If we look at the last 5-10 years, festival culture has been going through a renaissance of sorts. Where there used to be only a handful of festivals, these days there are so many that it’s hard to keep count. We see new festivals pop up every year – some are successful and grow while others may flop and drop off the map. As a result festival culture is rapidly evolving. It seems that organizations are realizing that these gatherings can be so much more than just a party; they can be potent opportunities for personal growth and learning. As a result we are now seeing festivals shifting away from being dance-floor centric, bringing education, ritual, and community building into the fold.
Lucidity is one of these festivals, now entering its 6th year. This is a organization that from day one was always about taking things to the next level. Maxing out at a cozy capacity of 5,000 people, the event is a decentralized town of several villages, each with its own schedule of events. Along the lines of Burning Man theme camps, each village feels like its own autonomous event. At any given moment there are several workshops going on at each village. This obviously takes a lot of coordinating, and each year nearly half of the tickets are given to contributors – artists, teachers, healers, volunteers, and wide variety of other roles. If you stop to think about it, it’s pretty radical to have half of the people in attendance officially participating on some level.
Each year Lucidity has developed and evolved. By providing a platform for people to present their gifts to the community, collaboration began happening naturally. The event organically grew to be more and more robust… until eventually they reached a point where they had more to give than they could possibly squeeze into a weekend. So in 2014 they collaborated with David Sugalski (a.k.a. The Polish Ambassador) who was criss-crossing the country on his Permaculture Action tour, and launched a permaculture intensive retreat the week before the festival was to take place. The program was so succesful they expanded on it the following year, growing the curiculum to include multiple topics such as reiki, movement arts, and more. The success of the pre-festival intensives really ignited the momentum, and so their next step truly manifested itself out of the cauldron of creativity that is Lucidity – If a few weekends was just too temporary for the kind of magic they were creating, the next step had to be:
“To create a full-time community of learning and real-world training in the principles we’ve mastered through building a festival”
– Jonah Haas, Marketing Director of the newly-formed Lucid University, LLC
Onwards and forwards – these visionaries could not be stopped. In a groundbreaking move, Lucidity decided to purchased land, Trillium, a historic 80-acre homestead in Southern Oregon where they would create a year round center for alternative education. And so, Lucid University was born! The land, nestled in the lush Siskiyou Mountains, will house communal facilities, nature preserve and wildlife sanctuary, education center, gardens, and a hands-on collaborative coworking/makerspace. The center seeks to be both dynamic and transformative for participants.
“Lucid University manifested from organic development based on listening to the wants and needs of our community. The land purchase idea was an evolution of a larger metaconversation around creating and tearing down festivals, and the ongoing desire to have a sense of permanence, to create something that is worthy of our communal legacy.” – Wesley “Wolfbear” Pinkham, Media Relations Coordinator
Courses will initially be divided into five tracks:
~ CommunityWorks ~
~ CreativeWorks ~
~ BodyWorks ~
~ EcologyWorks ~
~ SpiritWorks ~
“The curriculum is developed based on community needs and interests, as well as unique opportunities to present master teachers in an accessible format. We try to involve individuals who aren’t just skilled in their art, but also skilled in the magic of teaching. They’re not always one and the same. The first course to be offered at the new Trillium site will be with Dr. Nick Berry of Essential Oils Wizardry. Dr. Nick is a great example of a member of our community who has grown his business and vision in a way that opens the door to others learning his skills. You can see how programs like this offer an alternative way to learn a skill set that is both in alignment with community building while still opening the door to personal and professional development. Artisans and craftspeople, those on a spiritual journey, or people just looking to try something new and fun will find programming to their liking at Lucid University. ” – Wolfbear
Prospective students will be able to sign up for courses ranging from Reiki, Permaculture, Art, Lucid Dreaming, Movement, and much more.
Learn more about Dr. Nick Berry’s weekend retreat for plant medicine enthusiasts HERE
People always leave music festivals glowing from experiences and connections usually made over a short yet potent weekend. Why should something so beneficial be so temporary? Lucidity has always strived to give to the community to their fullest capacity, and while I just went into great detail to describe how their developement happen so naturally… its important to take a step back and appreciate the significance of this profound moment in festival culture.
The move to evolve a music festival into a full blown, year round, education center is unprecedented… And yet it makes all but too much sense. These days more than ever society is looking for alternatives to lifestyles that we know are not serving us. With all the problems in public education and the massive amount of misinformation spewed out by mainstream media, we desprately need new ways to share and aquire knowledge. Solutions to these issues rarely come from the outside in, they must manifest from within the community if they are to truly serve the community. Hopefully Lucid University can become a light shining the way down a unexplored path, inspiring other organization and events to bring education and community to the center of their ethos.
To get this momentous idea off the ground, Lucid University started a crowdfunding campaign through IndieGogo which is now in its final week. As Jonah Haas explains, “The crowdfunding campaign will allow us to launch the actual programming and to get repairs and systems in place for a late 2017 grand opening.” Contributors will be among the first to be able to enroll in short introductory courses, long-form immersive retreats, apprenticeships, certifications, online education, and even romantic getaways on the property. In May of next year they will be hosting a house warming camp out weekend, which will feature a variety of teachings, exercises, and musical entertainment. If the concept of Lucid University is something you would like to support, please check out their IndieGogo page HERE and contribute what you can!