Each year, Santa Barbarans proudly honor our community, culture, and planet with Earth Day and Fiesta celebrations. For the past six years, Santa Barbara has also paid homage to enlightenment via the Lucidity Festival, which is dedicated to “a creative lifestyle for expanding consciousness,” according to its mission statement.
Taking place April 6-8, this year’s event represents the seventh chapter in the festival’s 12-year-long narrative, which festival creators constructed with the first Lucidity in 2012. “We originally wanted to tell a six-year-long story,” explained Jonah Haas, Lucidity cofounder, “but last year marked our sixth year, and we received a lot of feedback from people in the community, especially the artistic community, who wanted us to keep going.”
The festival’s subtitle this year, Rising Dawn, marks the first installment in Lucidity’s final, six-chapter saga. Festival themes are created by 17 cofounders and build upon seven core values: participation and immersion in the artistic process, personal growth and global healing, awake and aware consciousness, environmental and social responsibility, family fun and creative play, communal reciprocity, and transparency. With Rising Dawn, festival founders hope to show the potential of humanity as a whole and our connections with all life through a narrative that, Haas said, “will be woven into the experience of our event more than previous years.”
In previous years, Lucidity’s framework consisted of seven archetypal villages that each centered on a different concept. This year, however, the event is structured around five elemental realms: earth, wind, fire, water, and spirit. Approximately 150 workshops will be spread throughout the elemental realms with each centered on its host element. Attendees will learn about different aspects of themselves and each other that resonate with attributes of those elements. Each village also hosts an elemental avatar — a performer embodying the element of each area who will stay in character throughout the entire event, offering up a unique piece of the Rising Dawn narrative. Haas explained: “Guests will be invited, after an oracle reading, to meet an avatar and learn a piece of information leading to the location of our closing performance.” These pieces of the Lucidity puzzle are significant to the atmosphere of the event, he said, representing the implementation of self-discovery into a larger community. The festival is an “experiment of large-scale collaboration,” continued Haas. “We’re a community of like-minded people with shared values.”
In addition to the elemental realms’ workshops, Lucidity held its Lucid University the week prior to the festival (April 2-5), offering courses that focused on four topics: Drama-Free Love, Permaculture Design for Regenerating the California Landscape, Building the Lighthouse: Big Art at Lucidity, and Independent Study with the Art Temple Templars. Each course was a rigorous exploration of creativity, knowledge, and nature and the connectivity between them. Additionally, this year Lucid University included three courses in body works, spirit works, and creative works.
Lucidity has an armada of more than 300 artists, musicians, performers, and contributors for the event. There are four stages positioned throughout the elemental realms, each containing dozens of art installations and interactive environments. Music will also be heavily represented, with more than 50 acts, including Rainbow Girls and deejays Craze, Afrolicious, and Ardalan.
For Haas, the festival is all about “small shifts in perspective. It’s these small shifts that make Lucidity meaningful, not just the huge, profound, life-changing moments that we sometimes hear about,” he said.
Lucidity: Rising Dawn takes place April 6-8 at the Live Oak campground (Hwy. 154). See 2018.lucidityfestival.com.