About Kollective Grounds

karnival of the arts

Kollective Grounds, Karnival of the Arts will be brought to life by a supergroup of experienced festival contributors: artistic director Miguel Munoz, renowned festival photographer Karl McWherter, firework artistry of Elevated Explosion’s Bryan Stence, Creative Being’s Brian Borkan, and the audio production work of Jesse Labyrinth, owner of Assorted Studios as well as production manager of XL LIVE. Needless to say, the involvement and knowledge among this gang writes itself a winning resume. “We created a large group to push the boundaries a bit and brainstorm creative ways to add to the festival experience,” founder Munoz said. Their carnival theme will be sealed with activities such as classic carnival games and performers. But, as creators describe it, this is an “arts first music carnival,” meaning their main goal is to facilitate an immersive and perpetual visual art experience.


When first described to me, my mind immediately went to festivals such as Electric Forest and Suwannee Hulaween, where art installations make up just as much of the draw as the music, integrating to create a full-bodied aesthetic journey. Munoz himself has been helping create visual art spaces within NEPA festivals for years now. You may recognize his work from the wooden Jibberjazz sculpture and projection duo that lights up the entrance of the indoor jam stage during late-night sets, or his similar wooden creation that would share the stage with Dr. Slothclaw. “One thing I have noticed over the years from working on different art projects is the interest art-in-progress draws, he said, “[but] most art budgets are modest and typically do not cover materials let alone time and effort. I do it personally, because the festival goers appreciate the effort. “Instead of waiting for another show to spring up, we decided to take on the challenge ourselves and do our best to elevate people’s perception of a music festival while offering a Rubalad-like visual experience, a super talented music line up, and creating a unique brand separate from any other.”


With matters into his own hands, art will be at the forefront and the team is ready to “tear the roof off this season [with] no scale down.” With this comes serious artist inclusion and open participation, such as large-scale community art installations and opening “the possibilities of live painting to a larger number of artists”: a movement involving duel live art performances and accompanying visualizations being brought to life behind the band playing—allowing artists to be ranked among performers. Beyond real-time creation, the festival will be accommodating artists with inexpensive opportunities to display and vend their art. Although art-first, Karnival of the Arts is not skimping on their music, hosting national headliners within an impressive musical lineup of daytime and late-night acts, as well as an electric dance house. Perks such as VIP packages, a cash bar, and wine tastings will also be available. I can’t give anything away, but trust me when I say that you’d buy a ticket for the music alone. The first ever Karnival of the Arts will be held August 30 through September 1 at the Ukrainian Homestead in Jim Thorpe, PA.