Written by Bonnie Branciaroli
As a lover of the outdoors, music, and grassroots operations, Adam “Leaf” Geschwinder is happiest when spreading his wings at a small festival. The first event to “open his eyes” to the jam music scene was a small, free-spirited festival called Highland Jam that he had just happened to find a flyer for in a campground bathroom. That weekend he discovered a “thriving, vibrant community” full energy and liberation that set him free. The feeling of belonging and being involved in something “bigger and more important” than he is as an individual keeps him craving jam music and festivals.
One of his favorite things to do is drive in the mountains of West Virginia writing poetry and lyrics, but when his soul is truly happy is when he is dancing to live music. He has been attending around eight festivals a year but the number increases all the time. The love for the music scene and the people within it runs deep, and it saddens him to see commercialism crushing the core ideals of “magic and generosity.” His take on the current situation of commercialism within our scene is, “We give things away for free, or we barter because money sucks; we turn the other cheek, we preach love and live our lives accordingly; we create art for the betterment of all mankind, often for little or no reward; we are stewards of the earth. From my perspective, it seems most of us behave this way IN SPITE OF the world around us, as if we were beacons of light showing others the way–and in so many ways a gigantic mega festival is the antithesis of this spirit of giving, caring, and sharing.”
His big heart radiates energy to all those around him, and he loves picking a washtub bass and making people laugh. Random arts and crafts projects have been known to pop up while he’s around, as well as the passing of a mason jar. At Old School Weenie Roast he borrowed his friend’s toy laser pistol and shot “Pew! Pew!” noises at people’s nipples all weekend until he was rolling around on the dance floor doing “matrix style sharpshooter tricks. It was a gas and a half.”
Leaf always tries to put good energy into the world because he truly believes it comes back. Though he doesn’t believe in things like destiny or fate, he rejoices in the “happy accident of random chance” in every moment. While he recognizes the struggle between a reality of jobs, bosses, bills, and money, he takes it as a responsibility to remain positive and keep the faith. “The lofty ideals we espouse and the stubborn manner in which we resist our corporate driven, shallow, commercial/consumerist culture are not just silly youthful fazes and idealism–they are Truth, and Wisdom, and Love, and carry the seeds that could end up saving us all.” His advice to anyone just now entering this music scene is to not be shy, talk to each other, and believe in wisdom and friendship. “The person who is most responsible for the walls that limit your world is yourself, and the best tools for hammering them down are a smile and a handshake. Oh yeah, and waterproof shoes.”