Lucidity & Permaculture: The Applied Science of Sustainability at our Festival

By Rion Beauregard, founder of  We Share Earth

We are all gearing up for the 3 days of music, dancing, yoga, martial arts, workshops, healing, art, food, drink & celebration that we call Lucidity.  Do you ever wonder what it takes to produce a festival such as Lucidity?  And even more interesting to me, what does Lucidity take to sustain itself?

Permaculture is the design science of sustainability.  Permaculture instructor Geoff Lawton states: “All of the world’s problems can be solved in a garden.”  His teacher, Bill Mollison, brings this – my favorite permaculture mantra: “The problem is the solution.”  Another world famous Permaculture teacher, David Holmgren coined the 12 Principles of Permaculture, which I examine here to see how Lucidity is integrating this philosophy into its ethos.

1. Observe and Interact

Lucidity was spawned after a small group of friends attended several festivals, parties, and productions and wanted to create something with their own flavor, vibe and philosophy.  When the Lucidity crew put on this festival last year, they were immersed with the musicians, the teachers, the attendees, the volunteers.  They continue to observe what’s working here and at other festivals, interact with the environment, and use feedback to dynamically improve each party & festival they produce.

2. Catch and Store Energy

We, fellow attendees, are the energy that are being caught and stored.  We bring our unique frequency of dance, dress, and interaction.  We are potential energy, stored within the boundaries of the campsite, sharing our healing modalities, our food, our water, our love with one another.  We find what is abundant and store it for later use.  This includes the waste streams awaiting conversion into useful resources.

3. Obtain a yield

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The yield in this case is more than the money raised by this event that goes to the producers.  In the current game of our financial world, this is a necessary aspect of any festival: profit.  But the actual yield of Lucidity is much larger and is given to all attendees: community, networking, inspiration, creativity in several forms, relationships, play and healing. What’s more, if you’d like a window into the inner workings of the Lucidity model, only 10% of profits become available for distribution to the growing pool of owners, 15% of the profits of Lucidity are earmarked for nonprofit endeavors, grant-giving, and charitable donations, and the remainder is re-invested into the Lucidity Festival LLC, so that we can all continue to do rad projects together!

4. Apply Self Regulation and Accept Feedback

At this festival, as well as many others, the common laws of government seem to be replaced by some very simple community self-regulation & self-sufficiency.  We take care of ourselves, our friends & soul family, and when we get feedback from others, we generally incorporate what is appropriate into our way of being and interacting.

5. Use and Value Renewable Resources and Services

Lucidity prides itself on upcycling: using discarded or waste stream materials to create something beautiful, artistically unique and functional.  We encourage everyone to use reusable materials over recyclable or disposable.  For example, instead of red dixie cups, spend the money on some plastic cups at the thrift store.  Forget about paper towels and substitute old rags or towels from the thrift store.

6. Produce No Waste

The reality of this rule is that even the best sustainable setups & permaculture communities produce waste.  We are working on a bigger global solution when it comes to packaging.  And we are doing amazing things this year with the waste stream: recycling, composting, upcycling. Please do your part to support  Lucidity’s goal of 95% diversion.

7. Design From Patterns to Details

We just released the Lucidity map to the organizational crew.  We have planned out the patterns of movement, camping, food, music, classes, and offer totem-themed camping so you can find yourself in the zone that is closest to the persona you want to bring and express at Lucidity.  We will all witness these patterns creating details as tents get pitched, and individuals put the small touches on camp to really beautify and complete this event.

8. Integrate Rather Than Segregate

The camp boundaries we have laid out are merely suggestions and guide posts to help everyone orient and have a common language about location.  The reality is the entire festival encourages integration.  Everything about the totem areas encourages individuals to seek out their desires in the moment: movement, healing, family.  And as we make strangers friends and friends soul family, we integrate not only ourselves into the bigger collective, but our unique signature into this beautiful feast we have made to feed the bigger parts of ourselves and our world.

9. Use Small and Slow Solutions

Lucidity started small, as an idea, then a conversation.  The areas, the workshops, the music all starts as an experiment at a party or a larger event.  Small means intimate which is a solution within itself, but it also gives the ability to quickly & dynamically self-correct if any issues arise.  Lucidity has the vision of being more than a festival, but a movement and a way of life.  Last year’s festival & this year’s sequel are the small and slow solutions to reach the bigger dream.

10. Use and Value Diversity

Diversity can be witnessed as the musicians, the healers, the totem camps, and all of you.  We may look similar in our playa-inspired clothing, moving to the beat at midnight, but the reality is our lives, our philosophy, our history and our vision of the future are absolutely unique and infinitely diverse.  These are the qualities, when shared in an authentic & vulnerable way, that create acceptance, inspiration and ultimately, community.

11. Use Edges and Value the Marginal

Edges are the transitional space between the forest and the meadow, the freeway and the suburban sprawl, the end of your campsite and the beginning of another’s.  At Lucidity, we not only value the edges and the marginal, we put them to work and make use of them.  In our eyes, nothing is marginal.  All things have value: the food scraps, the sprouting white sage near the tent, and the newbie that feels he has nothing to contribute.  Find the marginal in your camp and around the festival, and honor it, and if appropriate, use it for the benefit of all.

12. Creatively Use and Respond to Change

We’ve prepared for a lot of situations, but the world may have a thing or two up its sleeves to keep us on our toes.  Last year, Lucidity was setup amidst a torrential downpour and intense lightning storms.  We adapted to the puddles and the mud by mulching the mud pits.  We are here to respond to change as it occurs, dynamically, and to roll with what’s happening and collectively (this means you!) respond to how life is unfolding to make the best situation for not only ourselves, but the entire ecosystem.

We’re very excited about the many Permaculture workshop offered this year at Lucidity. I will be sharing with you an  “Introduction to Permaculture” workshop, on Saturday afternoon in the Krishna Dome.

Joshua Thayer’s “Co-creating the Garden of Eden” invites us to look deeper into local conditions and how to created landscapes for the common good. Taylor Holmes will be heading up a seed exchange daily. Also check out the Zeitgeist dome in Family Garden, which is completely dedicated to the principles of permaculture and will be offering workshops, movie screenings and discussions on that topic every day. Ryan Rising will also be offering a couple of wonderful Permaculture workshops in Family Garden.

As you arrive, find yourself present, and expand your experience into the future, I invite you to adopt this mantra: “All of the world’s problems can (and will) be solved at a festival.”

With big love & appreciation for you showing up exactly as you are,

Rion Beauregard


2 thoughts on “Lucidity & Permaculture: The Applied Science of Sustainability at our Festival

  1. I am pleased to see the permagraph used on your page and happy to have you use it, but I wanted to let you know that I created the graphic and would very kindly appreciate you giving me or Glacial Lakes Permaculture ( credit for it, instead of We Are Real Farmers (who got the graphic from me). Note the credit line they included for the graphic:

    Many thanks,

    Karl J. Schmidt
    Glacial Lakes Permaculture

  2. Hi!

    Karl let us know of the error in attribution for his wonderful graphic in 2012 and we changed it from a Miami permaculture group and listed his copyright on the graphic. We fixed all of those attributions on our site then.

    In any case, glad to see of the good work you are doing and Happy Permaculturing!
    Crystal at We Are All Farmers Permaculture Institute

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