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Serenity Gathering Bridges Worlds & Levels Up to New Heights

Serenity Gathering is an evolving conscious festival that continues to grow over the years. Merging many different elements by creating a harmonious environment to intermingle and play, nudging all your senses in all the right ways. This year was their 5th Year Anniversary intentionally celebrated in alignment with the Scorpio Full Moon on the sacred lands of the Woodland Reservoir in Oakdale, CA.

Upon arriving Pierce my photographer and I were greeted with beautiful spacious green hills with a body of water surrounding the premises of the festival. I could see little fishes jumping in the distance creating ripples in the lake. I felt this location was perfectly aligned with the full moon,as Scorpio is ruled by water and is all about transformation and rebirth. Scorpio calls upon the waters reflection as a time for introspection, to peel back the layers that do not serve and get to the core and power of your true essence. Who and what are you here to achieve? Are you willing to stand in your vision, let go of the masks, and reveal your ultimate power and essence as you co create ? Something magical happens when two or more gather in a sacred space. The space was inviting in a way that made it eager to get inside and get a good layout of the campgrounds. We set up camp, got to know our friendly neighbors and headed out for a night of dancing.

Short walk from camp was the Heart of Serenity; this is where they held workshops, sound healing courses, yoga, prayer offerings, music and the option of qualiTEA time with either RonJon or Redwood sprout communiTEA! Both recommended for they were completely different experiences. We sat down with Ron Jon to share a cup of tea with him and mesmerize over his beautiful crystal collection displayed on his tea table.

Tea to me symbolizes presence, as we can often get in our heads and forget the gift that the moment can bring, tea can remind you that the blessing is here now, and its often found in the simple moments. After a few rounds we decided to go deeper into exploration and see what new places we could find… I knew we were in for a treat! I could smell the magic in the air, or maybe it was all the food?!

The venders were in rows in the central grounds of the festival. There was a little taste of everything from vegan friendly, to Peles wood fire pizza, crystals, flow toys, sustainable clothes, booze; to name a few. Anything you forgot or may have needed someone in the vendor area was likely able to provide for you. I personally spent time at the Killa Dilla where the quesadilla was bigger than my face stuffed with some secret sauce that was delicious!

In the distance we could hear the bass rumble making it easy to quicken our step over to the Pisces stage. The stage felt small, but it gave off a very “underground” vibe. I am known to get pretty hyphy and immediately felt at home on the dancefloor..I was excited to see CharlesTheFirst performing as i’ve heard many good things about him. He’s extremely talented and knows how to get the vibes going in the crowd. He’s underrated with his uptempo bassy lush electronic funkiness making you feel welcomed and invited to party whatever way your heart desired. He continued the vibes with the collaborated effort of “Lab Group”, who is a power trio of CharlesTheFirst, Potions and Supertask…. holy moly, I’m still reminiscing their set and am looking forward to seeing them perform again…. like ASAP!!!

After sometime we decided to dance our way to G Jones at the main stage. To the side of the stage they had an art gallery set up where many different artists came to collaborate with the sound, vibes and paint brush, moving to the groove that best ignited them and bridging the vision of sound to life through painting and different mediums of art. It was exciting to see the different textures and flavors each unique artist was playing with.

Between the live painting, Funktion One , lasers, visual art, and G Jones, main stage was on point. Period.
G Jones is from Northern California so I knew he’d bring a special treat to his community and fans. It was no surprise when the crowd started rushing onto the dance floor, despite lots of attendees I was happy to find space all around to really get down and groove…. Easy to feel one with the music when you have Funktion One sound system tickling your insides… I became mesmerized with the way the lights and digital visuals in the background were in sync with the music. He played a lot of unreleased music and it hit a personal soft spot to see him perform as I recall listening to his “G Jones Originals Mix” on Soundcloud back in 2012 everyday in my car. G Jones is definitely one of the nicest musicians i’ve had the pleasure to meet, he’s a super smiley humble guy who some call the master mind of abelton.

Saturday, we woke up to clear skies; the sun was shining, with a cool breeze making it easier to play in. The Heart of Serenity started yoga first thing in the morning to get the tone of the day right! Although yoga seemed like a fantastic thing to do I was fascinating over the different workshop options they had scheduled near the Emerald Tea Lounge….my heart strings were pulled when I saw there was a Mens empowerment group workshop where all men came together to allow one another the space to be “vulnerable” this delighted me as I feel its important men get the space to feel and express too.

We decided to take the Love and relationships course by Michael Zeligs where I immediately felt comfortable to express my tears of releasing held in tension. Now this is different than most festivals I’ve attended, there was a certain sweetness in the air; a breeze of transformation, the wind blew all that appeared stagnant away, and in this class we learned certain tools on communication and evolving relationships to the next level of alchemy by transforming our density into transparency with direct communication and acknowledgement of our personal needs and how to come together more authentically as a team. It was much needed and got us prepared for another magical night.

