Tag Archives: transformational festivals

Under the Spell of Enchanted Forest

Having been to so many gatherings and festivals of all types and sizes over the past dozen or so years, I would think it would be more difficult for me to choose a favorite. A few years ago I probably would’ve said Burning Man was my favorite, and it is truly amazing and unique, for sure… but the event that’s had my heart the past few years is my favorite for many different reasons. Let me tell you the tale…

In 2011, a seed was planted here in Mendocino County. In 2012, I discovered and attended my first Enchanted Forest Gathering in the beautiful redwoods of Camp Navarro about 45 minutes down the coast from my house. Not sure what to expect but lured by the most delicious of bass music lineups, I set up camp with two of my best burner buddies, Fern and Koji, in a towering redwood grove. We watched as the Boy Scout camp was transformed into a glittering wonderland of art, music, beautiful people, sweet little environments and altars, silly play and lots of color. We danced in the glow of a giant flower of life that changed colors as it lit up the crowd and stayed up all night because the music was just too good, Random Rab played at sunrise and I had a flow wand dancing partner that just wouldn’t quit!

Megan and Fern at Enchanted Forest 2012

Being at Enchanted Forest my first year, I felt like I had stumbled into a secret coven of magical fairy folk. Everyone I met and encountered simply radiated love and positive energy. There was an element of ceremony, of holding sacred space, more so than other events I had been to, but it wasn’t pretentious or overly woo-woo, simply in the background was an understanding that we were engaging in something meaningful, more than just a party. Though it was also one of the sauciest parties I’d ever witnessed, without any of the sloppy sauce due to its alcohol-free status. I have never seen dancers so in sync with each other, a dance floor so full of smiles, or reluctantly dragged my tired ass to bed with a bigger smile on my face as I have at Enchanted Forest Gatherings… And this reaction is not uncommon, our community quickly become family and everyone who has been simply gushes about the top-notch production, over the top decor and ambiance, amazingly epic stage design, lighting, music, and performance, but most of all… the smiles, the joy, the LOVE. Be still, my heart… it’s coming up again soon!

Random Rab EF Sunrise 2012

Wanting to be more involved with such a stellar local festival, in 2013 I signed up to volunteer. My job was to help decorate the teahouse stage and to paint and put up signs all over the venue, and I got to meet more of the amazing people involved with organizing the festival. But what made that year most special for me was that Enchanted Forest was the first music festival that James and I attended together, shortly after we started dating.  It was also the first time I’d seen him DJ or perform at a festival, so I got to see the audience in awe and think “that’s MY boyfriend up there on that stage. Clearly I am WINNING at life!”

Blissed Out

I have so many beautiful memories of that weekend but what stands out most is getting to see Flicker absolutely crush it on stage DJing with Acacia Beats. He shared a set with his homies on Friday evening, on the most epic stage I had ever seen, a beautiful work of art nestled in a fairy ring of redwood trees with a waterfall and crystal altar underneath it. (Audiowaska knows what is up with stage design, and has been involved with Enchanted Forest ever since).  He was SO pumped to be up there, he was dancing harder than anyone in the crowd below, and I got to hoop to the whole set, sneak up to the stage to get a few photos, and watch in awe as my sexy new man did his thing. I still have a photo of him DJing on that stage as my desktop background; it is almost the sexiest thing I have ever seen (second only to him spinning fire, of course).

Flicker Gettin' It

We got to spin in the fire circle and on the performance platform to some pretty amazing music that year, had a great time goofing around with all our friends in camp, and become part of the Enchanted Forest family.

Last year Enchanted Forest was faced with quite the logistical challenge when it had to move venues just a week or two before the event. But this gathering just HAD to happen, and so the crew found a new venue last minute and it was held at Stone Bear near Tahoe on the beautiful (and cold) Yuba River. Even with having to move the entire festival hundreds of miles away, the weekend went off without a hitch. This family is resilient, creative, and capable!

Get Frisky Kitty!

Acacia Beats got to DJ again on another mind-blowing stage, and once again I volunteered as an assistant to the production team, this time brought in by Tulku himself, who James and I had gotten to know a bit better since we’d been involved with some of his parties and I’d started helping his lovely lady Amae with her Amae-zing clothing line, Amae Love Designs. I helped prepare the cabins for artists, check in artists and staff at the box office, and ran errands for artist relations. And I got to wear the ‘Saucy Squad’ laminate like a real part of the team!

