by Kirby LindsayOn Saturday, September 11th, the first ever Fremont Lovefest will be celebrated in the parking lots at the foot of Stone Way. Produced by Jeremy Westfall and Jake Shaw, of Manifest World, this community, music and arts festival, powered by love, will premiere here thanks to a series of happy accidents.
When Opportunities Arise
Shaw and Westfall originally met nearly a year ago, but this is not the first event they’ve planned. Since September 2009, they’ve been working on a three-day festival, called How Manifest, for the Methow Valley in Eastern Washington. Only, it won’t take place until September 16 – 18, 2011.
In the meantime, Westfall explained, the two decided it might be good to tackle something smaller – like a block party for 500 people. So, they set out to find a venue and seek sponsors (especially one of their earliest supporters, Matt Lincecum of Fremont Brewing Company.) When requests for small venues were denied, they looked larger – and ended up (with the encouragement of the Fremont Chamber of Commerce) on the ‘doorstep of Solsticio’ at 1100 N. Northlake Way, and the U-Park lots there.
Even the date came by accident, whe speaking with neighbors at the site – specifically the Lake Washington Rowing Club – they reset their date, twice, and landed on September 11th. For a festival about the power of love, and positive energy, in its first year (the 2011 Lovefest has been scheduled for August 13th) the date couldn’t be more appropriate.
The Power Of Love
“We’re exploring love in action,” Shaw explained. They’ve chosen musicians and artists to perform at the festival that share their upbeat message, and will feature non-profits, like R.O.A.R. of Washington, that improve our world in practical ways, such as giving socks to the homeless. With a potential audience of 3,000 people, Westfall explained, “we look at this as being stewards,” and a chance to spread a message of way to improve our world.
The day will also include interactive and entertaining activities for attendees, vendors that embrace the Lovefest message, and a beer garden – and some sustainable features. Water will be distributed not in plastic bottles, but in disposable cups, or attendees can bring their own refillable bottles (B.Y.O.R.B.)
“We both believe that if there is something you want, you have to meet the universe half way,” explained Westfall. To produce How Manifest and Lovefest, the men have talked to everyone they could find, met requirements that were asked, and sought compromises when necessary – and it worked. “We’ve put tons of time in,” admitted Shaw, to make this a festival attendees enjoy, and neighbors want to see return. This isn’t about making money, Shaw explained, “I would be in tears of joy if we break even.”
“It’s easily the riskiest thing Jeremy and I have ever done,” admitted Shaw. Lovefest has already exceeded their expectation, and they hope to learn a lot from the rest of the process. “It’s like a flower that unfolds,” admitted Westfall, “and is still unfolding.”
Lovefest will fully unfold from 11a to 11p on September 11, and Westfall, Shaw, scores of bands, artists, vendors and sponsors, hope everyone will come out to see what the power of love can do. Tickets can be purchased in advance at Brown Paper Tickets, for $21.15, or at the ‘door’ for $26.40. So, bike, bus or walk on down and join the Fremont Lovefest!
©2010 Kirby Lindsay. This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws. Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.