By Joel Hanke |Staff Writer|
A weekend campout full of roaring music, astonishing art and community gathering melted the snow with good energy atop Mt. Baldy this past weekend.
5 Points Productions marked their 8th annual “5 Points Gathering” on top of beautiful Mt. Baldy, located on on the border of San Bernardino County and Los Angeles County near Ontario.
A two day festival held Oct. 11-13, had everything from music, to vendors, to art, to good people.
My friends and I arrived in the parking lot of Mt. Baldy Ski Lifts at roughly 11:15 p.m. on Friday Oct. 11, in search of an adventure.
The ‘Notch’ ski lodge, which is located at the top of chair one 7800 ft. above sea level, was where the 5 Points Gathering was.
I noticed maybe a hundred or less other cars alongside mine as I parked, with a couple stragglers rolling in behind late to the event like me.
As we stepped out of the car the temperature went to a sudden drop and quickly reminded us all to put on our jackets. If it was this cold in the parking lot, we could only image what it’s like at the top.
My friends and I then proceeded to purchase what seemed like an ordinary blue wristband for $40 from the beat-down old trailer which looked on the brink of falling apart.
But little did we know, the wristband would give us access to a weekend full of good times.
One of my friends skeptically asked me, “Are you sure about this event?”
I thought about his question thoroughly and answered confidently, “I am sure!”
Having experienced last year’s chaotic fun first-hand, I knew what to expect.
After gathering our belongings and barely making it up the 50-year-old skii lift, we finally arrived at the Notch.
You could hear the music echoing down towards you as you approached the top of the lift.
The lights got brighter and brighter with color the closer we got.
Once we landed at approximately midnight, the party was already in full swing.
There was one inside stage with a fireplace and full beer bar with at least 6 beers on tap, and an outside stage made entirely of wooden sticks and speakers.
As we walk up the hill to set up our tents, a man was approaching the party dressed in full costume, face-paint and rocking a full head of dreadlocks.
The atmosphere was very free-spirited to say the least.
The temperature at the top was twice as cold as the bottom; you could see your breath.
But the ground that was once wet and icy with mud was now melting from the heated bodies packed in front of the stage.
Similar to the live artists’ progression of artwork on wood throughout the night under the stars, the vibrations from the music and people grew greater and greater as it got later and later.
The energy of this gathering made it so that everyone seemed welcome, as if you were part of the family.
As the first night came to a close, I looked out over the Inland Empire skyline before crawling in my tent only to dream of what tomorrow’s events would bring.