Moving into our fourth year of Lucidity Festival, we were presented with what we like to call a Delicious Dilemma. Delicious Dilemmas are challenges that arise and give us the opportunity to learn, to grow, and to transform through finding creative solutions. These quandaries test our organizational mission and mettle, forcing us to examine our community goals and rally around our collective dreams. The delicious dilemma before Lucidity can be summed up rather concisely by the title of this blog article: “Go Big or Grow Home?”
Going Big: The Natural Urge to Expand
The Lucid Family is growing at a rapid rate. In 4 years we’ve gone from 0 to nearly 87k online followers. The last two years saw festival participants coming from 32 different states and 10 different countries across 4 continents.We’re selling out earlier and earlier each year, demonstrating a bursting demand in the growing movement of transformational festivals. If you have attended Lucidity before, you can attest to the fact that we’ve created a fully immersive experience with stages, workshop spaces and interactive art densely intermingled with camping and core services.
By the time the festival comes around in April, we have to engage in the very difficult experience of telling our close friends and family:
“No there is no more space, and there are no more tickets.”.
We don’t want to say NO. We want to say YES!!! Our mission calls for a world where all are invited to create, experience and play in the Lucidity magic. Unfortunately, the reality of our home at Live Oak Campground requires a limit on the number of cars, bodies and experiences on-site.
Some background about our venue: Live Oak Campground is sacred Chumash land, the place where the native First People of this area hold their inter-tribal pow wow, and is within the ancient boundaries of Kalawashaq’ (Turtle Shell Village). It is currently “owned” by the federal government and leased by the County of Santa Barbara. Our partnership and agreements are made with Santa Barbara County and we independently receive input and council from Chumash leadership.
The Delicious Dilemma
This year, the County came to us and insisted that we reduce our overall capacity numbers. They expressed concerns about the ecological impact of the festival in light of the drought cycle in the Santa Ynez Valley. In particular, we’ve come to understand that the live oak trees on the site are especially impacted by the driving and parking of so many cars on top of their roots, below the drip lines.
photo by David Pricco
On one hand this was hard to swallow knowing that we already have a greater demand for tickets than supply. Which unfortunately means even more saying ‘no’ to our family. On the other hand, we saw this as an opportunity to align with the County as stewards of the land, coming together in partnership for the health and well-being of the trees of this sacred land that we are blessed to call home. To be sure, the metaphor of tending the roots is not lost on us.
Growing Home: Deepening our Roots
In the face of the County’s ask, we brought in two local certified arborists and permaculture specialists to assess the health of the oak trees. Based on their recommendations, we developed an Oak Management and Impact Mitigation Plan. This plan will form the content and focus of one of our pre-Lucidity Permaculture Action Days, in collaboration with The Polish Ambassador.
One of the less popular components of our Impact Mitigation plan is the significant reduction of cars and humans on the festival grounds. We are aiming to reduce the amount of car camping by about 75% and the number of participants by 20%. Yes, this means fewer tickets are available for a growing audience.
With these constraints, we were faced with tough questions: Should we Go Big and find a new venue that will allow us to organically grow upward and outward in the way in which we are poised to do? Or do we continue to enrich the event that we’ve all come to love — stay humble and sink our roots in deeper here at home?
The answer came rather easily. All we had to do was look to this year’s chapter of our lived mythology to know The Way. Kindred Quest is an opportunity to learn from our human past: to reconnect with the earth, with community, with family, with tribe, to enrich our roots, deepen our interconnection, and strengthen our bonds.
While last year’s Universe facilitated people through great expansions of Self and realizations of Oneness and the cosmos, this year the call is to come back to earth, to ground into THIS life, on THIS planet, and learn how to be in right relationship with Self, with Other, and with Mama Gaia. Clearly, we already made the choice to Grow Home three years ago when channeling and transcribing our story. Truly, a good problem to have.
What to Expect
You might be asking, “What does this all mean for me?” First off, you will be happy to learn that we are spending more on your experience at Lucidity than ever before. Increases in ticket prices directly correlate to our increased investment into our immersive environments, our villages, the food experience, the Alive Stage, and rightfully compensating the wide community of people who work tirelessly for the better half of the year to create total magic.
It means that our per-participant spending increases dramatically, creating an event that is deeply resonant with your personal needs along your transformational journey.
Additionally, we’re asking for a greater sense of environmental stewardship from you. Even more than before, we see a need to tread lightly on the land to ensure the health and well-being of the trees and animals with which we share the space. In line with this, we are inviting just about everyone to REALLY camp for the weekend and leave your cars in the parking lots. Let it be a weekend to connect with each other, and with the soft and gentle nature of Live Oak.
Finally, there will be far fewer tickets available.If you know you are coming, be sure to secure your place immediately. We’ve also dramatically reduced the number of comped tickets available. Don’t wait to see your intention materialize until after March 1st. Family, please buy your tickets today. It really breaks our heart to have to say ‘no.’
Go Big and Grow Home!
While we are content with these solutions for Kindred Quest, we recognize that it doesn’t serve Lucidity, or the many fans who want to be a part of our great mythic story, to only Grow Home and ignore the natural urge to expand into new possibilities and new horizons. For this reason, our most authentic approach to the Go Big or Grow Home dilemma is a “YES, AND”. Indeed, many of you will be happy to learn we have plans to produce another medium-sized event within the calendar year to accommodate our family’s desires to be together more often. Keep your eyes and ears peeled. This event will continue to build on our foundational mythos offering a new story within which to participate.
Also, as we move into the 2016 chapter of Crossroads, we may have found a venue that is close enough to still be considered home and would be able to accommodate Lucidity Festival’s growth.And what an appropriate theme to compliment a literal crossroads in our development as a festival family! Isn’t it interesting how the story we’ve been telling is finding its way into our experiences and vice versa… it’s almost like we’re dreaming our reality into being… Hmmm…..
Finally, we continue our search for Lucid Land, the property where we will build our permanent community and Reinhabit the Village. We’ve had some excellent leads and explored a variety of possibilities and feel like we are spiraling ever closer to the place where we can land for good, dig our hands in the dirt, and begin building our true Lucid Legacy.