C’mon … Sign up!

Emergent Village sent out this note from my friend Gareth Higgins about a chance for a gaggle of us to flock together in North Carolina, June 23-26 …
Dear Emergent Village friends,
As you may have heard, the Wild Goose Festival is taking place for the first time this June 23-26, at Shakori Hills, near Raleigh-Durham, NC. Our goals seem audacious, just as Emergent Village’s goals seemed audacious just over a decade ago when they were pioneered: We’re gathering at the intersection of justice, spirituality and art with the firm intention of becoming a unique and significant space promoting social change in the US and elsewhere. Our roots in the traditions of social justice, creativity, and Celtic spirituality are perhaps most clearly exemplified by our friends at the Greenbelt Festival in the UK (see http://greenbelt.org.uk). It has had as many as 30 000 people attend, and has become a culture-shaping movement in Europe. We want Wild Goose to do the same in North America. I’m writing to you today to ask you to be part of the founding Wild Goose community by buying your ticket and encouraging your friends to do the same – or volunteering, and encouraging your cohort to do likewise.
Greenbelt has, over the years, seen provocative engagement from speakers, performers and musicians like Rowan Williams, Anita Roddick, U2, Bruce Cockburn, Richard Rohr, and Michael Franti. The Jubilee 2000 campaign to end developing world debt was launched at the festival; Greenbelt has become a UK center for spiritual activism on climate change, poverty, social inclusion, and prejudice. But it wasn’t always like this. Once upon a time, Greenbelt had only a few hundred people show up to a farm in England, in 1974. This original Greenbelt community gave birth to the festival that has become the axis of the year for so many people. A space where tens of thousands of people come to connect with friends and make new ones; to experience kaleidoscopic art; to be intellectually transformed and resourced for activism; and to have a fantastic time.
Wild Goose can become something similar – but not without your help. Just as Greenbelt depended on early adopters to get the festival off the ground, Wild Goose will only take flight if communities like Emergent Village come to the first festival, and show up strong.
I’m privileged to serve as Executive Director of the Wild Goose Festival, and I can say without hesitation that this first year has one of the most diverse, provocative, entertaining, and just flippin’ exciting lineup of speakers, musicians, performers (and food vendors!) I’ve ever seen in the US. Haven’t seen our lineup yet? Stop reading this & go to http://bit.ly/WildGooseLineup right now! We’ll be confirming more musicians, speakers, artists & comedians in just a few days, but this gives you a generous helping of just who will be present.
We’re seeking to build a festival that will collapse hierarchies between performers and the audience – so we’ll all have the chance to interact with each other as equals. This really is your festival to make of what you wish. If you want to debate Jim Wallis about the future of US politics, go to a workshop led by Richard Rohr, have a conversation with Phyllis Tickle about the future of spirituality in America, or listen to civil rights hero Dr Vincent Harding imagine how we can pursue the teachings of his friend Martin Luther King today; if you want to participate in music experiences with the Psalters, Michelle Shocked, Derek Webb and David Wilcox; if you want to interact with Native American liturgy, or interfaith conversations, or engage with our major social justice theme of prison and restorative justice; if you want to be part of conversations about urban violence and foreign policy, movies and spirituality, or sexuality and theology, then you should come to Wild Goose, because we’re offering all of this and more.
Your willingness to come, and to contribute financially by buying a ticket today will make you part of a potential tipping point in the history of justice, faith and creativity in North America. Just as it is for the people who came to the first Greenbelt, being part of the first Wild Goose Festival will carry a significant legacy – a legacy that you’re already a part of by participating in Emergent Village beyond its perceived trendiness or infamy, liability or cool cachet. When the talking heads have died down, that’s when the real conversation and action begin. It is here where we can meet on uncommon ground.
So I’m asking you to become part of the original Wild Goose Festival community: to join the group of people who are and always will be responsible for kicking off this important movement that already has a great history through our sister festival in Europe. It’s a chance to be part of something bigger than yourself, and to genuinely help make it happen. We’re not asking you to join a church, or to make a daily commitment, or to do something that you don’t already want to do. We’re asking you to become part of something that could actually help change our society for the better. And because – like it or not – the US still extends huge influence around the world, maybe Wild Goose will have a reach far beyond the borders of the country where it’s taking place.
Can I count on you to do two things?
1: Please buy your ticket to the festival today at http://wildgoose.eventbrite.com Our ticket price is subsidized to be as low as possible; there are good rates for families, groups, and students; but the price must go up as we near the festival. In fact, if you can purchase your tickets before next Thursday, April 7, at midnight, you can get $10 off each ticket by entering the code ‘Emergent-Village’ at the checkout.
2: Please commit to recruiting 3 other people to attend. We have limited the number of tickets to help nurture a community spirit – so we want you to bring your friends. We expect tickets to sell out, and after this has happened, we cannot add anymore tickets for sale. So don’t wait: buy your tickets today.
This first Wild Goose Festival will be a gathering we all remember – I hope you’ll want to be a part of the original Wild Goose community. We can only do this together; and if we do it, the possibilities are endless.
Please feel free to contact me at any time.
In peace and anticipation, Gareth