Eighteen bands, meditation, holistic healing, a harvest
potluck, educational workshop and community service – just another weekend in Boone.
With the Harvest Boone festival this weekend, Sept. 23 to 25, at the High Country Fairgrounds, organizers Jeremiah Brown and Christina Bailey hope to showcase Boone’s diverse community and giving spirit.
“Boone’s just a special place,” Brown said. “So, it was real easy to put together. I just pushed the ball down the hill, and it just got bigger and bigger, because we live in a town where all the people have something to offer.”
The festival, itself, has something to offer, as organizers plan to donate 100 percent of profits to Boone’s Hunger and Health Coalition.
Harvest Boone is the sister festival to this spring’s Boone in Blossom, a similarly themed festival that Brown spearheaded as part of a service project during his yoga training instruction. Boone in Blossom had another companion this summer with the Boone One Love Festival, and Harvest Boone will help establish the series as an annual to-do.
“All the events that have happened are all very conscious festivals, all about living gently on the planet, taking care of your body, yoga and ‘One Love’ music,” said Blowing Rock author Robert Roskind, who, with wife Julia, organizes ‘One Love’ festivals to perpetuate healthy, peaceful living and positive music.”
The Roskinds will be leading workshops at Harvest Boone, a festival they’re happy to support. It’s the kind of festival they, Brown and Bailey take to heart.
“It feels special,” Brown said. “When I went to these other festivals, like the Electric Forest Festival in Rothbury, Mich., it was really amazing with the music and art, but there’s no meaning or purpose to it. If there’s one with meaning and purpose, then it goes into this other realm of being special and a great experience for everyone.”
That involves saying “hello” to those around you, being closer to one’s community, he said, “because we’re a tight-knit community as it is, and we’re trying to enhance that with a gathering like this. It just lends itself to a spiritual way.”
And pretty good music, too. This year’s lineup includes a number of area and regional favorites, including The Native Sway, BPL, Inverted Sea, Swift Science, Nomadic, Boom One Sound System, Fyah Babylon, C*, Cameron Owens and The Remarkables, PureLightEnergy, Brian Swanson, Mike Stam, Isani Howell, Oort Cloud, Orogenic, Maybear, Julie Chiles and Lady and the krunK.
“In the middle of the Inverted Sea set, there’s a synchronized prayer for peace going on that day all around the world, so we’re simply going to stop the music and actively engage in world prayer for peace,” Brown said.
In this case, the music’s not just for listening.
“What they’re realizing is they can use their music not just to cause their generation to get up and dance, but to serve the planet and help people remember love,” Roskind said.
Some of the bands are also joining Bailey in making live art, Brown said.
“It’s community artwork with big canvases, and everyone … will make a painting together,” he said. “This time, we’re going to have a mantra board, where everyone can share all the mantras that have been important to them.”
It’s interactivity Brown and company want to bring to Harvest Boone, and a series of workshops on such diverse topics as holistic healing, Native American living, outdoor living, gardening and meditation will engage visitors in a most unique way.
“The people coming for fun often find inspiration,” Roskind said. “People coming for inspiration also find fun. It introduces a lot of people, who might not otherwise be into it, to these holistic methods.”
For instance, Brown explained, the interactive Mercaba Mandala will see participants make a sacred geometric image on the ground, placing crystal singing bowls in certain points. People will ring the differently toned bowls simultaneously, with participants choosing different parts of the painting to sit in during the exercise.
“The interactive mandala was a really neat experience for everyone last time, so that’s something we’re looking forward to this time,” Brown said.
Other activities include yoga, Kirtan, drum circles, a farmers’ market, Reiki, acupuncture, massage therapy, Ayurveda awareness, conscious consumerism workshops, winter gardening workshops, hula-hoop workshops, belly-dancing, poi spinning workshops, guided meditations, gemstone therapy, a Sanskrit workshop and chakra education.
That includes the Harvest Table, starting Friday with a Harvest Table potluck, in which “guests are encouraged to share and receive food in a conscious manner, instilling a sense of community.”
Further, the Harvest Table will remain for the duration of the weekend, open to those looking to give or grab a bite.
“It’s a chance for people to show the community what they have to offer,” Brown said.
Camping is available on-site. Festival tickets now cost $30, or $10 with 20 nonperishable food items. Kids younger than 15 get in free, and Green Mother Goods in downtown Boone will offer pre-ticket sales and a food drop-off site.
The High Country Fairgrounds are located at 748 Roby Greene Road, just off Old U.S. 421. To volunteer, contact (firstname.lastname@example.org) For more information, search for “Harvest Boone” on Facebook.