Natural High Festival, Day One, Evening

As dusk settled upon the Doshi campground, I could hear rumblings in the forest from the main stage of the Natural High Festival.

Earlier I had watched them set up the instruments for the first band…

…and run a sound check.

At night, the stage glowed, and the bands set the people to swaying and dancing.

People were still coming by my booth. We were all bundled up against the cold mountain night.

Morio Takizawa, one of the organizers of the festival, and a close friend of my host in Tokyo, Koki Aso, came by with his wife and daughter.

Near the stage, a charmingly fractured English eco-poem on a huge banner.

After the last band on the main stage, the people gathered around a bonfire in a nearby clearing.

The first entertainer was a Nepalese Rastafarian singer-songwriter. The setting suited him perfectly; he didn’t need a sound system, and he just relaxed with the audience and sang his songs. They loved him.

By the time he was finished, the sound system was set up at the tent near the bonfire, and the band Dachambo played their folk/reggae/rock songs. They are friends and collaborators of Sachiho Kudomi’s.

The whole band sings!

I came on after Dachambo. That’s Nambei-san, the chief organizer and audio engineer of the festival next to me, talking to the audience. I needed a translator, and I got a great one, who simply volunteered at the last minute: Jun Hoshikawa, the Director of Greenpeace Japan. He had lived on a hippie commune in California and at an ashram in India in the 1970s, he knew my book, had translated dozens of books, and wrote quite a few as well. He is erudite and witty. It worked out perfectly.