Exclusive Interview with Organizer of Rootwire Transformational Arts Festival
July 28-31, 2016, Poston Lake, Athens, OH
One of the most talked about festivals in the mid-west, Rootwire paved the way for the landmark trend that would be the “Transformational Festival.” Since its beginning in 2010, it has gone through some of its own transformations. We talk to the man behind the scenes about what makes the festival so unique.
What was your vision for Rootwire from the beginning?
Our mission has always been to bring people together in an environment that promotes Equality, Healing, Teaching, Learning, Community Building, Self-Love and Universal Love as well as an appreciation for the Arts and Nature. We have also always strived to bring each art form to an equal platform as far as focused production value and promotion. We feel that EVERY art form, whether it be Installation Art, Performance Art, Painting, Crafting.. the list goes on.. is just as important and takes just as much time, energy, passion, and soul dedication to master as making music does.
What makes Rootwire truly unique and what do you attribute for its rise in popularity?
In addition to what I mentioned above, what makes Rootwire truly unique in today’s oversaturated festival scene is our continued focus on the Heart and Soul of Rootwire: The Ceremonial Center. Our Ceremonial Center Director, Julie North, continues to bring a true focus to the Integrity and Professionalism of not only the Workshop Offerings and Presenters themselves, but to the overall production and visual layout of the Center. Incorporating a World Class Healing Tent where we offer FREE bodywork and healing in a multitude of modalities from an array of Masters is basically unheard of in the festival circuit. Anything from Massage, Ortho-Bionomy, Cranio-Sacral Massage, Reflexology, Usui Reiki, Karuna Reiki, Vocal Toning, Solfeggio Tuning Sessions, Rhythm Healing, Didgeridoo, Singing Bowl Sessions, Crystal Healing Sessions and much more will be offered at this year’s event. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
The Rootwire N.E.S.T. has also always been a unique and much loved feature of the event. Beyond its aesthetic beauty and healing vibes, it also serves as a place to relax, reflect, and recharge the soul. In fact, it is so beloved and sacred that at least five weddings, both traditional and non-traditional, have taken place in the N.E.S.T. over the years. It truly is a special feature.
And let’s not forget about our ENORMOUS Visionary Arts Gallery!! This top-notch gallery is made up of 3 40’x40’ High Peak Hex Tents complete with wooden gallery walls and the level of artists housed inside that is second to none! Again, we try and bring the same level of production value to all of the arts and the Visionary Arts Gallery is no exception. It not only serves as a place for artists to display and sell their artworks but also as a place for these artists to give Workshops and Presentations outlining everything from Technique and Interactive Classes to the Spiritual Empowerment of Creation!
Why was there a venue change from Kaeppner’s Woods to Sunshine Daydream in 2014?
Our original location of Logan, Ohio was compromised in 2013 due to a lack of compliance from the property owner regarding county liquor laws. Subsequently, the event was targeted by local law enforcement and we felt the need to protect our patrons from unwarranted profiling by finding a new venue. The local business owners have long appreciated the patronage and friendly faces that Rootwire has brought to their small town, and were upset that we were targeted in such a way. Even though the townspeople and community wanted us back in 2014, law enforcement could not guarantee there would not be a repeat of the targeting that occurred in 2013, so we searched for a new location. Sunshine Daydream, in West Virginia, proved to be an amazingly beautiful site where we held a fantastic event; however, because it was in such a remote location, it presented a whole new set of logistical problems regarding transportation and accessibility that catapulted our costs way above the projected budget. In addition to the logistical issues, miscommunication with the property owner about the required permits to host a gathering of more than 3,000 people, the recent parting of ways with Papadosio, a soggy weather forecast, and an untimely issue with PayPal, it ended up being a perfect storm for financial disaster.
How are you preparing for this new chapter for Rootwire?
Growth and transformation are often catalyzed by difficult transition periods such as the one we experienced after RW2K14. Through this adversity, we learned a lot, took time off to regroup and refocus our energies to become stronger than ever. After clearing our debts and re-imagining our vision that would allow for us to stay at the forefront of what a festival is and can be, we began to search for a new venue that would enable us to manifest our newly conceptualized event format. It was with ecstatic joy that we were able to find such a place to not only fulfill those needs but to bring us home to the Heartlands of Ohio: the beautiful Poston Lake! Located just outside of Athens, and only thirty minutes away from our birthplace of Kaeppner’s Woods, Poston’s landscape and vibes bring us right back to our Roots.
With a stellar team in place, we are more enthusiastic than ever about the experience we are facilitating for our Rootwire family, friends, artists and performers. The newly-expanded Poston Lake provides a gorgeous location featuring two magical lakes, free potable water, more than 50 acres of available wooded camping, and a previously unused HUGE concert field that will be utilized for a World-Class Visionary Arts Gallery, our Ceremonial Center, and our newly-designed Dual Main Stage Spectacle, complete with Live Art and Performance Collaboration Platforms and an Electrified Field of Live Painting Platforms. We truly believe that this year’s offerings and intentional flow will prove to be the best edition of Rootwire to date.
We cordially invite you, your family, and friends to join us in the Co-Creation of this Life-Changing event at our new home of Poston Lake, July 28th-31st, in Athens, Ohio. We are offering this experience at the ridiculously low price of $110.00 ($125 at the gate) for a three and a half day, All-Inclusive Pass. Rootwire could not be more proud of it’s History, Growth, and the Joy that is in store for everyone this July. We hope to see you there!
Tickets are on sale here: http://www.rootwirefest.com/