The Whole Earth baby is almost ready to be born. After nine months of planning, this weekend’s festival promises to bring the community entertainment, education, art and a sustainable way of life.
“It’s like we’re giving birth right now,” said co-director of the festival and UC Davis alumna Lindi Houser.
Since 1969, Davis has hosted this three-day festival to provide a positive natural experience, free of charge for all who attend. The festival begins today at noon with an opening ceremony on the Quad and ends Sunday at 6 p.m.
Directors and coordinators hope to make the event waste-free, which they say is not an easy task, considering the hundreds of booths selling merchandise, food and crafts.
The theme for this year’s Whole Earth Festival is “Mending Our Web.” The phrase refers to what co-director J.P. Lee calls the “disharmony in the world.” Whole Earth Festival seeks to educate and provide tools for correcting violence, ignorance and wastefulness.
The festival boasts a myriad of booths and events, from small private vendors to a solar-powered dance stage, where artists and entertainers from across the country will be performers.
Attendees can look forward to practically every kind of music to hit the airwaves on the four main stages in the Quad.
One of the stages will be a DJ stage, with various DJs spinning music during the entirety of the weekend.
Another stage located on the Wellman Hall lawn, the “Soular Dance Stage,” is completely solar powered, with a fully-functioning sound system and light set-up. There will be drumming and dancing from many different cultures as well as a fire-dancing routine in the evening.
Additionally, there will be two other stages to facilitate the nearly 30 bands, artists and speakers performing throughout the weekend. Entertainment director Evan Kersnar expressed excitement for the diversity of musicians and speakers who will appear on the stages at the festival.
“We’re covering all bases and hopefully making everybody happy,” Kersnar said. “We’re trying not to have the same kind of music on one stage, so that if you’re not exactly into what you hear, you can just go to a different stage.“
Attendees can look forward to hip-hop, funk, alternative, reggae and more, including multicultural and international music.
The past week, students may have noticed a colorful structure taking form in the quad. The tent is known as the “Karma Dome,” and will be the center for volunteer coordination this weekend.
The Karma Patrol will be patrolling the campus, ensuring safety of attendees, washing the reusable dishes, setting up stages, composting and cooling any violent conflicts. The Karma Patrol has been trained in non-violent conflict resolution to prevent the need for intercession by UC Davis police.
Also near the Karma Dome, Whole Earth Festival will include a first-aid booth, in case of any emergencies.
Composting and recycling
One task the Karma Patrol is responsible for every year is sorting through the day’s “waste,” looking for compostable and recyclable material.
The volunteers actually look forward to this aspect, as it presents the opportunity to find treasures that have accidentally been thrown away. According to Danny Yadegar, director of compost and recycling, “You’d be surprised at what you can find.“
In the past, the Compost and Recycling Unit has recycled 98 percent of all Whole Earth Festival waste. The other 2 percent evidently comes from outside the campus.
The unit will have composting cans spread throughout campus, with volunteers educating people on what can be turned into compost.
“We want the festival to last until after the weekend, so we’re really stepping up the education aspect this year,” Yadegar said. The unit will hold workshops by Wellman Hall about compost and how to better sustain everyday waste.
Yadegar also hopes that next year the unit will be able to top this year’s compost goal by composting feces collected throughout the day.
Attendees can also look forward to over 18 different types of locally grown, organic and vegetarian food booths, with food such as egg rolls, sushi, pizza, popsicles, vegetables and other raw foods, smoothies, coffee and herbal elixirs.
The goal of the food unit is to promote positive, sustainable food policies, which is why they have decided not to include any meat at the event.
“We aren’t trying to impose, we just don’t want to be bringing in an unsustainable kind of food,” said Ari Reisman, director of food vendors and junior comparative literature major.
All food will be served on plastic plates with recyclable utensils.
For information, or to volunteer for Whole Earth Festival, visit the Karma Dome in the Quad.
LAUREN STEUSSY can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.XXX