Wild Goose's Commitment to Inclusion Has Led to Rapidly Growing Crowds and Demand for a Second Festival Site, Wild Goose West, Outside Portland This Labor Day Weekend

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Wild Goose, a grassroots festival at the intersection of justice, spirituality, music and art, has found a winning formula: welcome everyone. As their commitment to diversity continues, so has their growth and expansion.

Wild Goose Festival Shakori Hills, North Carolina

Wild Goose East Attenders Gather at Main Stage for Opening Ceremony - Img by Colin Wishart

We are committed to becoming more conscious of questions of diversity, privilege, power, and marginalization, and to working inclusively as we continue to shape an intersection between spirituality, justice, music and art.

By some accounts, it might seem the Wild Goose Festival—which just hosted its 2nd North Carolina event—has found its niche. Its goal to “meet respectfully across lines of difference, to share wisdom and listen to each other’s stories” seemed to immediately connect with the public, drawing 1,700 attenders to its debut event outside of Chapel Hill in 2011.

After a successful start, the festival which describes itself “at the intersection of justice, spirituality, music and art” could’ve probably fallen back on its lineup of speakers and musical artists to continue to draw attenders.

But Wild Goose hopes to be more than just a music festival.

In May of 2012, Wild Goose released an “Invitation Statement,” a set of affirmations which declared their ongoing intention to nurture a space that values, respects and fully affirms people of any ethnicity, age, gender, gender expression, sexual identity, education, bodily condition, religious affiliation or economic background.

One month later, attendance at the 2nd annual festival outside of Chapel Hill, North Carolina grew by another 500 people.

Now Wild Goose is taking their vision to the west coast, debuting an Oregon-Based event at Benton County Fairgrounds in Corvallis over Labor Day Weekend. And this time, Wild Goose is trying to further deepen their commitment to serve a diverse, regional audience.

While the feel of Wild Goose has always been shaped by a large team of volunteers, the festival has taken an even more intentional step to involve a diverse group of people in programming Wild Goose West. The upcoming Labor Day Weekend festival has been curated through a cooperative effort between Wild Goose staff and a regionally-based Steering Committee that intentionally brought people from a wide range of backgrounds and identities to the planning table, including inviting them into conversation about the nature of the table itself.

“We are committed to becoming more conscious of questions of diversity, privilege, power, and marginalization, and to working inclusively as we continue to shape an intersection between spirituality, justice, music and art.” Director Gareth Higgins explained.

Several hundred people had registered for Wild Goose West as of mid-July, leading event promoters to believe their upcoming Labor Day Weekend event will be embraced by the Pacific Northwest as well.

ABOUT WILD GOOSE

Wild Goose is an outdoor festival inspired by the U.K.’s Greenbelt festival, a Woodstock-style event run annually for over three decades. Greenbelt, both rooted in and critiquing the Christian tradition, has become a vibrant creative space, a welcoming community experience and an influential voice for justice.

Wild Goose West will include a wide range of presenters and performers including, but not limited to musical artists Gungor, Linda Hornbuckle, Menomena, Obo Daddy, Dervish D’Light, Speaker Minds, Beyond a Doubt And Josh Garrels and speakers Father Richard Rohr, Dr. Richard Twiss, Bishop Yvette Flunder, Bruce Reyes-Chow, Alexia Salvatierra and Rachel Held Evans. For more of the lineup, click here.

More information and additional lineup announcements will be available at wildgoosefestival.org. Tickets are available for purchase at http://wildgoosewest.eventbrite.com. For further information, to set up an interview or to obtain a press pass, please contact author Sarah Cunningham at sarah(at)wildgoosefestival(dot)org.

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Sarah Cunningham
sarah@wildgoosefestival.org
517-879-6718
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