Motorhome Diaries writes about their experience at Porcfest 2009
On June 25, I had the pleasure of riding with Jason and several other freedom fighters from Keene to Lancaster New Hampshire for the sixth annual Porcupine Freedom Festival.
Porcfest (for short) is a four day festival where NH liberty activists, freedom lovers, and fence sitters (those who are considering moving to the free state) meet for several days of fun, activity, competition, speeches, live media, camping, music, food, and much more. The purpose of Porcfest, as the Free State Project (FSP) states is “to showcase the FSP, New Hampshire, and the activists who are making significant changes to the political and social landscape of the Live Free or Die state.”
This year, the festival was hosted at Rogers Family Campground in Lancaster. As we arrived a the campground in the afternoon, a motion light sign on the roadside greeted us with a welcome message by the FSP displaying the motto “Live Free Or Die”.
As we settled in, people were moving about and setting up camp, while elsewhere others were engaging in deep tissue massages, discussion about grassroots politics, and a Henna Tattoos workshop.
That evening, the “Rocket to the Moon” launch party started off the festival with open discussion and socializing. Shortly after, Nick and Toby of Free Minds Media went around interviewing attendees for Free Minds TV. Mark and Ian of Free Talk Live were also broadcasting from inside the TV room. Later on, I joined some people outside at the bonfire.
The next day was filled with activity. In the morning, individuals with the Appleseed Project went out for full-day rifleman training, and another group went on a nature hike through the White Mountains. Later on, Mike Barskey led an interactive seminar on handling police confrontations and after that, a discussions by The Liberty Restoration Project. Dan Itse of the NH Liberty Alliance, and the Campaign For Liberty followed.
Meanwhile, numerous people including myself were in the Exhibitor area. There, people were displaying information, liberty merchandise, books, a silent auction and more. I sat at the table with the Alliance Of The Libertarian Left. At the table, Matt Brencyz and Darian Worden organized an impressive display of information pamphlets about strategy and theory.
As the day progressed, more activities ensued: a treasure hunt, One pot cook off, a kick-ball tournament, to name a few. In the evening, Free Staters performed live music outside. The rest of the night mimicked the one before with another Free Talk Live broadcast, in which Motorhome Diaries participated, followed by poker and games, a bonfire, and a late night movie. One guess where Adam spent his time.
The next morning, Matt Brenycz, Darian Worden, and Jack Shimek gave a thought provoking introductory presentation on Agorism. Darian explored Agorist class theory followed by Matt who discussed examples of counter-economics in past history and the present. For many of the people in the audience, that was their firstime hearing about Agorist ideas. There were plenty of intriguing questions afterword.
Activities and entertainment persisted through out the day. A presentation on disaster preparedness, a discussion for fence sitters with previous movers to the free state, grilled food, and a water slide occupied guests time.
In the afternoon, Pete, Jason, and Adam shared their experiences with a live audience in the packed TV room, discussing their adventures traveling across America. The discussion included video, interesting and funny stories about the people and places they saw along the while answering questions through out.
Even more activities filled up Saturday night: board games, the first Porcupine Olympics, a mini golf tournament, Dance, Dance revolution and still more.
At 8PM, tons of people met in the picnic hall to view the first Porcfest Soapbox Idol. The contest was judged by Chris Lawless, Angela Keaton, and Gardner Goldsmith, each who humorously parodied the panel from American Idol. Numerous contestants went on the stage to rant about their pet peeves, visions for liberty, and generally what they thought every one else should know. Those who went over three minutes were warned and then soaked by a water gun. The performers, judges, and audience were all rowdy and hilarious.
On Sunday, I joined numerous other people in the picnic hall to listen Sam Dodson give the closing speech. He gave an insightful discussion about his experience being jailed. He discussed how he reached out to jail employees and prisoners and the differences in perspectives he influenced while there, the motivations for his noncompliance, and the challenges he faced while committing to a hunger strike and not giving in to pressures to comply with government demands. The speech was deeply inspiring and moving. At the end, Sam was given a standing ovation.
After it was all said and done, I could not stop thinking about all the fun I would inevitably have at the next Porcfest. I met many friends for the first time in person after months of chatting online, as well as many other amazing people whom I did not know previously. The people and experiences there were truly unforgettable, and I eagerly await Porcfest 2010.