The festival was jam packed with activity from beginning to end and always had an energetic vibe. It comprised of performance courses, live entertainment, camping, and, of course, the highlight of live fire performance once the sun set.
Courses were available from morning until evening. They covered poi, juggling, staff, wand/fan, hoop, circus, yoga and even aerial. Attendees could choose which courses they wanted to attended and bop around if they chose. The course level varied so newbies could learn basic techniques or advanced performers could brush up on their skills. Some teachers even provided tools for those who didn’t have them.
Friday night featured a teacher showcase program where teachers displayed acts they had practiced strenuously to show IgNight attendees. Acts comprised of juggling, poi, hoop and more. There were a number of American performers as well as many international based performers that were doing their first US performance at IgNight.
Attendees set up campsites on the outskirts of the Joshua Tree Retreat Center and were able to come and go as they choose. A big part of IgNight is the community atmosphere. Although performance is a draw, event organizers strive to develop a community that is welcoming and full of positive energy, friendship and kindness. Indeed attendees were very friendly and often said hello when passing by or even started conversation with ease.
“I’ve attended the last two IgNight gatherings,” said Mattie, a Los Angeles resident. “I love it! I’ve always had a fabulous time and have met wonderful people. We run into each other every year now.”
Everyone became excited as the sun began to set because soon the fire festivities would begin. An area called “Fire Circle” was where performers could light up their tools and do beautiful displays for viewers to watch. A DJ played music that set a lively atmosphere full of wonder and fun. All fire performers were required to go to fire training to learn safety guidelines before performing with fire which is very important in the burn community.
A fire walk occurred Saturday night where a bonfire was ignited and a speaker gave words of encouragement in accomplishing dreams. He mentioned walking on fire has been transformational in people’s lives as well as a motivating factor to live a more positive life. Coals were spread into two pathways and people stood in lines to quickly walk over the embers. All fire walkers had registered for the walk previously and were given safety precaution. Viewers cheered, clapped and danced as they watched the fire walking take place.
The event came to a close Sunday afternoon. Classes continued and it was noticeable attendees had enjoyed the weekend as they showed signs of fatigue and calmness. Nevertheless drums still beat, dancers danced and people talked with energy.
IgNight Conference is a wonderful experience for people with all backgrounds whether a performer or not, or a beginner or advanced performer. The community is welcoming and encourages everyone to have fun and try something new. We look forward to IgNight Conference in Joshua Tree again!
Visit IgNight Conference website here.