Lucidity Festival: Rising Dawn 2018 was a marvelously melancholy adventure that swirled with unexpected emotion.
“My face hurts from laughing too hard, where can I find somewhere sad around here?” I asked, half-joking half-serious. I’m not sure what kind of tea we were sippin’ on, but rumbling in the expansive depths of my belly were giggles of profound magnitude.
It turns out we had found refuge in the Quan Yin Tea House, a homely oasis tucked away in the Elemental Realm of Fire near the Nook Stage. And though the space is intended to embrace calmness and quiet, we were roaring with laughter and the welcoming energy of Skylar, the cheerful elf serving tea around midnight on Sunday. With the little warmth that lingered in the air that night, the tea house was a sensible destination for wandering souls, myself included.
Many, if not most, attendees were flocking towards the Lucid Stage at the opposite end of Live Oak for Desert Dwellers’ throbbing bass and earthy lure. My craving for boiling water and sitting cross-legged on a pile of pillows with soon to be friends was louder though. Who goes to a festival for the tea? I certainly didn’t…or at least I didn’t know that I had. But more than ever this year at Lucidity I was attuned to the proverbial rollercoaster of emotions that threw my hands up off the lap bar and waved them in rejoice.
On Friday we boogie.
That’s right it’s also a music festival, and Friday was the condensed lovechild of all the artists I wanted to see among a lineup that was mostly foreign to me. When you get to see a Mark Farina Mushroom Jazz set in the early afternoon and follow it up with a night time house set by the funky fella all in the same day…its a damn good day! The Nook was among my favorite places to be on Friday in all of it’s house and techno glory. Dirtybird’s Ardalan was another high priority item who kindly took my expectations and proceeded not only to blow them out of the water, but detonate them.
Perched up on the pedestal above the rest however was Spectrasoul at the Lucid Stage. I cannot even attempt to explain how dire my need for some liquid drum & bass has been, but I can tell you this – I think they changed my chemical makeup. What was once frozen inside of me is now back to its liquid state. Was anyone else as stoked as me to have such a heavy DNB presence at Lucidity?
Party’s over dude. Saturday is for chillin’.
Dela Moontribe‘s low key DNB set on Saturday in Sound as Medicine (formerly Lover’s Nest <3) was another medicinal cleanse for the soul. Day 2 of the festival was the start of a mellow exploration of the grounds, the people, and myself. Running laps around Live Oak with zero music on my mind and only following the sounds that enticed me, a swarm of bees came buzzing by.
And here’s just one of the endless joys of being at an intimate gathering such as Lucidity. My friend and I were standing on the slope in front of The Nook sound booth, music blasting, unevenly rooted into the dirt, having a deeply personal conversation about relationships. Among all the distractions surrounding us, we were locked eye to eye and without skipping a beat still bobbing our heads to the resonating beauty all around. At the close of our conversation the bees were everywhere.
In case you have no idea what I’m talking about at this point, the Hive 5 critters were luring folks back to their theme camp for a day time party with Dj Kerry Bo Berry. Twist my arm I guess! Fortunately they left their stingers back at home and instead offered the sweet nectar of liquor from their NFL sized coolers. Thanks for the hospitality honeys!
A sad Sunday is not a bad Sunday.
Sure we had a little rain the day before but not enough for gloom. Rest assured Sunday was emotional in all the best ways. Friends came in for the day from all directions and I managed to sneak in some acro yoga before noon with half a tab of acid on my tongue. Fast forward and I’m entering the confusing yet stable world of psychedelia with a dear friend by my side. Hoisting a standalone karaoke mic with a built-in speaker, we ventured on with silliness at our hands.
We danced. We spoke. We sang. We danced some more. We explored. Rinse. Repeat.
Remember the Quan Yin Tea House? It’s about that time now. It’s grown cold and the adventuring has acquired new friends, old friends, and strangers along the way. The foolishness and hilarity that ensued was inexplicably flawless. To those who shared that time with me there, thank you immeasurably, my cheeks are still sore! Here’s a small taste of what happened.
I’m tapped on the shoulder and greeted by a penguin with one of those smiles that doesn’t wish to stay on a face. He had on a penguin cap and was asking for a cup (of tea) so we asked Skylar (the elf) for one. In true playful perfection, she hands us an empty cup as we did not specify that he wanted it to be filled with anything.
Endless haha‘s crashed over us until she suited up with a straight face and said “Ok seriously give me that cup back here’s another.” Yep, that one was empty too. Now we were just in tears laughing. I apologize if this isn’t doing the scene justice (because it isn’t), but I write this with the same chuckle of amusement that overcame the tea house at that moment. Wish you were there.
“My face hurts from laughing too hard, where can I find somewhere sad around here?” I didn’t realize that question would be answered until we left.
Contrast to my aching smile.
Next stop: Lucidi-Tea House. I had been searching for this place all weekend and didn’t make it there until midnight had passed on Sunday, so Monday morning technically. Comfort, warmth, and company had all gathered for a touching culmination to the evening. It felt as though the entire day was spent chasing this combination of qualities and together they created this emotional closing.
Upon arrival we kicked our shoes off and settled into the last pouring of the night. Rather immediately, the table got to sharing stories about family and loved ones that have passed. With attentive ears and a listening heart I was taken aback at how lovely it was to be sitting with a table of strangers and welted eyes. Where can I find somewhere sad around here? That started playing back in my head and the lightbulb went off. I found somewhere sad just as I wanted. Sounds dark when you put it into words but really it was fulfilling and necessary.
In the spirit of privacy and respect, I’ll leave out any further details from the Sad Tea House as I endearingly called it from then on. With profound sadness comes the contrasting feeling of profound happiness. The two would not exist without one another and having smiled my face off most of the day, it only made sense that I ended my night in tears.
Rocking back and forth on my hammock outside the Dusty Barrel (who for the record deserve an article of their own for being absolutely incredible!), the night was actually coming to an end. To put it as cheesy as possible – everything came down to this moment. Partying on Friday, relaxing (but also kind of partying) on Saturday, and exploring Sunday. Never would I have thought I’d be in my tent bawling at the close of the festival, but whoa, that shit was cathartic.
I would say it was the heightened state of mind, but the feeling rolled over into Monday when the tears had not dried up completely. And once I let it rip and broke down everything returned to face-hurting grins and abundant happiness. To those of you who I was lucky enough to have shared any fraction of time with, thank you. For lack of a better phrase…thank you. Thank you. Thank you! <3
Lucidity Festival continues to grow fonder and fonder in my heart and the special place I hold for it will always have room for more. Many thanks to the Lucidity Family for telling another story with Rising Dawn. See you next year! <3