Ah New Zealand. The land of of serene natural beauty, friendly faces… and awesome festivals. Oddly enough, I found myself heading up to Luminate on behalf on my new expatriate boss, not too shabby. Cruising up Takaka Hill onto the mystical Canaan Downs property with a couple from Uruguay, the festival vibes hit good and strong. Making its way into the festival’s sixth year, Luminate 2013 is what every festival aims to be. An extremely international crowd ready to get naked by a tribal fire, groove barefoot the dirt dance floor, participate in workshops, and be inspired about living sustainably. With no alcohol allowed, the stoney energy was peaceful and open.
The opening ceremony, which I now believe every festival should incorporate, gathered the tribes togethers to sing, dance, hold hands, and light the main fire, igniting the seven day journey. This kicked off the nude tribal dancing next to the Pagan circles of fire throughout the different festival zones. Luminate celebrates the ancient summer harvest festival of Lughnasadgh. It was celebrated by our ancestors in all parts of the world. This time is exactly mid way between the summer solstice and autumn equinox when people to gather together, share food, music, stories, knowledge and send a lot of thanks to the earth mother for looking after us.
The workshops in days following were also of incredible caliber. I took courses on eco-villages, tantric meditation, native plant medicine, and Mayan Dreamspell.
Commitment to ZERO WASTE
Luminate’s innovative approach to Zero Waste through its Clean Environment Strategy is unique amongst events in New Zealand and the first I have ever experienced: Pack out what you pack in, composting toilettes, solar/wood fired showers, no recycle or trash bins, bring your own cup/bowl/plate/utensils…. it is all quite awesome.
As my first solo festival, I had to let go of all my inhibitions and hop into random circles of strumming guitars and rotating spliffs. I found a rad posse of travelers: my lanky UK stoner and compost toilette extraordinaire, a Canadian meaning of life seeker, and a beautiful German who taught me the hip new movement of electronic swing. So why do the solo festival?
1. Being by yourself you have no real obligations to be anywhere or find anyone
2. You’re on your own time where time doesn’t really matter
3. No consulting- go where you want to go – this way, you meet an incredible amount of people
But back to the music, eh?
Best Reggae Artist: Rhythmonyx
Best Electronic Artist: Adham Shaikh
This artist bumped Luminate and kept the Live Stage vibin late into the night. He is a Juno Award-nominated music producer, composer, sound designer, and DJ who brings his powerful global groovin sounds to the world stage. Many of my new German friends at the festival dug a new genre of electro dubbed – Gypsy Swing- Check out the new sounds!
Best World Music: Mundi
“…Fresh…funky. Intricate, multi-layered works…dynamic solos” The Press
“Unique and bursting with creative genius” Presto Arts & Culture
This group was matched the perfectly sunny afternoon…world music to move to.