- Published on Monday, 23 May 2016 10:47
- Written by Breanna Bright
The stars align once again for one of the area's hidden gems. Art, music, and nature come together in the Cosmic Reunion Music and Art Festival - a weekend-long extravaganza of creation, concerts, and camping.
Located in Astral Valley of French Village, Missouri, Cosmic Reunion is only in its second year but going strong. The festival is unique in that it is held outdoors, and there are no vendor fees for artists. Patrons need only purchase a ticket and are allowed to sell items, hold workshops, or simply enjoy the festivities.
Sheena Cox is the CEO of Astral Valley and founder of Cosmic Reunion, she spoke passionately about the event and the benefit it brings to artists and the community, “It’s a community outlet to share and learn.”
Sheena emphasized the sense of community that comes with the festival. All ages are welcome, and there is something for everyone, “There are workshops and activities, like making your own drum, or guided meditation . . . you can learn to tie dye, or do yoga.” The list goes on with activities like advance hula hooping, flower pot painting, loom weaving, and more.
Sheena herself is part of a puppet troupe - she creates large-scale puppets and has presented them in fairs, festivals, and even at international events. Her time with the organization inspired the creation of Cosmic Reunion, “After doing all that - being part of those events, I saw that our home needed more art . . . an outlet for artists.”
Cosmic Reunion brings together not only local artists, but national travelers and bands as well. Over 40 live bands will be in attendance with concerts starting in the late afternoon and running until the early hours of the morning. Music styles range from bluegrass, to jazz, to the Sunday morning harp performance. Local bands include Aaron Kamm and the One Drops, and Mountain Sprout.
The location itself is an important part of the festival. Astral Valley is a historic site, once home to a town in the 1800s, now there are foundations, a cemetery, and a few buildings for patrons to appreciate. Cosmic Reunion provides ‘rainbow bikes’ for free use to get to events, or explore the caves, creeks, and woods of the valley. “The history is still here,” Sheena said, “it runs thick in the Midwest. People have even found arrowheads and artifacts, I think this place is meant to have a community to keep it alive.”
Art doesn’t stop with the festival. Sheena’s open door policy allows for sculptures built during the festival to remain installed in the valley. Even after the event artists are invited to visit the area and continue to create.
Tickets for Cosmic Reunion are all-inclusive, allowing for camping, all activities, and concerts, “We’re not about money, it’s about creativity . . . sharing and learning.”
Cosmic Reunion takes place May 27 - 29. Children 10 and under get in free, and there is no registration required. Tickets can be purchased online or at the gate. Learn more on their website or Facebook page.