Festival Season is in Full Swing

Emissions 2014 Lineup

This coming weekend I am lucky enough to get to go to Emissions: West Coast Bass Culture festival in Belden town, CA, about 4 hours northeast of home. I wasn’t sure about any festivals this summer, but thanks to working really hard since coming home from our trip, we get to see this epic music line-up including some of my favorites who I haven’t seen in years like Mimosa and Minnesota, and a few totally new to me like The Widdler. James has been wanting to go to this one for years, and Camp ? always throws a good party, so we’re starting off summer proper and loading up Loretta with friends and festival gear this weekend!


At the end of May is one of my favorite festivals ever (of course, I’m a bit biased towards all things locally grown), Enchanted Forest, right here in Mendocino county. This year the crew James DJs with, Acacia Beats, will be playing again, along with some of our favorites from down under, like Mr. Bill (!!!!) and Opiuo. I am very grateful that this festival is even possible for me, as tickets have been sold out for a couple weeks now. I will be working at the festival, assisting our friend Tulku who organizes the festival as he runs around dialing it all in to create this epic and beautiful blissful event in the magical redwoods.  And it’s at a new venue this year, right on a beautiful river and apparently there’s even showers and saunas. Ooooh la la! We do it right here in Mendo! *SO EXCITED!!!*


The weekend after Enchanted Forest, I’ll get another chance to play and relax instead of work, at Raindance Campout, also at Belden town. I went to this festival last year, and James has been to it for 5 or 6 years in a row, it’s kinda his “home” festival. I wasn’t sure about being able to go, but then James worked his cute little booty off and bought us both tickets for Emissions, and meanwhile his awesome friends that camp with us at Raindance bought his Raindance ticket this year, so now I can afford mine! Gotta love it when your festival family takes care of you. Raindance always has a killer line-up and a relaxed, family vibe.

The next four weeks we’ll be at three festivals, and unfortunately in the process we’ll miss one of our favorite flow arts festivals, FireDrums, which is the same weekend as Enchanted Forest (we’ve decided we’re just gonna have to go to the smaller Pacific Fire Gathering run by the same folks in September on the Oregon Coast instead). So the next month will be our big festival binge of the summer, with family & friend visits and hopefully lots of chilling at home, river days, gardening, and BBQs to finish off the summer. It’s not looking like there are any conclave tickets left in our local group, so we’re most likely not going to make it to Burning Man until next year. But our friends do have an art car that’s going to be in two local 4th of July parades, so we’ll be having plenty of fun this summer regardless.

Enjoy your summertime adventures and HAPPY FESTIVAL SEASON! What festivals are you going to this year? 🙂

Building Community, Mendo Style

On Beltane, halfway between the spring equinox and summer solstice, a few Mendocino coast ladies have been organizing a Maypole dance and ceremony on Big River Beach for the past several years. This year I got involved and we had perfect sunny weather to ring in summer with!

I had never participated in a Maypole dance before, and it was quite an experience, as you can see. It’s chaos at first, but eventually everyone gets in the rhythm and as the colorful pieces of fabric weave together, you circle around and around, seeing familiar faces with each rotation and weaving over and under each person you meet. The result is never perfect, but somehow more beautiful for its imperfection and texture. Each person’s piece of fabric is an interconnected part of a more beautiful whole, individual pieces grow difficult to distinguish but what they create together is far more interesting. Beltane reminded me what a vibrant, varied, fun, and loving community I live in.

We finished off the ceremony with a potluck, drum circle, music and, of course, fire spinning. What a beautiful evening! I am so grateful to live in a place that nurtures community and gathers to build beautiful things together. It was a wonderful demonstration of building community and expanding social circles, what a lovely gathering. I can already tell that this is going to be an amazing summer! Beltane Maypole Dance - Mendocino 2014 Beltane Maypole Dance - Mendocino 2014 Beltane Maypole Dance - Mendocino 2014 Beltane Maypole Dance - Mendocino 2014 Fire Spinning on Beltane, May 1 2014