The weekend, like most festival weekends in Davis, was hot. The quad at U.C. Davis had become a world unto itself. Multicolored tents had sprung up over night, bringing with them booths, climbing structures, and stages. As we wandered through previously non-existent paths, peering at the sheer multitudes of different goods for sale, we were serenaded by a live bluegrass band and wooed by the delicious smells of the food venders. At last we succumbed to the Portland based Al Forno Ferruzza and had some expensive but amazing veggie pesto pizza.

After disposing of our plates at the dishware-recycling booth, we continued on our way. We passed by the stage nestled near the middle of the quad, its backstage cordoned off by multicultural prayer flags. We watched people try on gauzy fairy wings and across the quad we watched children and adults alike try their hips at hula hooping. As we rounded out our circuit of the outer edge of the festival we were surprised by the presence of another band across the street starting up some lively Reggae renditions of classic rock songs.

Resisting the temptation to accept the invitation written on the Green Tortoise Adventure Bus to climb aboard, we plunged into innards of Whole Earth. Here, we encountered herbalists, environmental pirates, and Jews for Jesus. Then we burst back out into the world, filled with new ideas, new experiences and armed with new plants.

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Photos compliments of Ryan Stewart

Some tips for attending Whole Earth Festival:

  • Always bring a water bottle, the water tents run out of cups, buying water is expensive, and heatstroke sucks.
  • In fact, most things are expensive. But where else will you find them?
  • Bring cash. Most vendors accept credit cards but there are always some that don’t or are having technical difficulties and can’t.
  • Sunscreen. Just do it. If you are anywhere near the light skinned end of the spectrum, you will burn.

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