“The majority of us aren’t born with big bank accounts, but we are born with time. Time is the real currency of life, and the value of our time – what we can acquire for its exchange – is our most important asset.” – Eli Inkrot

So, I did a 10 km hike from Oakdale to the Symbiosis music fest in Woodward reservoir very early in the morning which I thought was both brave and crazy because of the large dogs guarding the ranchmen’s homes along the way. I was only fazed a little by the charging and barking dogs and brave enough to face them a second time on the way back.

I noticed that the ranchmen’s abode are similar in fashion. They have their big McMansions approximately 200 meters from the road and it is surrounded by an orchard of almond trees and across on the other side of the road is their barn and grassy flat land where their cows are grazing.

I thought this festival was sort of an environmentally conscious gathering so I decided on the hike only to realize that I am perhaps 1 of the very few if not the only one out of 15,000 who decided to hike. Scores of festival goers in their gas guzzlers just passed by me and one driver even gave me the dirty finger. Only a couple of cars pulled over to offer a ride, and they were LOCALS! So much for this environmentally conscious American youth.

The festival is a hodge-podge of EDM dance parties and over 100 talk/symposiums of hacktivists, guerilla science, permaculture, yoga, environment, feminism and others. They even have a kids section which they call kidsbiosis which I don’t understand because this is a festival of hedonism, nudity and debauchery (actually just more nudity and about par in debauchery compared to other music festivals). There were no big stars in their musical line-up and it was very hard for me to go to any one of the concerts because of very low motivation. I think music festivals should be a celebration of the exceptional music that have been crafted by the big names.

The festival started with a sort of prayer gathering on an elaborate altar they created for the elementals – fire, water, air and earth. By this time I was already seething as this is definitely a misguided and backward attempt that could influence some of these youths into unproductive endeavors. Then, I saw some that I would call the “yoga princesses” strut their self-indulgent stuff in cozy tents. I attended some of the symposiums where most of them put on a pedestal the practices in Costa Rica, India, The Aborigines, First nations. In my mind, they are moving several steps backwards by elevating Third World practices (just because they are fashionable and new to them?)

Then there is the case of the Permaculture symposiums that made me do a temporary about-face on this movement. I assessed that there can only be some meager money that can be made out of doing permaculture and should be taken cautiously and on a persons free time. Yet they are preaching that this is like salvation because they can make money through hours of lecture and by issuing Permaculture certificates which I thought was just an application of simple project management.

Then this festival is also milking all these debt-laden youths with astronomical prices in their food. Drip Coffee starts at a $4 price tag. Meals (no drinks) starts at $13 and averages at $16.

I also observed that about 98% didn’t come here for any environmental or charitable causes, they were here just to be self-indulgent. The “yoga princesses” came here to undress and accessorize and their “cavemen” were here to be rambunctious and get laid. You will also notice that this festival has attracted the phony and the shallow by what is happening at the campsites. You see people immediately mimic power struggle episodes, discrimination, segregation, in-fighting, misinformation, nasty talk, racism. They came here prepared for this! It was hard to have a peace of mind with all the obnoxious people around you fighting each other. If this was American campus life then I would say it would be hard to stay sane in school. These shitty behaviours also dull the nudity element because although you see that they have gorgeous beautiful bodies but once you know their ugly souls, you just look away.

The positives of this music festival = Nice gorgeous nude bodies. Nice fashionable and creative costumes and attires and accessories. Nice Ghanaian food which although overpriced I consumed four meals. An addition to my vocabulary:”power-tripping”. Then my accidental exposure to Vandala Shiva (which I will write a separate input). Overall, attending the festival was a write-off. And if I only knew that Cyndi Lauper was having a concert a few miles from there, I would have been gone instantly. To quote Tyrion Lannister from Game of Thrones – “If I ever have an idea like this again, please punch me in the face.”