Monolith on the Mesa festival isn’t just about presenting some of the finest names in the fuzzed out music, though it certainly does that without any problems. Noted poster artist Simon Berndt and festival founder Dano Sanchez worked very closely with each other to create a story arc for each of the posters with the intention of having a narrative that carried over multiple festivals.

Simon Berndt explains:

“Basically, the main figure was inspired by mysticism, psychedelia, and Jodorowsky films like Holy Mountain and El Topo. We wanted to create a Brujo or shamanistic type of character to tie in with the vibe of the festival, the music, and the fantastic location in the desert surrounded by Earthships and indigenous culture and mythology. The idea was also to create a kind of sci-fi/western/psychedelic visual with the ‘monolith’ at its center. The landscape and flora is inspired by the deserts of New Mexico, and the framework is inspired by the Earthships of the area.”

Going into year two, we decided to carry this character into the design again. In this poster, we see him on an epic journey to a new, fantastic location, some kind of mystical pyramid/temple with the eye/moon symbol from poster featured once again.

The scene takes place in a sci-fi/psychedelic realm inspired by the desert landscapes and flora indigenous to New Mexico while the massive monolith spaceships of speaker towers arrive overhead. I wanted to create a dramatic scene with a lot of movement. I wanted it to be music festival meets Jodorowsky-esque, sci-fi film poster.

We’ve chatted a little about year three and how to continue with this adventure, and I don’t want to give too much away, but we’ll focus—once again—on our character potentially entering one of these temple-like buildings. I can’t wait to move the story forward in 2021!

Dano Sanchez explains:

When I first saw Simon’s, art I knew that he was the artist we wanted to work with. He understood my references and elevated them to the next level. With a nod to Alejandro Jodorowsky’s film of psychomagical realism, Holy Mountain, the setting depicted is perfect!

The road to Monolith is a journey and an adventure, as we move towards the high desert in search of a psychospiritual modality through which to share music, appreciate art, and just embrace the privilege to unplug from the vigorous momentum of our daily lives. Here on the mesa, we can create a positive vibe and send a beam of focused intention out to the universe.

This year, Simon knocked it out of the park again with a bit of sci-fi for 2020. Our traveler has embarked on a lengthy journey to get to the source. Floating cabinets emit sub-frequency tones that free the mind of chatter and transmit inner visions of psychedelic proportions.

You can visit Monolith On The Mesa’s website here for more information on tickets, set times, accommodation and more!


Wales based writer with a love for the heavy, weird, and progressive.

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