In the west coast line-up of new age festivals and gatherings, there’s a new kid on the block. Sunday, September 16th 2012 witnessed the first annual Lovestock Festival at The Avalon in Hollywood. Perhaps witnessed is too passive a word. Birthed? Blossomed? Manifested? At any rate, the event was an historic moment – Kute Blackson’s vision of empowered, loving oneness came to life in one of Hollywood’s premiere venues. The event, which was initially as mysterious as it was timely, was a literal who’s who of the L.A. county’s bhakti, yoga, kirtan, and new age scenes.
The free event was marketed primarily through social media and quickly went viral within the genre. The event was moved to Avalon after over a thousand attendees registered, outgrowing the initial location. With free food, decadent flower-infused cocktails (non-alcoholic), and world renowned DJs, the allure of the event was irresistible to local bhaktas returning to L.A. county from Bhaktifest the week before.
Guests were greeted with a hug and a gift wristband from Think Love LLC which was later synced with all attendees to vibrate simultaneously in ecstasy. Local musicians, artists, healers, and gourmet raw vegan chefs highlighted the early hours of the event while DJ Cheb i Sebbah, Deepak Ramapriyan and the Breath of Life Tribe, and finally DJ Drez (among others) later ignited the fires of love and light, setting the night ablaze with unity.
The event likely saw a few firsts for L.A. county – for starters, a rarely-seen-in-the-west Balinese Monkey Chant; a playful, devotional, and unifying experience. Dwarkoji Sundrani, a 91 year young disciple of Mahatma Gandhi graced the audience with his presence and blessing. Dwarkoji founded the Samanvay Ashram; all proceeds from donations given at the event went to benefit the Ashram.
In the end, participants were asked to silently connect with their eyes and their smiles and offer a blessing to total strangers, to see and accept the divine in each other – truly a remarkable exercise. All left the event with love in their hearts and smiles on their faces. Two things are certain; Kute Blackson knows how to throw a party, and next year, Avalon won’t be big enough for this ever-expanding crowd of love enthusiasts.