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Liberate Music Festival | Saturday's Explosive Energy | September 2011

Photograph by Mark Smith

For the 4th annual Liberate Music Festival in Sheldon, VT organizers Jane Jareck, Ben Lanza, and Sage Plakosh had nothing but positive things to say. “Thanks for the best Liberate ever,” Sage told a small crowd before hopping on stage and facing the audience gathered for the evening performances. “Are you Liberate?” He asks, gleefully, doing a call and response with the festival-goers.

Liberate Music & Yoga Festival

But that was later on. In the morning on Saturday, the third official day of the festival, which ran from Thursday, August 18th to Sunday, August 21st- the day started with sunshine. The weather report called for rain, but by 10am blue skies beckoned dirty, sweaty people from the campground, separated from the main stage by a thicket of trees and covering a hill that looked out over the Vermont mountains. They congregated for yoga dance.

Liberate is a festival of music and healing arts, specifically yoga. Directly to the left of the main stage is the yoga tent, with a short stage at one end where, at this time in the morning, a DJ spins slow electronica and some early risers dance entranced. Lost in their own spiritual cleansing, the crowd is unaware of some of the onlookers that stand in the rising heat, bedecked in sunglasses, hats, and many walk around barefoot.

Some people took refuge from the sun beneath the geo dome, erected by Burlington nonprofit The Root Center. The geo dome is a movable installation that represents The Root Center’s eventual larger geo dome for growing food year-round for the Food Shelter. The Root Center was present, selling sky lanterns that were set ablaze and sent off into the night at 10pm. The geo dome slowly transitioned into a spiritual healing structure, with gong sound therapy, reiki, and massage happening throughout the day.


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