We found this wonderful recommendation from The Bloom regarding “Transformational Festivals” around the world. Their criteria is right on…
By Jeet-Kei Leung
CRITERIA PRESENT IN FESTIVAL FOR INCLUSION ON MAP
Transformational Festivals (tend to) combine the following elements in the container created for participants:
Co-Creation of an Immersive, Participant-Driven Reality
Ecstatic Core Ritual provided through Electronic Dance Music
Visionary Art & Performance (also Art Installations, Live Art)
Workshop Curriculum covering spectrum of New Paradigm subjects
Creation & Honoring of Sacred Space, Ceremony & Ritual
Social Economy of Artisans & Vendors (or, Alternative Gift Economy)
Takes place in a Natural, Outdoor setting (Honoring of the Earth)
Occurs over multiple (typically 3-7) days
In addition to these elements, Transformational Festivals tend to exhibit these additional characteristics:
Conscious Intention to Support Personal and Social Transformation
Implements Practices for Sustainability and Minimal Environmental Footprint
Maintains Safe, Respectful Container to permit Maximum Compatible Diversity
Supports Participants in Healing Processes (eg. sanctuary, peer support, psy-crisis, healing spaces)
Organizational Infrastucture & Collaborative Synergy of Production Team sufficient to successfully implement Intentions in Operation
* Look for my forthcoming article, “13 Elements of the Transformational Festival” for detailed thoughts on these elements of this alchemical Transformational model.
Comments and Considerations regarding 2012-2013 Transformational Festivals Map
Currency of Information:
As most of the research for this map was conducted during 2012, information for festival locations and dates in 2013 may be different. Please refer to individual festival websites for their most-up-to-date information. Some first-time festivals in 2013 have been included, based on our knowledge of them. Some regular annual festivals which did not have a 2012 event have also been included.
Participant feedback is invaluable to the maintenance of this map. You are welcome to make a proposal of why a particular festival should be included. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please consider the Criteria for Inclusion prior to doing so. We do remove festivals in cases where there has been sufficient participant feedback to suggest that the festival has had a critical failure in carrying out implementation of its vision (aka “shitshow”). We are not including events on the map which feel like “simply parties”. We will post an update of this map in April 2013.
Electronic Dance Music Focus:
There are many cultural variations of what could be deemed ‘Transformational Festivals’. In the case of The Bloom and our use of the term ‘Transformational Festival’ here, we are typically examining festivals which hold as a core ritual the ecstatic experience provided by Electronic Dance Music. Determining EDM to be an essential criteria of a transformational festival is admittedly arguable and largely reflective of our own cultural stream of experience. That said, the return of the ecstatic ritual is an essential cultural contribution of EDM, and our specific variant of Transformational Festival has certainly become a distinct phenomena, one that has earned its validity for deeper consideration. Many interesting hybrid festivals are also arising which combine EDM with another primary theme, such as jam band culture, yoga, kirtan, movement arts, visual arts, fire, etc.
In Season 2 of The Bloom, we will be investigating some of the non-EDM-based lineages of the contemporary transformational festival, as well as anthropological and historical considerations, as we continue deepening our understanding of what makes a transformational festival.
Exceptions To This Rule:
Several exceptions to the EDM rule have been made on this map, including Oregon Country Fair, Faerieworlds, and a couple others. Where there has felt like sufficient energy for inclusion, we have bent this rule. Several day-time public free events have also been included on our map because they bridge the transformational festival culture with the greater community.
Consider Supporting The Bloom:
It is with great pleasure that we share this gift with participants of the culture. We love spreading the love that is blooming in reuniting this global family, and hope this map can help bring us all a few degrees closer. We trust that great experiences will be had and connections made at amazing festivals discovered using this map. Please consider supporting us in our work of producing this Story of Our Bloom.
Thank You and Enjoy!
More from The Bloom here http://thebloomseries.com/