Lucidity Festival: a Gathering in Bliss
It was only three days ago that I was dancing my feet raw at Lucidity Festival, a transformational festival tucked away in between the San Raphael and Santa Ynez mountains. While this festival is usually a hot, dusty occasion, this year the rain greeted us for a few hours each day; this was a blessing in disguise. The rain kept the dust down, the nights warmer, and helped with my personal stamina throughout the event. But enough about the rain, although we Californians love our rain. Lucidity had an incredible and diverse lineup, numerous interactive atmospheres and villages, live performers that had everyone’s jaws dropping to the floor, and a tribute set to our recently passed festival king and DJ, Pumpkin. Lucidity was filled with so much laughter, love, dance, and play that when I returned home from my time at the festival I wasn’t exhausted at all. I felt rejuvenated and the cathartic experience left me blissful.
Everyone attends a festival for different reasons. Some go for the lineup, some go to spend more quality time with their friends, some are staff and co-creators, some go to learn new skills, some are looking for their first festival experience, and some are festival veterans. There were just too many musical acts to humanly catch, but the performances I attended were all amazing in their own ways. On Friday, I caught Saqi at the main stage, Crossroads Stage, and his jazzy, upbeat, soulful creations were enough to start the festival off right and get me dancing. Nothing compares to his skills on the trumpet and there’s something to be said about the mixture of electronic music and live instrumentals. The combination always satisfies something special in me.
A little bit later on Friday night, I caught Bogtrotter‘s set and the glitchy, squishy sounds that the artist from Minnesota was pouring out of the sound system and into my ears triggered something in my brain that can only be described as weird. Weird in the absolute, best way possible! The alien-like sounds attracted a nice, sizable group to the main stage and all of us kicked up the dust on the dance floor and shared smiles as we threw our arms and legs in crazy directions throughout Bogtrotter’s set.
On Saturday, the tribute to Pumpkin stole the entire day for many attendees. There was nothing on Saturday that I was looking forward to more than the celebration of Nicholas Alvarado’s life and music. The tribute was a combination of his original mixes and sets from friends like Everyman, Littlefoot, and Brian Crain. The whole celebration was a tear-jerker, but while everyone was recalling their fondest memories of Pumpkin we were also dancing as hard as possible. People were drinking wine and champagne, Pumpkin memorabilia was being passed around, totems dedicated to the man himself were waving all throughout the crowd, and the audience was so large that if you were standing towards the front of the stage you could look behind you and see an endless sea of faces; it was truly moving. While the tragedy of Pumpkin’s passing is something that still hurts the hearts of many, his tribute set was a truly joyous occasion and the love was so great that is felt as though Nick was watching, and dancing, over us.
Saturday ended with lots of love and warmth, and on Sunday the lineup was extra scrumptious. An act that stole the show on Sunday evening was definitely Soohan. The artist from Maryland got the whole crowd twerking and getting low with his unique sound, labeled as “Turkish folk music” on his Facebook page. The bass was so heavy and the energy during his set was so high that each time I looked at the faces around me there were nothing but smiles. And pseudo-thizz-faces. Sometimes there is nothing more refreshing than dancing your ass off to some feel-good trap and Soohan absolutely satisfies that urge if it arises.
Not only did all of the fabulous sets supply me with an ample amount of tunes to shake my booty to, but the atmosphere at Lucidity was like no other. There are multiple villages to camp in and each village has their own theme, animal archetype, and programming. Lovers Nest, Goddess Grove, Nomads Nook, Trixsters Playground, Warriors Way, Healing Sanctuary, and Family Garden are all specific villages that festival attendees are able to camp in and each one also provides their own curated workshops, lectures, activities, and sometimes music. It is easy to tell that Lucidity has something for everyone and something to do at all hours of the night. Whether you are catching your favorite artist at a stage, participating in a workshop that interests you, hanging out on an art car or an art installation, browsing through the Branches Mobile Gallery, moseying through the villages late at night, or hanging out at camp with your friends, Lucidity provides so much space for its attendees to frolic and play in that it is almost ridiculous. No matter where you walk, no matter which direction you turn, you are always greeted with smiling faces and warm hugs. I personally couldn’t get over the over-the-top adorable festival babies and toddlers I saw running around on the festival grounds. I don’t think anyone can resist those smiling, squishy faces.
Lucidity is a space that is desperately needed by many people. If you are looking for a place where you can be your true, authentic self, Lucidity is the place to be. If you’re looking for a place to heal and grow as a human, Lucidity is the place to be. If you are looking for a conscious festival that cares about both the Earth and its festival participants, Lucidity is the place to be. If you are looking for a place where you can laugh, cry, dance, scream, hug, share, learn, and play, Lucidity is the place to be. Do not worry if you have missed the festival this year or in previous years, there is always next year. Live Oak Campground and the Lucidity creators will welcome you no matter what experience you are having, whether it is for your first, third, or sixth Lucidity. Come on and have your first festival experience. Might I suggest Lucidity? I heard that place is the shit.
(Featured photo: Imagery by Edward Clynes Media Co.)