Olly Issa’s first experience with Lucidity Festival
I fell into a lucid dream, and as I left everything I knew behind, I found what I had always been looking for. I found myself. But it was a me I never knew. The stale version of myself I left behind was hardly in tune with his surroundings. Everything I saw there was nothing shy of a life lesson, and all this in the most nonchalant fashion.
Lucidity is an annual early April festival at Live Oak Campground near Santa Barbara, California that can most easily be summed up by tracing every item that existed within the boundlessness of this beautiful dream, to the place it would ultimately end up, the waste bin. One simple glance at this seemingly benign series of objects makes the essence of the festival known. The colossal size of the compost bin, as it daunts over the minuscule land fill bucket, is nothing shy of an homage to the values of the very people that Lucidity is founded on. This was my first Lucidity, and I must say I learned a lot.
Aside from learning that zero waste (or damn near close to it!) is the most easily obtainable thing a society could ever obtain, I learned a lot about human interaction. The cool thing about Lucidity is that its size makes it quite easy to interact with someone on a frequent basis. There’s a good chance that the people you danced with at The Nook will be flying next to you at acro yoga the next day. You don’t just meet people and exchange words, you really get a chance to hear their story and share with them yours. Another simple idea Lucidity capitalizes on is the idea that nothing brings people together like giving things away. I would wake up every morning and my girlfriend Colleen and I would cook bacon wrapped dates for our neighbors Alexa and Bryan. In return they would make us macha tea with homemade lavender infused honey, and Alexa even gave us homemade, flavored chapstick! How freakin sick is that? There’s truly an overwhelming sense of community present at this festival!
I think it’s very import to define exactly what this festival is celebrating, because after all a festival is merely a celebration. Human interaction is innately present if that wasn’t made clear by the previous anecdote, but another defining factor of this festival is sharing knowledge. I mentioned earlier that I learned about composting by passively observing other festival goers. But as much as knowledge can be passively obtained simply by gazing upon the rich environment, Lucidity takes an active approach at positively influencing its attendees through its cornerstone, Lucid University.
Lucid University is not only an interactive classroom during the more popular weekend festival, it also features an entire week dedicated solely to education. This transformative week features workshops that cover a variety of topics from mental and physical well being, to food and permaculture. They take due diligence in ensuring that everyone leaves the festival in a more conscious state of mind than when they arrived. And it’s contagious! I find myself picking trash up off the ground on my way to class in the morning at Cal Poly, and that habit was directly absorbed from seeing groups of people up at 7am picking up scraps so minute you would hardly even call them scraps. But it really made a lasting mark on me!
Of course it is worth mentioning that Lucidity has all the typical festival hodge podge. Art, music, lights, food, beer. But it’s so much more than a festival, I’m still trying to encapsulate it in one simple word, I just don’t really know if I’ve found that word yet. But there is one thing I do know for sure. That weekend impacted my life in a beautifully positive way, and I realized that this utopian environment I thought was only found in a lucid dream, may in fact be the most tangible dream I have ever had.