3,000 Festivalgoers. 1 Sense of Gratitude.
Photos by Brittany NO FOMO: Courtesy of Gratitude Migration
Leave it up to New Yorkers to find that New Jersey beach you never heard of, in a town that goes unnoticed and bring reviving amounts of energy and life into each grain of its sand. With a quiet beach as its platform, the music and arts festival Gratitude Migration played on the playa landscape with offerings of yoga classes, educational workshops, music until the early mornings, unique vendors, fire performers, and interactive spaces. Awakening Keansburg was easy for this mostly Brooklyn-based crew who’s background includes, curating Burning Man theme camps seen yearly out in Nevada, DJing some of New York’s most artistic venues, and decorating global music festival stages with their art. All it takes is one fire spinner to blow the lid off what’s normal here.
Festivalgoers were encouraged to immerse themselves in all there was to witness and interact with over the course of the weekend, including the communal burn of an art structure (another nod to Burning Man) on Saturday night, with ambers of fire lightening up everyone’s smiles and New York’s skyline dazzling in the distance. With the Brooklyn art and music culture living only 10 miles across the water, we were reminded that anywhere our community goes, we bring the same life and energy with us to inspire others.
“Our community” is what Gratitude Migration is really all about – a space allowing each of the New York family members to shine their talents and share it with new friends that came from near and far to enjoy the spectacle.
Rhizome NY, Ali Macadoodle, Experience Incendia, and HM Pyrotechnics, create magical spaces with your art that you’ve been visioning. Pendulum People, Brooklyn Gypsies, Worldtown Soundsystem, and others, perform on that stage the lyrics you tirelessly perfected in the wee hours of the morning. Cat Widdifield, Wolf Bukiet, Frank Hatsis, Evgeniya Radilova, and others of the Gratitude Fire Conclave, light up the sky with your fire dancing and excite the audience with an act of danger and curiosity. Tasha Blank, Anna Morgan, David Starfire, The Golden Pony, Dirty Looks, 2Melo, and more, DJ the mixes you’ve been inspired to curate and waiting to share at the perfect moment. The Get Down members, grab that djembe and add the accents and flavor to liven up the beat.
Share your talents with us.
The passion and heart that was poured into creating Gratitude Migration permeated throughout every aspect and was genuinely felt by everyone. Even for newcomers to the scene, they could feel the sense of community that was the foundation of what made this festival a truly unique experience.
Over the weekend, we felt like we belonged to something greater than ourselves. We lived in the moment to take in all the beauty around us and truly felt a deep sense of appreciation for being able to say we were a part of it.
All the positive feels led us to ask those starry-eyed festival participants at Gratitude Migration…
“What are you grateful?”
I’m grateful to see more women up on these stages and stepping into their artist power. I’m grateful to feel the respect from the Brotha’s who are supporting us through it. I’m grateful to see 0 garbage walking around on this land that was chosen for our gathering. I’m grateful for the openness of the people fully expressing themselves fearlessly. I’m grateful for myself and my team for all the work we put into our music and performance to bring in a new wave in festival culture.
– Nova Zef, performer, poet, & recording artist of Pendulum People
I’m grateful for a space like this that fuels and allows me to have moments where I don’t have to think about anything. Time, technology and any degree of cultural expectation completely dissipates as I walk freely completely present in the moment. Gratitude is that home where I can go on a solo adventure and feel so supported in wherever it leads me. I can make eye contact with someone and partake in passionate kissing within minutes. Or dance for hours, losing sight of hunger, drowsiness or even my own body. When this level of untethered expression is welcomed, every single person is operating from their purest form, where we all exist as a community together that is filled with love, compassion and joy. And with that Gratitude Migration is the container for all that magic.
– Jelena Aleksich, photographer and visionary behind The Confetti Project
I’m grateful for humans. I’m grateful for this amazing community around me. These people inspire me – they give me courage and strength, they open my eyes to new ideas. I’m challenged, but in a positive, supported way. We continue to grow together, and do great things.
– Ali Macadoodle, Artist behind Labyrinth of Light installation
“I am grateful to be surrounded by others who are also appreciating life and this wonderful experience in the present moment. I am grateful to be sharing this beach with people who are inspired while simultaneously inspiring others… For all of the beauty and creativity that we have materialized on this beach.”
– Adam Siegel, Fire Performer & Dancer
I am grateful for the opportunity to walk on these two legs, from one end of the playa to the other, diving into every rabbithole adventure that crosses my path! So often we take for granted our everyday tasks that others would kill to be able to do, like walking or talking without assistance. I’d like to share one of my favorite quotes — “rise up and walk; none of your bones are broken.”
– Leah Oz, Festival-goer celebrating her birthday
I have gratitude for all the staff who let me play rock n roll till sunrise!
– David Pattillo of Strange Majik
I am grateful for all the love, life and freedom that Gratitude gives me. It is the perfect space to fully turn your brain off, re-shifting the focus to things that do matter – like connection, play and joy – instead of the technological day-to-day we’re used to. Gratitude Migration has that constant flow of natural energy that sparks and allows for the most pure and expressive part of ourselves to come out. Gratitude makes me who I want to be. Thank you Gratitude for letting us let our freak flags fly!
– Wendy Goldsmith, Festivalgoer who coordinated a friend camp
…I have never felt more creatively inspired in my life than I did over the course of this weekend. The positive vibrations coming from the crowd brought me into the greatest flow state of my life on Friday night. I want to express my extreme GRATITUDE for all the hearts that sent me all that light… I’m grateful for all of the love that I drew upon from the droves of brilliant hearts to ride the lightning of our collective inspiration to channel fire magic into our lives.
– John O’Mahoney aka The Glitter Viking
Grateful for the opportunity to serve. To be blessed to co create space for people to gather in life changing ways, building a new world together based on our collective capacity to transform. I’m grateful a butterfly doesn’t stay a caterpillar forever and i’m grateful for the gifts of the universe that are beyond anything i’ll ever understand but infinitely good and filled with divine blessing. I’m grateful that I walked through a door in 2015 that led me here.
– Rishe Groner, Lead Storyteller, Communications Lead