The Sprout Festival inside scoop. What went down on the ground? What does music, dance and nature have to do with the Earth Care Collective?
Arriving at a new setting after dark is always exciting. Jay and Blake pulled into Woodleigh Station on the outskirts of Ravenshoe an hour earlier, Wednesday evening, and were offered a farmstay dormitory, to save setting up camp in the night. We dug out a camp stove, feasted on kangaroo sausages, fresh salads and discussed our game plan for the weekend ahead.
Earth Heroes and Organic Motion as part of the Earth Care Collective converged in the co-creation of a regeneration project, workshop space and heart fire at the 2019 Sprout Festival. From the website, Sprout Festival is a 3 day eco-conscious music, arts and education celebration. At the core is the music, a diverse journey featuring some of Australia’s best producers and live musicians playing alongside emerging talent from the local community. The program weaves together a diverse range of genres.
But Sprout is more than just a music festival.
A primary objective of organisers has been to provide educational platforms for intentional sharing and growing of information, understanding, appreciation and productivity around sustainability and environmental-consciousness. Which is where our Earth Care tribe shines.
Here's the overview of this amazing event that we look forward to being a part of again this year for what has been renamed in collaboration of Sprout & Coalescence to RootBound Festival...
The thing I love most about arriving at night, is waking up in a new world to explore. Stepping out of the dorm, the chill august air was refreshing. Dry golden grasses spread out from the farmstead, spattered with shimmering antique lebbecks. A procession of fanned gobblers swirled across the yard lead by an aloof turkey hen. The kids were already up riding their bikes and chasing puppies.
We took turns percolating coffee before breakfast was called at the farm kitchen. Across the yard, complete with a beach volleyball court, we entered the homestead through a bucolic hardwood gate, which led us through a matured sprawling arbour of bougainvillea, that had sheltered beings for over a hundred years, to embrace the 20 odd crew members congregating there led by the chief commanding officers Kelly and Jacob, for a misty morning breakfast of more piping hot caffeine and antioxidants.
After joyful introductions and thorough safety inductions, we were released to check out the site and set up camp. The festival space sprawled along the banks of the Wild River, protected from the harsh Far North Queensland sun by the shifting shadows of giant Flooded Gums. As coordinators of the workshop space, we were blessed with a prime camp along the river’s edge.
Cows meandered through as we set up our tents, then we got to work on the communal kitchen and chill space. Our tribe arrived sporadically, growing the camp and filling out our tribe space with an abundance of nourishment and beauty.
The ever dynamic and endlessly capable Jay Jackson inspired the team, taking on and slaying the mammoth role of coordinator. Branching out from his wake, lifted, loved and supported by the whole, we ventured in pursuit of our greatest potentials for the event. I was ready to assist, inspire and be inspired. Tonielle, as always, our Hathor, earth mamma, goddess of nurturing and fertility, coordinated the communal feasting and celebration with grace and magnificence.
Elysha, Anita, Chanel, Jack and Igor combined their remarkable forces to round out our living area with delicious, nutritious meals, music, massages, body art and general creativity. Familiarly, Blake flitted about silently, taking care of logistics, hooking our space up with power and light, in and around his breathtaking visual arrangements. Meanwhile our Earth Heroes, Shay and Tom hit the ground rolling, recording all the activity they had helped generate, coming together in full colour from every angle, for a documentary of co-creation at its finest.
By Friday afternoon, the stage was set, marketeers outlined the festival parade around the peaceful workshop dome, decorated meticulously in stretch fabric art by the decor team, Will and Tonielle. The heart fire was ready to ignite when Djansa started the groove off with a funky tribal beat. Giant magical tulips lit up the entrance as the sun went down and the dance floor filled up. Revelers boogied all night, while most of our crew surrendered to sleep, to be fresh for all the adventures the new day would bring.
Saturday morning saw a horde of happy machete wielding, eco crusaders descend on a designated lantana patch. The laughing dancing wave of proactiveness tore out over 1000sqm of monstrous hostile brambles with gloved hands and replaced them with over 300 beautiful Australian native trees and grasses to stabilise and reinvigorate the soil, bringing back native flora and fauna, restoring the natural biodiversity that was once stripped from the area for farmland. All the seedlings were kindly donated by Sprout Festival, and sourced from local nurseries.
The project not only revegetated a barren wasteland but achieved a new level of festival productivity, bringing together landowners, festival organisers and revelers in regenerating the earth, simultaneously raising awareness and generating hope for the future. Change is within our reach and together we can achieve anything.
A melodic stream of enlightening activity flowed through the day and into the night. In the depths of the workshop space, Jay facilitated an exploration of how permaculture principles apply to social connections, how everyone has value and with an appreciation of that we can build symbiotic relationships for mutual benefits. Grow Beyond Your Garden.
Tonielle guided us through Holistic Time Travel, accessing wisdom from our past, present and future to retrieve and inspire us beyond logic. Asking the questions, do you move in time, through time or is time just in your mind? Are you being present in the now, is it the place in space you reside? Inviting all parts of self to step into different timelines to gain holistic perspectives of goal setting manifestation. Following on with Sociocracy for Collaborative Work, a permaculture perspective for harmonious peer to peer governance and dynamic decision making.
Shay and Tom lead eager new recruits through a group workshop aimed at evoking compassion and inspiration for everyday people to step into their Earth Hero being. Looking at stories of ordinary people across the globe who are making extraordinary achievements in saving the planet. With a strong focus on sustainability, innovative technology and activism, we reflected on our own lives, questioning our purpose and potential to align lifestyles with creating abundant futures for all. Learning practical tools to bring out the Hero in everyone we developed new objectives and created new relationships, holding each other accountable for being and navigating our higher states.
Back to back workshops followed suit in a conscious exploration, considering and reconsidering ourselves, the impact we have on each other, our planet and our potential for combined greatness. An evening full of fabulous costumes, laughing, dancing, cocktails, twirling, deep innovative discussions and togetherness flowed into the wee hours of Sunday. A spectacular main stage lineup eventually gave way to intimate acoustic heart fire collaborations and storytelling until the sandman hushed whispers for the song birds morning chorus.
The sound of laughing children led the sweet Sunday crowd through the final day of workshops and funky beats. Monday came around far too quickly and before we knew it we were packing up camp. Everyone pitched in ensuring we left only footprints behind. Piece by piece our dwellings were dismantled and our crew made their heartfelt au revoirs, overflowing with love and appreciation for each other, our magical earth and the universal forces that draw us together to open new door ways to brighter, more sustainable futures.
Till next time, fare thee well.
Gratitudes to Chanel Baran Photography + Shay and Thomas from Earth Heroes for their beautiful photos!