We’re sure that by now you’re getting used to the erratic schedule on which we write blogs. Stay tuned: It looks as if it’s going to get a lot more erratic. The middle two weeks of July we’ll be at Brushwood Folklore Center (Sherman NY), the first week attending one of the best festivals in the northeast, Sirius Rising. (Remember Orion’s dog Sirius? He’s the reason we call this warm season dog days. In mid-July, the dawn sun rises between earth and Sirius.) The second week we’ll be on site basically meeting old friends who will also atend Starwood: ACE’s* massive festival and party.
Festivals and festival speakers seem now to us to fall into definite categories: Some festivals, those that refuse to pay speakers or even reimburse them for honest travel expenses, are only a money machine for the promoters. Other festivals pay to get good speakers and musicians but have a hard time breaking even. These, though, are definitely much more worth attending.
Speakers and presenters as well fall into two distinct categories: The “big names” who charge the earth and are pushing the same old tired message; and those who have a new and different view (which they have thought through past the point of ego-stroking blither). Here the pattern is to charge very little if anything, and to be well worth listening to.
With both speakers and festivals, then, we ourselves perceive a strong negative correlation (note: negative) between sincerity and profit.
So how can you tell which gatherings are worth attending? You really can’t, unless you can psychometrize the announcements they publish. You pays your money and you takes your choice. After once or twice researching Festival X or Speaker Y, you’ll at least have something to push against; you can review the experience and say to yourself, “Not this!”
We can promise that at the ones we attend, the organizers are not making much if anything in the way of profit. We ourselves ask for expenses but never an honorarium.
Meantime, get out and sniff around any festivals you can get to. Do your research. Look at the attendees and listen to them. Where do they fall on the Flake/Weird Index? Look at the program. Is it too bizarre or too hackneyed or too gasping to fit your interests?
By the way, has anybody got any ideas on ways we can compensate for the carbon footprint that we incur with the bonfires?–ways beyond making attendees pay for carbon credits.
We hope to cross paths with you at one or another of these gatherings.
Blessed be. Gavin and Yvonne
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* The Association for Consciousness Expansion