We’re tremendously excited to announce that the first Wild Goose Festival will take place at in the Southeastern United States, at Shakori Hills in Silk Hope, near Raleigh-Durham and Chapel Hill, North Carolina from June 23rd-26th, 2011. Shakori Hills is a beautiful site, operated by a community group who already host a popular music and arts festival in April and October each year. Shakori Hills is a place where people of all ages and a variety of backgrounds come together to celebrate community, enjoy the natural surroundings, and learn from each other; it’s the perfect venue for what we’re attempting with Wild Goose.
The site has plenty of space for the activities we’re planning, but is compact enough to feel manageable; it has the potential to generate a genuine experience of authentic community. There are two stages for music and other performances, and space in which we’ll create open air venues for talks and public conversations, film screenings, and just chilling out with the North Carolina summer. Shakori Hills is committed to sustainable living, evidenced by the small organic farm on site, and the local vendors who’ll be helping provide food and drink at Wild Goose. The physical setting is stunning – camping is available not only in open fields (with a quiet space for families and others who want to sleep better at night!), but also in among the trees themselves; the vibe at Shakori Hills is laid-back, witty, engaging and, above all, welcoming.
It’s 45 minutes from Raleigh-Durham airport (RDU), and less than a day’s drive from places as varied as Chicago, New York City, Miami, Nashville, Atlanta, Boston, Kansas City, Indianapolis, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and New Orleans. And for those further out, we’re hoping to establish a network of Wild Goose community friends within half a day’s drive from Shakori so you can break up your journey to this extraordinary long weekend of justice, arts, and spirituality with a free night’s accommodation along the way. A note on the location choice: It’s obviously impossible to find a venue that is easily accessible to everyone in the US: the size of the country gets in the way! We have been very aware of the need to make Wild Goose open and welcoming to as many people as possible; our venue choice expresses this in a number of ways – the ethos of the site resonates with our vision, it is very easily accessible to a large proportion of the US population by road; and the air links are very good too. We want to encourage people to carpool, hire buses, cycle, walk, paraglide, whatever means makes it easiest to get to Wild Goose while minimizing the environmental impact. We’ll offer opportunities on-line for people to arrange transportation with others in the Wild Goose flock. Our ticket price will reflect our desire to be good financial stewards too – Wild Goose is not a commercial endeavor, and while it does require substantial funding to exist, we are not here to make money out of our guests. We’re working hard to make the festival as accessible as possible, wherever you may live.
But for now, we’re delighted to be working with the good folk at Shakori Hills to make the first Wild Goose Festival an event to remember: where the physical design of the site helps generate a spirit of conversation among diverse people, that leads to transformational encounters with the questions of justice, the possibilities of artistic creation and witness, and a spirituality that engages heart, mind, and body.
Tickets for the festival go on sale in September; we’ll be announcing some of the themes, activities, andcontributors then, so watch this space. For now, if you’d like to volunteer to help the Wild Goose fly, contact us at: wildgoosefestivities [at] gmail [dot] com – we’ll email you the moment we have more details. Keep up with us on Twitter and Facebook for unfolding news. And remember, the festival begins on the evening of Thursday 23rd June 2011, ending early afternoon on Sunday 26th – so we hope you’ll start planning to be with us… More soon!