This weekend, thousands will flock to Santa Barbara’s Live Oak Campgrounds for Lucidity — a three-day music festival featuring live music, including hip-hop duo Zion I — as well as art, workshops, organic food and much more.

The festival calls itself “open-source” because many of its activities are interactive, as attendees are invited to actively take part in leading workshops, bringing their own art pieces and dressing up as a character of their choice. Lucidity includes a variety of musical acts, such as acoustic rock singers and electronic musicians, in addition to live acrobatic and dance performances, contemporary art installations and other artistic and musical showcases.

Three-day camping passes are available in hard-copy form exclusively at the Isla Vista Food Cooperative and at the clothing boutique Bizerk, located in downtown Santa Barbara. One-day and two-day passes are available for sale online and a shuttle will be driving festival-goers from the I.V. Food Co-op to Live Oak Campgrounds.

This year’s event will feature four musical stages, eight workshop zones and aims to include a massive amount of participation by festival attendees themselves, according to Jonah Haas, marketing director and co-founder of Lucidity.

“We really try to blur the boundary between spectator and entertainer,” Haas said. “Everyone is free to express themselves, so long as they’re not hurting anyone else.”

Haas said the event first began in 2011, after he and some other local community members created an art installation called “Walkabout Woods” for the Nevada-based arts and music festival Burning Man. He said his experience building the piece inspired him and his peers to attempt to create their own festival, similar to Burning Man.

“It brought together five of us and we started talking about building a festival. It was out of that conversation that Lucidity arose,” Haas said. “We tried it out last year, and it was a massive success so we’re doing it again this year.”

The name of the festival was inspired by the concept of lucid dreaming, according to Haas, who said the event strives to create an environment in which attendees feel as if they are actually experiencing this psychedelic phenomenon.

“We try to set up the festival like a dream world,” Haas said. “Just like you would walk through a dream world, and come across interesting encounters with different characters — all of which are reflections of yourself.”

While free-style rapping while playing an electric guitar outside the I.V. Food Co-op, music performer for this year’s festival Jeff Levy explained how Lucidity acts as a melting pot of diverse performers, artists, workshop leaders and attendees — all brought together to work and play in a safe, fun and creative environment.

“The festival is kind of a controlled experiment for how all of these people are going to integrate at their finest,” Levy said. “You have people who are well-educated and people who have been on the road playing music their whole lives.”

In addition to featuring art and music entertainment, Lucidity also aspires to encourage community-building and healthy living habits, according to Brett Russell, a second-year environmental studies major and festival volunteer.

“Last year, it was really fun because I got to show up a couple days early and they fed us a bunch of tasty organic food the whole time, which kind of made me realize how shitty I normally eat,” Russell said. “Also, one of the performers actually gave me a ride back to FT [Santa Catalina Residence Hall] from the festival when it ended last year.”

Attendees are encouraged to bring items to share with other guests, in order to make the experience more enjoyable and interactive for everyone involved.

Russell said one particular installation that stood out last year was a bar called the Pyro Bar, which spurred fire while serving refreshments to guests.

“It’s this industrial flat bed truck converted into this Middle Eastern vibe bar,” Russell said. “You can just drive it up next to the stage and there are forward-mounted flamethrowers on it blasting fire.”

According to Levy, the festival will feature the best local art and music in the Santa Barbara area, and it will likely be a weekend to remember.

“The festival is in your heart,” Levy said. “It’s local. It’s got good food, local babes and music.”


A version of this article appeared on page 5 of the April 11th, 2013’s print edition of the Nexus