On Festival Grounds

Tags: , , ,

I could feel the anticipation as I walked through camp. Headlamps flashed like show lights as festival-goers eagerly set up their quarters. I made my way through a sea of glowing tent clusters emitting the sounds of giddy chatter with the sweet and skunky smell of smoke and a booming bass line in the distance.

Everything in its right place. Midway through my trek across the grounds, I came into contact with some sort of cosmic pixie. She approached with a smile that was as bright as her LED-lined fairy wings. Through strands of silver tinsel hair she sweetly asked, “Hey friend, do you have any Kitty?”

“Oh, I’m sorry, I don’t. Good luck, though!” I replied.

I don’t consider myself naive to mind-altering substances, but I had zero clue what she was talking about. I’m sure, though, my pixie was looking for an experience like everyone else. Psychedelic or straight edge, everyone in this campground is looking for an experience. Brian Eno, the musical pioneer responsible for ambient music and a slew of acclaimed productions from U2 to James Blake, talks about imagination as an outcome of surrender. Surrender as an active verb, an active choice, “…where you stop being manipulators of your surroundings and become recipients.” The festival grounds were on the brink of this surrender. Its inhabitants were shedding constraints, altering views, and expressing themselves through art, fashion and music. Campers setting up their tents were preparing for this. My terrestrial pixie friend was preparing for this. And soon enough, I was preparing for this, too.

This article was originally published in RANGE Magazine Issue Five.

Carson Davis Brown