The 40th annual Whole Earth Festival started today on the campus of U.C. Davis, in, where else, Davis, California.
Based on the clientele, personally, I would think another U.C. campus would be more appropriate for this gathering of old hippies, young hippies (which quite possibly is an oxymoron), and wannabe hippies.
Say in Berkeley or Santa Cruz.
This year the theme is “Sustainalovability,” which, I don’t know, sounds to me, like is a dream some people may have to sustain the Barrack Obama love-fest, amidst the dire economy, dying domestic automotive industry, multiple wars, and, as of late, the swine flu.
Thousands attend to listen to a truly eclectic mix of music presented on multiple stages, peruse dozens of craft booths, and partake in sometimes strange culinary choices. Expect to be served on washable plates which must be returned for a small deposit–or bring your own–just not something disposable like paper, or, heaven forbid, plastic, as this is a zero waste event.
An announcement in the Sacramento News and Review made mention of the prevalent smell of patchouli oil: hmmm, I assume that is code for something else, but similarly quite distinctive in aroma. (Think about an herb that Arnold Schwarzenegger is now talking about legalizing.)
Another attraction, especially for one rural aging hippie, wannabe travel writer and frequent blogger, is the unscheduled but frequent drum circle, which does have an “assigned” area, complete with a few hay bales. On occasion, there may be upwards of a couple dozen drummers, often with a few “free style” dancers in the middle–along with that patchouli smell wafting in the air. Last year, we even had an African native, who apparently is a well known professional percussionist, that led the beat. Powerful stuff.
The YouTube video on the event that I discovered has some interesting people, including some guy named “Dream Follower” with his son, “Cedar Boy,” or possibly “Cedar Board,” as I could not clearly tell. (This is a particularly excellent clip.)
The entire program, including music schedule is posted here.
By the way, I’ll be there most of Saturday afternoon and into the evening, wandering around while I’m not offering my out-of-beat conga pounding at the drum circle.