Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Feastival for the soul

Idaho BaseCamp festival weekend supports future eco-retreat

Express Staff Writer

Courtesy photo by Mark Oliver

Fall festivals are a time to share the harvest and the bounty of summer. This fall's celebrations include the Idaho BaseCamp Feastival. Mat Gershater, Idaho BaseCamp chief executive and Whitney McNees, Idaho BaseCamp Feastival organizer, have been planning for the second annual Feastival, but now the Feastival's purpose is to raise funds for Idaho BaseCamp. Feastival will take place Friday, Sept. 17, through Sunday, Sept. 19.

"It's going to be a weekend of lots of good food, good music and epic scenery," McNees said. "You can't beat being at the base of Mount Borah on the Big Lost River on a fall day."

Idaho BaseCamp is a facility dedicated to education, creative expression and the development of a sustainable relationship with nature. Its aim is to expand understanding and create a working consciousness for the environment, community and self.

"The whole event will be powered off of solar energy," McNees said. "It will be site-based energy for Feastival. It is the same company used for the first Rhythm and Ride festival earlier this summer."

McNees said there will be things to do between bands on Friday, including fly-fishing casting sessions in the Big Lost River, talks that will feature Wade Port discussing light-touch chiropractic healing and a possible guided meditation session.

"All the proceeds for the event will go to the building of Idaho BaseCamp," she said. "Idaho BaseCamp will be Idaho's premiere eco-retreat environmental education center."

Idaho BaseCamp's primary mission is to teach people in a nature-based classroom setting how to live in balance with the environment. In the building of an eco-retreat center on the Big Lost River east of Ketchum, Idaho BaseCamp's organizers want to create a space where healing arts and experiential education are at the forefront.

Gershater said he wants to operate 40 out of 52 weeks per year as an educational facility with the look and feel of an upscale spa retreat center. The design and construction of the facility will include renewable energy sources, organic gardens, "breathing" walls and water-purification systems.

Live music throughout the weekend will include Wood River Valley musicians Old Death Whisper, Ethan Tucker Band, FourStroke Bus, Toast, Cow Says Mooo, Sheryll Mae Grace, Sean Jackson and Perfectly Awkward.

Idaho BaseCamp will provide the main course for dinners on Friday and Saturday evening family dinners. All the food for the weekend will be local and organic, much of it donated from the Wood River Valley's farmers' markets.

Participants should bring a dessert, side dish or appetizer to share that will feed eight to 10 people. In addition, they should bring their own breakfast, lunch and snacks. Other necessary items to bring for the Feastival are a tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, lantern or headlamp, warm clothes, plate, bowl, cup, utensils, yoga mat, fly-fishing gear, sunscreen, camp or lawn chair—an essential item—and musical instruments of any kind.

After the music ends Friday night at midnight, Bert Gillette will do group stargazing. On Sunday, Tener Rogers will do her fall equinox yoga class.

"This is her traditional equinox yoga class," McNees said. "If you are a follower of Tener, you will want to come to this."

Ben Young will bring a portable hot tub that will be placed in the Big Lost River for all to try out. In addition, an exhibition on materials and recyclable construction for Idaho BaseCamp will be on display for the weekend. Idaho BaseCamp will take donations, monetary and building materials, if interested people cannot come for the weekend. For details call 309-3076 or e-mail

Feastival tickets are $40 for both nights and $130 for a family of four. Tickets for one night and one day are $25 and $85 for a family of four. Checks or cash can be given to Mati Gershater or Whitney McNee and at the door, but reservations are required. Make checks payable to Idaho BaseCamp P.O. Box 183, Ketchum, Idaho 83340. For details, call 208-720-1822, e-mail or visit


Feastival directions

From Ketchum, drive out Sun Valley Road 28 miles over Trail Creek Summit. Idaho BaseCamp is on the river side, on right, just past Bady Creek.

Feastival event schedule

Friday, Sept. 17

4 p.m. check-in and camp setup

6-7p.m. dinner

8 p.m. to 12 a.m. live music with Sean Jackson, Toast and headliner the Ethan Tucker Band and bonfire

Saturday, Sept. 18

10 a.m. five rhythms dance

11 a.m. to 6 p.m. live music to include FourStroke Bus, Cow Says Mooo, Sheryll Mae Grace and Perfectly Awkward and workshops.

5:30-6:30 p.m. dinner

7:30 p.m. to 12 a.m. live music with headliner Old Death Whisper and bonfire

Sunday, Sept. 19

10 a.m. group yoga

12 p.m. leave-no-trace cleanup

Sabina Dana Plasse:

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