- by Guest Contributor Van Jazmin.
“We are one global family
All colors, All races
One world united.
We dance for peace and the healing of our planet Earth
Peace for all nations.
Peace for our communities.
And peace within ourselves … ”
- Earthdance International Prayer For Peace
The year 2012, doomsday prophecies aside, is destined to be an important time in human history. As we ask ourselves, “What if this was our last year on Earth?”, more people are discovering peaceful solutions, sharing knowledge and seeking new experiences. It is no coincidence that festivals are reaching critical mass this year as the whole world prepares for Earthdance 2012.
Earthdance (established in 1997) is now the single largest, global, synchronized dance event in history. Today there are over 500 locations in 80 countries participating. Every event across the globe recites a Prayer for Peace at the same moment — morning in the Australia rainforest, afternoon in California, dusk in Florida, midnight in London, and sunrise over the Himalayas. That means no matter how far away one may be from major festivals such as Burning Man or Bonnaroo, there is likely to be an Earthdance festival nearby.
This local-global phenomenon has even spread to Southwest Florida, as festival fans from Sarasota to Gainesville gear up for Earthdance Lakeland 2012, an art, music and energy festival taking place Sept. 20 through 23 at Maddox Ranch.
“Earthdance could save the world,” say this year’s Florida Earthdance Ambassadors Matt “Beat Blastah” and Belinda Pettinato. “That one moment when the world is synced together as one — that one vibration through the Earth — could say, ‘We’re here, please give us another chance,’ because Mother Earth is getting tired of all this abuse.” By taking an environmental stance, the festival organizers hope to be a part of the solution. Their goal is to divert at least 60 percent of all the trash from the festival from landfills through composting, upcycling and recycling. “This is a leave-no-trace event,” Belinda says. “We are now exploring ways to minimize our impact on the land and maximize our impact on peoples’ consciousness.”
Based in Sarasota, Fla., Matt and Belinda have been hosting Earthdance annually since 2009. They are known for putting great detail into events to turn a typical party into an unforgettable experience. Together, they are Controlled Chaos Productions, and today they are working with a tight network of producers, DJs, activists and artists — most of whom they consider family.
“Without Controlled Premonitions Family Network, Controlled Chaos would not be able to throw Earthdance,” Matt says. “It’s all about keeping the family together.” In this family, members follow a handbook, share press kits and collaborate on creative projects. What binds them together is not necessarily blood, but a common vision.
When asked why they do what they do, the team describes the events as a labor of love. They work on these festivals all year long, on top of a 40 hour work week — why? — because they have a dream. They believe in the potential to take this on as a full-time passion, creating spectacular experiences for campers at three different spots around the country each year. Their goal is to launch an urban civic center out of each family-owned festival property, so that youth in those areas have access to afterschool programs in dance, visual arts, and music. Until then, they plan to make 2012 the most exciting year yet.
So, how different is this year’s Earthdance Lakeland from 2011? First off, the Main Stage will be enhanced and heavily decorated thanks to Coda Sound,Full Range Audio and Dancing Zombies. There will be two additional stages and one sound camp, including Camp Airstream and the RhinoCube, not to mention mind-blowing visuals by SRQ’s own Third Eye Projections. Among the wellness workshops, live artists, DJs, jam bands, dancers and theme camps, there may never be a dull moment! Expect a full schedule of events from noon until the wee hours of the morning for four days of dancing, learning and creating.
Last but not least, this festival features an all-female line-up of headlining DJs, starring DJ Rap, DJ Shortee, Heavygrinder, Suzy Solar, DJ Bella and Oona Slim. In order to empower women on the stage as well as overseas, Controlled Chaos Productions has also pledged to donate 50 percent of their profits to Ghanaian Mothers Hope to help young women in Africa become leaders in their communities. Specifically, proceeds from this year will go toward equipping a health clinic to give 24-hour care to new mothers and children in Ghana, Africa. In addition, one dollar of each ticket sale goes back to Earthdance International to promote a Culture of Peace across the world.
Although it takes place in Lakeland, Earthdance will be a culmination of local talent. There are dozens of Sarasota artists and groups involved in the festivities this September: Shock to the System, DJ Imminent, Gail Silverman, World Collision, Afco, Itchy, Warp Corp, Cheeta Art, Outward Spiral, Organica Salon and Clothesline Tees to name a few. Camp out and support your local scene awhile contributing to a good cause. Why not get involved this year? After all, you only live once!
Get info and tickets here:
- Volunteer Opportunities: http://form.jotform.us/form/
- Sponsorship Opportunities: http://form.jotform.us/form/
- Vendor/Artist Opportunities: http://form.jotform.us/form/