Three days of music, three stages, three camping fields, and three interns.
Mary (the thriving communities intern at MLUI), Branden (the intern at one of our partner organizations SEEDS), and I loaded into a gold minivan, threw our sleeping bags on top of the EzUp Tent and headed up to Bliss, MI. Passing miles of hay fields, cherry orchards, and small towns we turned right, left, then left again and finally found ourselves in Bliss. The aptly name middle-of-no-where town is home to Bliss Fest – a folk music festival. But the remote location didn’t stop the approximately 6-8 thousand people from making the trek for a little weekend of Bliss, “camping,” and awesome music.
We made our way to the Non-Profit section and set up shop; arriving Saturday (rather than Friday) meant we were less than 50 feet away from the main stage, arguably one of the best seats in the “house”. The music was playing, vendors were selling everything from clothing and jewelry to Pot Heads (statues of people with flower pots as heads), and people were dancing. We were ready to talk about MLUI and Bioneers (a national conference about environmental issues and social justice) to anyone who was interested.
And they were!
People signed up for more information, talked to us about work they were doing, were enthusiastic about our work, and interrogated us about energy policy. We were ready to listen and talk to anyone who found themselves under our new tent.
Learning what people in the area were thinking about energy in their state was great! And so was the music. Though talking land use for an entire weekend was fun – so was packing up the booklets and brochures and heading out into the fest.
We camped Saturday night with Mary’s family, explored the Christmas light lit woods, listened to over a dozen bands, and experienced all three stages. When we packed up our stuff late Sunday Mary’s dad drove and the three of us fell asleep, blissful and exhausted from a great Northern MI weekend.