Inside The Northern Nights Music Festival

in Culture

This summer, the Northern Nights Music Festival became the first overnight festival in the country to offer recreational cannabis dispensing, attracting thousands of attendees to its Tree Lounge, a sort of cannabis garden for anyone 21+. Organizers called this history-making move a major success—but who’s surprised? Unofficially, marijuana and music festivals have been close collaborators since, well, the beginning of time.

Still this marks a new era in legal recreational cannabis. And if Northern Nights is any indication of what’s around the corner as local laws continue to change, the future of festivals and cannabis is positively utopian. Here’s what went down in a nature-filled weekend of music and wellness, paired with the great unifier: cannabis. 

Let’s start with the welcome committee that greeted us upon arrival Friday evening. Attendee-volunteers offered more dreamy smiles than directions. And to complicate things, the Internet was out way up there, on the border of Mendocino and Humboldt. 

Hundreds of mostly cashless millennials had to be shepherded to the one ATM at the festival’s makeshift general store so they could buy their parking pass or ticket for the weekend. It could have been a stressful cluster if it weren’t for the reassuring heady musk that lingered in the air and the fact that most volunteers looked fresh off a bong hit. Not that we’re judging. Just jealous.

It was Friday after a long drive and a longer week, so when my friend/coworker and I caught ourselves remarking on service design efficiencies and the curious lack of compost bins, we knew we still had our muggle tech employee masks on. 

Northern Nights is not glitzy Coachella or polished, efficient Outside Lands. That’s sort of the point.

Amanda Fetterly“Just don’t let me buy any festival …

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Author: Amy Copperman / High Times

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