Imagine waking up to the sounds of crickets in a naturally lit cabin, fresh air from the breeze outside coming into your rickety windows, immediate access to cold brew, crystal healing centers, outdoor seating for experimental film, music, and the freedom to walk fully nude without judgement; well, that’s exactly what you’ll get at Fields Festival. Located in Darlington, Maryland, the 200-acre Camp Ramblewood first became home to the immersive arts festival back in 2014. “We were inspired in 2014, and again this year, by the depth and diversity of activities occurring within the Baltimore DIY scene,” says Fields Festival co-founder, Stewart Mostofsky, to The Creators Project. Mostofsky and Amanda Schmidt are the founders and directors behind the wonderful annual occurrence, picking from the best artists that have been involved in the DIY Baltimore scene. This year, they included the likes of Princess Nokia, Dan Deacon, The Sun Ra Arkestra, and many more.
“Getting back to basics. Grounding with the earth. Getting in your body. Hitting a reset button. A great camping trip has the potential to do that," says Schmidt. "But then, you combine that with full immersion in a truly strange and awesome lineup of music, installations, performance art, theater, film, comedy, poetry, dance, recreation/workshops and healing arts from Baltimore’s DIY scene, and I think the potential is there for an experience that is actually transformative and even life-changing.”
Beyond the abundant lineup, festivalgoers were also invited to engage in the experience with morning dance workshops, yoga, meditation, and a variety of tarot and healing activities situated throughout the campgrounds. Surrounding the main paths, guests were invited to purchase from local food trucks and stands offering organic meals, coffee, and snacks, and for those exhausted from the heat, access to a swimming pool where performances also took place.
Meredith Moore & Margaret Rorison, Baltimore-based artists, curators, and members of the Maryland Film Festival Screening Committee, organized two wonderful nights of experimental cinema on a 20' screen built by local artist Rick Gerriets, a carpenter from Baltimore’s Annex Theatre. “It was a magical experience to watch two programs of short films under the stars with crickets chirping around you,” say Moore and Rorison.
Hosted by Wham City Comedy, a comedy night featured comedians of all types, experimental, alternative, and classic, bringing their all to a crowd full of sweaty, happy people intent on enjoying themselves. Saturday night featured Violet Gray, a local Baltimore comedian, who brought jokes that mix her experience as a trans woman with her undying love for video games, renaissance festivals, and LARP-ing.
When one eventually tired from the activities, there was still more to do and see. Artworks lined the woods surrounding the campgrounds, and from secret installations to painted totem poles, every inch of the festival was covered. A true celebration in the simplest sense, Fields Festival provides a safe environment to be yourself and be fully immersed in creativity, giving hope for community, healing, and just good times for all.
Click here to learn more about Fields Festival.
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