Festie TEDX Talks: Jennifer Pickering on Living Life as a Festival

Article by: Graham Berry|@Festival_Writer

Tue November 24, 2015 | 00:00 AM

Beyond the bright lights and the roar of the crowds, there’s something special brewing inside the melting pot of festival culture. Some say it’s a social revolution. Others look at it as a spiritual awakening of sorts. Whatever it is, brilliant academics are talking about the larger impact festivals have on the world, which we explore in Festie TEDX Talks.

With more than thirty four festivals produced, North Carolinian Jennifer Pickering – co-founder and executive director of LEAF (Lake Eden Arts Festival)  – works to produce discovery experiences through music and the arts and connect cultures and communities through festivals. A devoted traveler, Pickering has expanded LEAF into a powerful platform; she produces two festivals a year, has given stage time to 3,000-plus performing artists and even started nine cultural music programs in eight different countries. Clearly, this woman knows how influential festivals, and the arts they serve as a vehicle for, can be. 

Her TEDx talk explores her introduction to the festival world (through a series of coincidences), how she started the ever-growing organization/festival LEAF, and how we should infuse our daily lives with the same kind of energy we feel at festivals – a concept that's gaining more and more traction with festies. She focuses on her personal experiences being immersed in the festival world, but also takes the time to discuss a catalytic relationship with her godchildren and the process of channeling their wild, exuberant spirits into the arts so that they can grow up to retain the youthful fire that makes them so creative. Don't you wish you'd had a godmother like that?