All posts by Bill White

Bill White arrived at Wisteria in 2010 with Starwood XXX after 15 years as a festival participant. Nights at the drum and fire circle had given him a belief in the transformative magic of the festival experience and the sacred silly, and its power to forge authentic connections to self and others. At Wisteria, Bill fell in love with the land and community, and began an ever-deepening relationship with the organization and its projects, with the goal of bringing that magic to others and nurturing a space for people to grow, play, and revel in the gloriously weird. Bill brings to Wisteria a decade of entrepreneurial experience as co-founder of FrogNet, Inc. and other ventures, a doctorate in neuroscience, a professional background in software engineering and information technology, a passion for infrastructure, and a fondness for digging holes and setting things on fire. Bill currently does enterprise web applications development for a living (AngularJS, REST API, Perl/Moose, Postgres). At Wisteria, Bill currently serves as treasurer of the Board of Directors and is active on various engineering-related committees and projects and Wisteria Fire Tribe.

Wisteria 2016 Season

This season marks 20 years for us. In the past two decades we’ve learned and grown and weathered hardships thanks to the incredible love and support of our community. This year, to commemorate this and to foster the growth of the festivals we all love, we’ve made some big changes.

We’ll kick off our 20th year with a special festival (yet to be named … suggestions welcome!) during Memorial Day weekend (May 27-30). Last year many of you were here for the Memorial Day work weekend and we all had a wonderful time; this year instead of working, we’ll celebrate. As with all our festivals, volunteer positions will be available.

Summer Solstice is back to a full week (June 19-26), with workshops and performances throughout. While we haven’t decided on our performance lineup yet we hope to include both old favorites and new acts from a variety of genres. For those of you who can’t get the time off work for a full week, we’ll have a special weekend price and a flurry of activities and music during the weekend.

Wormhole (between Solstice and Starwood) now covers the full two weeks this year (June 27-July 11). So if you want to come and enjoy some quiet camping time, this would be a good time.

As with last year, we’ll have our volunteer appreciation festival, Manifest, during Labor Day weekend (September 2-5). Anyone who has volunteered for us during a festival or during work weekends is eligible to come for free.

And of course we’ll end the year with our fall festival, Autumn Fires (October 6-9), with music, pumpkins, arts and crafts, and plenty of fire.

For festival tickets, follow the links above. You can also pay at the gate (gate prices are slightly higher, but you can pay only for the days you attend). Season passes this year cover all three festivals plus the days before each festival, as well as three open camping days. If you buy before January 1, 2016, you’ll get two additional open camping days!

Also planned for this year are improvements to the shower house (and plenty of hot water), improved high speed Internet service, and the return of something we know you all miss!

Spring work season is underway!

If you’ve been following our Facebook group, you know that spring has come to Wisteria, and with it, our work season. We’re a small organization run by a core group of dedicated and enthusiastic people, but it’s far too much work for us alone, and we would be lost if it were not for the love and effort of all of you.

This year’s big project is making improvements to the pavilion housing the kitchen and coffee house. Since I’m managing this project, I thought I’d take a moment to talk about what we’re doing and why. Land like any living thing has unique characteristics and challenges, and in Southeastern Ohio, one of our big ones is water. Some places have too little; we’re blessed with such an abundance that sometimes it becomes an issue. Our original wooden kitchen floor was a stop-gap measure, and the water moving across the pavilion ground wasn’t kind to it, or to people’s shoes. So now it’s time to do it right.

We’re doing this in three stages. The first, which is mostly complete, was digging out the back poles so we could pour a concrete curb wall to stop any water from making it into the pavilion. This wall will extend below the pad into the ground. We’ll finish it off by putting on a sealant and barrier. The highlight of this stage, if you will, was a very long and hard work day involving building forms and getting four yards of concrete into a 6″ wide space.  I joke sometimes that we should call it a fitness camp because we definitely built some muscle that day!

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The concrete’s in! Only took seven people, one constructed chute, a buggy, and a very patient cement mixer truck driver. Picture credit Bill White

The second stage will be excavating a trench behind the wall and across the field, putting in pipe to take all the water coming off the hillside, ground, and roof, and move it into a ravine by Green Man. Our final stage of course will be making a new concrete pad in the pavilion so we can rebuild our kitchen and coffee house. This will make the space cleaner, safer, easier to maintain, and much friendlier for the hard-working souls behind the counter, and improve the flow for everyone getting their food and coffee drinks. We’ve got a professional concrete contractor helping us out on this job since this is a major project.

Our next work weekend coming up is Memorial Day, and by then we hope to have the pad finished. If the concrete has cured enough, we’ll be putting the pavilion kitchen area back together, making it beautiful and functional. And of course there will be plenty of other work to do, from wood busting to grounds keeping … oh, and hopefully faster Internet, too! If you’ve got time before the work weekend and want to help out, we’d love your help! Just contact bill@wisteria.org and let us know.

I’m thrilled to be help manage this project and couldn’t do it without the incredible contributions of too many of you to name.  Let’s git ‘er done and have some fun!

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Nellie Werger cutting rebar to go in the wall. Picture credit Bill White

Say hello to our new website

As you’ve probably noticed, we have a new website for the 2015 season. After months of looking at the various options for getting a site up and running, we decided to do this in-house. Fortunately, between Nellie Werger and me, we had enough experience, and Copious Free Time [TM] to git ‘er done. We’ve learned a great deal in the process, and are delighted to have something we can go live with. As you might imagine, the paint is still drying, and there are some things still left to do, such as Wisteria merchandise and nature preserve donations. If you have any questions, please let us know at webmaster@wisteria.org, or post a comment here.

Hail, and welcome!