All Senses Will Rock All. Your. Senses.

By: Melanie Hansen

This post was originally featured on The Ugly Iowan and is published with the permission of the author.

“It’s the most unique fest going on in the QCA with a very left of center, diverse line-up… not aimed to please everyone, it is meant to be a boundary-pushing showcase of art.” That’s according to Jason Parris of RIBCO and Wake Brewing and possibly the most reliable dude in the area’s music industry.

Hey, remember when you were a kid and felt tremendous pressure to make the last day before school starts a balls-out play-a-thon fueled by sugar and carbs? All Senses is the grown-up answer to that historic childhood conundrum: how can I ensure I squeeze every last drop of fun out of this summer before cold, gray weather comes and ruins everything?

All Senses closes out festival season with one last bash designed to stimulate your entire nervous system. Live performances, music, film, sound, spoken word, art, craft, food, and more from Tuesday, September 25 until Sunday, September 30.

Okay, technically, that’s a couple of days after the fall equinox, but if Starbucks can serve pumpkin spice lattés in August, then festival season can dip into autumn.


What’s really exciting about this festival is the people involved. Aside from Jason up there, Bob Herington of Ragged Records and Cartouche is back with his psyche-punk expertise.

Paige Underwood, who we used to know from Daytrotter and Paste Music, has her own venture in Yellow UFO, which took charge of promotion this year. Underwood’s influence improves any event.

And the best local psychedelic artists are all going to be there. I’m eager to see Condor and Jaybird close out Saturday night at Rozz-Tox with The Golden Fleece and their show: Snooty and the Snout Pouch. Nope, I have no idea what’s up with Snooty or his snout pouch (whatever that is), but I can guarantee it’s going to be… different.

“[All Senses] is a more off-the-beaten-path kind of effort,” says Pat Stolley of Future Apple Tree, comparing the festival to typical events of the summer. “We have a lot of great music and fests around now, but it’s generally straight forward. Getting weird and heavy is good in my opinion.”

Pictured: WEIRD (last year’s flyer courtesy of Ragged Records)

What he means is, most folks in the Quad Cities consider The Candymakers to be the wildest act in town. While we all love us some Al “Every-performance-is-a-phenomenon” Sweet and his band of crazy talented musical artists, you won’t hear them experiment with genre-defying sound. They can play the Bix every year for the rest of the century. It’ll be great. All Senses, however, is something else.

Like Bob’s, Pat’s involvement began last year when he contributed his Lowland Block Party to All Senses, ending the weekend on a nice come-down that’s totally kid-friendly without losing its identity as an alternative festival. With piñatas, a dunk tank, and more* to entertain the kids, adults will dig all the antiques, arts, crafts, and live music PLUS some of the most amazing food vendors on either side of the Mississippi.

“This festival is refreshing and appeasing to all the senses,” Paige Underwood says. “The curators and organizers of All Senses are true tastemakers and have put together an incredibly solid line up.”

Details about lineups, schedule, and tix are available on the All Senses site and on the event’s Facebook page.