Guest Written by Jillian Love
Photo by Sage Thomas
Finally, this August 11th-14th 2017, I am going to pack up my SUV and road trip from my place in Northern California to Tidewater, Oregon to attend “Beloved!”. I am a longtime festival goer, 16 years to be exact ever since popping my festival cherry with Burning Man 2002. I have been to multiple festivals every year since then – at least 24 festivals under this belt in the last 16 years… But this is my first time going to Beloved.
I have been intrigued for years after hearing countless stories from friends about how “Beloved” was their favorite festival. It was the most heartfelt, intentional, and beautiful of those they have attended. I’m less of an all night raver then I was in my early festival days and I’m looking for gatherings that provide both a wide breadth and greater depth in their offerings. I want to authentically connect with other humans and celebrate and enjoy the art, music, and teachings our community has to offer. I think Beloved may be just what I’m looking for.
They say “first impressions are everything,” so I went to the Beloved website to see what I could find. I was pleasantly amused to see the colorful graphic depiction of what looked like an enchanted land – complete with butterflies and hummingbirds, interesting bugs, and sacred spirit animals. I wanted to dive in deeper already. I read the words “Open Air Sacred Art and Music Festival” and was feeling a resonance and desire to explore more. I looked through the pages and was enticed to click the link to their “Vision” page. Just the fact that they have a page devoted to sharing their vision already tells me this is much more than your typical festival. I will let you go to their site and read it yourself, but I will share the one line that stood out for me from the rest. “We intend to present sacred music to help eradicate the illusion of separation from each other, from the earth, and from the Beloved.” Ahhh.. deep sigh… Yes, that feels good.
I love that this festival has just one stage. To me this means there will be a connectedness amongst the community of attendees, you will see familiar faces throughout the weekend, make friends, and be able to drop in and relate about your shared journey through the music and art experiences. Beloved Festival says that their intentional focus of the energy to one main stage “Allows for a carefully chosen sequence of artists to tell a continuous story of their Inner Journey, to perform an Alchemy of the Heart.” I’m intrigued that the musical line up is not only carefully curated but also intentionally scheduled in order to provide an intentional narrative for the overall event. In addition to the music, I’m equally excited to see some great yoga teachers, ecstatic dance, and sound healing experiences on the schedule too. As for me right now, I’m ready to dive in and get my ticket. Between now and the August 11th start of the event, I will be putting my attention on the recommendations in the “What About Me?” section of the website that suggests participants begin working on their own practices and cultivating an awareness that everyone they meet is a reflection of the Beloved. Mmm yes, I like this festival already…