49th annual UC Davis celebration seeks to “bloom” awareness
May 11 to 13 (Mother’s Day weekend — don’t forget, kids) marks the 49th Whole Earth Festival on the UC Davis Quad. The celebration will include several art spaces and food vendors as well as a fantastic lineup of local and student bands. Of course, it’s a zero-waste event, so put your trash, recycling and compost in the right bin.
With rising awareness of universal environmental issues, student enthusiasm for the festival is at an all-time high. Will Rogers, a fourth-year psychology major, reflected on the importance of this student awareness.
“The festival made me think more about my consumption and what I can do to give back to the Earth,” Rogers said. “Buying biodegradable products was easy way to integrate environmental awareness without having to change my routine while having an impact.”
Tinka Peterka, a second-year design major, is this year’s chaos control and publicity coordinator for the festival.
“We just announced our Friday night headliner, called Sure Sure,” Peterka said. “They’re an experimental pop band.”
Choosing the lineup required the help of many volunteers, who are integral to the festival’s operation.
“The volunteers are the heart of the festival, and we need hundreds of them to keep the festival going,” Peterka said. “At the end of the day, it’s worked for 50 years, so I think it’ll be fine.”
In light of recent controversies concerning relations between the police and civilians, Whole Earth Festival will be implementing a non-violent conflict resolution tactic.
“The whole point is not to escalate things and that can be easy to do,” Peterka said. “You try to show how the person’s actions are affecting you and potentially the community around you. We want the other person to have just as much fun, while maintaining mutual respect. It’s security without intimidation.”
According to Peterka, there will be security at the festival; however, they have agreed to act as a last-resort method.
Meral Basit, a fourth-year biochemistry and molecular biology major, is taking on the part of experiential space coordinator.
“I design and curate what I want the space to be like,” Basit said. “This year, I chose to design the Experiential Dome around engaging the senses. We’re going to have a coffee bean smelling table, a (non-marine) touch tank and a lot of workshops dedicated around exploring your senses.”
“Bloom” is this year’s Whole Earth Festival theme, the perfect thing for a college student to do during their time in school.
“To me, ‘Bloom’ means getting outside of your comfort zone and allowing yourself to grow despite maybe having doubts and fears,” Basit said. “Blooming is about thriving under duress, which I think a lot of people can relate to in the world today.”
Written by: Josh Madrid — firstname.lastname@example.org