Mr. Bill and Opiuo melted our faces, we spun fire and snuggled to stay warm in the crisp mountain air, and we danced down by the river and on top of the hill overlooking the Sierra Nevadas. It wasn’t our usual redwood home in Mendocino, but 2014 proved that it wasn’t the forest we gathered in that mattered, it was the community that made Enchanted Forest home. No matter where we danced together, with this crew, there was always magic in store… the air sparkled with it as the beats echoed through the trees. Everywhere I looked, people were smiling, hugging, connecting, creating, expressing, and most of all DANCING.

EF Family

Even though I didn’t officially begin working in festival production as a staff member until a few months later when Tulku brought me on to the Foreverland (now Once Upon a Festival) marketing team last summer, I consider Enchanted Forest to be the festival where I got my start in event production. I started as an attendee and got more involved each year. A lot of my friends are involved, whether performing, volunteering, staff, or playing the ever so crucial role of attendee, and it’s about an hour from our house. I have learned and grown so much because of my experiences at this event and connected with some truly amazing people. If there is one transformational festival I could encourage everyone I know and love to attend, one closest to my heart, it would without a doubt be Enchanted Forest Gathering.

Night Time at EF

This year marks 5 years of Enchanted Forest, and my fourth and most involved year yet. In the span of less than a year I have gone from scrambling to save or volunteer or street team for events such as this just so I could afford to attend, to this year being a part of the production crew that makes it happen as a production and marketing assistant. It’s almost too good to be true, and I still can’t believe this is my life and I get to work with such a superstar team of jedis!

And speaking of almost too good to be true, Enchanted Forest will not only be returning home to Mendocino County this year, but we’ll be dancing under the beautiful ancient oak trees of the legendary Black Oak Ranch, the old home of Earthdance, my former favorite local festival that ended in 2010. This means our community has some room to grow, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned about this family, it’s that EF will always be true to our roots.  This move also opens up more possibilities and allows us to expand Enchanted Forest’s offerings to include a wider variety of music, eight different workshop areas, and all kinds of sanctuaries and environments to explore.

Enchanted Forest 2015 Lineup

One of the things I am most excited about this year, besides this amazing music lineup of course, is the addition of the Flow Zone at Enchanted. Kandice of Holistic Hooping and I are co-coordinating the space this year, and we are super excited to be bringing in about 10 amazingly talented flow arts instructors and performers. We’ll have workshops during all three days of the festival covering a variety of flow arts props and disciplines — it will be like a mini flow fest within my favorite festival! There will be a few flow vendors and a specific space in the back of the main concert bowl set aside for spinning things, practice, and play. It’s truly a dream come true and coordinating the workshops has been really exciting! I am so incredibly grateful to be on this team.

Clearly I could go on and on about this gathering, but I’ve written more than enough to share my experience, and this event is truly something you must experience for yourself, because words and photos simply can’t do it justice.  There is just something about being at Enchanted Forest, surrounded by the colorful forest critters on the dance floor, soaking up all the love being shared, moving your body to incredible music and witnessing masterpieces unfolding before your eyes… it’s more than just another transformational festival. I always say being with my festy family is going home, but Enchanted Forest is like Grandma’s house, all smiles and fresh baked pumpkin pie and more love than could ever be contained. I hope you’ll come home with me this year. It’ll be the most enchanting yet…

Take the LEAP! <3 We got you.

The Next Adventure Awaits, Once Upon a Festival

I have been far too busy finishing up with Lucidity and then jumping right into my new role with Once Upon a Festival to post an update as of late, oh festival season problems!

This past weekend I got to return to FireDrums for my third time. This year was an amazing experience at a beautiful intimate little venue. I took lots of excellent workshops and learned so much from awesome instructors. The talent in the Flowcase was jaw-dropping (OMG WES PEDEN, HOLY SHIT!) and I got to spend time with my flowmily. It was so good to be back after missing last year. But more on that later…

Once Upon a Festival Lineup
Pretty excited about the Once Upon a Festival music lineup!

In less than two weeks I’ll be at Once Upon a Festival, which was called Foreverland last year and was the event that really got me started working behind the scenes in festival production and marketing. This epic event will be a creative collaboration between several of my favorite festivals, sound camps, and production companies (like Envision, Raindance, Enchanted Forest and Lucidity) and once again we’ll be gathering at the beautiful East Park Reservoir in Colusa County, CA. Except this year the lake is FULL and we’ll have even more magic in store for you! Year two will most definitely be a level up!

