Global Eclipse Gathering – Festival Review

A couple friends told me about Global Eclipse Gathering as it was in the idea stage. The festival wasn’t even fully announced yet but was a popular idea that was starting to spread. A music and arts gathering that was a week long and consisted of more than ten collaborators from around the world. The festival was located right in the direct path of totality for the solar eclipse. This once in a life time event was every music festival junkies dream. Global Eclipse Gathering was the most magical event I’ve attended thus far.

About Global Eclipse Gathering

The event was held August 17 – 23rd. This international collaboration consisted of many art exhibits, hot air balloon rides, stages upon stages of music, teachings and lectures (almost like TED talks), 30,000 attendees, a giant lake at the center to cool off, and endless amounts of fun. The festival provided a unique experience and allowed you to curate the path you wanted for the festival. Did you want to immerse yourself in art and culture? What if you want to party and dance the night away? Did you want to learn about new ideas and participate in workshops that enlightened your soul? Well, Global Eclipse Gathering had a little something for you then. It’s hardly impossible to summarize everything this amazing event had to offer.

The festival was located at Big Summit Prarie which was right in the middle of Oregon. It was hot during the day and dropped to right above freezing temperatures at night. The terrain proved to be a bit difficult to navigate and the dust was hard to overcome. This time of the year, central Oregon is very dry so we were practically partying in an elevated desert.

The Activities

Interactive “zones” were placed throughout the festival. Attendees could partake in numerous activities that enlightened their soul or provided some trippy entertainment. These zones consisted of edible gardens, to small intricate music stages, art galleries/exhibits, adult playgrounds, and so much more. I list some of my favorite activities I was able to participate in. I have never experienced a festival that offered so much more other than music. You could spend your day listening to workshops on personal wellness, doing yoga and learning more about your spirituality, watching famous artists create master pieces, or dance till you drop. There were a plethora of things to do and a week was barely enough time to do them.

The Art Exhibits

Art exhibits were scattered throughout the festival grounds. These exhibits ranged from burning man like structures, interactive and vibrant displays, and eclectic decorating of certain areas. There was also an art gallery where you could catch some famous live artists, like Alex and Allison Grey, creating masterpieces. Within the gallery were walls of art available for sale and a small merch table with prints, stickers, and more. One of the most popular attractions was an Android Jones projection tent. In this tent, Android Jones created a projection that looped on top of the tent.

The Music

The festival had curated seven magical stages to dance the night away. For the most part, each stage was curated towards a certain genre of music. With a week long festival, I found every sort of artist playing at some point. Each stage had a different vibe to it and it was impossible not to find one that matched yours. As a result, no matter what wavelength you were on that day, a stage was there with you. There was so much music and such little time.

  • Eclipse – this was the main stage where the headliners played
  • Moon – this stage was more of a deeper bass stage
  • Sky – this was the house music stage
  • Earth – was the psy-bass stage
  • Sun – the psytrance stage
  • Silk Road – a small intricate stage dedicated to trippy music
  • Big Top – a circus like tent that held a variety of mostly live bands

Global Eclipse Gathering Review

Sunrise over sun stage

Reviewing this festival proved to be difficult. Global Eclipse Gathering just had so many different aspects to consider that other festivals don’t provide. I broke it down into four categories.

The Production

The production was pretty on point. Each stage sounded amazing and the noise pollution was minimal from stage to stage. I also enjoyed how the festival was split into two main areas. The village with the art zones and workshops, and the music stages on the other side. The layout of the festival was huge and had so much to see. Each art exhibit was unique and provided a different creative outlook. I absolutely loved that they shut down the festival for the eclipse so everyone had a fair chance to see it.

The Crowd

The crowd consisted of attendees that came for a wide variety of reasons. Many people were there to party and dance the nights away while others came for a spiritual journey or enlightenment on new ideas. Whatever a person’s reasoning was to be there, this was one of the happiest crowds I’ve ever seen. Everyone I came into contact with was super friendly and I enjoyed our conversations. Every once in awhile I would see some sloppiness, but nothing compared to many other festivals I’ve attended. My biggest concern was seeing people passed out late at night in the dark by themselves. It dropped to 40-degree temperatures some nights. Overall, the crowd was pretty spectacular and I was impressed.

The bathrooms were sanitary and clean for a festival. I was impressed to find constant toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and a clean stall almost every time. This is very rare for a festival. Also, there was barely any trash ever seen on the ground. They had heaps of volunteers who walked around to clean up trash. Finally, I barely saw any cigarette butts, which is impressive. The smokers were very conscious of where they discarded their cigarette butts

Organization

This was the only complaint I had about the festival. The organization for the festival was the worst I have ever experienced. It took me two days to track down a schedule, program, and eclipse glasses that were promised upon entry. This festival also took people who came first over twelve plus hours to enter the festival. This was absolute madness. Every staff person I spoke to seemed to have a different story and was rather useless at their job. I learned more from random attendees than anyone at the information booths.

The camping situation was a shit show. It was pretty much a free for all to park your car where you can. As long as you had a car camping pass, you could park your vehicle where you wished. Huge RVs and buses were blocking in compact cars. It was complete chaos setting up camp as there was zero organization. This caused people to be camped almost off the property and into the woods. It could take almost 45 minutes from their camp to gate entrance.

Finding water station was a difficult task. Many of the refill stations were hidden (such as behind a medical tent.) One of the most popular complaints was the inaccessibility to drinking water. Luckily, most people brought in more than enough to drink but you had to go back to camp to refill. For many attendees, this could take over an hour to get more drinking water.

Music/Activities Curation

This is where the festival really excelled in my opinion. There were workshops, art exhibits, multiple stages, beach parties, Native American camp, games, chill/sanctuary areas, and so much more. I wish I had more time to catch all the workshops and music I wanted to see. The festival was well decorated with so much detail into every aspect. Each stage had a different theme that was related to their name. For example, the sky stage had a bunch of fans on top of it.

There was workshops/teachings on everything you could think of. Some topics of these were eating natural foods, a fungi class, conscious cultivating, and the future of space. A permanent yoga tent that attendees could go stretch out at any time. A sound immersion experience for when you just needed to tune everything out and rest your mind.

Lastly, they had elemental alchemy classes. These were festival long series that provided immersive teachings hosted by industry professionals. Some of these series included visual arts, yoga, and ritual performances.

Final Thoughts on Global Eclipse Gathering

Overall, this festival was nothing short of amazing. The big turn off was the big lack in the organization, but other parts of the festival made up for it. I was impressed how much I learned about myself from participating in workshops and experiences I never have before. I made a lot of new beautiful friends that I will stay in touch with. This was truly a unique and unforgettable experience. Thanks for having me global eclipse gathering. Hopefully, I will be able to make it to another.

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All photos are from Get Tiny. You can see more work on Facebook.

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