The Shakorians~ Shakori Hills/Grassroots Festival 2014


Well I got lost yet again because my GPS, Daniel, isn’t updated, so blindly driving I looked to the left and right and all the passing humans could tell I was lost out of my mind. I finally see that promising Shakori Hills sign and turn into a world of peace and smiling faces. After I parked Louis, I gathered what I could and headed toward the campgrounds. The area was scarce with campers due to my arriving on Thursday, so it was easy to pick a neighborhood to move into for the weekend. I found a beautiful spot in Middle Earth and scooted my feet across the site to be rid of sticks and those random rocks that jetted up from the ground.CCF06172014_0000 The sun was at its highest point in the day, and honestly I thought I was too..until I met my first Shakorian named Shane, a low key Aires. I was in search of cleaning tools to help my tent come along, Shane was the first I made eye contact with. He didn’t have what I was looking for, but I did happen to find a Hunter Thompson book at his campsite. From there we had lift off. I caught the opening ceremony and blessings by a wonderful man. I stayed and hooped around to Bubba George Stringband, a lovely start to my weekend. As the sun rolled down the hill I continued to meet being after being. A fellow gemini whom the crowd knew as Scotty Sunshine or, Wendell the juggler, an intuitive Lily, and more names I can’t recall.  Shane and I wandered the grounds and scoped out the vendors and healing arts area; the other two stage tents looked like a good time waiting to unfold . Hammocks, a garden, towering trees and beauty in  all 360 degrees. The moon had risen and night owls were coming out. I caught Afrobeta from a distant campsite. There was a battle between elementals about which was the dominant. I attempted to end it saying “Air is the best but we all need each other to exist.”  Shane said something during the campfire speak and it resonated in my mind for the rest of my time there.

“Change is the only constant”

UntitledEarly riser Friday morning and my college heads were gathered around a white ash fire. People were already looking burnt out from Thursday drinking. It’s a marathon not a sprint man, pace yourself.  I cross the path to my low key neighbors place to hear some music and drink my tea. Heads in blankets watching the starved fire asking to be kindled; a male stands fully zipped in a sleeping bag.  Wendell the traveler is also the juggler as well as musician. Parlor games of who can keep the straightest face between campers was entertainment between sets. Needless to say among hippie shenanigans of that kind won’t last long due to spontaneous laughter. A mandolin player appeared from nowhere. The 7th dimension waves pulled him here from his previous post. Grass and gypsy jazz in a tripod of yang. Oh it was spectacular. I decided to eat my herbal muffins I had made for the right time, and today was the day. Mason jars and frying pans surround the semi-kindled fire; offerings and perusing the schedule while the Dillon a banjo player sung his tunes.

“A weapon of peace in a time of war”

 A good old foot stopping day was lined up for us. I caught the last half of Morning Brigade, and while wandering we strolled through Free Wheeling Mamas, who covered Amy Winehouse’s “Valerie”. Hats off to them, I love Amy. Afterward we waited for some home base music. That time thankfully was filled with the amazing  fiddle/banjo/guitar competition. All competitors get supreme props from everyone for even braving that at a festival. Once all was said and done, The Last Bison played. A band from my previous home base in the 757 area. I was blessed enough to be able to step back stage and snag a few stills of the classically dressed ensemble. Then we headed onward to Deep Chatham. Dancing circles with unknown faces, ended my day. Then time for night recreations and distant music.

Saturday morning started with a cold sweat and snuggle sessions to keep warm in the folded down back seat of 4 door sedan. The night before the rain had gotten the better of my little tent so naturally we went to seek refuge in a car. Us and the windows were dripping in condensation.  We had a bit of a late start to the day, but our camp was to meet up at Leyla McCalla on the main stage. Her french/southern culture was obvious with the old tunes she decided to gracefully keep alive. As beautiful as watching nature move she played her originals and more with the help of a bassist and her ukulele.  After that lovely performance I spent most of my day lounging in hammocks between tents and roaming the grounds collecting pieces of music I hadn’t heard yet. I wandered by a tent of slightly choreographed people. Shane and I stopped to partake. That was certainly a good choice. I caught the last half of  Barefoot Movement and then waited for the night to fall. The rain started up again so that was always fun..only if your’e a prepared festy. Big Something time. I love these guys so I was very excited to see them yet again. They always live up to what I expect, I’m sure I speak for a vast majority of their fans when I write that. That ended the night on such a good note. Winding down and distant music one last time.

Sun daze sun rose.  I did nothing but mingle waiting for my first experience with the Rise Collective…Rising Appalachia was one of three main reasons why I attended Shakori. In the mix of catching up with time I saw Iron Mountain Messengers. I arrived at the Grove stage a good half hour before the show because I just wanted to watch Leah and Chloe be. It was as graceful as Leyla’s music. I’ll post photos of them later when they’re developed. The music ended as the sun set its last night on the festival. The enjoyment of Donna the Buffalo and a collaboration of a few other artists  was audibly pleasing in Middle Earth. We walked out to see the set and ended up mud dancing until they finished. Night recreations.

The day after everyone had already packed up for the real world. I ended up staying another four or so nights at Shakori, and that turned into a a huge journey which I plan to tangent on when I throw my other few fests on here.


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