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Kyer Wiltshire 2013 Festival Review: Gold, Silver, Bronze

Aloha,  I just returned from Italy where I photography Steve and Angela’s wedding. 
You can see more photos my wedding blog here:
After traveling for a month in new and old Europe I have an even greater appreciation of the richness and beauty of our west coast musical festival culture.
There are about 100 west coast music festivals happening this summer, I decided to list just my top three, along with some honor mentions below.

GOLD Burning Man
The good, the bad, the ugly, the amazing, the mind blowing, the life changing and the everything in between. 
Grade: A+   Burning Man is arguably the most amazing party on the planet
Music: C-  “wamp-wamp, wamp-wamp.”  It’s ironic that such a creative festival lacks musical diversity. 
Location: C+  Dust storms, high desert sun without shade.  The dry lake bed desert has its own beauty.
Organization: A Even with some ticket issues, they provide a good infrastructure for Nevada’s 5th largest city for a week.
Pros: It’s Burning Man!!
Cons:  The expensive ticket price is the just the tip of the iceberg for many, dust storms, heat, the collective chaos of 50,000+ people!
When: the week up through Labor Day weekend        Where: Black Rock Desert, NV

SILVER  Beloved
Ten months later, I’m still wearing my wristband from Beloved.   Apply named for the open and beautiful human connections created there, it is still my favorite music festival. 
Grade A It’s a quality festival experience for about 2,000 people.
Music A- One beautifully decorated stage has a fine selection of live world beat and late night electronic music.
Location A- In a beautiful and verdant location near the central Oregon coast during the driest and warmest time of year.  Nights can be cool.
Organization A- Besides the fiasco of the shuttle system in 2010, they’ve got it together.
Pros: “Beloved” is beloved.  It’s a model for how to create a smaller music festival. 
Cons: It doesn’t have the high energy or the eye candy of Burning Man and LIB. 
It’s a long way from CA.
When: mid August              Where: Tidewater, OR near the coast

BRONZE Lightening in a Bottle (LIB)
LIB is essentially two festivals.  On the hill where people attend large yoga classes, listen to talks on philosophical and “self help” topics, and dance to live music around temple spaces.  Down below youth bang their heads to the deep base of big acts like Bassnectar; live art and play also abound.
Grade A- Cosmopolitan LA meets Hippielandia, and it’s a good combination.
Music B+ for electronic music it get’s an A, live music gets a B
Location TBA: It's in a new location this year, next to a non swimmable lake in the desert in July… hmm….
Organization:  A The Do LaB knows how to produce a festival for 15,000 people.
Pros  Great selection of art, lots of eye candy, yoga to chest thumping electronic music and everything in between.  LIB is well organized.
Cons too much “wamp-wamp” for my generation.  LA is a long way from Oregon or the Bay Area.  That’s a “pro” if you live in Southern California.
When: July 11-15                  Where: new location near Temuca, CA
Honorable mentions

Enchanted Forest: June 28th-July 1st
I’ve never been but those I trust say that it’s a wonderful Festival.
High Sierra Music Festival:    July 4-7
Great line up of live music!
Oregon Country Fair: July 12-15 www.oregoncountryfair.or
The fair is almost as old as me and still going strong!
Mystic in the Trees (AKA Mystic Garden Party)
A sweet hippie vibe on a small and sustainable budget this year.
FaerieWorlds July 26-28
Faerie fun for the whole family!
Illumination Fire Circle
Small intentional gathering and Johnny Dwork knows how to create a magical container.  
Pacific Fire Gathering: September 12-15
If you’re into to fire spinning, don’t miss it!
Symbiosis Gathering: September 19-23
Dynamic like LIB, and still working on their organization. 
Copyright © Kyer wiltshire
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