With Meow Wolf Dark Palace getting every so close to it’s Denver debut, I had a brief opportunity to chat with two key components of bringing this most amazing creation to life! Max Beck-Keller and Sofie Cruse have both been involved with Meow Wolf for quite a few years now. Max being involved with the community since 2012 and Sofie being just a tad longer, holding strong since 2010.
Curious I asked if this was always a paid gig to which Sofie replied “No, I only began working as a paid employee 2 years ago, everything prior to that was just for fun and for the community.” Prior to 2 years ago, Max & Sofie would throw Meow Wolf parties for fun, always traveling, on the go. Finding the latest scene or amazing art.
They would deem themselves as “Patrons of the fun” as Sofie stated. Max chimed in saying “It’s pretty ridiculous, to do what you love, to turn your passion into your vocation, I didn’t think I could throw parties for a living, this just isn’t something your mom suggested we do when we were little.” and I would have to agree. There was never a point that I could remember my mum ever suggested I not go to school and instead focus on my music and the nightlife lol, oh if only!
Sofie says, “Max and I both agree that throwing parties just was something we did in our free time, not as a full time job… but here we are!”.
Sofie has been known to travel for her friends art, if they were showcasing pieces out of town, she would often travel there to take in the local scene and see what she might be missing out on. Max would graciously accompany her and the two would embark on adventures. Many of those adventures brought them here to Denver where they would partake in the local nightlife here including some of our more ‘secret’ underground rave scene that wasn’t as highly talked about back then, their purpose being the community. From the art side of things, friends making the art led them to the music which brought them out this way. It was all around 2015 and at this point Max was even helping out hugely with Nocturnal at the time. Both Sofie and Max agree that it’s important to check out different music festivals and events to see what else is out there from a creative platform, to see how everyone else is doing it. Sofie says, “There are just soooo many ways you can throw a party, so many ways.” Makes sense why having a lot of external input there can really push you further towards success!
Dark Palace has been in the works for well over a year now, the first talks began back in 2018 with Denver being discussed as the venue location first. Branching off from that, they then had to find a location within Denver that could house such an event. Max & Sofie wanted to create the perfect environment for their dream to unfold and that eventually led them from the Sports Castle , where they originally wanted to house the event due to size constraints, to the National Western Complex where they quickly fell in love. One of the really cool things that caught Sofie’s eyes were the gorgeous exposed rafters and beams, the metal filigree details that only an antique building built in 1902 can bring with lots of open space. Both Max and Sofie share a love for animals as well, so this place just seemed the perfect spot to bring this immersive set to life! Now if that isn’t exciting you already, wait till you hear how it all flows together!
With two stage areas and tons of other fun in between, Sofie worked closely with Amelia Stickney to provide a very in your face aerial dynamic to the visual performances. Performing every hour on the hour with many other variables in between, this will be visually stunning for the eyes to see. Sofie and Max both worked together to look for talent that would vibe with the artistic landscape and who would fit the scene the best. They wanted to represent all the festival type fun they had had in Colorado by incorporating the warehouse rave feel into the traditional artistic elements that Meow Wolf already brings at its home location. So how could they best marry the two ideas together to form one… and now we bring you Dark Palace. A three day immersive event that is sure to knock your socks off and leave you wanting for more!! Max states, “Scott Morrill, owner of Cervantes, was a huge help with finding local talent to fill opening spots”, it’s good to know people across the united states when it comes to creating events like this!
Through Meow Wolf this pair has been able to expand their own talent and creativity. Sofie has begun a company called High Pony where she creates soft art trucker hats. You can check out the collection and even grab your own on her Instagram page by clicking the link here.
Make sure to give Max a follow as well to keep an eye on the fun things he’s up to by clicking this link here.
As always thanks for checking out this fancy read and stay tuned to Xposer Magazine … where you go to be scene!
Meow Wolf, the Santa Fe-based arts and entertainment collective, has announced the lineup and dates for three nights of partying and art at an event called Dark Palace. Fresh off the heels of their New Mexico-based Taos Vortex, the Denver-based Dark Palace will feature three consecutive nights of music from legendary DJs including Claude VonStroke, MK, Guy Gerber, Lauren Lane, CharlestheFirst, Shlomo, Dirty Monkey and Shades. The event will take place at The National Western Complex in Denver on November 22nd, 23rd and 24th. “We’re looking forward to bringing the same sense of community we experienced at Taos Vortex to Denver,” said Vince Kadlubek, CEO of Meow Wolf. “We’re excited to share this Meow Wolf event and hope people will join us for the ride as we expand and create our permanent location in the city.”
In addition to the music, Dark Palace will feature a variety of art installations from Denver artists. Additional acts performing over the weekend include Oona Dahl, JLin, Of The Trees, Eli Escobar , Meso, Shades, Dirt Monkey, VCTRE. From the local Denver scene Late Night Radio, Mass Relay, Mikey Thunder, LYFTD, Nadasound, Option4 will play the party. “Meow Wolf and Dark Palace is about fun, exploration and things that go bump in the night. That’s what it’s all about: from the DJs who play it, the lighting designers who illuminate it, to the artists who will install their art for it,” said Meow Wolf’s event director Max B.K. “The National Western Complex is a gorgeous and fitting venue for Dark Palace – it’s an ancient, concrete, voluminous maze that we’re thrilled to get to know for the weekend.”Dark Palace will be open 8:00pm until 2:00pm on Friday, November 22nd and Saturday, November 23rd, and from 7:00pm until 1:0am on Sunday, November 24th. Tickets to the event can be purchased at http://meow.wf/dark