Setting Sail for Foreverland

Summer is always busy, but WOW has this one been a doozy! Between hosting spin jams, keeping a variety of fermented foods going, gardening and the usual summer BBQs, river days and beach trips, it’s been a lot of fun, too. I am happy to say that I recently picked up a couple new “jobs” to keep me even busier, and more financially stable. I am now a personal assistant for a local couple and have joined the production team for a transformational festival. And this is, of course, in addition to my day job and the occasional freelance design work. My weekdays especially are tightly booked, but I am loving having more billable hours and several projects that I’m excited about working on.

I am working with my friend Amae to help manage her etsy shop, Amae Love Designs, filling and shipping orders while she’s performing, traveling, and festivaling, and helping with marketing, social media, and optimizing her business. It’s a nice variety of work, which is perfect for me!

Amae’s partner Tulku is lead of production for Enchanted Forest, one of my favorite local festivals. He and a team of festival producers and Burning Man sound camps are throwing a new festival in just five short weeks, a fun mix of the more spiritual, faerie tale Enchanted Forest vibes with some rowdy pirate party energy, with 24-hour world class music on multiple stages, workshops, amazing art and performances, a lake to swim & float in, and hopefully all of YOU! It’s called Foreverland and it’s going to be AWESOME. It’s kinda like my favorite local festival and some of my favorite Burning Man camps had a love child who became a Lost Boy in Foreverland. 🙂

Foreverland Poster

I was lucky enough to be brought in by Tulku to assist with the Foreverland web content, marketing, social media, and basically to help the production team in any way I can to create a top-tier event that’s accessible to broke hippies at the end of an epic festival season. Check out the web site to apply to get involved!

So needless to say, I will be VERY busy in the next five weeks. It’s probably a good thing I’m not going to the burn this year, because I’ll have plenty to do on Foreverland production team, helping Amae get orders for fabulous playa wear sent out, and keeping up with the endless bounty of zucchini and other goodies from my garden! Plus, we are going to our first Pacific Fire Gathering, our only flow arts festival this year, and I am very much looking forward to learning new things and leveling up in hoops, flow wand, fans, and performing in general!

See you in October when festival season is over… Whew! Now back to work… anchor’s away!

Just Another Reason I Love Our Festival & Flow Community…

Bring Back Our Flow Campaign

At Raindance last month, James discovered that his LED contact staff was missing from our camp on Monday morning. He had leaned it up against a pole inside one of the canopies covering our camp’s common area, and when we woke up it was gone. It was swiped by some asshole thief who probably knew how much it was worth monetarily but could never understand how much it meant to us.

A flow artist’s props become an extension of their body, a tool for finding the meditative flow state, for learning and growing, and for sharing their light with the world. This staff was something James had saved up for and bought in bits and pieces for the past year or more. I had given him extra lights for it for his birthday and new end caps for it for Valentine’s Day. He always let others use it at spin jams and festivals and taught others with it as he learned the art of contact staff. To find it missing that morning made our hearts sink, especially because Raindance is a festival very dear to his heart and one he’s been going to longer than any other. In all our years at festivals, neither of us had ever had something of this much value stolen, we have always felt safe bringing our expensive flow props with us to events like this.

What’s worse, we found out that we weren’t the only ones robbed at Raindance. Several other stories emerged in the days following the festival – everything from LED props to computers to jackets were stolen, mostly out of people’s personal camps and tents. Our friend Becca, who was teaching a contact staff workshop at Raindance, had her staff stolen (one very similar to James’s) out of her camp the night before her workshop was scheduled! Like James, she had saved up for months to buy that staff and hadn’t even had it very long.

Mercury went into retrograde the weekend of Raindance, and brought with it all sorts of turmoil as usual. Before we left Raindance, we looked everywhere we could think of for the missing staff, and brainstormed with our friends in camp how we could replace such a precious item in time for James to be able to take contact staff workshops at the only flow festival we plan to attend this year, Pacific Fire Gathering. We decided to wait until Mercury went direct again, and collaborated with Becca to put together a fundraising campaign to replace both of their stolen staves.

I have witnessed the power of crowdfunding in some of my friends’ projects, but had never personally tried it. We researched our options and decided to create a campaign on GoFundMe. A crowdfunding campaign seemed like the best way to allow our spread out festival and flow arts community to help easily and quickly. But I never expected such an instant and amazing response.

