[Faeries] will either accept you as a part of their world, or they won’t. It’s up to them. – Betty Ballentine
“I like Faery because I grew up loving fantasy,” says Glenda Jordan, a recent University of Tennessee studio arts graduate. “Many children’s books are fantasy, so I grew up reading the Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, Into the Land of Unicorns, The Unicorns of Balinor, Dealing with Dragons, etc. Escapist fiction immensely affected my role-playing and make-believe as a child. When I wasn’t pretending to be something magical, I spent a lot of time and effort looking for magical things in the forest.”
There’s almost nothing that can describe the setting and atmosphere at Faerieworlds, an annual festival held at Mt. Pisgah, in Eugene, Oregon. It’s like you’ve stepped into a music festival in Narnia. Maxim Magazine describes Faerieworlds as ‘Bonnaroo for Middle Earth,’ but Narnia is more accurate.
“Everyone at Faerieworlds is so beautiful. Faerieworlds feels like you’ve stepped into your favorite make-believe world. Here, unicorns, dragons, faeries, fauns, mermaids, goddesses, monsters, heroes, warriors, satyrs and all other sorts of mystical beings are real. And you can dance and play with them. At night, everything glows and lights dance and move through the tall trees of the forest that surrounds us. It feels, as though for a few hours, that you have actually entered the fantasy worlds you loved so much as a child. It feels real.
I make my own faery outfits. The one I made this year was from an old prom dress I bought because it was beautiful and looked like it belonged on an elf (and it was like $30). My costumes are an expression of my fantasy and mystical side, and Faerieworlds respects that. Other festivals are not as understanding. Costume does not equal consent, and that is an enormous problem at conventions and festivals. Faerieworlds just doesn’t have that vibe (at least not for me!)
Dancing is my favorite thing at Faerieworlds! Cutting it at the main stage with all my Fey friends is profound and transformative for me. My next favorite activity is spending time at Oberon’s tavern. I love talking to new people, as well as old friends. I also love Faerieworlds because it means I get to spend time with my best friend Ryn Duncan. We met 10 years ago doing community theatre and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. We were faeries together. After she moved to Oregon for school, Faerieworlds is a place where we know, without a doubt, we will be together.
For more information about Faerie festivals in the United States, please see Faeriecon.
For a quarterly does of Faerie inspiration, please see Faerie Magazine.
A good book about Faerie lore.
Cover photo by Mike Stephen Warthen.
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© Debra Dylan, 2013.