Saturday night was started right with Trevor Kelly at the Pisces stage; he brought the heat bridging musical worlds with his sonic sounds through a multi genre medium. His high energetic performances and original conscious sounds make it easy to organically move through the dance floor. Happy to see this man in action as he embodies a true performer in so many ways captivating one through conscious presence by piercing the limitations of the mind into the limitless nature of the soul. He is co- founder of ShadowTrix Music; STM is an independent, underground bass and electronic record label and artist collective. Be sure to check them out on Soundcloud, get some merchandise, and see where they will be next!

To keep the fire going the man CONRANK continued the heat, born originally in the UK and known to tear up the dance floor with his melodic yet frantic blend of dub,grime,dnb, and trap keeping you on your toes questioning what will happen next. He had the crowd going completely bonkers and brought back some old school tunes for us to dance to. On May 11, 2018 his latest EP called “Distorted Method” dropped on Circus Records, make sure you check it out and stay up to date with where he will be in the world.

We knew we needed to witness old school OTT in action to continue the epicness. I immediately thought “what a genius” when I heard him, I could hear the complexity through the layers of his sound. This was my first time seeing him so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I had others around me expressing that they wished he had his whole set up to do a live performance with keyboards and synths. Through out his set choice and sounds I could tell he’s a born talent with natural sensitivity to create music in a soulful way that gifts us a pleasant fluid space to expand in all that is. There were plenty of beautiful performers on main stage throughout the weekend never disappointing us with their graceful moves.

Sunday came along quicker then we thought! We had a late start to our day but felt the togetherness of the community stronger than ever as we made our way to the Pumpkin Live Tribute show, honoring life of Pumpkin who Serenity Gathering considered family. The music was groovtacular and the vibes were super light hearted. I saw a few people crying as they danced to his voice and watched the slideshow of pictures on the background of main stage. Our photographer Pierce captured a really special moment at the end where everyone comes together to honor Pumpkins life with a group hug. This was a profound moment that will stick with all who got to be apart such exchange. Rest in Peace, Pumpkin, you live on in our hearts forever!!!




Although the Bounce stage had great production, and the new moon stage was where most brought in the new day, I found myself dancing towards the Pisces stage again to find the pleasant surprise of Mike.Ill & Suds going B2B. They were debuting their new project Date Modified Tomorrow (D.M.T) and had the crowd captivated in such an intimate way I had yet to see the entire weekend. It was such a pleasure watching them create such magic as a DUO, I’m thoroughly looking forward to what their future holds as this is just the beginning…& like I mentioned before, something special happens when two or more come together. As I was talking to the neighbors the next day they mentioned that Date Modified Tomorrow was by far the best set they saw, and it was definitely at the top of the list for myself too.

We closed out Sunday at the main stage with Kayla Scintilla who impressed us with his shamanic tribal downtempo sounds that got us feeling pretty expansive in the heart space. Felt his set was very intentional for being the closing act. His music speaks of the earth, a universal language that resonates beyond time and space with Eve Olution performing through encoding us with her sacred movement, leaving one beyond words while merging the depths of Ancient history with future technology.

The ending ceremony took place on main stage with a High Priestess from Bali named Ida Redo Alit. She chanted in Sanskrit and encoded us with keys of the heart through different mantras while having four goddesses as pillars and representations of the elements. This was extremely powerful and felt like a great way to “end” Sunday. I laid down with others near the stage and let myself receive and integrate deeper. The experiences and lessons I learned in just a few days here was beyond comprehension. I knew my life was forever changed by the togetherness this festival brought.

Beyond the music, art, & venue, Serenity Gathering wouldn’t be possible without the people. The attendees are what created the vibe of Serenity. Everyone seemed to be very loving and open minded to new and exciting things. Often times festivals can seem overwhelming but Serenity Gathering was about rejuvenation of spirit, a letting go of old ways to be rebirthed anew. Peeling away all that does not serve to be truly seen, to come out of our shells, and allowing our souls to run wild, naked and free. To allow our voices be heard and our hearts be felt and met; authentically. All in all, it was a divine weekend and we got exactly what we needed!

Until next time, We hope to see you at Serenity Gatherings 6th year anniversary in 2019! The perfect festival to embrace your inner light and rembember to shine shine shine. Thank you to everyone who made Serenity Gathering possible!!!

Word play by: Kristina Elizabeth
All photo credit goes to the amazing: Jason Pierce

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Kristina Earle

May 26th, 2018

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