Beloved Sacred Arts and Music Festival
In Oregon's Coast Range
In the one month a year when the rains cease, at the unexpected intersection of underground dance floors and spiritual exploration, Beloved brings together the gutsy, the sensual, and the glorious for a weekend of relaxation, celebration, and vibrant community. For Beloved’s organizers, it’s all one: A cutting-edge bass music producer, a cathartic gospel number, a great yoga cla 2000 ss, a wild-spirited group improvisation, a delicious meal can all point the way to the spirit.
This year’s musical offerings include the stirring Garifuna songs of Aurelio Martinez, a critics’ favorite who channels the powerful mix of indigenous, African, and European traditions his shipwrecked former slave ancestors created in Central America. Dancefloor shamans Lulacruza turn organic sounds from their Latin heritage and their worldly training at Berklee into spirit-filled songs and evocative soundscapes.
Along with participatory performances, the Festival’s extensive educational programming offers fans a chance to explore a wide range of approaches to spiritual practice and self-care. Mythic storytelling and healing rituals, yoga sessions and massage workshops—along with jubilant participatory musical performances and all-night dancing—turn the Festival from mere event to true experience. It’s a spa-meets-sounds party in the country’s most gorgeous coastal woods.
Along with prominent artists and engaging teachers, festival goers might catch a champion throatsinger, African hand drummer, and an ecstatic crowd making spontaneous music together offstage. Or they might see Gnawan performer Hassan Hakmoun wrapped in Peruvian wool against the pleasant Oregon chill, or underground DJs entranced by Sufi devotional music.
The single-stage focus leads to deep dialogue between festival fans and musicians, between people from radically divergent backgrounds, between the natural and sonic environment. The festival site, a valley two hours from Portland, is a headliner in and of itself: Though usually rain soaked most of the year, in August the valley near Tidewater, Oregon is remarkably clear. The site demands respect, and the festival strives to minimize its ecological impact, from offering (non-bottled) water at no charge to selecting food and art vendors based on their green commitment.
In the lush wooded setting, people begin to open up, embracing new music and new spiritual ideas. Rasenick hears regularly from overjoyed performers and from festival goers who have found new insights, be they dance music fans who learned to love 1000-year-old sounds or skeptics who found spiritual healing in the ecumenical atmosphere of the festival.
Tickets still available.
Photo courtesy of Kyer Wiltshire