Far from the bustling west coast festival scene, high in the sacred canyon lands of Northern Arizona, where Hopi and Navajo have long gathered before them….emerges a magical gathering of sparkling light. My dear friend and founder Laura Day Rivero and her thriving community welcome you to Firefly Gathering for an experience well worth the journey.
Firefly is one of the breakthrough transformational festivals that bring awe to this movement.
Coming up in just 2 weeks:
Firefly Gathering – June 12-15, 2015 – Flagstaff, Arizona
Laura – “Firefly was born in 2009 when myself and a small group amazing people who would eventually become Fireflies hosted a truly extraordinary gathering that married art, ceremony, consciousness and intention to create a special and deeply bonding experience. This event was centered around a journey through the forest, where beautiful artistic installations, a hammock area, animal totems, and art were placed along the trail. At the end of the journey was the Heart Tree, an old grandmother tree with a perfect heart-shaped hole in which each attendee placed their intentions written on seeded paper. The next day these intentions were burned and buried in the roots of the Heart Tree….
The experience was so profound and powerful that we realized that this was something that needed to continue. The participants of that first gathering, along with some new and passionate friends, came together to expand on this idea, and decided to name it “Firefly: The Seed”, as it was the seed of a much larger vision.
The Seed has continued to grow and blossom into the extraordinary, multifaceted celebration of consciousness that is Firefly Gathering today, and this year we celebrate our theme of “Emergence”. We truly feel that Firefly is emerging as a living and breathing entity, one that evolves and inspires positive evolution in all who participate and attend.
When I graduated from college, I wrote my thesis on the Evolution of Human Consciousness, specifically focusing on the common elements shared by healthy, sustainable communities through history, versus the symptoms of unhealthy communities around the world. After graduating, I attended my first “transformational festival” followed by Burning Man. I felt that these unique events offered something that stirred the soul and showed how human ingenuity can be used for creativity and positivity. I believed that if we could create a microcosm of a tribal village that embodied each of the common elements shared by healthy and sustainable communities (such as value for artistic expression, shared ceremonial experiences, celebration, healthy eating, tight families of tribal members, sacred spaces, and expression through movement), that this experience would touch the attendee’s soul.
I felt that the human part of us, down to our very DNA, would instantly understand that this type of supportive and creative community simply felt right; that this is the way we are supposed to live. It might awaken the individual to a deeper way of co-existing in this world. This awakening to our true potential as individuals and communities could then be taken back into each attendee’s daily life and influence their everyday decisions ….to come from a place of love.
Firefly is intentionally designed around these elements of healthy societies. We look through all of history for clues and use that information to create our village. This mission has been unbelievably successful, as the feedback from hundreds of attendees is that Firefly changed their life and they are better people because of their experience. This is truly something powerful.
The sacred landscape of Northern Arizona has inspired all of us lucky enough to live here to make this an offering for the Earth, so that we dance lovingly upon her meadows, where we learn and experience more positive ways to be a contributing member of her biosphere.
Each year brings new and unique offerings of music, workshops and speakers, learning opportunities, yoga and movement classes, art and performances. Our lineup includes cutting-edge artists and powerful, earth-shaking performances, the stuff that goose-bumps are made of….
While the music is just one of so many facets of Firefly, we have some truly incredible acts coming from around the world. There are three stages, all of which will offer a wide variety of music from Deya Dova of Australia, to Pato Banton, to Nicodemus from New York, to Doc Martin.
Everything from world-class electronic producers to reggae, to jam bands to conscious hip-hop are represented on our stages. Come and experience music you don’t have access to elsewhere – as each year Firefly introduces new artists to the festival world, including some golden finds from distant shores.
This year, 2015, we introduce the “Mother Tree”. Made from 100% recycled materials, using naturally fallen trees found in the largest Ponderosa Pine forest in the world, which Flagstaff is lovingly nestled within – the Mother Tree is an immersive dance and music experience container. The Mother Tree main stage is one of the most amazing, epic and unique stages to ever exist!
We are constantly looking for ways to push the envelope of creativity through our musical lineup, yoga instructors, workshop presenters, conscious kids activities, performance art and theatre, comedy, ceremony facilitators, indigenous teachings, sustainability learning opportunities, live painters and large-scale art installations. We welcome all sorts of applicants to bring their unique offering to the festival, creating the unique and special phenomenon that is Firefly.
Our live art offering boasts 32 world-renowned painters and a large, interactive art gallery curated by our very own Flagstaff local, Elizabeth Hellstern. The workshops include all sorts of interesting things from quantum physics and the Fibonacci sequence to creative writing to hula hooping, to permaculture, to arts and crafts, and the list goes on. Yoga instructors from around the country are offering some incredible classes with live music.
There will be traditional ceremonial tea ceremonies. Nemcatacoa, a stilt theatre troupe from Columbia will be offering a few of their powerful performances. Guest circus troupes and our own local Aerial troupe will be performing.
The Jive Joint is a hilarious improv comedy group out of Los Angeles that keeps its audience in stitches and teaches improv workshops during the day. Story time and the Danimal House will be performed at DeWomp, an area to relax and be entertained. Hammockville offers an even deeper space for relaxation in the shade.
All your favorite modalities of natural healing arts are offered on a donation-basis. Sound healers create deep and transformative resonance sessions throughout the day near our enormous Temple, which is at the heart of the festival and designed by our sacred spaces master who recently returned from India. There are also roaming performers and lots and lots of surprises we’re keeping under wraps!
Fireflies create their own light – Their bioluminescence is entirely created from within. They do not need outside chemicals or power sources to glow. In the same way, we can find our light from within without drugs to help us shine. Without imposing rules or placing judgment on how each attendee chooses to celebrate, we encourage people to find their source from within, allowing for deeper transformation and to shift the movement away from the drug culture.
At sunset each day, all programming, from workshops to music stops while every attendee – including performers, collaborators and crew meet in the central meadow for a powerful ceremony experience, led by local indigenous tribal elders and Firefly leaders to deepen our connection. We sit at the base of the San Francisco Peak, where Hopi call it the home of the Kachinas, the bringers of rain. Many tribes live here locally and they come to share their ceremony, to bring their cultures and celebrate with us. Friday we draw the circle and set intentions for ourselves, for what we’ll give to others and what we’ll get out of the weekend. Each day the ceremony theme changes.
Six years ago, when the seeds for Firefly were first sown, Nataraj was chosen as the patron deity of this special Gathering, in honor and respect of all that he/she represents. Naṭarāja in Sanskrit and Hindi means “Lord of dance”. The purpose of this dance is to release the souls of all humans from the snare of illusion. We felt that Firefly achieves just that: removes us from the illusion of reality and taps us into what is far more real: Spirit. We come together in dance to celebrate and strengthen our shared consciousness, the earth, spirituality, creativity, inclusivity, and community.
My experience being involved in Firefly has changed how I look at the world. It has made me a better leader, more compassionate manager, a more active member of the community, and it has certainly filled my schedule! I have learned to walk the talk, and consistently come from a place of love, while keeping clearly communicated boundaries. I have learned and honed more skills through this than any other thing I have ever done. It is both the single most difficult and most rewarding experience year after year. I have become a better person, and I have learned what true service really means. I have never been paid to do this. None of us have. It is a true labor of love, a deep gift to the community.
The most rewarding moment of my entire year is when I can stop and look around at the thousands of happy faces dancing and being lit up by our beautiful community’s hard work and dedication and I can exhale and know that we did it, once again, that we are truly changing the world to be a better place.”