Faerieworlds 2009 (Mt. Pisgah, Eugene, Oregon)

Faerieworlds 2009
* http://www.myspace.com/faerieworlds * July 31st – August 2, 2009 * Mt. Pisgah Arboretum * 34901 Frank Parrish Road * Eugene, OR 97405 * Just off I-5, exit 189

Each year towards the close of summer arrives and opens a gateway between the worlds allowing mortals and faeries to dance and frolick together. One such event is “Faerieworlds”. A unique festival, hosted by Kelly & Emilio Miller-Lopez (Woodland), Robert Gould (Imaginosis), Kimmy Smith (Woodland), crew, and volunteers; always with the artistic presence of Brian and Wendy Froud; has recently been held over the last several years in the grassroots & environmentally conscious haven of Eugene, Oregon. Themed over the celebration of Faeries, music, art, and creativity; Faerieworlds also has a very deep dedication and connection with nature. Embedded within the amazing plethera of talent that they bring in every year is also a magnitude of earth-based ritual and celebration honoring our ancestors, the spirits of nature, and the Deities of the world. Teamed together with the amazing talent of the Mythmakers these ceremonies are more than phenomenal and theatrically better performed than most festivals of its genre have ever offered from my Technogypsie wanderlust experiences. When Faerieworlds boasts that its often hard to tell the difference between the performers and the attendees, they aren’t kidding at all. Everyone dresses up and comes in Faerie, Fantasy, or period costumery that puts any Renaissance Faire to pity (especially since 90% of the attendees dress up); making the creative artistic experience of dressing up one of the biggest attractions of the event. According to Brian Froud: “To dress as a faerie, donning wings, is to actively join in the dance, to be connected to creative spirit. Graceful or ecstatic dance; the radiant, rhythmic heartbeat; friendship; music; all these move easily across the boundaries, transcending language, race, and time. Such activities extend a joyful hand across the threshold. At Faerieworlds, we ring the bells of faerie invitation. The people come. More importantly, the faeries come too.” The event organizers believe that ‘revitalizing, healing, and transforming spirit of faerie is alive and moving actively in our lives: faerie inspires and provokes, heals and reveals, illuminates and transcends.’ (Faerieworlds web site)

Faerieworlds started in 2001 in Sedona, Arizona by Kelly/Emilio Miller-Lopez & Robert Gould of Imaginosis; and the events appeared through Santa Fe, Los Angeles, and then Hornings Hideout in 2004 (outside of Portland, Oregon) when Kelly/Emilio moved to Oregon. In 2005 they moved the venue to Secret House Winery in Veneta, Oregon. The 2008 Faerieworlds had over 12,500 attendees. For the 2009 festival they had to change locations as their previous haunt, the Secret House Winery (2005-2008) changed ownership and they apparently had more sales this year exceeding the capacity of the venue making it logistically impossible to be hosted there. This year they teamed up with Lane County of Oregon for the use of the amazing grounds of Mount Pisgah Arboretum of the Buford Park Recreation Area. This new venue allowed for them to once again able to offer camping, which in my opinion, has brought Faerieworlds truly back into the threshhold of a real community based festival. (The lack of which in previous years is one of the main reasons I hadn’t come back to the festival as I truly believe a festival isn’t really a community festival without camping) There are some snags they need to work out with camping of course, but that’s usually a given with a festival starting up (again) with camping as part of the festival-going experience. Definitely a plus to this festival if you ask me. Kudos to this new evolution! Apparently they had over 1200 attendees camping throughout the festival this year. The new village space allowed for a tree-lined (large meadow) grove where the vendors and the performer stages were placed, just inset from a refreshing swimming river that was much needed for the July/August heat (between 90-100 degrees Fahrenheit at points) pounding down on the event. The new space is conveniently located near Eugene, Oregon so its possible for campers and attendees to go back and forth to downtown if supplies were needed. We ourselves did not need to leave once we set hold our tent in our thicket as the Faerieworlds village offered everything we needed including ice. But I heard from others that they liked the convenience to civilization. It also made it possible for the day-tripping faeries who only wanted to partake of the festival to go back and forth as needed. For those seeking a break from the village, the festival venue Mt. Pisgah Arobretum also hosts acres of shaded picnic areas, walkways, 15 miles of hiking trails, an arboretum, campgrounds, plenty of parking, party camping area meadow, family/quiet area camping meadow, and perhaps for next year as it failed for this year – 5 developed community campfire circles with designated night-time drum circle areas. Faerieworlds 2009 still had music circles at night, but the first night it was to glow sticks as there was no fire suppression provided, and the 2nd night – even though there was fire suppression equipment finally delivered, no guidance as the campers were too afraid of breaking rules to have a fire (even though that is why the equipment was there). Without the hearth, the after-festival evening festivities were suppressed and poorly attended. That was a bit of a downer, but its quite possible with the last minute change of venue, there wasn’t enough time and coordination to work on this area of the event. Hopefully next year that will be a big feature to bring community back to the Faerieworlds Hearth experience.

Faerieworlds is known for the amazing bands and performers they bring into the event. Through the past they’ve had their own host band Woodland, joined with Qntal (Germany), Kan’nal, Trillian Green, The Wicker Men, Tricky Pixie, Estampie (Germany), Scott Huckabay, John Renbourn, Glen Falkenberg, Phil Boulding, John Doan. In addition, Faerieworlds is reknown for its attendance and participation from various amazing artists such as Amy Brown, Jessica Galbreth, Brian Froud, Wendy Froud, Toby Froud, Mythmakers, Mark Lewis, Billy Scudder, Power Jumperz, jugglers, bellydancers, dance troupes, stilt-walkers, magic acts, costumes, giant puppets, hula hoopers, fire spinners, and storytellers. The Art and crafts of Faerieworlds make it a vending hotspot of the Pacific Northwest – with clothing, wings, elven ears, sculptures, jewelry, music, instruments, dolls, books, artwork, prints, cuisine, and a beer/wine garden. Lisa Steinke wrote a wonderful review of Faerieworlds called “Falling into the Faerie Ring” which is definitely worth taking a read at http://faerieworlds.tribe.net/thread/3fe49e88-bee0-4367-aa67-5bac63f38c71 as she definitely captures the spirit of Faerieworlds 2009. It has been a few years since I’ve been back, but overall, my experience was enlightening, empowering, and re-charging. I definitely like the new venue / location better and the spirit of the festival has definitely overwhelming evolved. Many Kudos to Kelly, Emilio, Robert, Kimmy, the Crew, and the Volunteers who made this spectacular event so wonderful. Rating: 5 stars out of 5. Official Faerieworlds Gallery

Faerieworlds Events Video featuring music by Faun
Video presentation by Faerieworlds

Visit My Photogalleries here:

All over the web you can find various photos, videos, and reviews of Faerieworlds 2009. Here are some links to what I’ve found in my searches. Enjoy!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email