Gratitude Migration is a three-day festival coming to hELLO Beach in Keansburg, New Jersey, July 14-16. It’s a celebration of art, music, dance, fire spinning, yoga, costuming, body painting, lectures, and much, much more. Its mission statement from their website states:

“Gratitude Migration is an extraordinary waking life experience—an incubator for unbridled creativity and love—centered around creating a better world for everyone by focusing on mindfulness, compassion, and environmental conservation. It is an adventure centered around GRATITUDE.

We believe that by practicing gratitude every day, a practice that recognizes oneness, we can start to heal the rifts in society.”

GRATITUDE is vast with multiple art installations, music stages, and tents for various types of gatherings, and participants are brought together in the spirit of joy, sharing, and gratitude.

Keansburg was hard hit by Hurricane Sandy. Now in its third year at hELLO Beach, this festival has brought relief to the surrounding Jersey Shore area that is still in recovery mode. The organizers have painstakingly sought to be inclusive to residents by bringing in jobs, uplifting the local economy with an influx of thousands of dollars to local businesses, and by allowing responsible locals an honored place at the festivities.

On a personal note I will be presenting a lecture for the School of Dreams entitled “How to Travel Like a Rock Star, on a Backpackers Budget” after my recent three-month foray through Southeast Asia. I will also be performing in a loose “Dead and Co.”-type jam Saturday night in the main tent at 9 p.m., and covering the event for The Aquarian.

As a New Jersey native hailing from Dumont in Bergen County, this is something I’ve always dreamed of. I was too young for Woodstock, and am not into the mass blatant consumerism at some of the other big festivals out west. This festival is utopian for me where everyone is your brother or sister. It is a safe place to come play. It’s a place to have fun, dance, sing, splash in the ocean, and dream with the shimmering lights of New York City beckoning at night across the water. It’s a place to both bring and make new friends. Tickets are still available via their website http://www.migratewith.us

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