I am stoked to be a marketing assistant this year, as well as the street team coordinator and the on-site media team coordinator for Once Upon a Fest. As usual, I am wearing lots of hats at once and enjoying the variety. It’s been exciting seeing this event take shape over the past couple of months. We are making some awesome improvements this year and there are a lot of talented, dedicated, and brilliant people involved in producing this event. It is certainly an honor to be a part of this team, and especially to have been a part of its fruition since the beginning. To say that I’m excited to see what adventures and shenanigans await us on our journey this year is an understatement! I hope you’ll check it out and help spread the word!

Once Upon a Festival will feature a variety of workshops covering all kinds of topics like movement, yoga, permaculture, and flow arts. A treehouse stage, pirate ship stage, and floating stage on the lake will provide 24 hour music in a variety of genres and quality sound. Branches Mobile Gallery of Lucidity fame will be setting up a display of inspiring visual art, and several art installations, performance artists and live painters will be in attendance. Lots of shaded chill spaces, a nectar healing temple for self-care, interesting vendors, and colorful characters are sure to make an appearance. Theme camps and creative costumes are highly encouraged – and I may even get to help award prizes for the most clever costumes I spot on site! Fun!

Live Your Own Fairy Tale at Once Upon a Festival

Hope you can join me at Once Upon a Fest! Message me for a discount code good for $10 off your tickets – 3-day, 2-day, and 1-day passes are currently on sale, as are meal passes, early arrival passes, and car camping passes. This festival is on the rise and definitely one to watch. Jump on board and Live Your Own Fairy Tale!

Happy Birthday to Me, Indeed!

D’awwww… I feel like I’ve been adopted into this awesome loving family of brilliant creative jedis of compassion and light and change. Hearing their gratitude totally made me cry at our Lucidity​ marketing debrief meeting last night. My team is just so wonderful! And I’m a total sap.

As the marketing team discussed what worked and what didn’t about our work and Lucidity this year, it became apparent that I have really stumbled into something special here. It has been such an honor to work with you all and I have learned so much in so many ways from this experience.

Working at Lucidity: This is my job. Amazing!
Working at Lucidity: This is my job. Amazing!

I left my first Lucidity Festival feeling very proud of my involvement and my hard work the past few months, but also just simply awestruck and inspired and blissed out by the people, the stories, and the energy that create the event and the community surrounding it. Just WOW. I left saying “yeah, this is something I can feel good about promoting/selling/blabbing all over social media and to all my friends about/dedicating my time to/staying up late working on/etc.” and so very aligned with everything Lucidity is creating.

This is big for me, as this whole marketing / promotion thing is pretty new to me and I refuse to work with organizations I can’t align with and believe in. I invest myself very heavily into my work and everything I am involved in, my inner artist and workaholic just can’t help but pour every ounce of creative energy, heart, and soul into my projects and my work – especially when the project is particularly inspiring or meaningful to me. This one must have struck an artery…

Scenes of Lucidity 2015: Kindred Quest
Scenes of Lucidity 2015: Kindred Quest

I feel like I just went to jedi superhuman badass training camp or something. You are all AMAZING humans. Thank you for trusting me, pushing me, inspiring me, collaborating and sharing and welcoming me into your family. Thank you for your patience, your understanding, for reading all my unnecessarily wordy e-mails and for adapting along with me to new processes. Thank you for spoiling me rotten the moment I arrived on site, a warm place to work, cold pressed coffee on tap, sweet Lucidiswag, and OMG the FOOD!!! Thank you for making it possible for my sweetie to join me for the weekend at Lucidity – I felt like my life was utterly complete getting to spend time with him, some of my good friends, my amazing team, and so many new friends all at once in such a beautiful place. Wait, and I got paid for this?! I must be dreaming… oh wait, we all are… co-creating a stunningly beautiful future that I have only begun to glimpse and am SO excited to help reveal…

I must give a few shout outs in gratitude… Reuben Smith – THANK YOU for contacting me about openings in the marketing department at Lucidity the end of last year and recommending me for a position. I owe you a beer, a bottle of kombucha, and/or a really huge hug! Hope to see you at Once Upon a Festival!

