Posts Tagged ‘soulsational’

We got the soul!

Posted: August 3, 2011 in Events
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        Aside from taking place smack-dab in the middle of a heat wave, it was a spectacular day at Veteran’s Park in Bayville, NJ for the first annual Soulsational Music & Wellness Festival, which according to its website, aims to “increase green, holistic, organic, healthy, and healing awareness in our community, build the local economy and offer to all those involved an experience like no other.” Squelch your inner Cartman a moment and think of it as a Lollapalooza with exclusively local artists and organization(s).

There were three stages for the “music” component: one for headlining musical acts, one for acoustic musical acts, and one for poetry. The latter was organized and emceed by the infamous Chris Rockwell (pictured), whose clothing company, Karma Cartel, had a booth just off to the side. The poetry tent sat atop a hill opposite and slightly askew from the main stage (not to mention sorrowfully far from the “organic beer garden”). Though each stage was located against opposite park borders, the power of the main stage’s sound system and general proximity to the poetry stage meant poets had to either ignore or work with the bleed. But poets are adaptable creatures, and by-and-large the performers either got into the groove at hand (which led to some amazing style melds) or made jokes and danced/shrugged it off. The only arrhythmic instances came during announcements, when the shear amperage of the main stage overcame that of the poetry stage, but since the former was actually promoting the latter, all was well.

Featured performers at the poetry tent included members of Loser Slam, The Idiom poets, and several others (including myself). The three sets, each comprised of mixed company from the above-listed groups, were arranged such that the styles of the individual poets were consistently fresh and complementary throughout the 11am to ~6:30pm schedule (with decent breaks in-between to hydrate, munch, get a massage, etc.). While the first set started out with poets reading to poets, attendees eventually wandered over to the secluded stage throughout the festival and squatted along with us to enjoy words on a sunny summer’s day. By the end, there was a lovely little troupe of engaged listeners applauding eagerly.  Regardless of attendance levels, all the presenting poets gave their utmost to the mic and laid their souls bare.  If you missed this wonderful event, you should check out the poets in their natural habitats at The Annex in Asbury Park, NJ; The Inkwell in Long Branch, NJ; or their respective web homes. To check out pictures of all the presenting poets (except me) at the festival as well as shots of the grounds, click here!