This is a bit of a callback to classico Outlandish Josh posting. I’m pulling up stories from the early aughts, but hopefully it’s fun and you stick with it; I promise there’s a contemporary tie-in at the end.
Twenty years ago when I was working in politics full time, I was also going out to the Oregon Country Fair in the summers. It’s one of the older and better hippie festivals. In 2004 I helped organize a voter registration drive there, and happened to get a chance to meet and chat with S-tier guru legend Stephen Gaskin. In spite of this also being in the shall we say spicier era of my blogging career, I never wrote this particular anecdote down.
The Oregon Country Fair is a massive hippie festival held every summer in a beautiful wooded area outside Eugene where I grew up. There are around 1000 different stalls that get set up along a massive figure-eight path, and over 30,000 people attend.
The real deal is you need to have a job there to be able to be a part of the action. It’s open to the public from like 10am to 6pm, and tens of thousands of people will come and it’s a big hairy Height Asbury/Dead show parking lot scene in the woods. Crafts and food. Music and art. Then they sweep out the public and the 5,000-ish people who are running the event, who have a booth there, or are otherwise connected enough to make the cut as “Fair Family,” who are camped out for the weekend have the place to themselves. They (we) have a giant fucking party. Which is tremendous fun.