Need Support at Lucidity? Guardians are Here to Help!

The festival environment is liberating, heart opening, and interactive. It’s a space where people should feel free to be themselves and live out loud. Creating a nurturing and safe environment for self expression is not something we take lightly and we all play a role in creating the container of Lucidity and each person’s experience in it.

When you are wandering around Live Oak, exploring the different environments and stages and meeting new friends, we want you to feel fully supported to be the you-est version of you possible. We hold this space in a variety of ways, ready to show up for you whenever you might need a helping hand or someone to talk you through a difficult situation.

Our event has a zero tolerance policy for harassment or assault of any kind. We do our best to create a safe environment without harshing anyone’s vibes, but we’re also prepared for when things don’t go as intended. If there’s one thing we know from experience, it’s that shit happens. Even at “conscious” gatherings, we unfortunately find some pretty unconscious behavior. In the wake of the #metoo movement we are especially aware of the prevalence of sexual assault in society, and we know our community is not immune to it. We are here to support the healing, awareness, and safety of everyone involved with our events. So we’re prepared for whatever comes up when it gets real.

If you ever need assistance at Lucidity, look for a Guardian. Any staff member with a radio can notify Dispatch and the appropriate team(s) will be sent directly to your location: Guardians, Security, Medical, or a combination thereof. For basic Medical issues, we have a fully stocked medical tent on site, clearly marked on the map and staffed 24 hours a day. There are a variety of spaces to unwind, receive healing, and get the support you need to get things handled so you can get back to having a good time. It is also helpful to remember that difficult and painful things come up in many ways, especially at transformative events – and we are prepared to guide and listen.

To tell us a bit more about what support systems are available to our participants, we spoke with Esoterica, who leads our Guardians and Internal Solutionaries, and Metatron, one of Lucidity’s co-founders, Festival Department Head of Curation & Family Services, and co-founder of I AM Healing.

Photo by Aline Kras
Photo by Aline Kras

Q: What is the purpose of the Guardians at Lucidity?

A: (Esoterica)Guardians act as our festival’s Dispatch and are trained First Responders.  Any violence or major medical issues will result in Security and Medical being dispatched as well as Guardians. Guardians are trained in non-violent communication, mediation, harm reduction, as well as effective intermediaries with outside services (Law Enforcement, Ambulance, etc).  

Q: How do I get in touch with a Guardian, Medical or Security should I need assistance?

A: (Esoterica) “Anyone with a radio can switch to Guardian channel and request help to your location. Medical tent (which is open 24/7) is able to radio Guardians in the event you are having trouble locating staff with a radio. Any stage that is in operation would also have multiple staff present with radio. Participants are always able to connect with Guardians, Security, or Medical by approaching them directly in the field or visiting their respective headquarters (locations are highly visible on our event map).”

Q: Who can I turn to if someone violates my boundaries or if I have a personal issue that needs mediation at the event?

A: (Esoterica) “Guardians are well trained to mediate all types of personal disputes. Guardians adhere to a strict policy of must report for certain incidents including: sexual harassment/assault, physical assault, domestic violence, child and elder abuse. Our Guardian team is available as needed, 24/7. Guardians and Medical are both trained to respond to traumatic situations, such as but not limited to: sexual assault, domestic violence, missing children/parents, psychological crisis, and psychedelic experiences.”

(Metatron) The issues of consent and established healthy boundaries is a number one concern of ours. As festival producers, we wish to co-create the world in which we dream to live. Shifting the culture is our first concern, where everyone embraces a high standard of care for our community and each other, especially in guardianship of women, children, and our elders. Then, when and if incidents do happen we have resources for mitigation, mediation, de-escalation, recommendations for paths of healing, and follow up. Everyone should know how to access, and feel comfortable accessing, these resources at Lucidity Festival.”

Photo by Aline Kras
Photo by Aline Kras

Q: Where are some good places to go to if I need a place to ground out, destimulate or calm a tense situation?

A: (Metatron) “There are many carefully crafted environments at Lucidity to provide space for grounding and processing. Oftentimes this may be a quiet space to reflect and ground with conscious minded individuals; our Elemental Realms are centered around sacred space for community and connection with these natural forces that aid us through these processes. Such a space might be found among the elemental altars that offer prayer space at the Fire, or community drumming in Earth, breathwork exercises within the Realm of Air, or relaxing fountains in Water.

Tea lounges are another space where hydration and calming teas can be applied to your experience, usually in a well nested environment that also allows for personal space, or others from our community to help you through. Moving to the outskirts of the festival and tapping into the natural environment and the majesty of the mighty Oaks, birds, and local animals can be calming and help you de-stress and reconnect to center.

I AM HEALING and the Guardian-operated Sanctuary can be next level support if these other broad spectrum options don’t seem to work or if direct support is desired. It is important to us to provide varying levels of service so that participants are not immediately forced into the highest level of support. As we shift our culture to become more self-aware and collective-minded, we find that many circumstances can be self-managed or supported through the friends of participants – which often contributes a binding and more enjoyable experience than working with strangers. We are always here for support if and when necessary; even if just to guide and help initiate this process!”

