Faerieworlds Review

One of the many enchanting creatures to be found at Faerieworlds.

You Guys.

Faerieworlds was freaking epic. Seriously. It was the coolest festival I have ever been to.  It combined the best elements of California neotribal/hippie festivals with Rennaissance Faire and mythology.

I should say, I personally am not all that moved by standard hippie-fests. Too much techno and pretense. Not enough real substance. But the mythic element at FW really brought tradition and folklore into play in a way that deepened the whole experience for me. Certainly not in keeping with any sort of historical accuracy, but it’s not about that. It’s about dipping into our collective unconscious, and drawing forth our myths and legends to inspire and imagine our current world into being. And at that, Faerieworlds succeeded spectacularly.

Perhaps I am biased, because I want to live in a world full of pixies and pirates. But so be it. I got to, and therefore I will wax poetic for the rest of this post. :+)

Things I loved

Warming Up - Faerieworlds 2012

Playing on the main stage!
The sound was good, the audience was appreciative and fantastically dressed, we played well and were well received, and it set a lovely tone for the rest of the day. We performed early, which was nice because then we got a full day to play, unfettered by the need to be “on”.

Tricky Pixie

The bands –
Tricky Pixie are always a favorite of mine. They are all three of them fantastic people as well as consummate performers- SJ Tucker, Alexander James Adams, and Besty Tinney. They play a whimsical yet gutsy style of folk rock that they call “Myth-Punk” and are one of the more original bands in existence today. I frankly adore them.

Donovan
played as well, which I enjoyed. I have been seeing some less than stellar reviews of his show around the internet, and at 66 years of age I suppose it could be said he wasn’t really in his prime, but considering I’ve been listening to him since discovering my dad’s folk albums as a kid, and that he was my first introduction to any sort of fairytale folk music, I enjoyed him for the legacy he represents. (View the complete line-up).

(Side note: when I am 66 I fully intend to still be in my musical prime, touring around and playing all the time. Just so’s you know. I’ll be the eccentric old Pirate Queen.)

Zero Waste Policy –
The FW crew were really on top of recycling. They had recycling bins as well as compost bins all over the site. You couldn’t walk 25 feet without finding another one, it seems. As someone who spends several months a year traveling around to these things, I can say that Faerieworlds blew most of them out of the water in this regard. I hope this is a policy that will be widely adopted by events producers everywhere. (Learn more).

Phoenix Rising Designs

The artisans and their wares– There were truly some spectacular goodies! I always go right for the clothes, and there were all manner of ways to dress as a mythical creature! Such as this: >>>

Want to see some more cool FW vendors? Click here. 

Electronica temple – Not being a big electronica fan, these are usually in the “pretentious-yet-empty” category for me, but this one was really tasteful. The music they were playing was very down tempo and chill and actually…good. I did in fact feel like this was a good place to relax and do some yoga. It was nice that this was provided as a vignette one could visit without having it be the dominant theme of the fest.

Hang Player – speaking of vignettes, there was this hang player just sitting up on the Neverworlds stage round about midnight, just jamming away and creating the most delicately beautiful bell-like tones. It was utterly mesmerizing. Haven’t heard a hang? Here’s one.  Just imagine him under a grove of trees amidst a lush meadow under the full moon:

Freaking Amazing Light Show, with Jellyfish in the Sky – 
Blue lights radiating out from the stage, rippling across the expanse of sky in waves, accented with emerald circles creating a harmony of patterns, and papier mache jellyfish on tall sticks lit from within with colored lights, so that the entire sky looked like a great cosmic sea.  ALL. NIGHT. LONG. Have I mentioned the moon was almost full? Sadly, I have found no pictures to even remotely do this justice, so you’ll just have to use your imaginations. It was spectacular.

Pirate Tavern!
Yep, right there in the woods. Complete with Tricky Pixie as the house band, cutting loose with the bawdy songs and ribaldry. Many others shared songs as well, and I spent the majority of my evening there. Regrettably, I didn’t contribute much myself because, earlier in the evening, I had made other decisions as to the night’s recreation.  Now I know there’s a Pirate Tavern,  I will make more “lyric-remembering-friendly” decisions in the future. But I had a lovely time nonetheless, singing along to choruses and whatnot, and I don’t regret my earlier decision. There were jellyfish in the sky after all.

