definitely don’t miss this hidden gem in the future!
© All images courtesy of Shawn Russell Johnson (Shawn Russell Johnson)