I thought long and hard about this post. I did not know if I was going to post it. But after careful consideration, I decided that it would be therapeutic to me, and that I couldn’t stay quiet.
While all of this was unfolding, my boyfriend chuckled and looked at me, “I’m sorry, but I think you came dangerously close to joining a cult.” I burst into tears. This hurts so badly, this hurts the community that I met, the community that I know exists outside of DAB’s hate.
I’m a three year attendee of Evolvefest, and each of the three years I had absolutely the time of my life. The first year, I camped next to a woman and her mother in law, who ended up teaching me how to hoop – three years later I’m still a piss-poor hooper, but I had an absolute blast. The first year, there was also a blue moon the first night, and while most of the tribe was at an event – I stumbled into a drum circle which lasted for hours. I danced my feet off, even though I had been planning on attending that blue moon ritual I found a perfect spur of the moment ritual and I regretted nothing. That was also the year that during a concert, an Evolver who I had not met, passed away. The outpouring of energy was amazing. I’d simply never felt anything like it. The fact that this was a community that embraced all the energies of life and death and joy and sadness, made me a total Evolvefest convert. There was no where else I would rather be. So, of course I attended the following year. That year I spent one glorious evening in the naked city with the YNA, throwing water balloons at people that wouldn’t join us. I spent the next morning at a naked yoga class, and spent one afternoon dancing barefoot in the rain. My last Evolve was slightly less fun, because I got attacked by one of my migraines, and I had to leave early because I simply wasn’t getting what I wanted to out of the experience. However, I still attended some classes with the brilliant Becca Pati and came home and joined a yoga studio for real, because I was physically inspired to be better. Basically, I loved me some Evolvefest.
My experiences with David Bryson, the man who runs Evolvefest were a little hit or miss. The first year, I remember joking that he looked and dressed like he wanted to be Jesus, all in white, all three days, usually with a tail of people. However, I really enjoyed his workshop that year about numerology and the Bible. A lot of it went way over my head, but it felt right. By the time between the second Evolve I attended and the third, however, I was pretty convinced that DAB was starting to get a little fringe in the “bad” kool-aid sense. When the posts on the Evolvefest page started taking a turn for the conspiracy theory, I got immensely turned off. I distanced myself from the Facebook page, because I just found it offensive that people believed that the tragedy at Sandy Hook had been staged. Instead of sending love to those who lost in the tragedy, we were sending suspicion and making their lives even more painful. I still loved the event and still wanted to go, I just knew that I needed to stay distant from the man himself.
Anyway, at the end of the month of January, through the Evolvefest Facebook, DAB posted this in response to the news that Bruce Jenner may be transitioning to female:
At that point, I was absolutely horrified. That a festival where I was loved and accepted for exactly who and what I am, that a festival who touted no judgement for anyone, could spew such hate. I was taking a few days to think on it, and had decided that I would no longer be attending Evolvefest, because I couldn’t stand the idea that any of my money would go to support a man who was using the platform to spread hate.
This is when I found the Boycott Evolvefest Facebook page. This was when I realized the extent to which the hate had been spread on the ideals of love and acceptance. The community that had attended Evolvefests past would not stand for it. Fellowship Farm, where Evolve has been being held has stated that they will no longer be taking DAB’s business. YNA has spoken out against him, as have numerous festival pages.
DAB has also been deleting comments on the Evolvefest pages from people that speak out in disagreement of his opinions, even though he then posts things about freedom of speech, simply showing his hypocrisy.
It almost physically hurts me that a festival that I gathered so much positive energies from can be run by a man who has so much hatred in his heart. And it hurts harder that he is now using that festival as a platform to spread that fear and hatred.
What follows are just a few screencaps from the Evolvefest Facebook page:
Seriously, how much hate can one man try to pin on a festival of love?
The answer is, a lot.
And just to tie this all together, it appears that DAB is still accepting money for tickets even though they do not have a festival grounds or most of their attendees. He is also deleting any questions of this fact. And then I found what follows on some of the Declines on the Evolvefest 2015 event page. I do not know who Anthony is, or how he is affiliated with Evolve, or DAB, but how horrible, if this is true? Thank the Gods I had not yet purchased my ticket.