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rEVOLution Beach Festival
April 27th-28th
Freeman Park, Carolina Beach

Mix quality, beach, live music, camping, a friendly atmosphere—and the fact that it’s all free—and it’s the perfect recipe for a great weekend! April 27th and 28th will see the fourth annual r.EVOLution Beach Festival at Freeman Park, otherwise known as “the North End,” on Pleasure Island. The non-commercial festival will donate any money raised to Be the Change, a charity that supports essential aid work across the globe.

r.EVOLution—or the “revolution, evolution of love”—was the vision of one man. Michal Oliver moved to Wilmington from his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio, especially to create this annual event. Now, with a small group of dedicated volunteers and the green light from the Arts and Activities Committee of Carolina Beach, it’s not just happening but growing annually.

This year will host an impressive array of live music from Dubtown Cosmonauts, with original dub to the more psychedelic tunes of Cindercat. The Family is a five-piece based in Greensboro, and their high-energy set will lilt from funk to folk to bluegrass, with a good dose of jamming thrown in, too. Duende Mountain Duo will get the crowd jumping with live drum, bass and electro, among many other bands in the lineup.

“The festival is about celebrating good music but it’s also about exploring different ways of living—ways that are respectful, conscious and efficient,” Oliver explains.

The event strives to walk its talk and is completely powered by solar energy thanks to the generosity of Clean Energy Events. “We have around 300 days of sun on this island — let’s utilize it!” Oliver exclaims.

Recycling is encouraged and facilities are provided for aluminum cans. No glass is allowed on the beach, and the festival doesn’t even sell alcohol, which is a real testament to their not-for-profit ethos. “Everyone who is involved in setting up and running the festival is a volunteer, doing it for the love of it,” Oliver says. Each year we choose a charity to support with the money raised by selling products to promote the festival.

Also, there will be yoga on the beach Saturday and Sunday mornings, offered by respected local teachers Rebecca Niamtu and Leslie Stafford. The belly-dancing group, Ostara, will be adding their touch of the exotic. There will be spoken-word poetry performers sharing rhymes and rants, and once the bands and entertainment wraps, which will be around midnight on Saturday, the drum circles and fire dancers come out to celebrate.

This year’s r.EVOLution has a special guest speaker to be Skype’d in live—Jacque Fresco, the founder of The Venus Project. The project “offers a comprehensive plan for social reclamation in which human beings, technology and nature will be able to coexist in a long term, sustainable state of dynamic equilibrium,” according to its mission statement. Fresco will share his ideas about ways in which humans can take the best of science and create a society based upon respect for the environment.

The festival has organized a taxi service to ferry people out to its beautiful location, on sandy shores that demand four-wheel-drive vehicles. There will be food and craft vendors, but anything else for a comfortable camping experience needs to be brought in by festival-goers. “The beach is even cleaner after we’ve left,” Oliver promises.

In its continual evolution, Oliver and the team would love to see a healing space and kids’ area at next year’s event. “We just need the volunteers,” Cindy Heinly, vendor coordinator, notes. “We’re open to any ideas which will help make this an even more conscious and beautiful festival.”

Anyone wishing to volunteer can contact Michal Oliver or Cindy Heinly via Folks can also donate to support the free festival—as many costs are out-of-pocket of the organizers.

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Encore Magazine regularly covers topics pertaining to news, arts, entertainment, food, and city life in Wilmington. It also maintains schedules and listings of local events like concerts, festivals, live performance art and think-tank events. Encore Magazine is an entity of H&P Media, which also powers Wilmington’s local ticketing platform, Print and online editions are updated every Wednesday.

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