In 2012, the prematurely forecasted end of the world, the founders of Lucidity began a new world of their own, opening our eyes to a festival that was more than a festival. They envisioned a consciousness-expanding experience woven with deeper cultural archetypes, a cultural crossroads paved along the circular arc of Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey. In 2017, we have landed at the sixth and — for now — last chapter of the Live Oak Campground festival, which returns April 7-9 for one last round of music, arts, learning, and healing, before the festival evolves into an as-yet-undecided next form.
For this year, the festival has definitely reached a point of spiritual maturity. The cycle that began with Awake in Your Dreams lands now on a Greek term meaning “human flourishing,” and it is with a broader mind that festival co-organizer Jonah Haas hopes festivalgoers approach the goings-on. “We’ve been engaging in a conversation with our audience and taking a stand for nudging them in a direction away from the party, and toward education and workshops and mindfulness,” Haas said. “The party is certainly a component and what brings a lot of people, and once people get onto the grounds, they find a lot of opportunities to take a look at themselves, their life, the state of the planet.”
Last year, Lucidity introduced Lucid University, a pre-festival course presenting students with mind-opening topics. This year, courses include classes on Ayurvedic herbalism, dream counseling, ecstatic flow arts, and community building, plus some architecture — designing and building with bamboo, taught by S.B.’s very own Gerard Minakawa of Bamboo DNA, and a class on architecting your personal mythology, taught by Dave Zaboski, a former Disney animator. Plus, there will be 150 workshops, yoga classes, and flow arts exercises that go on during the festival itself.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Lucidity without a party that was banging with bass, thundering with break beats, and soaring with psychedelia. Headlining the Lucid Stage will be two legendary British producers, psychedelic dub/drum and bass experimentalist Ott and drum and bass pioneer dBridge, who will bring the boom in a big way. Random Rab, Lucidity’s first-year headliners, will return with some rad rhymes, while HÄANA and CelloJoe make strings exciting in a new way with samplers.
Elsewhere, the low-key lovers in attendance can head to The Nest, where self-described Americana/Swamptronica trio Dirtwire meet larger ensembles such as banghra fusion group Delhi 2 Dublin. Over at The Nook stage, techno magnate Christian Martin and house deejay Low Steppa are among the big names sure to get feet moving.
Festival organizers have become more conscientious of the festival’s long-term impact, and though the festival may or may not return to Live Oak next year — organizers can’t yet say — they are dreaming up a way of sustaining the Lucid philosophy for years to come. “In addition to people transforming themselves and transforming their communities, we’ve been self-critical of how festivals are inherently sustainable. We build a village for three days and then tear it down — this magical portal people love for three days, and then it’s gone,” Haas said. Lucidity organizers envision a community built on Lucidity’s values. He says the crew is “looking for land that will allow for year-round gathering spaces, an eco-educational community in a space that will provide a grounded approach to ecology and wilderness education.”
When one chapter ends, another begins, and for Lucidity, it seems the biggest and grandest vision may yet to be dreamed up.
4∙1∙1 The Lucidity Festival takes place Friday-Sunday, April 7-9, at Live Oak Campground (4600 CA-154). For more information, visit 2017. lucidityfestival.com.