After the festival was over last year, I sat on the airplane flying back to New York partially exhausted, partially exhilarated, and a good bit melancholic. It had been a year of work and in the blink of an eye, it was over. When we first conceived of Wanderlust, we set out to create something new â€“ a novel event that would combine some of the things that we value and love more than anything â€“ music, yoga and nature.
As I sat on the plane in the shadow of our first year, I realized something about the basic pillars of Wanderlust. Music has been in existence for at least 50,000 years. The first music was most likely invented in Africa and has evolved to become a fundamental constituent of human life. Yoga in various forms dates back to 3000 B.C. Nature ... is as old as the earth itself.
So while Wanderlust may be a new festival, in many ways, we are celebrating things that are old â€“ things whose quality has withstood the test of time and are integral parts of who we are as humans. As we build in future years, this idea provides a great lens for the event.
The concept of eating food that is grown where you live, eating and combining foods that are in season is an old idea. Yet it is one that our culture seems to be only rediscovering recently. I can guarantee that Wanderlust will have a local food pillar this year â€“ bringing in farmers markets and local chefs and food purveyors.
While driving out of Squaw for the last time (after being there for an entire month), I looked up at the mountains and reflected on this idea â€“ the idea of old truths â€“ and I remembered something that our president said in his inauguration speech. (New technology offered me the opportunity to dig up the quote at 37,000 ft. somewhere over Utah).
Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends â€” honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism â€” these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility â€” a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.
Obama speaks of big stuff. However, it is not without some parallel to the modest goals of Wanderlust.
People had a lot of fun at Wanderlust but no one got out of control. There were no fights, no one got hurt, no one littered. In fact, there was no garbage AT ALL left on top of the mountain by the stage. The greatest things we witnessed about Wanderlust was a deep spirit of community, the incredible generosity of people, respect for each other and a responsible stewardship of the earth. These things are old. These things are true.
We will continue to dedicate ourselves to building an inspiring and fun festival based on quality.