Critical Northwest: An entire week of Art, Music, Culture and Fun!
Critical Northwest is an arts festival in the style of Nevada’s Burning Man festival, but with a decidedly Cascadian flavor. Sponsored by Ignition Northwest, Critical Northwest is much smaller and more intimate than Burning Man with event attendance right around 1000 people. Far from the uncaring desert, participants camp together among the old growth of the pacific northwest, and fill grassy meadows with towering kinetic sculptures and flaming effigies.
Since its humble beginnings in 2003 as a simple weekend getaway, Critical Northwest has bloomed into a full week-long event, complete with large scale interactive theme camps, a central hub with ice sales and free coffee, a fully equipped main performance stage, a DMV, Lamplighters contingent complete with spires, a daily schedule of workshops, one giant potluck, and over $15,000 worth of granted art projects.
1 : to grow together.
2 a : to unite into a whole : fuse b : to unite for a common end : join forces
3 : to arise from the combination of distinct elements.
As a culture we often gather in the spirit of connection, revelry, communion and a bit of escapism. We seek out diminutive pockets of freedom in order to break free from the mundane, the “norm.” We dress up as pirates and pixies, or metal heads and robots and we play. As children do. We let down our guards for a time and get into our playful garb and laugh, party, dance, express and make new connections. New friends who introduce us to endless veins of new ideas and paths. Loves, trials and lives. Often times these moments of surrender to our playful child side induce vastly meaningful influences and directions. New possibilities, inspirations and worlds. We coalesce.
Intrinsically bound to coalescence is fusion. New things grow out of the fusion of two or more differing ideas. Ray Charles in essence took the Devils music (blues) and the Lords music (gospel) and fused them together. Changing the landscape of music and what was believed possible forever. I believe we are at a pivotal point in human history. This idea is more crucial than ever. At a time when we as a species is overwhelmingly polarized it is imperative to set aside those differences and embrace each other in that one thing that makes us all the same. Our diversity.
Attendees are encouraged to participate in radical new ideas. Try a workshop in something you have always wanted to learn or even that you never knew existed. Strive for connections with those you may not have thought to engage. Bring someone along who has never participated in a burn event. Be inclusion. It is up to us to open the doors and not only allow any and all to enter and participate but also to engage and participate ourselves. It’s an energy that is infectious.
Critical Northwest 2014 runs from July 14 – 20 at Lake Associates Recreation Club in scenic Mt. Vernon, WA, a leisurely hour and a half drive north from Seattle.
Tickets are on sale here: http://cnw2014.brownpapertickets.com/
Questions? Contact our production team: http://www.criticalnw.org/#!/contact/
We hope to see you in the woods!