Q: Where can I take a sick or injured friend? What is the best way to support a friend who’s having a hard time emotionally or a bad trip during the festival?

A: (Metatron) “We have a medical first-aid tent located in a well marked area on the map and highly visible in the Lucid City – usually between or near the main stage and commissary pavilion. This is generally for walk-up treatments like treating a minor cut, sprain, sunburn, etc. We also offer a full hospital treatment room located near the entrance to the campground for anything we can treat onsite that diverts ambulance and hospital response – this also allows our participants to get back to their friends and recover onsite when possible.

The best way to support your friend is to stay with them, as you know them better than our staff. I say this as the first option, as we are all empowered as guardians within our community. Not only do we intend to provide a sacred, safe container for self exploration, healing, and transformation at our festival, but to educate and instill this level of guardianship everywhere we live and gather.

Now, when things are moving beyond your capacity to support your friend, as long as no one is physically hurt or under threat of violence, the first step is always to contact a Guardian. Guardians are the first responders at Lucidity, among their ranks are people experienced with many modalities of service; from checking in that basic needs are met to escalation to security or medical. They can offer mediation between parties needing assistance in communication, they offer services in psychedelic and psychological harm reduction – which means supporting anyone who is having a hard time processing thoughts or feelings.

At a festival or large gathering, with so much happening, often times people are simply suffering from a lack of basic needs; so asking your friends if they’ve had water, food, or rest is something you can remember to ask before calling in additional help.

Guardians, Security, and Medical are posted and wandering throughout the festival at all times, and wear identifiable clothes: Guardians wear khaki, Security wear black, and Medical often wear white or blue scrubs and carry medical bags. All of our radio carrying staff are able to contact these services directly. If you are with someone or witnessing something happen that needs immediate response from one of these services, it is best to ask a friend or other participant to find someone with a radio to contact these services, while you remain in place or near the action.

When someone is having a hard time processing things emotionally, mentally, or psychologically – whether induced by an external substance or due to the high level of transformational experiences – we offer what is known as Sanctuary. Our Sanctuary is a relaxing environment where participants are invited to ride out any rough moments with trained staff who are there to simply hold space or help guide people gently through their process. This support is always informed by what the participant is requesting or hinting toward – if they simply want to be left alone, lie down, bundle up, or listen to music, then this is what is provided; if they prefer to talk and ask for feedback, this is what is provided.

Sanctuary is available to anyone requesting it, and oftentimes Guardians will ask participants if they would like to go to this space – especially if they are having a hard time in a very public or high action environment. Sanctuary is always available and it is only by consent; however, if you are being invited to go to Sanctuary over being taken to Security or Medical, but are deemed unfit to be left on your own – Sanctuary is by far the more mellow, comfortable, and least invasive alternative. Most staff can direct you to where Sanctuary is located (usually in a less public, out-of-the-way location) or you can request Sanctuary by having someone radio Guardians.”

Photo by Aline Kras
Photo by Aline Kras

Q: What sort of healing or counseling services are available at Lucidity?

A: (Metatron) “I AM HEALING offers professional healing services geared toward the needs of our community. There are various modalities of bodywork that range from relaxing over-stressed bodies to deep corrective work for chronic conditions. Energy- and soul-work are also available, including Reiki, Access Consciousness, Emotional Freedom Technique, spiritual counseling, and more; these services are available to support the deep emotional, mental, psychic, and soul-level processing that accompanies many transformational experiences.

All these festival services are provided by donation. This policy reflects I AM HEALING’s business practice in Santa Barbara, available to the public. We feel that it is important to offer professional healing services to all, regardless of financial ability, and we educate on what is fair and standard compensation for our staff that contribute such a high level of healing facilitation to our greater community. I say healing facilitation because all healing is possible and is first initiated within the individual – we simply hold a potent container coupled with years of experience in guiding the process.

Counseling and mediation services are also accessible to our participants through Guardians. These services are available in assistance to psychological break-down, psychedelic harm reduction, simply miscommunications between friends or Guardians, and can be requested through anyone with a radio; Guardians will gladly respond to your position if necessary.”

Q: What do I do if I’ve witnessed theft, assault or other conflict?

A: (Esoterica) “Report immediately to the closest staff member who will contact dispatch. You can find staff with radio 24/7 at operational stages and medical tent.”

Q: How can I report a known sexual predator, scammer or other person of concern to festival organizers to keep the community safe?

A: (Esoterica) “Guardians will interface with all involved parties and will direct the information to Festival Producers. While these things have been uncommon, we are experienced and prepared to offer our resources.”

You are also welcome to alert festival staff of any people of concern via email at info@lucidityfestival.com. We maintain a database of anyone who may present a safety issue for our participants and we absolutely want to hear your concerns.

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