This weekend I went to the Stella Natura Music Festival in a beautiful setting high in the Sierra Nevada near Soda Springs, California. Stella Natura features neo-folk and black metal bands from Europe and North America. I was particularly eager to hear Changes, Fire and Ice, and Waldteufel. I also knew that there would be a large contingent of people who share my interests in neopaganism, Traditionalism, and Rightist politics. Finally, I knew that a good number of friends and friends-of-friends would be there. So Stella Natura seemed an ideal place to enjoy nature and art, to see old friends, and to make new ones.
I also thought that Stella Natura would be a good place to sell books. Of course, not everyone into neofolk, black metal, neopaganism, or Traditionalism is white, much less a White Nationalist. But a good number of them are. So I set up a table with the aim of meeting as many like-minded people as possible and selling some books–hoping to make a profit, of course, but quite content to break even, yet return home rich with less tangible benefits.
We arrived at around 1:00 on a warm, sunny afternoon. I was immediately impressed with how well-organized Stella Natura was. The event was spread out over a large area, but there were large numbers of helpful, friendly, and professional people to make sure that we found our table and tent. The staff was also quite security-conscious due to “anti-fa” huffing and puffing about “fascists,” which is their codeword for white people gathering without sufficient Jewish mind-control. (Apparently the huffing and puffing was confined to glue, bongs, and the internet, because nothing happened on site.)
As soon as we set up our table we began meeting people and selling books. As I hoped, I met a large number of Counter-Currents readers. Ragnar Redbeard’s Might is Right and Evola’s The Metaphysics of War were particularly popular among the security guys. Any anarchist who would try to play paddy-cake with these men has a death-wish.
Everyone we spoke to was friendly and receptive, although one man stood nearby and spoke disapprovingly of us in a loud enough voice for people to overhear how virtuous he was. After he and his friends departed stage right, a woman who looked like an American Indian appeared and wanted to see the books that the “P.C. goodies” were upset about. She was quite pleasant, browsing a bit before she went off to listen to music, none the worse for her brief association with “baddies.”
We closed up shop after nine. I was exhausted to the point of incoherence and dehydrated from constant conversation in the dry, dusty air. I retreated to our tent cabin for some rest, high in our hopes for the following days, when the acts I wanted to see most were scheduled to play and when the festival audience would be at its largest. Somebody said there might be rainshowers the next day, but my only thought was that it would be a welcome respite from the dryness and dust.
Unfortunately, the weather took a freakish turn during the night. The temperatures plummeted into the 30s and torrents of rain fell. I awoke with a puddle of icy water on my air mattress. Since I am not one for roughing it, I assumed that if I was muddling through, everyone else would be doing even better. When I arrived at the vendor area, however, I was shocked. It was a freezing mudhole. Many people who had left their wares out overnight returned to find them soaked and mudspattered (fortunately, we had stored our books in the car).
The awnings over one stage had collapsed due to water. I am sure that sound equipment was ruined. The music was cancelled for the day.
Shivering people stood around to buy food. There were no common places to get or stay warm, so people began drifting to their campers and cabins. People like us who stayed in tents did not have that option, and many who had pitched tents on the ground were soaked with all of their belongings.
Those who had cellular reception monitored weather forecasts. When the end of the rain was pushed back from 2 pm to 9 pm to 2 am the next day, roughing it seemed out of the question. An exodus began around noon. But we thought we would give it some time, so we drove a few miles to a nearby hotel and restaurant for hot coffee and food and watched the rain grow heavier and the fog grow thicker.
I finally decided to bag it. Even if we decided to stick it out, many potential contacts and customers would not be there. And there was no guarantee that the weather would be any better the next day. I decided to call the money we invested a loss, but I was not about to waste my time waiting around hoping that things would improve. Besides, after 90 minutes in a heated location, my feet were still frozen. Even my dog, who is a real trooper, looked like he had aged a whole dog year.
We drove back, said our goodbyes, and packed it in. As we were driving away, the rain turned to sleet and then to snow all down I-80 toward Reno. I felt we had gotten out in the nick of time. I had visions of the camp descending into Donner Party conditions. Chargrilled tattooed flesh wrapped in wheat tortillas with beans and rice. Looooong strands of hair in the soup. All to an unplugged soundtrack of post-apocalyptic folk.
It was a long drive back to headquarters, and there was really no question of driving back on Sunday and returning again to headquarters the same day.
As it turned out, the weather on Sunday was fine, and the Saturday and Sunday bands got to play at least some of their planned songs. I do not know how many people stuck it out and how many came back. I would be interested to hear reports in the comments below. Go ahead, rub it in.
A number of people who visited our table on Friday said they would definitely be back to buy books before the end of the festival. To those customers, and all the ones we never had a chance to meet, Counter-Currents will offer a 10% discount on all purchases by Stella Natura staff, artists, vendors, and attendees until October 1st. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with proof of attendance, and I will give you a coupon code.
The location, lineup, organization, and audience of Stella Natura 2013 were all first rate. Only the weather did not cooperate. But it was so freakishly bad that nobody could have predicted and planned for it. One might as well plan for a meteor shower.
I am particularly grateful to Adam Torruella and Tommy Ferguson for their help. Adam, who lost his mother just two weeks before the event and must have had 10,000 things to do, still had time to stop and say hello to a nobody like me. Gestures like that are not forgotten.
I am sure that Stella Natura 2014 will be even better, so I will be back with even more books for sale. I hope to see you there.