A Look Inside Dark Palace: A Meow Wolf Curated Event

Meow Wolf Dark Palace:

A Three-Night Dance Obscura


Featuring Interview with Sofie Cruse – Meow Wolf Events Art Director


When the word of the newly expected Meow Wolf Denver hit the streets of Denver, it was a dream come true for the prominent and beauteous Greater Denver art and music community. The Meow Wolf team really topped the cake when they announced a prequel party to their Denver grand opening, titled Meow Wolf Dark Palace, a three-night dance obscura resonating around the theme “Rave Against the Dying of the Night,” which will be presented at the National Western Complex Friday, November 22nd  through Sunday, November 24th. 

 Meow Wolf is known specifically for creating immersive art experiences, intertwining various multimedia elements and storytelling realms. Imagine a combination of an eclectic jungle gym, a haunted house, a children’s museum, and a collective art exhibit…all whilst intending to mesmerize, hypnotize, and fully elope the senses.

The Dark Palace music bill consists of a wide range of electronic music genres featuring Claude VonStoke, CharlestheFirst, Schlohmo, Late Night Radio, Dirt Monkey, Shades, and Of the TreesFrom funky house beats – to deep, crunchy, bass music – this music lineup will take attendees on a musical journey in support of all the visual fantasies built into the surrounding atmosphere. 

Santa Fe-based Sofie Cruse, Art Director of Meow Wolf Events, spoke about bringing this event inspiration to the Greater Denver Area:  

“We’re really lucky that there [are] these amazing groups of artists in Denver. For this one, we’re working in a highly collaborative and fun way with Denver artists that are going to be doing pop-ups and sweeps for Dark Palace. We’re also working with some Denver-based production mappers and stage designers, which is something that is really exciting for us too. It’s great working with so many different people in Denver this time around, and it’s been highly curatorial. Really for me personally [it’s been] amazing to get to see these people in this community, and the things that they’re producing. It’s really been a really great thing bringing artists in Denver together that maybe didn’t [even] know each other before.”

Sofie gave insights on some of the production elements that will be curated into the National Western Complex for Dark Palace. She explained that the accumulation of different skill sets between the Santa Fe and Denver teams have created a solid platform for artistry and exploration, which is truly the essence of all Meow Wolf projects. 

She continued to explain that Dark Palace will feature a group of artist collectives in one section of the building, while another part of the building will have incredibly exquisite projection mapping pieces, providing additional areas where attendees can relish in these experiential chill zones. 

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Sofie elaborated, “One thing when curating events that is really important to me and my partners, is making these ‘experiential chill zones.’ So while some of them are going to be based in tech, we also have some areas and installations that are down to our roots… maximal, colorful, fun and playful… that will be simultaneously going on.”

When asked about the particular theme that was chosen behind this event, Rave Against the Dying of the Night,” Sofie explained that  she and her director get a lot of inspiration from contextual points and their mutual love of older anime movies. They often relate different themes to both the perspective of our societal future, and how it is portrayed in certain contexts. Sofie stated that these are “poignant times,” and you find people just wanting to be able to go into a certain space and attend a warehouse rave. 

Sofie stated, “[Curated warehouse raves] are something that’s kind of, like, rare these days. It’s not something that is as open or as accessible. I think that that’s one thing that we’re really trying to pull out for Dark Palace, is this feeling of a minimal but maximal space. And yeah, to just dance. I think it’s going to be really interesting.”

Meow Wolf Music Festival Taos Vortex

She continued, “When it comes to the narrative of these events, I think that there’s something very similar to the house in Sante Fe, where it’s not all laid out in front of you. It’s not literal. It’s something that you can be able to take these different things out from, and then really, you know, take it from there and take your own inspiration.”

Another aspect that attendees should be amped to experience is the immense amount of Denver performers which Amelia Stickney – Meow Wolf Performance Director – is bringing in. Sofie explained that these performers will be fulfilling “sandbox performances” all throughout the venue. She described these performances as something that is discoverable to an attendee, something that you can wander upon and be taken around by. These performances add to the narrative of the story, and offer  unique experiences other than just the dance floor. Sofie explained that this is a technique to appeal to all kinds of party-going people in multitudes of ways.

The Forest

All these different experiences are available to the public (all ages) at the permanent Meow Wolf location in Sante Fe, New Mexico). “The House of Eternal Returns” has housed thousands of art enthusiasts that have traveled from different corners of the globe to witness this evolving house exhibit currently stationed in Santa Fe. Established in 2008, this location has an in-house team consisting of over 300 artists spanning all disciplines, including architecture, sculpture, painting, photography, video production, virtual and augmented reality, music and audio engineering, narrative writing, costuming and performance, and more.

Meow Wolf Santa Fe has also housed and booked world-renowned and national touring acts, including Papadosio, Rising Appalachia, Spafford, Flying Lotus, Monolink, Dirtwire, and more. View all future Santa Fe events here

Sofie explained that the Sante Fe location has had a prominent effect on the art community, as well as helped to expand like-minded and progressive individuals to unite into a bigger collective scene. As we see Meow Wolf Denver progress off 1-25 and Colfax, we can only anticipate the profound effect this communal organization, centered around the arts, will have on our beloved city. We warmly welcome Meow Wolf and their idealism to Denver, to accept – on our behalf – all the different kinds of art activists who are seeking an eye-opening experience. 


Dark Palace Full Lineup

FRI, NOV 22 | 7:30PM – 2:00AM

Claude VonStroke • MK • Guy Gerber •

Worra • JLin • Oona Dahl • Steve Darko •

Jimmy Edgar • Option4


SAT, NOV 23 | 7:30PM – 2:00AM

CharlestheFirst • Shlohmo • Late Night Radio •

VCTRE • Mass Relay • Megan Hamilton • LYFTD •

Mikey Thunder •  NADASOUND


SUN, NOV 24 | 7:00PM – 1:00AM

Dirt Monkey • Shades • Of the Trees •

Lauren Lane • Eli Escobar • Krystal Klear •

Morgan G • Meso



AudioPixel • Chelsey Crandell •  Collin Parson • Denver Digerati •  Emma Balder • Ethnograph • Jon Medina • Laleh Mehran & Chris Coleman • Matt Barton • Moe Gram • Psychopomps • Rainbow Militia • Secret Love Collective • The Girls of Denver Kiki Sessions • Werk Out Palace

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