To James ‘Jaymo’ Barnard, who I worked very closely with the past few months – you are a rock star and I’m not sure how you do it all! You were an absolute joy to work with, always easy to talk to, kind, supportive, and brilliant. To Jonah Haas, Noah Crowe, Wolfbear, Sabrina Calderon, Matt (Rodriguez and Rideout), Victory, Meow, and WAY too many other people to finish this list… Thank you for welcoming me into the fold, showing me the ropes, and being your amazingly badass, hard working, inspiring and superhuman selves! I am so impressed and awed by everyone I encountered at Lucidity. I have found a home in the transformational festival community and especially a few small, like-minded and inspiring events that I am lucky enough to work with on a regular basis now. Lucky me!!!

To my partner James, thank you for being so supportive, flexible, and for putting up with my utter failure to cook a proper meal for weeks on end and all my late nights of work and going to bed before me. And I am SO grateful that you got to join me for the weekend at Lucidity last minute and make my week even  more complete! And to all my friends who I have not seen much of these past few months, I miss you! My campmates at Lucidity also helped make it an amazing weekend I’ll never forget… so much gratitude!

Beautiful Lucidity Memories - So Much Love!
Beautiful Lucidity Memories – So Much Love!

I’m here as long as you’ll have me, Lucidity family, and that goes for the larger transformational festival community as well. I thought going to these events for a decade plus would change my life, but WOW does being part of the team producing them do so even more…

On the horizon for work (and play) is Once Upon a Festival in June, which is the same crew as Foreverland last year, with a few new additions and a new name. I will be assisting with the marketing team and doing some street team and media team management this year; I just got up to speed and activated for my new role! And then Northern Nights in July, a local festival in the redwoods on the Mendo/Humboldt county line that I am street teaming for. And my home sweet Mendo favorite, Enchanted Forest, will be returning to Mendocino county this year and I am thrilled to have been offered a position as a Production Assistant for this year. It’s gonna be a busy summer! Hope to see you at one of these stellar events!

As I close in on my 32nd birthday, I feel like this entire year, maybe this entire life, has been one great big beautiful birthday gift. I always was a late bloomer, and I feel like I’m finally starting to create a balance amidst the chaos and variety that is all of my jobs, my projects, my relationships and connections and my dreams. I have been blessed in countless ways over the years, but damn! Life is REALLY starting to get juicy as of late and I feel like I’m hitting my stride!

We are going out dancing Saturday night and meeting friends for brunch with a view on Sunday at Little River Inn to celebrate my birthday this year. I’m looking forward to keeping it simple and having fun with my Mendo friends and celebrating life this weekend. There is certainly much to celebrate this spring!

Boy is this getting good or what?! I can’t wait to see what’s around the next bend…

Learning to Juggle (Metaphorically)

You never quite know what you’re capable of until you try to do it ALL. AT. ONCE.

I should really take up juggling… I feel like I have a lot of practice already, at least in the metaphorical sense!

In less than two weeks, I will be on-site at Lucidity, which is a bit hard for me to believe. Apparently time not only flies when you’re having fun, it soars by even faster when you’re busy as hell. There are only a few hundred tickets left, which means my job isn’t quite done, but if you’re thinking about joining us, you’d better act fast! Don’t forget to use my promo code ‘meganpru’ for $5 off your ticket!  You could also WIN a ticket by submitting a video inviting a loved one to join you at Lucidity! It’s gonna be pretty awesome…

Photo by David Pricco at Lucidity 2013.
Photo by David Pricco at Lucidity 2013.

As I go from one job to the next to the next each day, I am constantly in awe of how much my teammates and I manage to do and keep track of. I am most certainly among real-life jedis, that’s the only explanation for this level of badassery. I am learning a lot, from the intricacies of formatting and timing Facebook posts for best engagement to tricks for keeping things organized in Google Drive, but mostly how to manage my time and maintain balance with so much on my plate(s) and such long hours spent on screens.

I’ve come to realize that perhaps five jobs is a few too many, but I am grateful that a few of them are seasonal, and there’s not as many hours when it’s not a festival production cycle. I am counting my lucky stars that Lucidity, Forever Everland, and Enchanted Forest are all nicely spaced at two months apart this summer! Two part time jobs is plenty, though the extra few hours a week from the other three sure is nice to have. I am finally getting somewhere on saving some money, paying things off, and being able to make some long-awaited purchases like a new external hard drive that I’ve needed for YEARS now. I hardly leave the house since there’s always work to do, but when I do, it’s to do awesome things like celebrate Holi, the festival of color celebrated each spring in India, on the beach for a friend’s birthday, or soaking in mineral hot springs all day with my love… So I’m ok with the work-life balance I’m tenuously clinging to. 😉

