5 Reasons @NNMFestival Tops All Other Nor-Cal Festivals

Festivals

For some people, a festival is just another festival is just another festival. But in anticipation for Northern Nights, many of my close friends boasted about how “Northern Nights is the best festival” and for some, even their “favorite” festival. I was skeptical – I go to a lot of festivals – how could this one be so great?

Well. Okay – now I see…

The Location – there is a weird geographic anomaly about Piercy, CA.  Locals say there are some places where water runs upstream, gravity is “stronger,” and supposedly, a compass will flutter heavily at true North due to an overwhelming magnetic force surrounding this area.  Not sure if any of this is true, but once you arrive at Cook’s Valley Campground at the Mendocino – Humboldt County line, you can certainly feel a sense of belonging. The grounds are beautiful. The trees are so majestic that if you look up at the tallest branches, you can basically travel through time.  The overall sense of welcoming was incandescent.

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Photo by @kristinabaky

The River – the river was probably my favorite aspect of the entire weekend – partly because it was almost 100 degrees and it kept most of us from dying of heat – but also partly because it was a fun-festival-sea-of-floaties. I saw everything from swans, peacocks, and flamingos to donuts and popsicles. As a matter of fact, an entire group of friends each had a single slice of pizza to form one large pepperoni pizza (squad goals AF). Huge unicorn islands dominated the river, while rafts with built-in canopies and coolers floated by too. A river dragon made its way through smaller floats which made way for the gigantic rubber ducky. An incredible sight for sure. The river stage was strategically placed right along the riverbed so you could hear the music while you lay there chillin’… What other festivals even offer that?

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Photo by @kristinabaky

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Photo by @kristinabaky

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Photo by @kristinabaky

The People – there were soooooo maaaaaaany peopleeeee. Organizers say this was the largest crowd EVER. It was insane the number of festivalers who attended this thing. And to be honest, I recognized a lot of faces (and totems) from previous festivals this summer, but everyone’s squad seemed to be bigger than before – including mine. The whole weekend, everyone I met was so extremely kind. Neighbors peaked into our camp to say “hi” and introduce themselves. People passing by stopped to compliment our setup. Some of my crew came all the way from Tahoe and attracted other Tahomies. Someone let me take over our camp’s aux so while I was blasting Mac Dre, pretty girls stopped to get a little hyphy. Even people working the festival made a lasting impression. From the guy who guided us to our camping spot (and then was so patient and flexible when we asked to move a few spaces over) to the lovely lady who took her smoke break at our camp in the shade after picking up trash all day in the scorching heat.  Yes – the people. You will NOT find these genuine people at any other festival.

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Photo by @kristinabaky

The Vibes – needless to say, with the environment and the people on level 100, the vibes were beyond outstanding. Obviously, the music speaks for itself (no need to include how great it was – you saw the lineup!) There was yoga, a forest full of hammocks (perfect for mid-day naps), a cannabis area, a silent disco, art galleries, and tons of things to spend money on: vendors, plenty of food options, and a general store stocked with everything you forgot. I’m not sure what consumes one’s soul when going to Northern Nights, but even the shyest people seem to have the courage to come up and tell you how beautiful you are.  Sometimes you just need that kind of energy and Northern Nights was just that. The vibes at the Bunker Stage were the strongest. I saw the sun set and rise from various spots at the Bunker. Weird-5am-shenanigans took place there, but during that time in space, it was anything but weird.

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Photo by @kristinabaky

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A New Family – so many crews linked up for this. I had my crew (who started festival season off at Serenity Gathering and kept screaming “Serenity Day 91” all weekend), my crew had their LIB and Buku crews, those crews had their friends. My friends ended up knowing their friends. My SnowGlobe squad reassembled… Never in my entire festival-going experience had I ever been in one place with so many loving people. Like it was impossible to get lost when everyone knew where to return you. I went with about 25 friends, I left with about 25 more, and I gained about a million new memories.

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Photo by @kristinabaky

All music aside – now I see why everyone claims this to be the “best” festival ever. And while some of us are still not unpacked, still a little sunburnt, our voices barely returning – we so anxiously await next summer when we return to do it all over again at the 7th Annual Northern Nights Music Festival in 2019. See you all on the river (or at Bunker). Peace out, festie fam.

All photography by Kristina Baky @kristinabaky.

Enchanted Forest Gathering 2018

Festivals

Enchanted Forest Gathering took place last weekend at this little campground in Northern California called Black Oak Ranch about 3 hours away from the Bay Area. Enchanted Forest featured three music stages, a spa, fire dancers, a mobile art gallery, a kid’s play area, belly dancers, plenty of vendors, boutique camping (and of course, regular camping), ample drinking water, delicious food options, workshops, and hardly any cell service.

Many people, like those who pay thousands of dollars to attend EDC or Coachella, will see a lineup like Enchanted’s, where they don’t recognize most of names, and look right past it.

Here’s a suggestion: go to the shows, concerts, and festivals where you don’t already know half the lineup, even better – go early, catch the openers, and support the local, independent, and underground talent. This is the best remedy for anyone who has self-proclaimed Music-ADHD, like all of us over at KSJS.

At Enchanted Forest, there were certain things that you’d expect – long lines to check in, somewhat unknowledgeable staff on the first day, wooks everywhere, dust (lots of dust), less than ideal restroom situations, you know – the norm for camping festivals, however, there were certain things about Enchanted that stood out.

