"A lot of people go to music festivals just to party," theorizes Kevin Lamb. "I go to music festivals because that's where some of the oldest and best healers are." Nicknamed 6'7 Kevin, the seemingly gigantic Detroit native's head barely squeezes into the computer monitor as we chat over Skype. His long flowing blonde hair and infectious smile are just as memorable as the peculiar "This is a Good Sign" tattoo that sits confidently on his left shoulder.
Lamb and his partner Eric Dennis are the men behind the simplistic, but nonetheless meaningful, This is a Good Sign campaign. Their bright yellow signs are carried to promote feelings of positivity, togetherness, and sustainability. "Eric created the Good Sign before I ever knew about it or even met him," Lamb shares. "He wanted something that could combat the fear of division in the world. He wanted to stand on a street corner and announce to the world that's he an open-minded person. He wanted to welcome people to come up and talk to him."
Resting atop a towering pole, Lamb's inviting sign has been his plus-one at a plentitude of North American music festivals, including Electric Forest, Movement, and SXSW. "The Good Sign is a satellite to showcase who I am while helping others," adds Lamb, who first met Dennis while delivering goods to the homeless one Friday in Detroit. "Someone going out of their way to carry The Good Sign could be the catalyst for changing another person's life."
Although some have critiqued the ambitious project for being too abstract of an idea, Dennis and Lamb's altruistic endeavour is inarguably progressing. Huffington Post recently labelled them a top agent of global change, and over 300, 000 signs wave proudly across six continents. On the list of of proud sign-holders are members of of Edward Sharpe, the Magnetic Zeroes, and Mumford and Sons.
"An awesome moment was when Marcus Mumford gave me a shout out in front of thousand of people at a stop on their Gentleman of the Road tour," Lamb mentions, attempting to mask his obvious delight. "But, what I'm most proud about is that so many places now know what The Good Sign is."
In the future, Lamb hopes to use innovation to spread his do-good messages. "Not everybody wants to keep on reading about people dying in the world," Lamb explains. "We eventually see The Good Sign as being an online search filter on Yahoo or Google News. The bigger we get, the more avenues you're going to see us in. We'd eventually like to have a board where some of the largest corporations will apply to license and brand themselves with The Good Sign. It says to customers, 'we care about people, ethics, and sustainability.'"
In the meantime, Lamb and Dennis take pride in their influence on local communities. "We just sent three of our brand ambassadors on a bike ride from Detroit to Austin Texas," mentions a grinning Lamb. "They rode 1600 miles for three local boys with heart disease."
Lamb's humanitarian invasion of the festival circuit proves that large-scale music events are more than a mere opportunity for an afternoon acid trip. They can be a platform for catalyzing authentic societal change.
"People always ask, 'what is the meaning of life?'" Lamb reflects. "But those guys are asking the wrong questions. It's who is the meaning of life and the answer is each other."
Kevin is on Twitter.