And speaking of Holi… man was that fun! These are just a few of the fun photos I took:

Holi2 Holi3 Holi4 Holi5

 

Lucid Days and Dreams: An Exercise in Balance

2015 has been a whirlwind already. A big storm last weekend that knocked out power for 36 hours here on the Mendocino coast forced me to slow down and realize just how much I’ve been doing every day this year. It also made me realize how sadly dependent all five of my jobs, and thus my life, is on electricity and internet! I have been playing catch up all week after being off-grid Sunday night through Tuesday morning. But somehow even though nearly every hour of my day is now scheduled, I fully embrace this chaos of my own making and enjoy being busily involved in so many exciting projects.

36 hour power outage means pretty candles

I have always kept myself pretty busy, but this year I am taking it to a whole new level. Late last year I received a message from someone I’d worked with at Forever Everland who mentioned that Lucidity Festival had some positions opening up that I might be a good fit for. I had been planning to really hunker down this winter and focus on work, getting as many billable hours in as possible so I can pay stuff off and save up to hopefully move into a bigger place this year. So the opportunity arose at a great time, and I submitted a resume and started talking to the Marketing department as they began to gear up for 2015. Lucidity is a Southern California transformational festival that has been on my radar since it began in 2012, but I haven’t been able to get down there for the early April event yet. This year that will be changing, and when April finally rolls around I will be more than ready to experience the fruits our labors!

I started as the Marketing Operations Lead for Lucidity Festival’s marketing department in early January – adding another part-time contract to my pile. And now that I’ve been here a minute and am starting to feel a bit more caught up with everything going on in the bustling Lucid universe, I’m beginning to feel quite at home. I mean, how rad is it that their contracts include The Four Agreements (one of my favorite books) and their core values sound like something I could have written? Pretty rad. 🙂

Lucidity Core Values

  1. Participation and Immersion in the Artistic Process
  2. Personal Growth and Global Healing
  3. Awake and Aware Consciousness
  4. Environmental and Social Responsibility
  5. Family Fun and Creative Play
  6. Communal Reciprocity
  7. Transparency

The team I work with is inspiring and awesome, I am learning a lot and taking on a lot that is new to me, all good things! And though increasing my workload has been a bit overwhelming at times, it is teaching me to manage my time better, work more efficiently, plan ahead and it reminds me that I need to make time for a social life and relaxation too – it feels a bit like juggling but I’m moving towards balance. Work hard, play hard!

This job is giving me an opportunity to push my growth edges and gain valuable experience in new areas. I have to process and keep up with a lot of projects, e-mails, phone calls, meetings, documents, and people. My role is more of a management role than any I’ve held previously, but I also get to use my design and communication skills, knack for organization, and my love of multitasking and having lots of variety in my work life is definitely coming in handy! AND I am also still working for PETA part time as well as spending a few hours a week helping with social media management for Forever Everland and Enchanted Forest, and a few hours a week as a Personal Assistant for my friend Amae Love.  It’s a lot of hours, but it feels less like work to me when I am doing a variety of things for a living rather than having one job. That 9-5 life is far too bland and boring for this weirdo, even if I end up working my little booty off trying to avoid working for people and organizations I don’t align with. Maintaining an “alternative” lifestyle sure can be exhausting, but I’m certainly enjoying it. I am grateful that I have 5 jobs and I can say that I truly love, enjoy, and feel good about my work with every single one.  What a blessed, busy life!

We don’t have any festivals on the radar this year other than ones we’re working or learning at (FireDrums, Forever Everland and Enchanted Forest most likely), so Lucidity will be a nice “working vacation” for me (not sure that James can join me unfortunately) and a wonderful chance to experience a new event and hang out with some good friends who moved to SoCal from Mendo a few years back, Pal and Ottie! It will also mark the end of a very busy few months, as the start of 2015 is shaping up to be.

I’m really excited that I’ll likely be in Santa Barbara for a week surrounding the festival, which means I can participate in some Community Action Days with The Polish Ambassador since Lucidity is partnering with him to make that happen! And… the lineup is pretty freaking epic as well. Getting giddy just thinking about it… and also about the fact that this is all part of my job now. Doesn’t really feel like work when I think about it that way… 🙂

If you’d like to join us at Lucidity this year, get your tickets ASAP! It’s getting close to selling out and I want you there! Use my discount code “meganpru” at checkout to receive $5 off Lucidity tickets! 

Lucidity 2015 Lineup