A word from the Coordinators

How did this all come about?

Welcome to what we hope will be the only Online running of Free Spirit Gathering. Covid-19 has been hard on all of us, from the loss of our friends and family, to the inability of our community to gather in person.

In the fall of 2020, I was determined to make sure that if FSG could not run “in person” that it would run in 2021, and hopefully run well. We explored technologies, looked at other online festivals, as well as online conventions that weren’t pagan to identify approaches to the event. We wanted to create an experience that didn’t require a lot of software to be installed, and was as friendly as watching online videos.

We thought about the pieces of the festival. Workshops, rituals, Merchants Row, Concerts, and the social gathering areas where people could just chat. We wanted to create as much of it as we could.

We needed volunteers, lots and lots of volunteers. We didn’t want to burden our presenters with the technical aspects of running the technical side.

For our Merchants, we wanted to give more than just a link to their web site. We wanted online promotional material, and we wanted a way for them to communicate with attendees during the festival so they could answer questions.

For our Presenters, we wanted to make it easy. We wanted them to be able to do their workshop or ritual without a lot of trouble, using technologies they were familiar with.

For attendees, we wanted it to be easy from beginning to end. From easy to fill out online registration, to being able to attend stuff painlessly, we focused on it being easy and entertaining for them.

For our concerts, we wanted to make sure that we used technologies they knew, and it worked seamlessly with the technologies we were using.

I think we’ve accomplished all of that. As we go into the Festival we will find out. My fingers are crossed, my candles are burning, and I’ll be making an offering to Aegir, norse god of hospitality the morning of the event. After all, isn’t that what festivals are about? Gathering together in Frith?

The thanks

No festival is any one person, it takes a bunch of people to run an event, even when its online. I couldn’t possibly list everyone, but here’s a list.

Presenters

Presenters give a festival content, and this year we have an amazing set of presenters

  • Aeptha J. Jennette
  • Amara Willey
  • Amy Blackthorn
  • Byron Ballard
  • Claire / Luminous
  • Ellen Evert Hopman
  • Firesong and UTOS
  • Frank Stormcatcher
  • Gabby Cleary
  • Gabrielle Cleary
  • Ian Corrigan
  • Irene Glasse
  • Ivo Dominguez Jr
  • Jack Chanek
  • Jason Mankey
  • Jhenah Telyndru
  • John Halstead and his crew
  • June Jennings
  • Laura Wildman-Hanlon
  • Lon Milo DuQuette
  • Mark the Druid
  • Michael Smith
  • Miss Nikki Kirby
  • Morgan Daimler
  • Nimue Brown
  • Pete Jennings
  • Rachel Patterson
  • Sandra Mariah Wright and Leanne Marrama
  • Scarlet Ravenswood
  • Sophia Kelly Shultz
  • Stephanie Smith
  • Stephanie Woodfield
  • T. Thorn Coyle
  • Taylor Ellwood
  • Witchdoctor Utu

Volunteers

Volunteers keep a festival running smoothly, and for this festival, they keep it running altogether. Its a thankless job of sitting in front of a computer monitor for hours on end.

  • Shane Amerman
  • Shelly Mohnkern
  • Amara Willey
  • Emily McDonell
  • Robin Brzezinska
  • Patricia Cordiner
  • Patty Worlledge
  • Joel Meredith
  • Sean P Watson
  • William kline
  • Jessica Lovelace
  • Gail Panelli
  • Craig Setti

Merchants

Covid has been really hard on Merchants, and we’ve done our best to give Merchants the tools they need to sell their products during these hard times, and they’ve been really supportive of what we’re doing, and have given us a great list of Merchants that you can shop, and hopefully buy from

  • The Key Tarot
  • Blue Star Chain Maille Designs
  • Purring Banshee Studios
  • A Touch of Glass…and then some
  • Color Crafts by Jo
  • Uniqreads
  • Wandering Paintbrush Studio
  • Cherry Hill Seminary
  • Oh Jessa!
  • Moonlight Potions & Charms
  • Phoenix Rising Apothecary
  • Myrkraverk
  • Mengloth’s Market
  • Gruff Books
  • Ellen Evert Hopman
  • WizardsTower
  • Nimue Brown
  • Taylor Ellwood
  • Old World Botanica
  • Annies Blessed Bead, LLC
  • Drawing Down Lore
  • Handmade By Rita
  • Ama’s Apothecary
  • Magic in Your Living Room

Craig Setti

Thanks to Craig Seti for soliciting presenters, merchants, and coming up with ideas for this event. He made getting content a lot easier than it would have been otherwise.

Attendees

(No, I’m not going to list all of you)

When I started this project, I said if we hit 100 attendees I’d be happy, if we hit 200, I’d be elated. 2 weeks before the event we were at 130. I’m now saying 200 is reachable.

Festival are nothing without attendees, so special thanks go to you for taking time out of your schedule, and your Zoom fatigue, to watch something else online. Without you, presenters are talking to an empty room.

And Finally

To my wife Shelly (AKA Raven). She’s a volunteer here, but more importantly, she was supportive as I sat in front of my computer in the living room during the evenings writing web pages, testing code. She’s had great ideas and suggestions.

I hope you all enjoy the festival, and we’ll be able to gather together in person at Ramblewood next year. Be sure to come by my cabin, and raise a horn with me.

Scott Mohnkern – FSG Online Coordinator