I don’t even know how to begin this post about this past weekend at Desert Hearts Festival in SD county. Usually I am raving about all the art and how much I danced. I usually am so happy and fulfilled after spending time connecting with my festie family and how I was able to help the community. I usually have a ton of cute pictures of my daughter Andi amongst the art and connecting with others. Not this time. Desert Hearts is a 21 and over event that wasn’t welcoming of my little one. We came home early.
Let me begin this post again a little more positively. I have a core group of friends that are magic makers, beautiful souls, compassionate beings who have found their place in the festival community, like myself, and commune at these events. Most of my friends are part the medical team because of my connection. I literally saw the schedule and jumped for joy as I noticed a few particular friends I haven’t seen in a while on the schedule! I loved how when we drove up to our designated camp and Andi was so excited to see everyone she hung on the window to keep talking as we parked. We were so welcomed and happy to be ready for a great weekend of dancing, art and friends. For my first shift I burned sacred sage for everyone and had healing gemstones available to anyone who felt called to one. I was enjoying my time on shift creating meaningful connections with people. I even felt great doing acrobatic poses against our own medical stripper pole. We didn’t realize, or maybe it didn’t register in my thought process, that it was a 21+ event. The last year we went we had no problem taking Andi out in the stroller or dancing with her in the ergo carrier. It’s not like we were having her near bars, in front of loud speakers or around activity that was not appropriate. No big deal. This year it was a big deal and we were told numerous times that it was a 21+ event and the babe wasn’t welcome.
Ok I get that people are partying super hard and probably don’t want to see a baby. So we stayed confined to our camp. Medical camp is a party anyway so Andi had fun in camp with another child who was also confined to the space. On the first night of the festival we were feeling the beats come from the only stage. I thought it would be ok to take Andi out in front of the medical tent for a bit for her to walk around in a nearby empty tent with lights. There was soon radio calls to security about a child without ear protection😑. I was annoyed since we were not in directly in front of the stage or on the dance floor where the music was loud enough to wear ear protection. I’m an experienced festie momma and felt that my experience as one wasn’t trusted.
The next morning Jason was being a good daddy and allowing me to settle into my medical shift while hanging out with Andi. He was bouncing with her in the ergo carrier to the beat of the music outside of medical tent. Two security guards tapped Jason on the shoulder and reminded him it was 21+ event. The security guards then came to the medical tent to inform everyone on shift that Andi wasn’t allowed. What a weird way to feel. Every medic in the tent during that confrontation supported us and defended Andi. We are a family of volunteers trying to serve our community but the message was clear that we weren’t welcome. This definitely left a sour taste in my mouth. So I spent most of my shift trying to regulate Andi’s mood because she couldn’t be in her stroller outside of medical camp so I could work. There wasn’t much fun in this, and I couldn’t build new relationships or interact with others. Kind of a lose lose situation.
I was in the back of the truck contemplating if we should push through the weekend and then the universe gave me an answer. A huge tornado ( according to eye witnesses) came racing down the dirt road we were aligned with. Our 10×10 pop up ez-up tent began to lift up, and then tore up from the rebar stakes and flew up into the tree above our truck and up over the top. The huge tent tumbled down the road and mangled up the metal frame to a point of no repair. Jason was trying to check into the medical tent for me and missed the drama. My friends ran down the street to obtain the mangled mess of our little outdoor home. I will quote my dear friend ” a tornado straight up lifted up your home over the rainbow 🌈 to the land of OZ”. Our tent was the only casualty on the block. That was our answer. There is no place like home, and we had to go.
I felt bad not being able to fulfill the rest of my shift, and Jason had to forfeit his shift the next day. As parents I think we both intuitively understood it was for Andi’s well being to leave. We couldn’t enjoy the festival with her. We couldn’t even find a quite place away from medical for her to sleep. If we couldn’t dance with our babe to the music we all love then why were we going to stay? My beloved festie family was ready to offer up any shelter or anything we needed to be comfortable in order to stay and have fun. I appreciated the offers but it was time to go. I said our goodbyes, and “see ya laters”.
This post is not to talk bad about the DH community or event. This was just our experience as parents. The event caters to well off festies who put a lot of money and energy into letting go of all inhibitions completely during the weekend. If there happened to be a picture of a babe, or if people continuously saw her, they might feel as free as they invested to be. Adults don’t want to see a child in a night club, so security made it clear that it was a nightclub setting for 72 hrs over the weekend. Every festie attendee that noticed Andi loved her. Maybe security just wanted to protect her if people were belligerent or out of control. I don’t know. This is the only festival event that we volunteer for that doesn’t allow kids. So no DH for us next year, but it is ok. If I can’t dance and enjoy art with my babe, I won’t sign up to volunteer. I’m looking forward to Lightning in a Bottle, an all ages event. In the meantime, we will manifest a new home away from home, because there’s no place like home.
Audri is a seasoned festie and loves sharing her festival experiences. Audri is also a Sage Goddess Advisor who can guide you to magical tools to help deepen your intuitive practices. If you feel so compelled to help Audri obtain a new outdoor home structure please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. 🙏🏽 Namaste.