Dr Bob Melamede on forward looking communities
I remember going home one year at 1 AM on Saturday night, the ground covered in litter. It had all been picked up the next morning by an army of street kids. On Monday and Tuesday we might find people helping clean up the park who haven't even been to the event . They see what we're doing and they just pitch in.
"Nobody is paid. Some of the bands get a travel allowance but it isn't exactly princely. Lots of core members put in hundreds of dollars of their own money to make it happen. And the miracle is, each year it comes off and we leave the park as clean as we found it."
The Hempfest's goals are explicitly political. Vivian McPeak, a prime mover since 1991, quotes Gandhi: "'First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.'"