It was an unbelievably rainy Solstice Gathering this year in Singhampton, Ontario. Tornado warnings, thunderstorms, lightning, and rain and rain and rain. It was the type of festival you wouldn't be able to survive without a good pair of rubber boots and a committed spirit.
Most years at this festival are warm and sunny. The most active pastime of the event is laying in a field or by the pond sunning yourself. But this year deemed to be quite different.
I think most people who arrived into the space were quite unprepared for the weather. It was well outside what a normal, even seasoned camper would be used to experiencing. It was mucky and a very common story to wake up floating in the lake that had sprung up in your tent during the nighttime rainstorms.
The gracious farmer who brought his tractor to the land to help pull out stuck vehicles told me that by Friday night, he had already pulled out 77 vehicles. It was that kind of festival.
A lot of people who arrived ended up not staying through the whole week. But the people who stuck it out did their best to keep their spirits high and engage with the community. By the weekend we were rewarded for our commitment with almost a full 24 hours of no rain. The stages were able to hit full swing and everyone was able to come out of their tents and dance away the wet clothes and stresses of the week.
Because of the rain it made for a very different kind of festival. People needed to hibernate a lot more because it wasn't quite warm enough to be soaking wet all the time.
The dome was pretty ideal in these circumstances, and our team was blessed with a cozy and dry place to congregate during the rain storms.
Many a cozy colourful thing was brought into the dome. Boots were left at the door. Lots of cuddling to ward off the wet and cold.
It was just a bunch of friends and often strangers (soon to become new friends), enjoying each others company, hid away from some of the outdoor elements.
Festivals like this are often challenging. But it really helps to have at least one place you can go which gives you some rest for a while.