Guest post by Vadim and Emily Kochetkov
As leaders of one of the volunteer crews, our memories of that week in June are probably a little different than those of most festival-goers. We walked (and frequently ran) miles each day from the ticket booth to the Rangers headquarters to the hospitality tent to the family campground, and all points in between. We set up tents, painted signs, repaired water spigots, directed traffic, set up more tents, treated insect bites, welcomed performers, and then took down tents!
In the middle of all this, we found time to attend a few of the talks and hear some really good music, but what sticks in our shared memory the most is the overwhelming hospitality and good will that permeated the festival. People shared—radically shared—with seemingly no concern about dwindling supplies. (After all, we were on a farm in the middle of nowhere, so what you brought with you to the festival pretty much had to last the entire 4 or 5 days.) Food, drinks, clothes, lanterns, tents, batteries, chairs, bug spray…hugs, stories, tears, wise words, songs, and belly laughs—there was a lot of sharing going on at the Wild Goose Festival.
As we count down the weeks to another festival this summer, we have a better sense of what to expect, which makes the anticipation all the more exciting. Even more than looking forward to another awesome line-up of musicians and speakers, we can’t wait to reunite with our Wild Goose family from last year and pick up where we left off, as well as meet new friends.
Bonding tends to happen quickly in a setting like the Wild Goose Festival. Proximity to one another in the campground, on the stage lawn, or under a tent definitely helps facilitate fast and strong connections, but the overall spirit of the festival is one of openness and generosity. Nearly everyone we met agreed that we had heard and experienced things at the festival that inspired, motivated and challenged us. Some talks and conversations were right in line with our own thinking, while we disagreed with others. The great thing is that most folks seemed to have come expecting such an experience on some level, and truly appreciated the range of ideas they encountered.
Although we’re only one year in, we already think of June 21-24, 2012 as a homecoming and can’t wait to meet some new family members.
Do you have a Wild Goose memory or experience to share? Would you like to submit an essay about what the Wild Goose means to you? We’d love to hear from you! Email sarah (at) wildgoosefestival (dot) org.