We know it’s been quiet ’round here for a while – but if you thought we’d gone away, have no fear: the flock has been working behind the scenes to develop plans for our first Wild Goose Festival in June 2011, and we’re planning to update this page much more often … starting with today’s announcement: We’re delighted to let you know that Gareth Higgins has been appointed Executive Director of the Festival. Gareth is a northern Irish writer, speaker, activist, film critic and retreat leader, who moved to the US in 2008 after growing up in Belfast. In addition to having been involved in the Greenbelt Festival in England (one of the primary inspirations for WGF), he brings a wide range of personal experience to Wild Goose from co-founding and leading a peace-building initiative in his homeland, to being deeply engaged in art and culture through his own writing, broadcasting, and speaking work.
Gareth says of his new role, “It’s an honor to be part of Wild Goose – working with people whom I’ve admired and some of whom I’ve known and loved as friends for a long time. The opportunity that the festival represents is, I believe, rare in US culture – to bring together people who are passionate about justice, spirituality and art, to open the possibility of conversation and creativity, and to listen to what the Wild Goose is saying. I’ve wanted to see the spirit of Greenbelt manifested in the US for some time, but I also want Wild Goose to become its own thing: an authentic, indigenous festival that represents a space at the intersection between action and hope, desire and reflection, seriousness and humor, the things we think we know, and the things that may always be questions. (Plus we’ll have the best artists, speakers, ideas, and coffee we can find.)”
Wild Goose Festival Board member Karla Yaconelli says of Gareth’s appointment: “We are thrilled to have Gareth join the growing team of people who are bringing shape and form to the Wild Goose Festival. His experience with Greenbelt, energy for this endeavor, and imagination as an artist in his own right, along with his knowledge of culture, keenness for matters of the soul, and passion for justice throughout the world are in direct alignment with the heart of the WGF … not to mention, he’s got a sardonic wit and spirit of playfulness about him that are vital to the essence of any event bearing the term ‘festival.’ Everybody better get ready for a wild ride. This is going to be good. Really good.”
The first festival is just over a year away, but there will be opportunities to connect with the Wild Goose before then. We’ll be launching the festival website with information about how to get to the festival, and who else will be there in a few weeks. Watch this space.