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Davis, California

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Whole Earth Festival returns for 54th year from May 12-14

This year’s festival is themed “Sell Out to Love”


By SYDNEY AMESTOY — campus@theaggie.org 


The Whole Earth Festival (WEF) will return to campus from May 12-14 for the sustainability-focused event’s 54th year.

Co-unit director and fourth-year sociology and art studio double major Madeline Dei Rossi has been helping organize and plan this year’s celebration, which she said is themed around local businesses.

“This year, our theme is ‘Sell Out to Love,’” Dei Rossi said. “And that’s basically meant to highlight the fact that we are only sponsored by local businesses.”

WEF is a family-friendly, zero-waste event that began in 1969 and features artisans, food and musical performances, according to the festival’s website

According to Dei Rossi, all of the artisans who will be selling items are from small businesses, many of them local.

 “All of the vendors that you see present at the festival are hand artisans,” Dei Rossi said. “They are making what they’re selling by hand for their friends and their family, and that’s their means of livelihood. I think the essence of wealth is to directly support people […] We are part of a community, and we try to support that community.”

Another feature of WEF is the kids’ space, which hosts programming and events for younger attendees. Second-year English major Katherine Krinsky is one of the coordinators of the kids’ space.

“Kids’ space is basically a family-friendly area on the Quad that has multiple arts and crafts tables with different activities,” Krinsky said. “And then [there are] other activities, facilitated either by us or by on-campus or off-campus groups.”

According to Krinsky, some of these activities include yoga instructions, a bubble station and a potato-sack race. 

Krinsky said that she was inspired to join WEF after attending last year’s event. She said that the festival’s commitment to zero waste and the energy of the event drew her in. 

“The vibe or the energy there, it’s just so joyful and inclusive and warm,” Krinsky said. “And that was the other thing that really drew me to it: I felt like, even if I didn’t get put on staff, I would have volunteered. I just wanted to work with people who had the same shared goals of sustainability as well as that goal of coming together as a team and producing something that’s really amazing.”

Most of the staff members who are running the event are student volunteers. According to Dei Rossi, WEF is still actively looking for more volunteers to help during the three-day event. 

Volunteering is the only way to get a student-designed WEF shirt, according to Dei Rossi.

“I really encourage people to volunteer,” Dei Rossi said. “There is a four-hour shift minimum. I’m biased because we need volunteers, but everyone I’ve talked to who has volunteered has said it’s been one of the most amazing times that they’ve had at Davis — and it just connects you to this whole network of people.”

The festival will take place during Mother’s Day weekend on the Quad, from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

“It’s just like a celebration of spring,” Dei Rossi said. “And we’re this ongoing community of people who care for the earth and care for each other. We invite everyone to come hang out.”


Written by: Sydney Amestoy — campus@theaggie.org