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Tips for New Festival Goers

So either it’s your first time, or it’s been a long time since you’ve come out for a festival. You might be curious what to bring, or what to expect. So we’ll look at what to bring, and some frequently asked questions you might have.

What Should I Bring?

  • Clothing – you’ll want to dress comfortably, but it is May in Memphis. Make sure you can stay cool as well. This is a great place to roll out that new ritual clothing or festival gear, but keep it family-friendly. This isn’t a skyclad festival. Bring underwear, an extra shirt, and something to throw on if you need to run to the bathrooms, which are not attached to your room.

  • Toiletries – toothbrush, toothpaste, shaving kit, menstrual products, soap, shampoo, conditioner, and towel. There are some good showers at the campsite, and larger bathroom stalls if you’d like a little privacy to change.

  • Feast Gear – While we’ll be feeding you five meals, we don’t provide dishes. Many have one set of dishes they use for festivals that are fun, durable, and heat-resistant. If it wouldn’t survive the microwave, it might not be good feast gear. Also, if you choose to bring disposables, we encourage you to use biodegradable. You’ll need a plate, bowl, cup or stein, and utensils.

  • Ritual Supplies – You will probably want your own tools, if you have them. This can range from your ritual blade to your divination tools, a book of Shadows to write inspiration in, or any other tool. This might not be the place to pack up your whole altar, but a travel bag is completely fine. Remember, if you bring herbs, don’t scatter herbs that can change the environment in the woods. We don’t want to hurt any of the animals or plants.

  • Bedding – Your bunk is one of eight to a room, and comes with a twin mattress. You will want to bring something to cover the mattress with, pillows, and any other sleeping things that you may want. You will not be shamed for a stuffed animal.

  • Etcetera – We encourage you to bring what you know you will need – medication for the weekend and a few extra, phone charger, picture ID, camp chair, bug spray, and sunscreen. Let the organizers know beforehand if you need any accommodation for mobility or medication. If you’re on a restrictive diet, let the organizers know you will be bringing some of your own food so they can help you keep it fresh and safe. We're going to have a very neat vendor's row, so remember to budget a little extra if you want!

  • Donations – This festival has a non-profit raffle that you can bring something cool to donate, or just buy tickets and try your luck. The Kitchen Witches have also asked for extra salad fixings, so if you’d like to see something included, feel free to bring some!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Kithaka Dun? I’ve never heard of it.

  • Kithaka Dun is the name of the Spring fire festival for Primali Paganism, the path followed by the First Polestari of Marion. It’s in celebration of Crom and the Snake, and is generally regarded as a warrior’s festival and a celebration of humankind and the burst of life at this time of the year.

 

Do I have to be Primali to go?

  • Absolutely not! This is an all-path celebration, so whether you celebrate Mayday, Beltane, Walpurgisnacht, Kithaka Dun, or just Spring Rites, you’re welcome. We’re going to celebrate some traditions from all over the paths, and there are classes from all walks to learn and exchange knowledge.

 

What are the amenities at the campsite?

  • There is a large main hall with electricity and a kitchen, a stone porch to the side of it, and four large cabins. Each cabin has 4 large rooms with 8 bunks apiece, arranged into bunk beds, with heat and air conditioning, a mattress for each bunk, and a few electrical sockets. At the end of each cabin are the bathrooms, which are unisex, and the triangle rooms, which will be used for some of the events at the festival. There are showers with hot water and toilets there. Toilet paper is provided.

 

So is this a sex thing?

  • Believe it or not, we get this enough to make it a question on the FAQ. The various rites of spring traditionally have a lot to do with procreative energy, it’s true, but this is a family-friendly event. We are having a few after-10pm activities and panels, but this is so adult topics can be discussed, not for adult activities. It’s not a sex thing – it’s a life thing.

 

Can I run my own ritual?

  • Yes, somewhat. If you want to run a public ritual or workshop, you have to submit it so you can get a time slot from the staff. Your own personal practice is up to you - you’re in the woods, among friends. As long as it is still family-friendly to the observer, go ahead.

 

What will the kids do? Mine are too young to appreciate a Rite.

  • We have plans for multiple activities for our younger guests, including a separate track for teens. We are also expecting to have a childcare team on site to help free up the parents of children under 5 so they can enjoy the festival with everyone else.

 

Do I have to participate in anything?

  • Absolutely nothing is compulsory. Any pagan festival is usually about personal choice and acceptance, and you get out of them what you put in. We do recommend that you eat, sleep, and shower at some point in three days, but otherwise, you are free to do as thou wilt.

 

Nobody else follows my path / I don’t belong to any of the groups. Should I attend?

  • You are welcome here. Groups and solitaries, various paths, and eclectics are just how we do things. As long as your path doesn’t lead you to aggression and exclusion against others, it is fine with us. Come learn, and come teach. Come celebrate.