“The vision behind what we do is much larger than a 4-day event once a year – it includes a year-round, adaptive, and alive community that operates an ecosystem of micro-businesses at our own permaculture farm and retreat center. This all starts with a foundation of empowered and informed individuals cultivating strong skills to become assets to a community, so in a sense, you could say we are hosting Kinnection to train our friends in preparation for living in community…” – Taylor Pearon, Tribal Council
In just three short weeks, Tribal Council will be hosting the South East’s most anticipated intentional gathering in one of their premier outdoor venues. In it’s fourth year, Kinnection Campout has blossomed into an impressively well rounded gathering featuring an intelligent underground music line up and enough workshops to train an army of eco-warriors. There’s no doubt that with the senior experience as well as the renowned Deerfield Retreat, Tribal Council will provide what the South East’s art community well deserves. We caught up with Clayton Gaar and Taylor Pearon to get the organizers’ perspective of this year’s festivities.
Tell us about the venue. Why did you choose it? Any significance?
We are beyond excited to host this year’s Kinnection Campout at Deerfields Retreat just outside of Asheville, NC. The 900+ acres of Deerfields has been family-owned land since 1927 and is surrounded by the pristine Pisgah Wilderness. A while back, Deerfields used to host small festivals like STS9’s Re:generation in 2008 and Trinumeral 9/9/9, but since then, the venue has selectively hosted the North Carolina regional burn and just a handful of smaller gatherings, and so it is a really an honor to be welcomed onto these lands. A number of festivals in the southeast have had noise issues, both at new aspiring venues and even at established venues. It’s just becoming more challenging to find a location where you can play loud bass music all night in an ever-increasingly populated region. Deerfields is one of the premier venues of the region, and we are grateful for the privacy afforded by the rolling mountains that allows us to play music all night long. People who have been to Deerfields know about the land’s magic. There are apple orchards, fields, and tons of nestled nooks in the woods to set up camp, not to mention two pristine lakes for swimming and lounging during the day – it’s straight out of a fairytale. We are really happy to be right in Asheville’s backyard, just a half-hour from town, so we expect to see a lot more of the Asheville community come out as we become more “local.” This gives us the opportunity to source a great number of skilled instructors, talented musicians, and staff from the overflowing pool of creativity that is Asheville. We also hope this convenience makes the event more accessible for families, working folk, and everyone in between, as we think it is important to bridge into the mainstream culture more and attract a demographic beyond young festival kids. We trust our community will act in a responsible, respectful way so that we can continue to tend our relations with these landowners and this land and come back for many years to come!
Music curation and flow is important to us here at LiS, give us some highlights from this year’s performance lineup.
From the start in 2012, the musical lineup for the Campout has focused on our favorite type of music, which happens to be a pretty specific realm. We have no interest in booking artists who are popular or on the top 40 charts, whose music we don’t personally stand behind ourselves, just to sell tickets. Because our event is intentionally kept small, with only one main stage and a small acoustic chill out lounge, we focus on curating a very finely-tuned lineup; the idea being, basically, that if you like this kind of music, you will love this lineup! If we had to label it, we’d probably say it’s something along the lines of “down-to-mid-tempo, psychedelic world-infused bass & glitch-hop with instrumental overtones.” On our main stage, the Earth Stage, we’ve got everything from Ott. and Bluetech, two all-time classics and pioneers of this genre, to Desert Dwellers and Kalya Scintilla, who are increasingly touring the southeast these days. Another goal of ours is to bring in acts that the southeast doesn’t normally get a chance to see like Merkaba, Sixis, Digital Rust, and AtYyA. We have a strong showing of local talent, with Kinnection veterans Push/Pull, FxD A/V (Futexture x Deloscinari), Bombassic, Kynara, and more. In direct response to community feedback asking for an acoustic space to balance out the electronic dance floor, this year we are improving the production of our Air Temple so that it can host local instrumental acts featuring kirtan, hammer dulcimer, handpan, didjeridoo, flute, cello, guitar, and more.
We appreciate and recognize the hard work an honest event coordinator puts in. Tell us a bit about yourselves and life cultivating an intentional gathering such as Kinnection.
Of course our plates are quite full as we drop into the final stages of this year’s production before we head to site in a few weeks, but everything is coming together in a smooth way this year as the community is really stepping up to make this year’s event one to remember. It almost feels like we are ahead of schedule in the production cycle – it’s pretty surreal. We just returned to our home in the mountains from a quick trip out west, where we worked with the Food & Sustainability Department at Lucidity Festival. That was a great trip, and we’re bringing home a lot of new connections made, notes taken, and inspiration gleaned, which we look forward to integrating into our community here. We’ve also been strongly influenced by other cultures such as the earthskills movement in the last few years, which you’ll see beginning to show itself in the programming of this year’s event. We are actually building an entire Earth Skills Village dedicated to hard skills like fire-by-friction and blacksmithing as well as culture-rebuilding skills like mentoring and nature connection work. We’re constantly seeking more education and experience with the regenerative practices that we feel are becoming more & more critically important to growing a thriving community in today’s world. That means when we’re not working on Kinnection, you can usually find us in our garden, reading a good book on permaculture, or attending a gathering or conference on these kinds of topics. I think we can safely say that interacting with these types of practices and cultures is giving us a deeper sense of fulfillment and purpose than we’ve ever known before – another reason why we feel so strongly about utilizing the platform we have in a community to highlight these potent practices, and the people who pioneer them. The vision behind what we do is much larger than a 4-day event once a year – it includes a year-round, adaptive, and alive community that operates an ecosystem of micro-businesses at our own permaculture farm and retreat center. This all starts with a foundation of empowered and informed individuals cultivating strong skills to become assets to a community, so in a sense, you could say we are hosting Kinnection to train our friends in preparation for living in community…