Mystic Hot Springs: The Other White Festival


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Summer is almost here, and with it comes the festival season. All around the country, hundreds of thousands of music lovers will congregate in small plots of land equipped to accommodate the sanitation of a fraction of their number. They’ll spend three to four days strung out on a cocktail of chemical enhancements, reveling in the sacred gift of human expression through corresponding frequencies while trudging through puddles of what is more than likely their own excess bodily fluids. They’ll forgo everyday amenities like air conditioning, showers and flushable toilets in hopes that their sacrifice will grant them that elusive moment of shared transcendence that so many expect when they pack themselves against the front of the stage like sardines in a can. A few will find that moment. Most will find overpriced carnie food, sun poisoning, and a nasty bout with the clap. All of that being said, I can’t wait for festival season. Call it a streak of masochism if you like; I like to call it a spirit of adventure. You know, because when I think adventure, I think of having to use an overflowing port-o-pottie while wearing flip-flops. It’s practically The Fellowship of the Ring.

So, what are your summer festival plans?

Maybe you went to Coachella. Or maybe you’re old like me and the only band in the lineup you recognize is AC/DC and maybe, like me, you find the idea of an eighty year old man in a boy’s school uniform to be more creepy than nostalgic.

Maybe you’re going to Bonnaroo. Or maybe you’ve already been and you just don’t think that the stellar lineup they boast every year is worth the treacherous jaunt through the loopholes of the Bible belt. I mean, this thing takes place in Tennessee. The best thing about Tennessee is Nashville and Nashville is the home of that CMT-pop-with-a-cowboy-hat shit they try to pass off as country music. And Christian Rock.

Maybe Burning Man is more your speed. Or maybe you just can’t see yourself trying to pay for beer with seashells and happy thoughts under a ramshackle canopy made out of salvage motorcycle parts and used condoms.

Truthfully, all of these festivals are fabulous experiences in their own right, boasting lineups that would enliven the hearts of the most jaded of self-described music snobs. But as the late Lester Bangs so eloquently stated, “the only reason to build up an idol is to tear it down again,” and I’m taking license to extend that to inanimate entities such as outdoor concert events. I don’t want to be cliché and tell you about the festivals you’ve heard all about or maybe even attended for years. I want to direct you to an event that maybe you haven’t heard of, but maybe should have.

You might want to turn your attention to Monroe, Utah, for the Mystic Hot Springs Music Festival. I’ll give you that the bands in the lineup aren’t as easily recognizable as say, AC/DC (Coachella) or Billy Joel (Bonnaroo), but the serene surrounding and laid back atmosphere might just make up for it. Besides, the festival still boasts a list of performers desirable to any true hippie worth his or her salt crystal. Nahko and Medicine for the People, ALO, The Mother Hips, Hot Buttered Rum and Taarka will all be there rocking the worlds of the hemp-clad crowd, plus tons more. Here’s how the website describes the event:

4 nights of superb music to boogie down to, 4 days of festival fun and activities focused on sustainability, art, and movement, a local hometown parade, on-site camping under the stars, soothing hot springs soaking, a spectacular fireworks show, and that good ol’ hippie hospitality.

So, slip on those Birks, pack some Dr. Bronner’s, give your VW Bus a jump and get your ass up to Monroe, UT for a raucous good time of music, art, the exchange of ideas, and hopefully, an ample supply of that free love everyone talked about during the sixties. I hear it’s going to be a fantastic time.

Or, you could always go to one of the other ones. They’re all pretty stellar.

But don’t get all your info on the festival from me. Take it from these dudes:

Or click on the hippie chick and her boyfriend for more information:

You’re welcome.

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