written by Cody Melcher of KXCI 91.3 FM
Once a year, the urban laboratory Arcosanti transforms into the setting for FORM, a micro-festival that offers not only an eclectic roster of musicians, but poets, activists, and a variety of other artists. In contrast to more mainstream/corporate festivals like Coachella or Lollapalooza, FORM is organized by the band Hundred Waters and is limited to around 1,500 guests to ensure a curated experience that feels refreshing in the age of cookie cutter festivals awash in seas of attendees.
That said, FORM boasts a lineup of musicians that rival other festivals. This year’s lineup included KXCI 91.3 FM mainstays like Courtney Barnett, Fleet Foxes, Beach House, Flying Lotus, and Blood Orange. Further like a good KXCI 91.3 FM playlist, the lineup was heavy on up and coming artists, like Kelsey Lu, Serpentwithfeet, Sudan Archives, and Half Waif, that attendees will be sure to hear more of in the coming years.
Sets at the festival were primarily split between a sizeable, but intimate amphitheater and a small side stage set inside a half dome with a very short walk between the two. With a small attendance number and no overlapping sets, it was easy to see every musician playing at FORM and to have a great view of both the artist and the expansive desert landscape for every set. It truly felt like FORM was a special event for all of the artists to themselves attend. It was common to see artists stick around for the whole weekend to take in the full lineup.
While the music itself was wonderful, FORM helps distinguish itself from the other summer festivals with its various culture and arts programming. Attendees were treated to poetry and spoken word from Aja Monet and Saul Williams and panels on a variety of topics like blockchain, environmental issues, automation, activism, justice, race, and immigration.
With a curated mix of music, panel discussions, and workshops, FORM offers a unique and intimate festival experience that would appeal to any KXCI 91.3 FM listener. I enjoyed every minute of it