Photos and story by: Chris Conte
Although there was a last minute venue change, Paradise Lake Campground was an excellent place to settle. Towering pine trees scattered above us, blueberries bushes lining the perimeter, an exquisite lakeside beach that held the main stage, wonderful weather with cool breezes and bright sun. It was surreal. Hammonton, NJ played a perfect host.
The music added to the beauty of the weekend. Papadosio headlining both Thursday and Friday night made up for their short Camp Bisco set. They dabbled into their entire catalog over the course of the two nights. It was a blessing compared to the 30-minute taste we got at Bisco. Keller Williams solo was another highlight. He utilized his famous looping pedal. A memorable jam was Grateful Dead's "Bird Song" segueing into Phish's "Birds of a Feather." The crowd was digging, the fire dancers spinning and the ambiance was just right.
Sandwiched between sets of seducing music were thought-provoking workshops. It's not every day you can walk from a stage play some grimey bass music to lesson about sacred geometry or permaculture. One of the more notable workshops was led by Dan De Lion, the creator of Return to Nature. Dan's mission is to, "provide a safe and healing teaching bridge for individuals and communities to recognize Nature as a continual and abundant provider of nourishment, medicine, food, and sacred connection, and to help reconnect the perception that Nature is the very source of our sustenance as humans." He has an incredibly unique way of explaining why certain plants do certain things. It makes it easy for people who are totally unaware of what is around them to grasp the capabilities of their surroundings. Dan is knowledgeable in the scientific aspect as well as the philosophic aspect of his art and practice. He holds several different types of classes including foraging and herbal mentoring. Check him out! http://returntonature.us/
The early morning sets were something not to miss this past weekend. Desert Dwellers rocking us with a 4:45AM sunrise set on the beach. This is the time of night when the real weirdos come out. The freaky dance move, wide eyed wonderful people come crawling in and out of the trees. Space Jesus' Live Band Experiment was a focal point of the weekend. The live band element added to a DJ's production results in an interestingly powerful experience.
Farm Fest is the ideal form of a music festival. Yes, a little bit chaotic at first but when the mold finally settles something magical happens. It's not about profit or promotion it's about music and feeling alive in dead society. We know the possibilities, you are free to be who you want to be, enjoy yourself and be kind.
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