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Drink, Dance and Soak Yourself Silly 

Music festival + hot springs = perfection

In a perfect world, all music festivals would include not just beer and live music, but natural beauty and a chance to soak yourself into oblivion.

It might not be the combination you get other places, but at the Broke Down Soakdown at Summer Lake Hot Springs this August, you get all that and more.

Hosted by Bend's own Broken Down Guitars, the Soakdown has already been called "The First Annual Broke Down Soakdown" because of course, this is something sure to last for years to come. It's just too good of an idea.

DJ Raider Mystic explains how the event came to be. "Well, it all started out from love. Stacie (Johnson from Broken Down Guitars) and I have been out to Summer Lake just a few times, for our birthdays and for Valentine's Day. We saw the stage that was built there for the Coyote Fest they had there a few years back and were like, this is such an amazing beautiful, setup and it would be so fun to have a party out here and play music."

The idea evolved from including Broken Down Guitars to adding other bands such as Subliminal, the Chinups, Theclectik and Wayward Soul.

"Everyone is gung-ho and it's turning into something surreal," Mystic says. "What's not to like about hot springs and the serene epic beauty of Oregon's high desert and a bunch of cool people?"

When the sun goes down, the views of the dry desert playa will be replaced by The Taffy Rot Light Show, happening late night Friday and Saturday. For this part of the fest, creator Phillip Sinclair is doing something altogether different than a typical music festival light show. Even with an explanation, The Taffy Rot Light Show is going to need to be experienced to truly understand.

"I'm using a mix of old and new techniques and technologies to produce a very hands-on, living, breathing, psychedelic light show," explains Sinclair. "A big focus for me is the 'liquid' aspect that was popular in the late 60s and early 70s: a mix of dyes, water and oils are manipulated to make spontaneous shapes and patterns. This was traditionally done on overhead projectors. I'm using digital visual presenters and digital projectors and mixers which gives me freedom to mix and alter the imagery how I like."

As the Soakdown enters the evening hours, Sinclair plans on making the darkness downright psychedelic. "Some of the mixers I use have circuit boards that have been modified to 'glitch' the processed images in a lot of fun, unpredictable colorful ways," says Sinclair. "While one team member plays with liquids, another can mix the feed from the liquids with glitched images via VCR, DVD, laptop, the possibilities are endless. There's also a whole world of video feedback and mixer feedback which adds a very dense, trippy layer to everything."

The music and the light show are taken care of, but the majesty of Summer Lake Hot Springs by itself shouldn't be underestimated. The water travels from nearly a mile below the surface, is heated by VOLCANO MAGIC (and science), is forced upward through the Slide Mountain fault line and then heats our beautiful bodies at 106 to 113 degrees. The Summer Lake Bath House isn't just historic, it's also the perfect place to get a delightfully hot soak on.

Summer Lake Hot Springs doesn't allow dogs (because historic hot spring) and is BYOB (because historic hot spring), but music, nature and good friends will be abundant. Soak it in.

The Broke Down Soakdown

Friday, Aug. 5 & Saturday, Aug. 6 Begins at 5pm on Aug. 5

Summer Lake Hot Springs, 41777 Highway 31, Paisley

$60 for the entire weekend

Tickets available at Ranch Records or brownpapertickets.com

About The Author

Jared Rasic

Film critic and author of food, arts and culture stories for the Source Weekly since 2010.
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