Rocket Shop 7/13/2011: Liberate Music & Yoga Festival; Colby Stiltz

liberate Photos by Jim Lockridge.

Ben Lanza & Jane Jarecki were our guests and talked about their Liberate Music and Yoga Festival (August 18-21 in Sheldon, VT) and played music from artists performing at it. Rapper Colby Stiltz freestyled!

Words by Jack Haskell

Rocket Shop was filled with excitement as Ben Lanza and Jane Jarecki Lanza stopped by to chat about their up and coming festival Liberate. Liberate, as you may already know, is an annual three day yoga and music festival that will be taking place in Sheldon, Vermont. In its fourth year, the festival will include performances by Conspirator (Marc Brownstein and Arron Magner of the Disco Biscuits), Surprise Me Mr. Davis (The Slip, Nathon Moore, and Marco Benevento), Marco Benevento with his band, Rubblebucket, the Everyone Orchestra featuring Michael Kang (String Cheese Incident), and many more wonderful acts. On the yoga side of the festival, there will be sessions all day throughout the three days with 15 different teachers. Tickets are only $95 for all three days so get them while you can.

Ben and Jane were the creators of Liberate and have been at the core of its evolution for the past four years. However, the idea for Liberate was actually first spawned when the two were in high school. Ben became a professional at throwing parties on his family's land (where the festival is still located) and Jane has been a long time student in the art of yoga. The simple genius idea of combining their two passions eventually manifested itself as Liberate after the two graduated college in 2004.

So what is the festival mostly about? Music or Yoga? "It is a full on music festival with as much yoga mixed in as possible. It's about 60% music and 40% yoga this year," said Ben. But there is so much more than that. "There will be yoga, music, meditation workshops, massage workshops, a "mindful marketplace", art installations, yummy food vendors, and so much more", said Jane when describing the daily activities available to the attendees. Jane says that with all the activities and vendors included in the festival, sustainability is one of the top priorities. Food vendors that source locally and organically are in the vast majority and most of the clothing/ apparel shops as well.

"The idea is to help create and sustain a positive vibration that we can shove back into the world when we all leave. A lot of people feel a deep connection to the world through music, and yoga can help do that too," said Jane. As liberate continues to progress and pick up all different kinds of music acts and yoga artists, the main focus will continue to be on the sustainability of the festival. Not only are Ben and Jane looking for sustainability as far as attendance, but on an individual level as well. To create a festival that grows more and more every year is an amazing thing, but to sustain the positive and creative ideals behind that festival is an even harder challenge. We wish Ben and Jane the best of luck from all of us here at Big Heavy, I'm sure many of us will be there to see the magic this year first hand.

The Rocket Shop playlist: Surprise Me Mr. Davis, "Sassafrass" Rubblebucket, "Came Out of Lady" Joshua Panda Band, "Vinyard Love Song" Conspirators, segment from their Live Show at Higher Ground Colby Stiltz, "Take It to the Top" (Live) Freestyle by Colby Stiltz, Beat Boxing by Jack (Live)