A Mid Summer’s Dream
Gage Park 1000 Main Street East
After experiencing the first Mid Summer’s Dream festival last year, I knew a magical event had begun and that it would be even bigger this year. I became friends with the mastermind behind it all, Mark Gowland, and was thrilled when he asked I Heart Hamilton to come on board as an official supporter.
The festival is a simple concept and partly inspired by the Indian colour festival Holi. It’s all about promoting peace and equality, and to inspire. You purchase bags of coloured powder and every hour, you are prompted to gather in a group and throw them into the air. Well, the throws happened more than every hour – it’s too hard to resist tossing around those colours!
The festival is also a food drive. By the end of the day, 2500 pounds of food was raised for The Good Shepherd’s food bank, which was three times the amount raised last year. Well done, Hamilton!
Running from 2pm-10pm, the park was filled with people when I got there. For the first little while I stayed clear of the colours in order to get some photos and videos. I strategically wore light colours and once we got a couple colour throws into the day, people were already covered head-to-toe. I must have stood out, completely colour-less in a long white skirt!
Food trucks and vendors were spread throughout the park. The Green Smoothie Bar was an official sponsor and were on hand serving up their healthy drinks. I liked their “Zen Zone” that was set up under some trees. Another calming set up was In Fine Feather Yoga, who were offering free classes in the park for the day. I was also happy to see Joanna of The Button Pushers and pick up one of three exclusive MSD buttons that were made for the fest.
There was an eclectic mix of live music throughout the day, from many different genres and cultures. I got a hint of what to expect from The Monarch Project during our recent Rendezvous. For their performance, they collaborated with other musicians which enhanced their sound and, as they put it, embraced the spirit of the festival by turning their set into a big jam. Their music suited the hippy vibe of the day. Check out a clip from their set.
Another act I was excited to see was Vincent Tompa’s Rhythm Church. His experimental electronic-rock was a fun addition to the festival. I always love when musicians get creative with their live setups and knew to expect that from Vince. He made good use of the bandshell’s space by adding a podium and speakers which he could climb up on.
Joined by another musician on drum pad, Vince had a ton of energy and engaged the crowd. He finished with a bang, tossing his guitar into the air. Watch some footage from their set.
In the evening, I met up with friends Jamie, Luisa, Celina, and Ryan. Before Jamie and I even chose our colours, two colourful girls skipped towards me with purpose. Suddenly a “POOF!” of dust flew at me, and I looked down to find a splash of green. I was in the game!
The group of us then joined in with a bunch of the colour throws and had fun tossing the colours at each other in between. I didn’t get as covered as some, but definitely way messier than last year!
The colour throws looked even better in the evening, against the darker sky, but here’s a montage of a few colour throws I put together from earlier in the day. The photos and videos that people captured at the festival all look so stunning (check out local artist Francis Fiction’s video!). Still, there’s nothing like seeing it in person.
Being in the midst of it all, you instantly felt uplifted and inspired at A Mid Summer’s Dream. It was a beautiful feeling to be part of it. I’m proud we have an event like this in Hamilton, and everyone’s enthusiastic response to it says so much. The dreamers are ready to make a change!
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