WHAT THE!? FESTIVAL INITIATIVES 2017
Festivals have immense power to yield positive change in today’s society, and What the?! Festival in Dufur, Oregon understands this potential and utilizes it to the greatest extent. It has a few important philosophies that it passionately lives by and preaches, beginning with Leave no Trace – a popular slogan used in environmental protection.
As soon as you enter the festival you are greeted by the Green Team, a group of volunteers who keep the venue free of trash and waste recycled accordingly. They begin your visit by educating you on the “Pack it In, Pack it Out” and “Leave No Trace” practices and provide you with a trash bag for your camp to ensure that no waste is left behind. Only you can stop litter at the source, and by actively keeping your trash in the correct receptacles AND picking up after others’ irresponsible butts, you are making more of a difference than you may think. What the Fest goes through great measures, like recycling and composting +15,000 lbs worth of material, to make sure that their fleeting weekend-long existence is sustainable. Traveling to festivals can equal a large carbon footprint so don’t forget to carpool.
The What The?! Festival experience has been curated to revolve around feeding attendees’ souls with art, nature, friends, and music. Through this holy quadruplet, they believe that you can have a profound spiritual experience that will allow for positive self-growth and a “recharge of your being”. That’s why they have focused on creating immersive and inspiring experiences that can be shared with friends, or strangers that you garner a connection with in that moment. Everything at this festival ties together to create a sense of community. Whether it be interactive art installations, fantastically orchestrated music sets, or relaxing in the woods amongst the beautiful raw force of nature, What the Fest is sure to feed your soul.
WTF also emphasizes exposure of local artists and businesses. All the food vendors are native to the Pacific Northwest to give you a taste of what the area has to offer while supporting local business. The lineup also includes a number of musicians local to Oregon, ensuring a dynamic variety of music that otherwise you would not be exposed to.
The intentions behind this festival hold great power for positive social change and personal growth. It is truly a transformational festival in every sense that will leave your spirit feeling revitalized and your hope in humanity restored.
How does WTF bolster the leave-no-trace philosophy? A majority of their participants come from a pre-acculturated leave-no-trace community. They reinforce this through social media posts and again as participants arrive at the greeters’ stations. Additionally, they offer free water on site throughout the festival grounds, which dramatically reduce single-use water bottles. They also have a reusable cup program that is available to participants and a gorgeous WTF Souvenir water bottle by Liberty Bottles out of Austin, TX.
From a structural side, they are adding a third pool and an additional late-night stage. And to create a harm prevention environment, WTF employs a massive security force on site, along with medical and fire teams ready at a moment’s notice to aid.
You will be well taken care of at WTF, with lots to do besides the obvious, including a film festival on site! So take care of the Wolf Run Ranch and it will take care of you.
See you on the ranch.