sometimes when i talk or write my views and opinions come off as harsh, one-sided, or generalist and I really encourage others to question me or offer an opinion or a criticism, in good faith. a steady discourse can only have a positive outcome; i try to learn from others constantly, and hope to be able to share my knowledge as well. in fact, i encourage ANYONE to comment ANYTHING, just so i know someone's reading!
that said, it’s time for a post about yippies, otherwise known as “new wave”(which immediately makes me think of goddard but i guess there's a lot of new waves). these are terms I had heard reference to but had never actually experienced until I arrived in nevada city, california, where i was immediately immersed in it like a bitter, cheap whine vinegar in a shitload of fresh, pure-pressed, doubleorganic, extra-virgin olive oil.
i arrived in nevada city after a tiresome cross-america trip with a catalan and an israeli jew. very entertaining, but exhausting and fattening nonetheless. i was looking for good food and a good party. i found good food and the new earth festival, which was starting the next day. i ate well, drank a bit, slept and awoke with renewed energy; finally, a festival!! i wanted to dance SO badly after sitting in a car for 40 hours. little did i know what awaited me.
we got some coffee and made a friend in the shop who offered to show us the way up there. we drove far up the mountain, my excitement growing at how remote the place was. extra underground, nice. we drove up and saw a "VIP" parking area. ok, ok, maybe there were some names spinning, interesting.. continue on and arrive at a desk. huh? i'm not used to desks at underground festivals... and i'm not hearing any music...ok.. we get out to see what's up.
"hi guys! the price is $30 per day plus $30 for your car." oof.
"can we check it out? we came a long way.."
"where you guys from?" we explained our far origins and situation. "we're not really equipped to pay that much for a festival. can we check it out? is there music?
"of course there's music." the guy was getting defensive. he wouldn't let us in to see, but ensured it would be an amazing party. he made us an offer. "you guys can pay $100 for everything, how about that?" we conferred, decided yes, desperate for a party, and entered, wristbands and all.
cars and hippies everywhere. it defied my idea of hippieism. hippies don't drive, and when they do it's in big loads, in old cars. this had that, but also trucks and SUVs and a general car-centered space. there was a stage with no sound. "it's still early, maybe the speakers come later" we reasoned.
i looked around, creeped out. these people were like fake hippies. with fancy, fake hippie clothing and fancy fake hippie cars. they seemed cold and exclusive. nice, but without warmth, and somewhat uninviting.
"let's all gather around for the heart opening ceremony. we have the orpheus ensemble playing and aman has blessed us by brewing enough shamanic cacao elixir for all. gather around into a welcome circle."
oh, man. it was that kind of festival. but i was definitely intrigued. it was like entering a new dimension. these people were a walking contradiction, and it was pretty interesting to watch. as the yippie-zombies formed a circle in front of the stage and aman poured elixir into coconut halves, i scanned the area for one of my compadres, hoping to find a friendly face. i saw spaniard.
we watched the festival goers for a while, then got hot and found a 12-person swimming hole that the owner had built into his backyard. the festival was on a beautiful private property with a huge garden and beautiful outdoor area. the people 60 and over stripped down and jumped in; the ones in their twenties and thirties tended to strip shyly, revealing cover-all bathing suits.
i scanned the schedule, looking for something to justify the $100 we had just spent to enter this soundsystem-less cult gathering at someone's earth palace. some of these activities sounded super flaky: dance of universal peace, heart lounge, CUDDLE PUDDLE? but some could be cool. acro yoga and ecstatic dance sounded right up my alley, and who could resist "food share"?
"do you realize we spent a good chuck of our money to be here all weekend, with no sound?" artur interrupted my thoughts.
"i was just realizing that," i said sadly.
we tried to justify some more. "i mean, i could use some yoga and meditation and stuff. and the people are... kind of nice.." the most attention we'd been given was from a naked woman in her sixties who seemed intent on seeing us in the pond the next day. plus, we were already getting sick of it. People were going around wishing each other "shabbat shalom" as hari krishna chants emerged from the stage area.
"i think we should get our money back," i decided."this is bullshit. it's a rainbow gathering, but for profit. there are people filing in like crazy. this guy has made so much money, he doesn't need our hundred dollars."
in my head, i figured the guy might give us our money back, realizing we needed it more than he did and wanting us to get the most out of the experience. in reality, the guy was haggling. he offered us $50 back to stay the night. we politely declined, so he gave us $80 back and made us leave, which we did quickfast. i left nevada city shortly thereafter. although it's a nice little town and i met a couple of lovely people, it seems a little cold for being just out of the desert. the coast is much, much sunnier.