RNC: Ripple Effect Festival

| 9/3/2008 1:56:59 PM

The words “music festival” invite rain, and Tuesday was no exception as Ripple Effect, a drizzly but celebratory arts and activism festival, took shape on the Minnesota State Capitol lawn, in jubilant defiance of the convention happening at the bottom of the hill.

The local jam band Wookiefoot was first, featuring the Orthodox Jewish rapper Matisyahu guesting on vocals. Until Tuesday I had been under the (grateful) impression that jam bands fell out of vogue when Phish broke up, but the fervent crowd emphatically proved me wrong, and I was suddenly surrounded by a magnitude of dreadlocks and hemp clothing I haven’t experienced since my college days.


During one break between songs, the lead singer addressed the Wookiefoot faithful thusly: “You have heeded the call … the call for all Jedi to galactivate!” Whatever language he was speaking, the audience took it to heart.

tall guy 

mother and child 

Still, my uninitiated tastes and the intermittent rain were not about to dampen the spirits of the festival participants. There were a number of tents offering political and spiritual shwag, and numerous artistic assemblages, such as this flower art that passerby were invited to help sculpt:

flower art

There was also an elegant and affecting memorial comprising some footwear of those killed in the Iraq war:

shoe circle
soldier shoes

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