Within hours, donations began trickling in. The first few came from the friends we camped with at Raindance (Camp Higher Porpoise, represent). Family, friends, and anonymous donors pitched in, and in only a few days the campaign has been shared 125 times and counting. We are only trying to raise enough to cover the two staves, shipping, and fees ($600) and after only a few days, we’re already at $530! Wow. Needless to say, we are in awe and very very grateful.

We all decided that any leftover donations would be given to flow arts related causes chosen by Becca and James, such as Flow Arts Institute and Give Props, a documentary some of our fellow flow artists are working on. Today I found another worthy cause, helping to save the life of The Nom Noms, a fantastic feline loved by many in the flow arts community who belongs to Marvin and Jennifer Ong. We are already so blown away by the generosity of our family, friends, and community, so we will definitely do our best to pay it forward and share any extra love we receive with causes that are helping further the flow arts and this beautiful community.

It’s always disheartening to be robbed, and even though a staff is just a thing, its value to James was immesurable. The quick success of this campaign has restored our faith in humanity, humbled our hearts and filled us with gratitude. We can really feel the love, guys, and it means a lot. Every little bit helps and we feel very grateful for the outpouring of support we’ve received so far. Seriously, you all rock. My sad tears from losing the staff are definitely happy ones now!

So let’s keep this momentum going! We don’t really have a deadline for this campaign, but once it’s fully funded and it seems like it’s been up long enough for everyone who wants to participate to have that chance, James and Becca are going to be able to spin staff in style again, and continue spreading their love of the flow arts throughout our local and international festival communities.

Support “Bring Back Our Flow!” and help us replace these staves. Because the FLOW must go on! Thank you all so much for the shares, donations, and support. We love you!!!

Next Festival Adventure: Northern Nights

Northern Nights Music Festival posterThis summer, we have enjoyed participating in several smaller festivals close to home. It seems that there are more and more small local festivals every year – choosing which ones to go to has become quite the first world problem to have! And though I’m a little sad to be missing my favorite BIG festival this year, Burning Man, I have grown to love the smaller local festies even more than the large ones. There’s a sense of community, family, and taking care of each other that I see at the smaller festivals that seems to get lost in the bustle of the crowded larger music festivals.

Northern Nights Music Festival is about an hour’s drive from the Mendo coast where I live, and I’m very excited to be going to it for my first time in a few short weeks. This is the second year for the festival, held on the Mendocino/Humboldt county line at Cook’s Valley Campground, but for being such a young festival, they sure have in impressive and varied music line-up! I am most excited about Lindsay Lowend, Little People, Giraffage, NastyNasty, The Floozies, and Beats Antique, but there is something for everyone on this lineup, PLUS yoga classes and other opportunities for fun!

I am very grateful to be part of the street team for Northern Nights this year, so I’ve been promoting by handing out flyers, putting up posters, and talking about the festival online and in person to friends, all while getting myself even more amped up for the event. Camp Mendoland (a growing group of friends that will be camping together at NNMF) is steadily growing as we prepare to dance to awesome beats, camp under the redwoods, and float in the beautiful Eel River July 18th – 20th. I’m going to experience my first silent disco (though part of me hates the idea because I am such a fan of feeling the bass throughout my body from HUGE speakers when I see bass music live) and I’m definitely looking forward to a much-needed relaxing weekend of fun in the middle of a very busy season.

This is gonna be a good one. And tickets go up in price again tomorrow – July 1, so jump on them while you can and come join us under the redwoods! We’ll show you how Mendo parties. We do it right!

 

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!

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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!!!*

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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? 🙂

Envision: Fat Stacks of Funktion Ones, Swampy Jungle Heat & Pura Vida Vibes!

I just finished doing some yoga with an adorable hostel kitty here at the lush Cascada Verde hostel in Uvita… ahhhh! We just returned from 4 days at Envision Festival, which was amazing and I’m still processing it all. We’ve all had very little sleep this weekend, but have definitely had our fill of sunshine, days by the waterfall and beach, humid jungle heat, and soooooo much mind-blowing live music and art and food. The people here are beautiful and friendly and we’ve been meeting lots of fellow travelers and Envisionaries along the way.

