I had dinner with Gareth Higgins Monday evening. Gareth is my colleague on the Northern Ireland Celtic Spirituality & Nonviolence retreat; he is from Ulster and has been engaged in the Northern Ireland peace process for many years. But he moved to America a few years back and now lives in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina, where his wife is in graduate school. These days, aside from his writing and work leading retreats, he has an even bigger project on his plate: he’s the director of the forthcoming Wild Goose Festival, which will be patterned after the legendary Greenbelt Festival in the UK.
Like Greenbelt, Wild Goose will be a time for exploring the nexus between faith, art, and politics. Themes such as social justice, care for the environment, and community building will be woven together with inspirational music, art, and lectures, presenting a variety of viewpoints and artistic styles. Communal worship, family activities, theatre and film round out the mix. It promises to be a fabulous experience, and an opportunities for visionary and creative people from many backgrounds to connect over a three day period. Exact details have not been established yet, but it looks as if the inaugural Wild Goose Festival will take place the last weekend of June 2011, at a venue to be announced soon. The first one will be not-to-be-missed, for if this event follows the trajectory of Greenbelt, before too long it will be huge (20,000 people or more). But the first event will likely be much smaller and more intimate, since it will be just getting started.
Wild Goose has a blog called, appropriately enough, Wild Goose Festival. Add it to your blogroll and your syndicated feed. This is something I think everyone who reads my blog will want to be part of. And, of course, I’ll be there.