All in all, Faerieworlds was an utterly magickal awakening of the imagination on so many levels, levels that I deeply resonate with. If indeed festival culture exists to give people a chance to imagine a better world by living it for a weekend, as many claim, then Faerieworlds hit the nail on the head as far as the kind of  world I want to live in.  This is now my “can’t miss” summer festival, and I will be organizing all other touring around it. My own quirky brand of magick so belongs here!  Fans of myth and legend, this is your inner world come to life!

11 thoughts on “Faerieworlds Review

  1. For the last few years, since learning of Faerieworld’s existence, I have been longing to go to this event. Each year the longing grows stronger. This year, watching the pictures and updates flood my FB page I was overcome by how badly I want to be a part of that magic. That is my tribe.

    So, now it is a goal. I am putting my Will behind it. Next year, I will be at Faerieworlds.

    I just looked up the dates and next year’s Faerieworlds begins one year to the day from today (8/2-8/4). I’m putting it on my calendar now.

  2. Sharon,

    Thank you for your love and respect for our work. We really appreciate you taking the time to share your experience in such an intelligent and thoughtful way.
    I am looking forward to the pic of us and Jessica Star we took backstage 😉

    So grateful for your presence in the realm, and for your beautiful music.

    Kelly

  3. How did I miss your performance!? *deep sad sigh* I really need a time turner like Hermione had for the three days. I’m so glad to hear you’ll be back again so I will have a second chance to see your show. The Realm is magical indeed.

  4. When I heard of this event, I thought how cool this would be to attend, But when I found out how much your tickets cost and for camping. I was a bit disapointed. And yes I know I could have gotten in for free if I had wanted to volunteer. But I also had heard that when your event was over that there was a huge mess to clean up when you had came to Eugene. For a group that claims to be enviromentally conscious this makes me question ever wanting to attend at all.

  5. Nyzki –

    This was not my event, so I am not sure why you posted this on my blog. I was a performer at the event and offered this as a review.

    I don’t know the details of camping fees and whatnot, but I think a lot of folks don’t realize just how much money it costs to put on an event like this. I don’t think the promoters are making much for themselves at all. I hope they are making some, though, so they’ll keep doing it.

    As for clean-up, I wasn’t there, but during the event they were pretty on top of it. I don’t doubt people left a mess, that’s humans for you. Whenever there are tons of them gathered, they are going to leave a mess. What is relevant is that the Faerieworlds staff had cleanup crew in place to handle the inevitabilities of human nature. To my knowledge, they did. They have had Faerieworlds at this site for several years now. If they were not responsible with their cleanup I doubt they would have been invited back.

    Attend or not, as you will. For my part, I won’t be missing it.

  6. I am utterly excited to hear you play this year! And I hope it will be equally awesome, not that I’m expecting it to be otherwise. I was so excited to find out you would be playing! I learned “Song of the Sea” for an Open Mic as my New Year’s Resolution… of course I did it all wrong, but I just wanted to say, your clothing is amazing, your voice is mystifying, and I’m tickled that I will get to see you Live this Summer!

  7. Great write-up explaining the essence of Faerieworlds. I LOVE the vibe of these smaller transformational festivals. Faerieworlds is one of the most tolerable and straight-up friendliest of festivals. You’ll be completely hooked once you’ve experienced the feeling that everyone is your friend before you’ve even met and thus introductions are paired with hugs instead of handshakes or suspicious looks. The only festival in the whole USA I’ve found that keeps that feeling after getting large is Lightning in a Bottle. Surprisingly somehow the mega festival Sziget in Hungary keeps it too. So look for me at Faerieworlds this year; it’s coming up so soon!!. I’ll be shooting a promo video for my new boho style harem pants store. If you want to model some great pants in it, I’ll whip mine off right there & give them to you!! (here’s 25% off code “FEST” if you want a clean pair haha – click name for link)

  8. Hi Tom!

    Ha ha, that’d be fun! I am all for modeling great pants! Alas, I won’t be there this year. After four years straight on main stage, they decided not to choose us this year. I suppose they want to mix things up a bit. Fair enough. So, since we aren’t playing,I have decided to opt for some much needed downtime. We’ve been on the road for 4 months straight, and have a fair bit of work to do for our own festival, Hexenfest, coming up at the end of September.

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