In just over a month, California’s Black Oak Ranch will transform into the wonderful world of Enchanted Forest Gathering. And for all of the festival’s notable features—a stellar lineup, truly health conscious food options, and an array of non-music activities—one feature stands above all others to define Enchanted Forest: the total and complete lack of alcohol.
The negative affects of substances like alcohol have become increasingly noticed and discussed in today’s cultural climate, but Enchanted Forest in particular goes above and beyond in answering to a growing societal call to create safe, sober, and fun spaces, particularly at music events.
Part of the festival’s mission is to allow its attendees to find meaningful stimulation without alcohol, which organizers report has resulted in an ultra-safe environment. “Our Security team actually gives us a discount because there are never any fights that break out and our festival grounds are left much more pristine throughout the event,” says founder Tulku. Organizers also cap the event at 5,000 attendees, keeping the community at Enchanted Forest feeling more like a true gathering, and less like a crowd.
The festival’s no-alcohol policy and small size have combined to create a sweet spot for upholding the morals of equality. And this is where we really want to bring on the praise: the event operates on the mottos “Safe is sexy and consent is mandatory.” AKA, being naked is not about being sexual, it’s about being free. Attendees are invited to fully express their individuality however they are comfortable, meaning with clothes or without. With that in mind, the festival embraces and helps promote the message of equality at the core of the #FreeTheNipple campaign.
In a growing world of music festivals and “transformational” festivals, Enchanted Forest Gathering stands apart by responding to important issues faced by our world today. We can’t wait to run around in pasties drinking kombucha and eating tofu, and we hope you’ll all join us!