A couple of items relating to the Rainbow Family of Loving Light:
For all the great music-and it was truly one of the greatest musical events in all of rock 'n' roll-it was a thorough mess in the down to earth details, reflecting frightening implications for a hedonistic future of anarchistic chaos. Interestingly, away from the madhouse of humanity swarming over the hill surrounding the stage, through trails in the woods and along some of the roadways, the Hog Farm and other communal groups had set up camp kitchens, water stations and areas of relaxation and friendship.
It was these quiet, unheralded moments that's the real legacy of Woodstock. Those camp kitchens and water stations evolved into the annual Gathering of the Rainbow Family of Living Light, which has been bringing tens of thousands to the National Forests every summer since 1971. These annual Gatherings embody the true spirit of the Hippie thing: peace and love and sharing-and the Gatherings are entirely free, no admission charged.
So, while a quarter of a million revellers head to Saugerties, forking over their $150 ticket price-the original costs was $18-for "Woodstock II, the Re-union," the real reunion already took place at the Rainbow Gathering in a forest in Wyoming... but that's a myth for another time."
From "Food Not Bombs and Rainbow" on the Homeless People's Network archive:
"... check out Rainbow - it can really challenge your assumptions in a good way. Stay awhile - it takes me a while for the mainstream wage-rent culture to wash away - I've been working way to hard and I can hardly imagine ...
Rainbow is great. My first gathering I carried water and gathered wood for a couple kitchens and hung out and listened. This cool guy asked me "what I wanted" when I asked him what Rainbow was all about, as if anything was possible - it's pretty mystical over all.
The mundane issues of shitting, eating, first aid, keeping an eye on drunks (alcohol is only allowed by the cars, if at all, which are way away from the circle), watching the kids, etc. are definitely real and need to have their weight shared, and then everyone has time to explore and meditate and talk and work together in great ways. Rainbow has no amplified music and no alcohol so there are lots of times when it's just wind chimes or just the wind and you. This is vastly different from concerts, dead parking lots, urban gatherings, earth first rendezvous, etc. and all those things have value for other reasons. Activists may find Rainbow to be annoyingly apolitical, but under the surface are a bunch of radicals.
Not so many folks figure I'm sympathetic let alone a supporter / defender but I definitely think Rainbow is great, and I will always take the time to explain the magical good part of Rainbow when people want to talk about the wierdness of it."