Here in Jamaica Plain, the neighborhood of our paper’s birth, there exists a festival. There are a handful of them as a matter of fact but it being MAY, we are talking about Wake Up The Earth Festival. This wonderful event was started 36 years ago by uninhibited artists and activists whose collective, Spontaneous Celebrations, continues to work tirelessly to preserve the radicalism and diversity of JP.
Wake Up The Earth celebrates everything that makes our neighborhood so special as the people take back their streets. There is a wide variety of local food vendors, music everywhere, a fabulous parade, incessant dancing, monarchs, costumes, stilts and other wild expressions of art and imagination. Collectives, small businesses, nonprofits and intrepid individuals set up shop all the way down the Southwest Corridor to share their projects with the community. To the untrained eye, it is pure magic. Of course, we know that this festival happens year after year directly because dozens of volunteers put countless hours into making it a success as well as their awesome sponsors. Wake Up The Earth’s vibes resonate throughout our neighborhood in a positive and powerful way. Whenever you pass by Stony Brook Station, even on a chilly autumn evening or frigid winter day, you can feel the warm flame that Wake Up The Earth and Spontaneous Celebrations keep burning all year long.
Both the festival and the organization behind it have had a significant impact on our organization from the very beginning. Both have shown us that it’s people, working together in communities, that really make things happen. That’s why this year we are so thrilled that our nonprofit, BRAIN Arts, was asked to program the fest’s after party this year. The Boston Hassle show-booking arm of BRAIN Arts does over a dozen DIY shows a month, and they are always a wild mix, but tonight we’ve pulled out all the stops. Warm up with the country-vibe dancy party of Old Wave, listen close as local hip hop hound Lewis M bestows beat-based enlightenment, experience Western Mass diva Mal Devisa’s soulful lo-fi realness, revamped JP trio The Channels’ weird noisy groove, and, finally, the unparalleled hypnotic, microtonal kraut rock of Horse Lords, who are coming all the way from Baltimore to blow you away.
Enjoy all the festivities WUTE has to offer on Saturday 5/2 and then join us for the after party @Spontaneous Celebrations 8pm-Midnight, 21+ (sorry young friends), $10-15 Suggested Donation (all proceeds split between BRAIN Arts and Spontaneous). We are truly honored to be part of Wake Up The Earth Festival this year, please come out and celebrate spring, JP and each other. –Sam Potrykus