Intimacy over Alcohol: The Rise of Alcohol Free Festivals…
With just over a month to go before NorCal’s Enchanted Forest Gathering opens up its hallowed gates for bass music aficionados, yogis and families alike, the cultural dialogue on alcohol-free events continues to grow. With five years of wind at its back, EFG’s position on the subject has now become one of its key distinguishing features. Festival founder, Tulku explains, “By bringing together thousands of people and removing the vibration of alcohol, we have created a truly unique gathering. We consistently get the reflection from women that they feel safe here and more free to express themselves. Our Security team actually gives us a discount because there are never any fights that break out and our festival grounds are left much more pristine throughout the event. The level of connection found here is more coherent and authentic.”
While alcohol may not be present, EFG hosts no less of a party atmosphere with an emphasis on conscious movement and dance, as a return to our bodies and an alternative to alcohol. From embracing #FreeTheNipple, to a literal non-stop Saucy Spa shower party, the lack of alcohol and mutual coherent respect of one another, along with a manageable and capped attendance create an intimacy and inspiration for self-expression that isn’t found at any other festival in the US.
Even the world’s funkiest diplomat, The Polish Ambassador, shares these values as he stated “Enchanted Forest has become one of the West Coast's premier transformational festivals. I think it is totally rad that they have embraced a no-alcohol festival model. It encourages people to get high on life and try new things they otherwise may not!”
“Get Saucy, Not Sauced!”
Since its inception, Enchanted Forest Gathering’s mission has been to nourish and activate personal growth within its participants, inspire collective sharing and redefine conscious celebration. To that end, they have continued to build upon a safe and alcohol-free environment which serves as fertile ground for a new kind of festival experience and a container for an experimental way of life. This experiment inspires attendees to find deeper, more meaningful stimulation free of alcohol, setting a remarkably different tone for a gathering and encouraging new kinds of expression.
Scattered across the festival grounds are delicious herbal elixir bars, tea lounges, and cacao drinks for loving consumption, which allow attendees to create a lasting buzz complete with delightful bodily effects that can be remembered in the morning. Additional alternatives to “the sauce” are the four Revive Kombucha elixir bars throughout the site, the Nourishment Nook, which offers organic and healthy food vendor selections to nourish and recharge the body and mind, and the Saucy Spa, where a sound system and dance party is set up adjacent to a sauna that uses the heat to create healthy stimulation while lathering the crowd. The spa also plays host to daily shower parties and a delightfully bubbly foam tub.
Why Smaller is Desirable
Over the years, attendees of the festival have shared that keeping the festival under 5k in addition to the alcohol free environment enables them to feel more comfortable with their self-expression as other attendees remain more present, conscious, clear and connected. Without the concerns of overbearing crowds, long lines, and disconnect within the community, the smaller size of Enchanted Forest Gathering makes the festival a desirable option on the ever growing list of transformational festivals. Attendees are more likely to make heart to heart connections as they have opportunities to repeatedly engage with new and existing friends, which helps deepen the overall experience and community. As attendee and Marketing Operations Manager Megan Pru says, “Personally I feel the alcohol free status and the small, intimate vibe of the festival make me feel more safe than any other festival environment to truly go all the way with my costume choices and dress for the weather.”
Free the Nipple
By keeping a mindful eye on attendance numbers, creating an alcohol-free space, and maintaining close-knit vibes, Enchanted Forest Gathering allows participants to fully harness and illuminate their individuality, fully clothed — or not! The festival has always stood behind the mottos that “Safe is sexy and consent is mandatory” and that being naked is not about being sexual, it’s about being free. The Gathering is proud to embrace and help promote the message of equality at the core of the #FreeTheNipple campaign. With attendee comfort and positivity being of the utmost importance to the festival, Enchanted Forest Gathering leads the way in allowing this form of expression at a festival.
Returning to the lush landscape of Black Oak Ranch in Laytonville, CA July 22 – 24, 2016,Enchanted Forest Gathering celebrates its sixth year as NorCal’s premier boutique music, movement, and conscious living camping festival. The 2016 music lineup features over 70 internationally-acclaimed live and electronic musical acts, including headliners Shpongle, The Polish Ambassador,Ayla Nereo,Hamsa Lila,PANTyRAiD,Minnesota, Fana Fi Allah,Autograf,Lila Rose, andThriftworks. In additional to the stellar music, the festival offers a movement festival within a festival with over 50 movement classes for flow artists, yogis, and dancers such as the holistic Twerkshop, Yoga of Bass, Soul Moves and Intuitive Contact, coupled with over 60 educational workshops covering subjects around sexuality, science, spirituality, ancestral arts, wellness, nutrition and nourishment. With plentiful microenvironments including the Nectar Temple, Kidslandia, Crystal Dome and more, the event truly offers attendees the opportunity to grow and expand.
To maximize your body’s enjoyment at EFG, purchase the Endless Saucy Spa Shower & Sauna Passthat allows for guests to treat themselves to unlimited showers, all-night sauna access, access to the sunset bathhouse parties, and coconut oil and body mists to send you off silky smooth and smelling fresh.