Written by Jillian Love
I spent several days shopping and then another day packing my van; now, I’m embarking on
another two days driving from Woodside, California to Tidewater, Oregon to attend Beloved
Festival. With so many festivals available, multiple festivals each weekend sometimes-you
may ask “What drives me to travel 1300 miles round trip to attend Beloved?” A valid question….
My answer, in a nutshell, is Music, Dance Community, and Heart…
As far as the music goes, this is my first Beloved and it is all new to me. I must admit here that I
am not really familiar with most of the musicians so I am excited to explore the unknown and
discover new artists to awaken my soul. What I love already is that Beloved presents, on one stage, an eclectic group of world musicians in a carefully chosen sequence that tell a continuous story of the inner journey and alchemy of the heart. This intentionality that is part of the allure of Beloved and has me even more intrigued by the musical line up. From browsing the website I know I am interested in checking out Femina, a trio of female Patagonian singer songwriters, whose diverse songs are characterized by show-stopping harmonies and a magical on-stage chemistry reminiscent of Ibeyi mixed with smooth hip hop flow a la Anita Tijoux. Another act I don’t want to miss is Amadou & Mariam. They are referred to as “The godparents of the Afrobeat and modern pop mélange” and mix traditional African rhythms with Western pop. They use traditional instruments as well as beat boxes and synthesizers, playing rock, reggae, funk, soul, and blues, mixing acoustic and digital productions, lyrics in French, English, and Malian. Now if that is not the epitome of “World Music” I don’t know what is.
Conscious Dance is another driving force for my trip to Beloved. I absolutely love to dance, it is
a sacred experience and a true expression of freedom and joy, especially when shared with
other like minded radiant humans. When it comes to selecting from the conscious dance
choices on the schedule, I for sure have some artists I know want to miss. Deya Dova is one
of these… According to the website “She synthesizing ancient songlines, tribal voices and
inspired story telling with cinematic soundscapes, future bass, and totemic beats”. Deya Dova
brings a sacredness to the dance floor that is deepened and enriched by a high vibe tribalism
that is almost ritually hypnotic in nature. Yaima is another one of my favorites. Using guitar,
flutes, handpan, and vocals to weave an intricate and soothing musical journey they captivate
listeners with an alchemy of soulful lyrics and ancient tunes.
Connection and community are one of the signature promises of Beloved and in general one of
my favorite parts of the festival culture in general. There are friends I actually only see annually
at festivals and I am excited to dive in deep at Beloved. The self-proclaimed mission of Beloved
Festival really says it all; “We intend to present sacred music to help eradicate the illusion of
separation from each other, from the earth, and from the Beloved.” The intentionality with which
community is cultivated and nourished at this event is irresistibly alluring. I am drawn to this
enchanted container to connect with old friends and cultivate new soul connections as well.
So yes, my 1300 mile road trip to Beloved has a driving force. Maybe more than a force, it is a calling.. a heart calling. I am being drawn by testimonials from good friends of how this is their
favorite festival. I’m drawn by promises of beautiful altars, lovely landscapes, visionary art. I
have excited anticipation to explore incredible world music, experience yoga and conscious
dance, and dive into an intentional and warm welcoming community. Most of all I am drawn by
the heart, by Beloved.