Oregon Eclipse 2017 was every bit historic as the marvelous sight of the total solar eclipse.
Oregon Eclipse Gathering is the amalgamation of 10 international festivals, thousands of people in staff and production, tens of thousands of people coming together to witness the meeting of two celestial bodies in one magnanimous event taking place in the heavens. A week-long event with the Eclipse in it’s crowning glory, this festival boasted of 7 music stages, several talk show areas, yoga and dance shalas, Art temples, a VR dome, a solar temple and beautiful caring people all located in a national forest with a lake smack in the middle of all the action.
The Total Solar Eclipse that was visible from the Big Summit Prairie, was a once in a lifetime opportunity to witness such a meeting of heavenly bodies. The dance of the Sun, the Moon and the Earth is truly a mind-blowing spectacle. Visually nothing the Sherp has witnessed in nature matches up to what was taken in by the eyes in the ”Totality of the Eclipse”. It is almost a spiritual experience to watch these bodies align.
The Sherp overheard someone screaming at the Moon, “You can Do it Bro” just as totality was taking place. We heard that a couple got engaged during the Eclipse, the to be husband asked the wife to “look at the ring” during totality, little did she know that he was not referring to the Sun and Moon but rather the Diamond Ring in his hand, a couple of shrieks of surprise later cumulated into an outburst of cheers for the happy couple.
Raja Ram x Shpongle played a special post Eclipse set at the main stage which saw them joined by Alex Grey doing some Live art during their performance. Which they incidentally started with the fittingly accurate tune to be played post totality, The Beatles’ “Here Comes The Sun”.
A magnificent temple was made in tribute to the Sun, Moon and Eclipse. This is one of the structures that will be left intact even after the festival and rightly so.
There were 7 music stages spread all across the Big Summit Prarie covering a plethora of genres ranging from Techno, House, Eclectic, Arabic, Psy Trance, Bass, DnB and Ambient. Below are the stages and some of our favourite acts over the weekend.
Earth– Beatfarmer | Emancipator | KMLN
Sun – Ajja | Ace Ventura | Starling/Govinda
Sky – Nicola Cruz | DJ Tennis | Oliver Koletzki | Mimi | Acid Pauli | Justin Martin
Eclipse – Troyboi | Beats Antique | William Close and The Earth Harp (special mention)
Moon – Deep Medi | Clozee | Gaudi
Big Top – Jazz Mafia | Rebirth Brass Band | STS9
The venue was split into primarily two sections, half was covered with music stages and the other half was covered with talks and experience based activities which included but not limited to:
Yogashala – An eclectic mix of various Yoga Classes one could attend throughout the day. From Cacao ceremonies, Capoeira Fusion, Yoga Church, Kirtans and Kundalini journeys, the Yogashala had so much of variation it was astounding.
Dance shala – The Dance Shala was a space to express yourself via the form of Dance and the elegant movement of the body. Most of the times there was a DJ accompanying the Dance facilitator and that was unique and added to the overall experience.
Guriella Science – Apart from hosting an Observatory every night, Guerrilla Science had everything a Science nerd could ask for. Activities ranged from Space Yoga, Collective Biofeedback Experience, Sensory Speed Dating to Lube Lab Cook-Off and everything in between. The Sherp hopes to see more of these kinds of activities taking place at festivals.
There were a lot of interesting speakers giving talks throughout the duration of the festival. Some of these talks were endlessly fascinating and one got an opportunity to learn so much from experts from a varying amount of fields. The Hub, Wellness Oasis, Shrine to The Cosmos and Village Witches were some of the places in which these talks were held. Some of the most notable talks were by Alex Grey /Allyson Grey – A lifetime of Art, Bruce Damer – Humanities Future, Village Witches – Kundalini Awaken, Susan Leopold – Sacred Amazonian Plants, and Paul Stamets – Mycology Of Consciousness
Thousands of people attended this festival, the Sherp saw a lot of Hippies throwing it down on the Psy Trance stage throughout the week. The Sherp noticed everyone was courteous and helpful towards one another. It’s the attendee’s that make a festival and this bunch of people were extremely colourful, kind, courteous and helpful. One could spend a decent amount of time people watching as everyone brings out their best dress and personality.
Beautiful space for the creation of art from the leading visionary artists of our times, featuring Android Jones, Alex and Allyson Grey amongst many others.
VR dome / Samsakara
This is the future of movies. Extremely moving and unbelievably realistic rendition of an alien world. The Sherp feels this must be experienced by everyone and words cannot do justice to what was witnessed.
Alex Grey x Allyson Grey did a talk discussing their art and life which was indeed an enlightening experience. They discussed how they began their journey and what it took for them to get to the place they find themselves in now, leaders of the Visionary Art World. There was not an iota of famine thinking when they spoke and how they truly expressed that art inherently is a community building effort. They also worked on new art pieces at the Art Temple over two evenings. The same artwork later came on stage during Shpongle + Raja Ram’s post Eclipse set, which made for one unique audio / visual experience facilitated by true masters of their own art forms.
There was an incredible option of food stalls at the Big Summit Prairie, amongst your typical Burger joints, Pizza Pies and Gyros there was a big focus on Vegan food.
There was an Indian Food Stall selling freshly fried samosas and a wicked biryani, the line to this stall was almost always full. Some of the other favourite food stalls were: Lydia’s Vegan Food Truck, Nomad Burger and the Gyro stall.
Camping at the festival grounds was spread over a lot of land due to the non-stop traffic of incoming attendees. We were camped at the Walk In camping location, which happened to be right next to the Sun Stage, which happened to be the psytrance stage as well. People camped at Walk In camping practically heard every single set (against their will) played on the stage. It was hot during the day and really cold at night which kept things interesting.
We were camped next to a couple of fine gentlemen from Seattle who went by McFly, Chris, Pepper and Khalil. Apart from uniting on the hating of the proximity of the Psy Trance stage we really got along. We were almost treated as their guests and they kept the Sherpa fed throughout the day. Shoutout to Chris, we have never seen anyone come so well prepared for a festival. From food supplies to Ice to Beer to even Tamales with Steak was fed to us by Chris, who is professionally a Chef.
There was a permaculture training course that 20 people participated in. It took place two weeks prior to the festival. There were multiple events covering the various principles and ideas of permaculture. The Sherp was able to sit for one of these lectures and learned the importance of the future of sustainable permaculture in our society and how we must adapt to make positive changes in our environment.
Weed being legal in the state of Oregon, we saw a lot of joints going around. Probably more joints than cigarettes, what a refreshing change to have been witness to this. There was a dance safe booth on the Festival grounds. One could have their substances checked in order to know what they are consuming. This stall potentially saved lives and is the way to go to protect the consumers.
Pack It In / Pack It Out
This is something we could all learn from the pack it in, pack it out policy. Although not everyone followed this ethos, a lot of people did and that is what is needed to make all these gathering more sustainable.
All in all, Oregon Eclipse 2017 was an experience like never before! To witness nature’s marvel in the form of the total solar eclipse and to rejoice our existence in the most natural realm is the spirit embodied by the Oregon Eclipse Festival.
Stay tuned to The Sherp and until next time, adios!