For stargazers, space enthusiasts and sun worshipping hippies alike, the August 21st total solar eclipse is one of the biggest events of the decade. In a 70-mile band stretching across continental America from Oregon to South Carolina, the sky will turn completely dark, the crickets will come out, and the expected millions of revelers will collectively rejoice in what promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Its timing at the height of the summer has turned the eclipse into a major holiday for some, with campsites and hotels in towns across the country being completely booked out and inundated with incomers from across the globe.
There have been a number of interesting festivals pop up to create a weekend-long celebration of the momentous occasion, and these are some of our picks!
Oregon Eclipse Festival (Oregon)
From the minds behind the superb Symbiosis Gathering comes Oregon Eclipse, a mashup of some of the most celebrated transformational festivals from around the world. Bass Coast, Envision, Lightning in a Bottle, and Rainbow Serpent are some of the collaborators in the event, and with some 30,000+ festival fans descending on backcountry site Big Summit Prairie, it could be the best place to take in the incredible moment.
Atlas Obscura’s Total Eclipse Festival (Oregon)
If crunching around in a psychedelic haze and entertaining rambling flat earth theories isn’t your thing, Brooklyn-based explorer publication Atlas Obscura is throwing its own little shindig out in eastern Oregon.
The festival’s official website writes, “For two days, you’ll take part in an all-out festival of wonder featuring celebrated scientists, writers, musicians, and explorers, plus an under-the-stars performance from the legendary Sun Ra Arkestra. At the end of it all, you’ll experience the Total Eclipse itself—two minutes of midday darkness that you may never have the chance to see again.”
Atlas Obscura has partnered with Elysian Brewing, National Parks at Night and B&H Photo Video to make sure that its patrons are getting a fittingly memorable experience.
Eastern Idaho Eclipse Festival (Idaho)
If there is an authority you can certainly trust on all matters of suns and moons, it’s NASA. The space organization has chosen Idaho Falls as its official location for viewing the eclipse.
They’ve booked music, a rubber duck race, and have sectioned off a couple of “eclipse villages” for the droves of RVs and campers coming in hot from across the country.
In a listicle of tedious and unimaginatively named festivals, Moonstock is a welcome edition to the pack. This metal festival in Carterville, south Illinois is set to be a big one, with headliners Five Finger Death Punch, Halestorm, and the legendary Ozzy Osbourne, who will reportedly be kicking off his Monday morning set with ”Bark at the Moon”.
Get Off the Grid Festival (Georgia)
In what sounds like a wholesome and good-natured event, Georgia’s big draw will be the Get Off The Grid festival. The organizers are using the eclipse as an occasion to engage its patrons in conversations about clean energy, with co-creator of the Environmental Protection Agency Dave Freeman heading up a lineup of important speakers and luminaries.
“Get Off The Grid Fest aims to celebrate, educate and collaborate with folks, homesteaders, renewable energy enthusiasts, performers, local and national organizations and vendors by providing a forum where people share tools, ideas, songs and stories about getting off the grid,” the festival’s website states. Doesn’t that sound lovely?