My, my, what a precedent you have set for yourself, Danville!! Did you know what you were getting into when you invited 20,000 of the country’s most magical hippies to invade your land? You had big shoes to fill with Electric Forrest just around the river bend, and you delivered, in my eyes. You had the lineup of Coachella, the wacky energy of Wakarusa, the art sculptures of Burning man (literally) AND the lines of Bonaroo. Congratulations! So where do we go from here?
How do you manage to outdo yourself when working on such a mass scale? As a seasoned festival goer for over a decade now, I pride myself on the festivals I attend and how I participate. From working on the art team, to gracing the stage with my own performance arts troupe and DJ, I’ve seen many sides to the festival circuit. This time, I decided to join your volunteer forces at Phases of the Moon, and it was a humbling experience, to say the least. Nothing like picking up hippies’ trash to remind you how human you are. But everyone who we passed was SO grateful for the green team, and it was a great sight to see such a clean land, and a conscious group of people.
Consciousness. The new evolution of festival goers. Are we conscious or not? Are we really leaving no trace? Does anyone really even care? It always seems nobody really knows what time it is to even make the chakra cleansing workshop at the sanctuary, so do we leave it all up to chance, instead? To fly by the seat of one’s pants, or to listen to the people… which inevitably is twice as much work.
I’ve got to hand it to the Phases of the Moon planning committee, your attention to the artistic detail was out of this world. You may not have had security in place where they needed to be, but the live flowers placed strategically all over the festival were a super nice touch. You could tell the people who planned it really had a vision and weren’t going to settle for less than that artistic vibe they were going for, even if it went over budget. All in all, ya’ll did real good from an artists point of view. (You had me at Alex and Alyson Grey).
Things to keep in mind for next year:
Trust your security. Prepare them for what lies ahead.
Allow your volunteers to take a more active role in deciding what needs to be addressed (i.e.: They stuck us out in family camping to pick up trash, when gathering the cigarette butts in the main stage would have been far more productive)
Light the bonfire DURING the actual music, and closer to the stages so people can keep warm and utilize the heat during the headliners.
Have digital clocks stationed around the festival (maybe near the schedules) so that people do know what time it is.
Lastly, stating the obvious, let your people come in and set up CAMP as early as Wednesday if they desire. You don’t have to open up the main venue right away, but you already know, the flow of traffic left something to be desired.
To sum up, I’ve still got blisters on my toes, snot in my noes, scratches I don’t remember and some serious sunburned lips, but it was all worth it. I’ll be back next year, if you’ll have me, and I’d love to continue as a part of your team. You have the vision, you just need the visionaries to help you implement. Every festival should be looking to you as a model for how to coexist with the locals and seasoned festival goers. Touché
Until we meet again,