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The Grounds: The camping area was goddamn beautiful. There were tall, sultry, droopy trees. We got a good spot next to one. Ample drinking was available throughout the entire festival and camping areas (YAAAS). There was river access – I would call it a creek, but all technicalities aside, it was the perfect amount of chill for my feet after setting up camp. On Saturday – much to everyone’s surprise – it rained all day. It never really got cold, and the rain cleared up before sundown so, overall, I would call it a successful little storm. Each row of campsites had a name making it easy to tell friends how to find you – we stayed between Oak and Maple. Little things like this make all the difference. Overall, nature was good to us and I would go back to Black Oak Ranch anytime.

The People: A wide spectrum of people were in attendance. Everything from families with children to hipster millennials, middle-aged couples to college grads, rave kids, yogis, people with disabilities, and every race imaginable. I never saw a fight. I never saw security ruffle feathers. I never saw anyone unhappy. Not to say that Enchanted Forest didn’t have to deal any issues, however, they were minimal and respectfully handled. The good vibes were strong and people were so kind. Some standard festival guidelines to follow in case you didn’t know:

  1. Help your neighbor
  2. Return all things that are lost
  3. If you get a gift, give a gift

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And lastly, the music: highlights curated by KSJS Music Directors David @demiurg3 from the Smile High Club, live every Thursday 2-5pm on 90.5 FM KSJS, and DEBO @c4lif0rni4gr0wn

 

Butterscotch

Keys N Krates 

Ill-Esha

Dirtwire

The Pirate & Smasheltooth’s Anniversary Sets

DEBO also highly recommends this mixtape from Smasheltooth for your hyphy needs:

Truth

Del & Amp Live

 

05/30/2018 10:00PM to 12:00AM – Brother Ali Interview from California Roots Festival

Playlists

10:05PM 03 Greedo “Fortnite” from “Fortnite”
10:08PM Bas “Pinball II ft. Correy C” from “Pinball II”
10:12PM Pac Div “Gorgeous” from “Gorgeous”
10:16PM DJ Fresh x Jay Worthy x Mitchy Slick “Fantastic Four ft. Iamsu!” from “Fantastic Four ft. Iamsu!” Local
10:20PM Royce Da 5’9 “Dumb ft. Boogie” from “Dumb ft. Boogie”

BROTHER ALI INTERVIEW START

10:28PM Brother Ali “Own Light (What Hearts Are For)” from “All the Beauty in This Whole Life” on Rhymesayers
10:43PM Kendrick Lamar “XXX (feat. U2)” from “DAMN.” (2017) on Top Dawg Entertainment
10:50PM E40 “Sideways ft. B-Legit” from “In a Major Way” Local

END INTERVIEW – click here for audio – subscribe to get updates before anyone else!

10:58PM ALLBLACK “Ball Out ft. GUAPDAD4000 & P-Lo” from “Ball Out ft. GUAPDAD4000 & P-Lo” Local
11:00PM City Shawn “2AM” from “2AM” Local
11:05PM Shuko & Chuuwee “Blessings” from “Blessings”
11:06PM Denzel Curry “Sumo” from “Sumo”
11:10PM Yates “Pull Up On Me ft. Ziggy prod. Traxamillion” from “Pull Up On Me ft. Ziggy” Local
11:14PM EARTHGANG “Red Light (prod. Anonxmous)” from “Red Light (prod. Anonxmous)”
11:17PM DJ Fresh & Zion I “CBDA” from “The Tonite Show with Zion I” Local
11:19PM Del & Amp Live “Gravy Train” from “Gate 13” Local
11:23PM Big Krit “Subenstein (My Sub IV)” from “4eva Is a Mighty Long Time – EP”
11:27PM The Cool Kids “9:15PM (feat. Jeremih)” from “Special Edition Grandmaster Deluxe” on Propelr Music / Cake
11:32PM Skipper “Man on the Moon (feat. Ymtk)” from “Prezidential” on HBK Gang / Skipper / EMPIRE Local
11:36PM Nipsey Hussle “Dedication (feat. Kendrick Lamar)” from “Victory Lap” on Atlantic Records
11:43PM Tre Capital “Witness #HeroSeason (prod. Mathaius Young)” from “Witness #HeroSeason (prod. Mathaius Young)”
11:46PM Matty Slims “Say Nothin (ft. Motive Yaypes & the Barhemian)” from “Say Nothin (ft. Motive Yaypes & the Barhemian)” Local
11:48PM Austin Marc “Back Up Plan (feat. Sophie Meiers & Tyler Coolidge)” from “Back Up Plan (feat. Sophie Meiers & Tyler Coolidge) – Single” on Austin Marc
11:50PM SOBxRBE “Anit Social” from “Anit Social” Local
11:53PM Chris Orrick “Bottom Feeders (feat. Fashawn)” from “Portraits” on Mello Music Group
11:55PM Warm Brew “Same page ft. Niko G4” from “Same Page ft. Niko G4”
11:59PM Flatbush Zombies “Headstones” from “Vacation In Hell” on Glorious Dead Recordings
12:04AM Blimes “Hot Damn (feat. Method Man)” from “Hot Damn (feat. Method Man) – Single” (2013) on Peach House Local