I'm spending this weekend at the Wild Goose Festival. It's a new festival ~ this is the first time it's happened ~ and has been billed as a Christian justice, art, and music festival. It was started by some folks who have spent time at the Greenbelt Festival, which has been an annual event in England for over thirty years. I've been to Greenbelt once, a couple years ago, and was excited about the prospect that something similar might happen in this country. Here are some observations from the beginning of the festival.
Obviously it's not fair to either festival to compare them, but I will anyway.
Because it's been happening for so long, and because many of the same people are there every year, Greenbelt has a culture, an ethos, a sense of comfort with itself ~ Greenbelt has a maturity that Wild Goose doesn't have yet. Of course, there's no way we should expect a sense of history or culture from an event that's less than 24 hours old.
I often find myself eavesdropping on conversations happening around me. I'm not sneaky about it ~ I simply sit in a public place and listen to conversations happening around me. One thing I've notices is that when people interact with one another, especially when we encounter each other for the first time, we often approach a conversation as if we have it all figured out (whatever 'it' is). If a goal of this festival is to engage one another in conversation, we necessarily have to listen to one another. I'm going to spend the next couple days looking for people who may be confident in who they are, in where they come from, but who at the same time (in their confidence) are thoroughly interested in listening to and learning about each other.
The other thing I've noticed is that this is what I've seen from the adults. The children just jump right in and almost instantly create normal. They don't come with any pre-conceived notions about how this event should be.
Certainly what the adults are doing is valuable; but I wonder if the adults are simply creating something that the children will grow into what it should be.