And that, of course, means that the festival season is upon us :)
There are a number of reasons that I go to festivals, but the primary reason is because I meet so many great people. It is the festivals that define the fellowship in A Druid Fellowship.
Both the ADF site and the Three Cranes site carry the full list of festivals and dates (Three Cranes carries a number of non-ADF festivals as well).
The two coming up soonest, of course, are Trillium and the Desert Magic Festival. At opposite ends of the US, they're both smaller, more intimate festivals (though DMF is growing each year as more and more people hear about not only how wonderful it is, but how nice the weather is in the desert).
If your curious about these festivals, I have some reviews up that you can check out:
DMF 2004 | DMF 2005
I admit that I speak highly of all ADF festivals. I have no problem recommending them and telling people that they really ought to go. But you know, I suppose part of me just can't imagine *not* having the experience of certain festivals within ADF. It's hard to say why I give out so much free advertising for all the festivals. I think most of it has to do with the fact that I just. . . really like meeting people and talking with them face to face. I have yet to meet someone that I didn't really like.
There's nothing like sitting in a workshop, though, and listening to a debate about something like the ADF Dedicant Program, and hearing it be reshaped while you sit there; or hearing the first introduction of the Initiates' Program and getting to have some say on its formative process; or getting the chance to sit down with the Archdruid and complain about your DP work not making any sense in your hearth culture. There's something about being able to tell someone that their position on the Blessing of the Waters is full of shit, pass them a bottle of mead, and then laugh about how she thinks your position on source citation in the GSP is outright dumb that removes the feeling that there's some huge divide between you and your fellow Druids.
And then there's the ritual experience. For a solitary who has never seen ADF ritual (or, possibly, any ritual), the festivals are the place to go to see them (especially Desert Magic, because that Nemeton. . . Wow). Heck, for those of us who do ritual on a regular basis, there's something special about doing ritual with the larger spiritual community of ADF that is simply indescribable.
Sure, Wellspring is wet, Walking With Fire is far, and Trillium is cold, but I cannot say that I would trade the experiences I've had at festivals for anything. And that goes for any festival, to be perfectly honest.
If you can go to a festival, please do. Not only would I love the chance to meet you, but I'm all about people meeting those other chumps on the email lists. Those lists aren't ADF, and they're a poor representation of how we work together.
So, if you have the chance, go to at least one this year. It's well, well worth it.