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Vortex 2: Festival of Life, Peace for Prosperity (and Rock Music!)Bonnie King Salem-News.com
Vortex 2 is POSTPONED. A NEW DATE IS FORTHCOMING.
(SALEM, Ore.) - THIS FESTIVAL INFORMATION HAS CHANGED. THE FESTIVAL DID NOT OBTAIN THE REQUIRED PERMIT(S) AND IS NOT SANCTIONED BY THE STATE OF OREGON PARKS & REC DEPT, MANDATORY IN SECURING THE LOCATION.
There’s something going on… and you may just want to be a part of it. In Oregon, the land of grassroots organizations and hippies old and new, a festival is being organized to rock the world in more ways than one. An idealistic endeavor perhaps, but it has been done before. Once. Your parents may remember, they may have even attended... mine did.
Forty years ago, Oregon was the first (and only) state to boast a “state sanctioned pot party”, called Vortex 1. At the time, in August of 1970, the underlying motive by the supportive state government was to distract young people who had been protesting the Vietnam War so they would not interfere with the American Legion's national conference in downtown Portland.
Those five days at McIver Park attracted up to 100,000 outgoing, free-thinking, music loving, sometimes naked people, and Portland, 30 miles away, encountered no disturbances whatsoever.
Fast forward to today. A group of enthusiastic, determined, peace-loving activists have taken it upon themselves to commemorate Vortex 1's fortieth anniversary by reproducing it—with a few twists.
Should it come to fruition, Vortex 2 will celebrate art, music and diversity with a side benefit of gathering signatures on petitions including the re-legalization of marijuana and other current issues.
Organizers are endeavoring to locate the festival in the same exact place as the first Vortex; festival-goers hope to enjoy their days along the scenic Clackamas River, at McIver State Park.
Vortex 2 will be a great venue for performers. Organizers have secured access to Fleetwood Mac’s old road gear, the stage, PA system, and lights, which is sufficient for up to 30,000.
Warner Bros Records is said to be considering sending a large act, though nothing is confirmed at this time. Some of the bands mentioned are Tom Petty, Neil Young, Green Day and White Stripes but again, no promises have been made.
Bands are all welcome to play, and organizations to present their ideas. Musical guests already on the list intending to play include dozens of individuals and bands from the Northwest and beyond.
The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same
40 years ago, organizers had a limited period of time in which to create Vortex 1. This year, there has been considerably less time for planning. However, today’s technology is helping make up the difference.
Like the first Vortex festival, Vortex 2 is a totally all-volunteer effort with organizers looking to the community for help in what will no doubt be a historic event. Already on board is a professional group that manages security, parking, and operations for many other festivals.
Vortex 2 is expect to be a lesson in sustainability and biodegradable living like the first one, whereas festival-goers will need to understand what that means--bring some supplies!
Organizers have a mission, they call it: “Manifesting Magical Realism”. It starts with attracting a lot of people with like-minded goals and ideals committed to being together, where they will entertain and sustain themselves through individual talent and communally shared resources. They plan to create solutions on a large scale through open dialog that will be useful in evolving the human species in a positive manner, making the most of life itself, promoting thoughtful realizations about what you would like to do while you are alive, what it would take, and the encouragement to do it. All this, while enjoying “the most ridiculous Rock Festival known to mankind”.
Walking in the steps of Vortex 1 is an inspiring journey. 40 years later, the chance to do something similar, to celebrate creation and produce something of substance, something that can remain in our historical memory for years, even decades once more, is an awesome vision.
Unlike the festival of forty years ago, the Oregon state government is not behind the organizing body this time, though Governor Ted Kulongoski has been invited to attend.
“Vortex is not something you merely come to, Vortex is something you are,” said Nathan Fisher, Vortex committee member. “We are inviting each of you from everywhere who are interested in participating in such an effort, to bring the best each of you has to share with your brothers and sisters.”
Vortex 2 is called a festival of life, appealing to those who have had enough of the wars waged in their name across the oceans, enough of the drug war that has claimed 20,000+ since 2006, enough of the oil that poisons the ecosystems we depend on, enough of the imprisonment that fuels this economy, enough of the consumption that destroys our planet, and enough of the intolerance that drives us apart.
Taking A Stand Together For Freedom
Vortex 2 is also a bad-law free zone, of sorts. Petitions will be available to make voices heard, change laws, and enact other goals of like-minded people.
Once cannabis legalization is realized, then another main goal will be the focus and the festival could be a perpetual event- maybe until every band in the world has played once, organizers say, or, perhaps just until the Gulf is cleaned up.
Well then, there’s a lot of music ahead.
The Vortex was very "Oregon", an opportunity to come together in a statement to the world, "this is how to live together". It would be fun to do it again.
DATE OF EVENT TO BE ANNOUNCED...MAYBE.
For lots more information, go to these websites:
Bonnie King has been with Salem-News.com since August '04, when she became Publisher. Bonnie has served in a number of positions in the broadcast industry; TV Production Manager at KVWB (Las Vegas WB) and Producer/Director for the TV series "Hot Wheels in Las Vegas", posts as TV Promotion Director for KYMA (NBC), and KFBT (Ind.), Asst. Marketing Director (SUPERSHOPPER MAGAZINE), Director/Co-Host (Coast Entertainment Show), Radio Promotion Director (KBCH/KCRF), and Newspapers In Education/Circulation Sales Manager (STATESMAN JOURNAL NEWSPAPER). Bonnie has a depth of understanding that reaches further than just behind the scenes, and that thoroughness is demonstrated in the perseverance to correctly present each story with the wit and wisdom necessary to compel and captivate viewers. View articles written by Bonnie King
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