• Courtney

Hippie Fest Hocking Hills

August 3rd #VitaBohemeVilfred and I took a trip to Logan Hocking Hills Ohio for a featured aerialist performance gig at the Hippie Fest. This was Vita’s farthest trip so far with me since her arrival in May. I drove the entire five and half hours alone with no problems at all. The week before I left, I got her brake calipers changed so that halted any sticking or being stuck in third gear (see earlier blogs.) This trip was another huge mile stone in my own life journey. I have been on a train to Vermont alone, I have been on a plane to Colorado and California alone but this trip I was driving alone. Like many other trips I have taken alone, I cried tears of joy and bliss riding, flying and driving toward goals I created and accomplished. Once upon a time, driving in my van to a paid aerial performance at a festival out of state was something I only could imagine. Much like going to circus school and accomplishing that goal, I conquered this one as well. On this specific trip, I was in my van, driving out of state to a weekend of Rainbow Flyte at a hippie themed family fun filled day festival. A character career I have created out of my mind.

Not only did I dance on my fabrics, but I had all ages of women and men come up and want to learn something fun for their self, friends, family or camera. I love sharing what I do with the world. I have trained, imagined, visualized and worked my ass off for this opportunity and will continue to do so for every other opportunity I am presented with.

When I arrived at the venue, I checked in and parked my van in the vendors camping area. I knew I had to arrive Friday and get set up that evening before Saturday noon came when the festival started. I wasn’t completely alone, as my friend Alex met me down there to hang for the weekend since he had a job in Cincinnati that Sunday night/Monday morning. It was comforting to know at least two people since #Drewphoria was also performing that weekend.

Camping wasn’t open to the public just vendors and performers. People who wanted to camp were suggested to find the Hocking Hills campground not too far away from where the venued event was held. I am not exactly sure how many people who had tickets camped though. This Hippie Fest was much smaller it seemed than Kalamazoo, but I liked it better that way. I really love how each Hippie Fest is different than the last. I know when I go to Missouri next Friday, it is going to be completely different than Michigan and Ohio.

When I asked where to put my rig, I was instructed to put it on the flat part of the field area, in the middle of the vendors circle, and right by the stage. The vendors were all lined up against the tree lines of a small field in the rolling hills. The vintage cars parked in the middle of the vendors closer to the entrance. After I got Ruby the Rig all set up, I made a lap around all the vendors setting up to greet everyone who was not too busy to say hello, some were still setting up, not ready to socialize at this point. Saturday during the times I was not being a dangle bug, I walked around and met more artists and crafters of the festival. The hearts of the project.

Next to me on top of the little hill, was the Giant Bubble area. This turned out to be an amazing set up because as I was in the air, the bubbles of all shapes and sizes were floating around me, popping and creating magical bubble sparkle art throughout the air. Cameras out capturing these moments. Not just me but all the faces of the children who were making the biggest bubbles they had ever seen in their lives. Admittedly, they were the biggest bubbles I have ever seen in my own life. I’m 26.

I brought hippie costumes to wear but it was about 95 degrees up on my silks, so my long bell sleeves had to be put away. Luckily, I packed colorful circus workout clothes, so I just ended up in those for both Saturday and Sunday. You can find photos on #RainbowFlyte or #HippieFest Facebook pages. #hippiefesthockinghills

Because it was so hot, and I was wearing an outfit that wasn’t covering my midriff, I didn’t do anything crazy while in the air. A few times even on my lyra, I felt the sweat pouring on my palms. One slip and I’d fall about 17 feet. I decided early on that I wasn’t going to be superwomen. Plus, my audience doesn’t so much care what I do while I am up there. Simply seeing me breathe, hold the pose, smile and do pretty things is enough for them. Which is enough for me when safety is on the line. I love my audience whether they love me or not. I love what I do so that means it doesn’t matter what I am doing, I am expressing something not a lot of people get to see in their everyday lives. Even when I am on the ground my goal in everyone’s life I met is to bring them happiness and peace in some way or another.

