CARTWHEELart loves festivals! From Glastonbury and SonicFest to Lightning in a Bottle, Coachella, and Burning Man, our writers have experienced the music, art and immersion into these short-lifespan-universes. Now a new website is bringing the best of the fests together in one location, Fest300.com. Created by Joie de Vivre Hospitality founder Chip Conley, the man behind ArtPadSF, the mission of Fest300 is simple and basic–to connect people. Chip’s a pretty rad guy: Part world traveler, cultural anthropologist, and armchair psychologist, the founder and former CEO of Joie de Vivre Hospitality has created more boutique hotels than anyone on the planet. The New York Times bestselling author of Peak and Emotional Equations, Chip has translated the humanistic theories of psychologists Abraham Maslow and Viktor Frankl and shared his methods on the main stage at TED and around the world. Few better understand the desire for transformation and meaning through travel. Chip belives (and lives!):
Being culturally curious creates a more robust and resilient life, which creates a safer and saner world.
Given the momentum of growth in festival culture around the world, there’s a nascent movement afoot. Fest300.com is a URL, yet people are seeking more IRL (In Real Life) experiences that give them a sense of meaning. I’ve experienced ‘collective effervescence,’ the positive experience of losing oneself in a group ecstatic moment, in my travels from Bali to Brazil to Burning Man. But, when I looked for a place that documented the most diverse, iconic gatherings and spectacles of our time, there wasn’t one. We’re creating that place at Fest300.
From celebrations of music, film, and food, to rituals of the sacred, silly and profane, Fest300 explores these global events with detailed reviews, insightful and entertaining editorial, and compelling video and photography. Central to Fest300’s mission is to engage and inspire a community of “culturally curious” travelers to TAKE THE PLEDGE and attend at least one festival in the coming year – halfway around the world, or just around the corner.
Fest300 intends to publish its 300 Best of Fest list annually, inviting the Fest300 community to crowdsource the final ten percent. Categories cover everything from music, film and food to spirituality, sports, and family-friendly. Each festival is rated with key information such as crowd size (intimate to massive), participation level (spectator to immersive), and transformation potential (limited to life-altering). “Chip’s Take” gives Conley’s personal comments on each event. Plus expect categories like the Best European Festivals and The Best Festivals To Get Naked.
In the coming months, new bells and whistles will be introduced, including a matchmaking feature that, similar to the wildly popular matchmaking tool that Conley created for his hotel guests, will “hook you up” to the best festival for your interests, personality and lifestyle. And, simpatico brands that align with the Fest300 mission will be invited to become partners in the movement.
Expect to see some cross-pollination between Fest300 and CARTWHEELart. We’re taking the pledge, and we’ll be writing about our festival experiences, and hope that you will be too!