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We took a long but very scenic bus from San Jose through the hills and down to the Pacific coast on Tuesday. The bus was full of other festival goers and we made friends along the way. We arrived in Uvita and grabbed a ride in the back of a taxi’s (or maybe it was just some local’s?) flatbed truck with our luggage up the hill to a lush shady oasis called Cascada Verde. This adorable hostel makes me feel like we’re staying in a Swiss Family Robinson treehouse – with big open terraces full of hammocks and a chorus of cicadas, birds, and jungle life to sing us to sleep.

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Before Envision we got to cool off at a beautiful waterfall and swimming hole just down the road from the hostel, where we also ended up going to escape the daytime heat during the festival. We got to slide down a waterfall, sip frosty beverages (my favorite is a gingery lime blend called agua de sapo, which translates as toad water but tastes way better than it sounds), jump into cool pools and spin in the shade.

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Envision had the vibe of a lot of our favorite west coast transformational festivals and was full of positive, inspiring, talented people—locals and travelers from all over the world. It was held at a big private ranch in Uvita with direct access to Playa Hermosa. We walked in to see huge stacks of Funktion One speakers and gave them a big hug as we realized we were home… they kept us rocking all weekend to many a crunchy beat. Ruben, one of five in our travel group, had an early arrival pass so he went in with all our tents and nabbed us a shady camping spot. We spent most of our time dancing at one of the stages, gawking at amazing visual and performance art, body surfing in the ocean, hanging in hammocks, cooling off by the waterfall, and walking around a lot. We saw so much excellent music! I finally had my first live Tipper experience.  Tipper played two sets, one Saturday night and one to welcome the sunrise this morning. The Polish Ambassador, Mr. Rogers, Whitebear, Plantrae, kLL sMTHWildlight, Pumpkin, Nahko and Medicine for the People, Papadosio, Rising Appalachia and many other great acts shared the stage with fire spinners, dancers, aerialists and performers. Our feet ache from all the dancing and exploring for sure. James and I got to spin fire at sunset at the beach, which was beautiful except that we used citronella tiki torch fuel after our fruitless searches for white gas (it works, kinda, but it was gross, don’t do it!)

Sunset at Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica 2014 California Homies at Envision James Spinning Fire on the Beach at Envision 2014

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The heat and humidity here are oppressive and even at night it barely cooled down enough for us to dance or spin for too long at a time. We are happy to be back at Cascada Verde hostel today to rest and relax before we plan the rest of our journey. We met up with a friend from Mendo whose Dad lives near here on a small organic farm, and he offered cheap lodging and a chance to learn about cacao harvesting for a couple days in exchange for helping with the harvest and around the farm, so we are headed to Earth Rose Farm in nearby San Isidro. We hope to hit up Monteverde and Arenal after that as we head north to Nicaragua.

It feels like we’ve been here forever already, but it’s only the end of week one of our adventure! Now for some rest before the next chapter unfolds. 🙂

Envisioning a Beautiful 2014

As I’m sure you’re aware if you follow me on social media at all, I am REALLY REALLY excited for our upcoming trip to Costa Rica and Nicaragua in February & March. Shortly after landing in San Jose, we’ll be heading to the Pacific coast near beautiful Uvita, Costa Rica for Envision Festival, a music, movement & arts festival that will be my first international festival experience. (Technically I guess it’s still a west-coast music fest though, and I’ve been to plenty of those!)

Envision Festival 2014 Music Lineup

So far James and I have bought our festival tickets and booked our flights, and even recruited a few friends to share the adventure with! We will be exploring a few sites in Costa Rica after the festival before heading over the border to Nicaragua, where James’s dad is living, so we’ll have a nice home base in Managua.

As hard as it is for me, I am trying not to over-plan so that we can freely explore when we get there and go with the flow without a strict schedule. But I do have a short wish list for the trip: I’d like to zipline through beautiful rainforest or cloud forest canopy, enjoy a fancy tropical drink out of a coconut at a swim-up bar, spin fire on the beach at sunset, hike in the jungle to beautiful waterfalls and epic volcanoes, visit and volunteer at a wildlife refuge or permaculture farm or some such worthy place, and best of all SEE TIPPER LIVE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN COSTA RICA!!! 😀

I can already tell that 2014 is going to be a wonderful year! Please comment with recommendations for things to do and see in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, people to stay with and places we could volunteer for a few days are especially welcome!

And if you’re up for an adventure to close out this winter, JOIN US! Get your Envision Tickets here, and use discount code STmeganp14 during checkout to receive $5 off! It is going to be a beautiful trip in an amazing place… And now you know what I’m working towards all winter. 🙂