I highly enjoyed being by the live music. Another favorite part of being a sky dancer with live music is collaborating with other artists to create something together. They create the vibrations, I create the moves.

Food trucks for vegans, vegetarians, meat eaters, snackers and candy eaters were all present and all so very tempting. Though by the time I was cool enough to eat, the vendors had closed shop. I knew I was camping all weekend, so I stocked up on the kind of food I eat. Can black beans, can baked beans, beef jerky (only during camping times), protein shakes galore, eggs, bacon (only on camping trips), crackers, cheese, blueberries, grapes and protein chips. Of course, my water, green tea, and iced coffee for the morning. Though I did get some ice cream on Sunday before finishing walking around the vendors to buy the little things I fell in love with along the way.

Upon one of the tents I came across, was at first glance a giant rainbow across a large canvas. I strolled up to it to read the little slip it had on top reading, “if you can find the two-word phrase, you can be entered into the contest to win a free poster print of this painting.” I took it as a challenge. The painting was so intricate. One half of it was a bright and rainbow forest and fields of happy animals and flowers. The tree of life lived brightly green with all the creatures in the world lovingly together. On the other side of the rainbow which was shining across the center, was dark burning city. Ashes, smoke and flames filled this half of the canvas. If you looked closely you could see smaller images painted within the bigger design. After a long while, about 30 minutes or so, I had to pause my exploration for this two-word phrase. Oh, how I wished to find it so. I never did.

#KimsPhotoArt was her booth name. As interested viewers stood to find her secret words in the rainbow painting, she stood at her easel live painting another canvas. She was painting the scene in front of her which was Ruby the Rig, myself dangling upside down, Drewphoria with his hoops, some of the stilt walkers and people in love all over. I ordered one of these poster prints in honor of being the first painting of me on silks ever in the history of Rainbow Flyte. I spent much time with Kim over the weekend and learned much of her story in life. I love meeting and supporting fellow artists who follow their dreams. I support her vision and project for her artistic biography as well as her desire to teach the youth about the importance of art itself. I will be ordering more prints as time goes on. 

Sunday the event was over. Two days of noon to 7 fun. It reminded me of circus life. The tents go up, the show goes on, the greeters and gazers experience something they never have before, the music plays, the dancers dance. After hours of fun, the patrons and onlookers leave, the tents close up and off duty we are. Dinner, creek baths and drumming around the fire gave us artists and vendors a sense of family. A time to mingle and vibe with each other, make even more new connections and lifelong friends. the following day we do it all over again. Together we come to put on a show, entertain the people, at the end of the day,we tear it down, pack it up and move on to our next place of happening. Of course, we leave no trace we were ever there and take nothing but memories.

Monday morning upon waking, I meandered my way over across the drive area where two ladies had stayed the night like I did in their travel home. Most vendors packed up and left Sunday but there were a few of us who decided to use Monday as our travel day. Mostly us left were from Michigan so we all had at the least a five-hour drive, which none of us wanted to make at 8pm after a long day of peopling.  Alex had left Sunday evening. I sat and had coffee with these two ladies for a while before Kim, the rainbow painter came over and sat down on the ground with us. We spent the next few hours it seemed, talking about all kinds of things from what we are as humans to equality in women, feminism, masculinity, energy, the divine, the minimalizing movement, the living in a home on wheels movement, festivals, government, you name it, we talked about it. I felt so connected with these women. When I go to festivals and gatherings of any kind, I always meet people I feel I have known life times.

I packed up Vita Vilfred slowly over the hours of being awake. I did all my dishes and folded all my linens. I organized everything tightly and safe. Before leaving anywhere we have been parked for more than one day, I go around and wash all the windows and window wipers. I make sure my captains’ seat is set for takeoff. I finally pulled out of my spot at exactly noon on Monday August 6, 2018. A three-day long adventure with business minded free spirits. A weekend truly filled with Magic, Peace and Love.


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