Let’s Talk About Community: Oregon Eclipse 2017 [EVENT REVIEW]

Photo: Jacob Avanzato

One of the most infectious aspects of festival culture is the warm feeling of being surrounded by family; Life just feels better when it’s shared with loved ones. Playing, laughing and dancing with friends to some of the best artists in the world, is there anything better?

The community that is centered around music is one that is full of passion and color and a lust for life. Music just brings people together. It’s one of the few things that transcends language, culture, and all other barriers. Taking a group of people with a deep love for music and throwing them on a prairie during an astronomical event made it possible for an international community to come together like never before.

Photo: Eric Allen

Oregon Eclipse brought together people from all over the world to partake in this celestial spectacle, while providing top notch musical talent. It was overwhelming being surrounded by the energy of people who understand the importance of leaving mundane daily routines to be part of something so rare and so beautiful. The natural phenomenon of the solar eclipse allowed 30,000+ people to have a grounding moment in unison. Regardless of race, religion, sex, age or any other differences, we were experiencing something that was bigger than us. It was something we could all share.

Throughout the week, a family was created.

A family that wanted to explore all the best that this incredible event had to offer. Made up of people that made the 12 hour line to get in not only bearable, but fun. The people that giggle their way through a golden sunrise set with you. The people that bring out that child like sense of wonder in you. The people that push you to flourish into your best self, while dancing the day away with no inhibitions.

The 12 powerhouses that put on this event went above and beyond to create a temporary space that truly felt like home. No matter where you turned there was something uniquely beautiful and exciting. There was something for everyone, so many different adventure opportunities presenting themselves, and SO much good music. The 7 main stages always had something for even the most well rounded music aficionado.

Photo: Juliana Bernstein/ Get Tiny

With a gathering that went on for this long, it’s hard to talk about the usual stand out sets, talks, vendors and event logistics. However, I was thoroughly impressed with the efforts of the entire production team. With the influx of people coming to Oregon for the event, it’s a wonder that they were able to supply all the necessary resources all while keeping the grounds sustainable and clean. Everyone from the attendees to the staff put their best efforts in to make sure that the event space was reaching its full potential.

With the vast amount of talent at each stage and activities throughout the week, you had the opportunity to encounter like minded individuals everywhere you went. People from different countries and continents came together to dance and soak up the love emanating off everyone around them. No matter where you came from, what your background was, or who you were in the real world…everyone was fully embracing the experience together.

Photo: Jacob Avanzato

The recurring theme of the event truly was community; it was something that felt tangible on Monday morning. The sun was rising, morning mist creeping it’s way over the lake, and thousands of people making the pilgrimage to the viewing area.

Finally, it’s time. You’re setting up an area with your friends, drinking champagne, sharing stories from the night before…and then all of a sudden it’s cold. The sky starts to get darker around you and you can feel it coming. You see the shadow of the moon slowly begin to cover the sun as you wait in anticipation. And then, it goes dark. For a moment, everything is quiet. The sun has been replaced by a glowing black hole in the sky surrounded by dazzling stars. You don’t know what you’re feeling. Suddenly something you’ve always known to be true, the sun shining in the sky, is gone. Soaking in the ethereal moment and taking a second to realize how small and insignificant we are in the grand scheme of things. And almost too soon, the sun starts to peek out. The crowd around you erupts into tears and cheers, welcoming the sun back into the sky. ‘Here Comes the Sun’ by The Beatles starts to play and you can’t help but cry. You have to stop and look around you as you try to let it sink in. Everyone there felt something together as one…it was pure magic.

Photo: Jacob Avanzato

There is no way to express the amount of gratitude I have to everyone who made this amazing event possible. Through the hard work and dedication of the team and willingness of attendees, Oregon Eclipse was one of the most special events I’ve ever attended. It’s something that I will carry with me forever, and I attribute so much of the success to all of you! The wonderful and beautiful people that turn the dance floor into a sanctuary. That turn a far away dusty place into a home. My people, my community, my family… Thank you.