In Michigan, there’s a little world of hippies and camp counselors that all come together one weekend to celebrate folk and roots music. It’s pure bliss.
By now you’ve probably noticed my blog name ‘Flissfest’ and here you’ll learn it’s not some huge orgy named after me.
This was my second year at Blissfest, the first was interesting. I started at the campsite and incredibly ended up at the campsite. In between that was a blur of reggae, communal showers and dancing with no headphones in the silent disco tent. Bliss 2012 was amazing and I knew that Bliss 2013 would be unforgettable. In fact, I woke up having forgotten most of it.
We rode in convoy down long roads of cornfields to Blissfest Festival Farm, turning down dirt track after dirt track until the fields of corn became fields of tents. After you pull up in the line of cars you’re met by the cops and unmistakably branded ‘under 21’ on your hand. Happy Bliss to you too. Then you jump out of the car to pay and be branded once again with a bright blue ‘under 21’ wristband. However, if there’s a wonderful old hippy checking your name in she may not notice the black mark on your hand and instead pass you over the sparkly pink ‘over 21’ wristband. Happy Bliss!
The rest of the night is in your hands.
Personally, I took full advantage of my new age.
So did most of the others as the tribal dance moves came out.
So after all the staged photos are finished with someone will call out that their favourite band (usually some random name they’ve just found in the schedule) is about to play and off you go into the enchanted forest.
The enchanted forest is not the easiest part to navigate; at the beginning of the night it’s hard, 5 hours later- it’s impossible, but you can’t deny that (although this photo does no justice) that a forest of tents, fairy lights, glow sticks and happy, smoking, shining people is pretty magical.
The first point of call this year was the shops. Tie-dye, incense, beads, metal work- anything hippy. I feel slightly shallow calling everything hippy…but that’s basically all it was. The rest of the night follows as such; chasing fireworks, being turned away from trying to get onto someone’s property, a rave tent that may have been the silent disco, being fed a brownie, trying to find related brownie stand, interrogating the brownie sellers, staring at food stalls, taking photos of food stalls, eating no food, a little bump and grind to some music of some sort, a few other bits, a couple of hours spent trying to get out of the enchanted forest and back to our tent. Mission finally accomplished.
When the night is over and you wake up in a tent that’s turned into a sauna by 8am you can wonder back to the festival where you’ll find drumming circles, folk music, overpriced food, yoga classes and maybe a country music mosh pit. It really is a wonderful place.
So along with a brief description of the night’s events combined with blurry photos of a field of tie dye you’ll understand the Bliss buzz, I’ll be fighting for that day off again next year and maybe I’ll find the brownies I’d been searching for.